This diverse collection of research articles is united by the enormous power of modern molecular genetics. Every author accomplished two objectives: (1) making the field and the research described accessible to a large audience and (2) explaining fully the genetic tools and approaches that were used in the research. One fact stands out - the importance of a genetic approach to addressing a problem. I encourage you to read several chapters.
Dispersin B (DspB), a family 20b-hexosaminidase from the oral pathogen
Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, cleaves b(1,6)-linked N-acetylglu-cosamine polymer. In order to understand the substrate specificity of
DspB, we have undertaken to characterize several conserved and noncon-served residues in the vicinity of the active site.
Bacterial biofilms are regarded to be the primary aetiological factor in the initiation of
gingival inflammation and subsequent destruction of periodontal tissues (Offenbacher 1996)
and three major specific pathogens have been repeatedly identified as etiologic agents,
namely Aggregatibacter (Actinobacillus) actinomycetemcomitans (Aa), Porphyromonas gingivalis
(Pg) and Tannerella forsythia (Tf) (Socransky et al. 1998).