In the press review of Tuesday, May 11, we will discuss: the discovery of a DNA mechanism, the southwestern islands soon to UNESCO and a 100-year-old lady who beat the virus.

New DNA mechanism

A team including researchers from the University of Kyoto has revealed the unique functioning of a DNA sequence found in algae and other plants that folds and binds the DNA of chloroplasts used in photosynthesis to make them more compact inside the cells. The team said the protein, which looks like ” two hands “, folds, groups and binds DNA. The results were published on May 10 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). The team, made up, among others, of Yoshiki Nishimura, assistant professor specializing in molecular genetics of plants at the Higher School of Sciences of the University of Kyoto, and the researcher Husband Takusagawa, used Chlamydomonas green algae in his research. The team noted that even if this protein does not work, the cell’s activities are not interrupted and the cell is still able to photosynthesize. The teacher Nishimura said : “It’s amazing that the plant can continue to photosynthesize even if the DNA is unraveling. It is believed that the structure of nucleoids is related to gene expression and genetic inheritance, among other factors, and we would like to elucidate these questions in future research. “

UNESCO World Heritage Islands

An advisory group of UNESCO recommended Monday that a chain of islands in the southwest of the Japan, endowed with dense subtropical forests, be added to the list of natural World Heritage sites. The inscription of this 43,000 hectare area is expected to be officially approved during an online session of the World Heritage Committee between July 16 and 31. The islands concerned are, the island Amami-Oshima and the island of Tokunoshima in the department of Kagoshima as well as the northern part of Okinawa main island and the island from Iriomote in Okinawa County. The advisory body considered these islands to be crucial for the preservation of biodiversity and called for protective measures such as capping the number of tourists to Iriomote Island. “The news inspires dreams that may brighten the atmosphere amid the coronavirus pandemic”, said the mayor Amami, Tsuyoshi Asayama, committing to continue efforts to register the site. If inscribed, the islands of southwestern Japan would become the country’s fifth natural World Heritage site, after the islands Ogasawara, which were added to the list in 2011. There are currently 23 World Heritage sites in Japan.

100 years old and cured of COVID-19

A 100-year-old woman hospitalized in January with the coronavirus and discharged from hospital after about a month described her recovery in a May 10 press conference with one of her doctors. Ayako Ito, a city resident from Otsu, in the department of Shiga, has recovered dramatically after a severe COVID-19 which required her to receive oxygen. She smiled and said: “Trusting doctors is the most important thing in treatment, and doing better is also important. “ Ito was born in 1920 and raised in Otsu. The Dr Taku Yamaguchi, who directed his care, recalls: “She was always positive and never ceased to be inspired by herself”. “When the coronavirus pandemic is over, I want to go see professional baseball games and travel abroad. I still have life in front of me ”said Ito, who intends to enjoy life for some time to come.


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