Chemists from California have created a new form of life—a bacterium that makes proteins out of 21 amino acids, one more than the 20 used by almost every other organism on earth. The new Escherichia coli can manufacture the extra amino acid, p-aminophenylalanine, then incorporate it into proteins. But is there any point? Further experiments to find out are planned (Journal of the American Chemical Society; see http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ja0284153).
A 19 month old boy had a slowly enlarging lesion below his right eye. Examination showed a 1 cm nodular lesion, with a surrounding tender, boggy swelling. Additional satellite lesions confirmed the diagnosis of giant molluscum contagiosum with secondary infection. He was treated with intravenous antibiotics, which cleared the secondary cellulitis. Molluscum contagiosum is caused by a poxvirus and is most common in children and immunocompromised adults. The typical lesion is a small, firm, umbilicated pearly papule. Giant molluscum contagiosum can be confused with epidermoid cyst, keratoacanthoma, basal cell carcinoma, furuncle, or pyogenic granuloma.
S Taibjee, senior house officer, A Abdullah, consultant dermatologist Birmingham Skin Centre, City Hospital, Birmingham B18 7QH
Vaccine research inched forward a little this week with the …