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Minichromosome maintenance (MCM) helicases play an essential role in chromosomal DNA replication in archaea and eukarya. Here the isolation and partial characterization of the MCM homologue from the psychophilic archaeaon Methanococcoides burtonii is described. The protein was expressed and purified to near homogeneity from Escherichia coli and, like MCM homologues from other archaeons, the protein was shown to form hexamers.
Activity in small mammals is affected by local environmental conditions. Shrews have high metabolic requirements for water, so microclimatic humidity should influence activity patterns. Six different B. brevicauda individuals were trapped and monitored for time spent feeding, drinking, out of a den area, and using a wheel in an experimental chamber for 48 hours under conditions of low (24%), moderate (60%) and high (86%) relative humidity. Time spent drinking was significantly higher in the high humidity level (P < 0.05) and was the only significant difference other than significant variation among individuals. High humidity may have reduced evaporation across the integument, causing an increase in heat load and stimulation of drinking behaviors. Other activity may not have been affected by humidity level because there was abundant, available food and water and no natural dangers. Additionally, the temperature was below the thermal neutral zone for this species, so there was no water loss due to active heat dissipation.
The natural habitat of the bacterium Staphylococcus is human skin and it can therefore be passed indirectly from person to person through fomites. An initial study investigating the metal push plates of 46 public restrooms throughout Angelo State University's campus for the presence of the bacterial species Staphylococcus aureus yielded evidence that the metal composing the push plates might be exerting a fairly rapid level of auto-disinfection. To test this hypothesis, studies were done to compare the re-isolation of S. aureus, S. capitis, and Salmonella typhimurium from metal and plastic surfaces intentionally contaminated with these organisms. All three organisms were more difficult to re-isolate from the metal surfaces as compared to the plastic surfaces.