Finding the hole in the defenses of cavity-creating microbes

defenses fell; the cell membrane was no longer able to protect against the acid the bacteria churn out.

"These bacteria should not be able to live in the mouth," says Quivey, "but they adapt to the acidic environment and thrive, thanks to the special defenses they use. Not only that, but the acid they produce harms other bacteria, allowing S. mutans to dominate. We're trying to make the human mouth, the only hospitable environment that S. mutans has ever found, inhospitable."

S. mutans is one of hundreds of types of bacteria in the human mouth. When people eat sugary foods, S. mutans eats the sugars, coats the teeth, excretes acids, and forms a pudding-like goo plaque that consists of bacteria, sugars, and other substances all locked together in a matrix that sticks to teeth. As the crowd of bacteria gathers, it becomes tough for saliva, a healthful substance that bathes the teeth in nutrients and fights cavities, to reach and cleanse the teeth.

"Within an hour after you eat, you can run your tongue over your teeth and feel a sort of film. That's plaque really, a community of bacteria making themselves comfortable for a long-term stay in your mouth. It can really get disgusting in there," says Quivey."

With S. mutans comfortably lodged along our tooth surfaces, the pH in our mouths quickly plummets, becoming 100 to 1,000 times more acidic than normal. Without frequent brushing and flossing, the assault on our teeth results in cavities quickly.

Like S. mutans, other bacteria have the ability to change their cell membranes to cope with harsh conditions. E. coli bacteria happily ensconced in red meat perform a similar trick as they travel through the human digestive system. Another harmful bacterium, Listeria, changes its membrane properties to allow it to live even in the cool temperatures of the refrigerator.

Matching the bacteria's abilities, however, are various human strategies to kill the microbes. Many cu

Contact: Tom Rickey
University of Rochester Medical Center

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Findings suggest need for new view of p53 cancer proteins interaction with DNA
2. Findings redefine mechanism of action of RNA helicase enzymes
3. Findings of novel nanoproperties in selenium produced by bacteria open new area of exploration
4. Finding may help eczema sufferers tolerate smallpox vaccine
5. Findings could aid efforts to harness nature for making drugs
6. Findings offer clue to how molecule can both stimulate, suppress cell growth
7. Findings offer further understanding about growth and development in young male gymnasts
8. Findings in frog oocytes may help study of chromosome physiology
9. Finding dirty bombs and other radiation threats
10. Finding life away from Earth will be tough task, says noted paleontologist
11. Finding a Holy Grail: simulated and experimental protein folding compares nicely

Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/29/2015)... Oct. 29, 2015  Rubicon Genomics, Inc., today ... distribution of its DNA library preparation products, including ... new ThruPLEX Plasma-seq kit. ThruPLEX Plasma-seq has been ... of NGS libraries for liquid biopsies--the analysis of ... prognostic applications in cancer and other conditions. Eurofins ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... YORK , Oct. 27, 2015 In ... major issues of concern for various industry verticals such ... is due to the growing demand for secure & ... in various ,sectors, such as hacking of bank accounts, ... for electronic equipment such as PC,s, laptops, and smartphones ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... and LAS VEGAS , Oct. 26, ... , an innovator in modern authentication and a founding ... the launch of its latest version of the Nok ... organizations to use standards-based authentication that supports existing and ... Authentication Suite is ideal for organizations deploying customer-facing applications ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... Israel , Nov. 24, 2015  Tikcro Technologies Ltd. (OTCQB: TIKRF) ... on December 29, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. Israel ... Electra Tower, 98 Yigal Allon Street, 36 th Floor, ... of Eric Paneth and Izhak Tamir to the ... Rami Skaliter as external directors; , approval of an amendment to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)...  Twist Bioscience, a company focused on synthetic ... Bioscience chief executive officer, will present at the ... 2015 at 3:10 p.m. Eastern Time at The Lotte New ... --> --> About Twist ... on Twitter. Sign up to follow our Twitter ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... InSphero AG, the leading supplier of easy-to-use solutions for ... Aregger to serve as Chief Operating Officer. , Having joined InSphero in ... and was promoted to Head of InSphero Diagnostics in 2014. There she ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... - ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. (TSX: PLI) (OTCQX: PFSCF) ("ProMetic" ... , President and Chief Executive Officer of ProMetic, will be ... th Annual Healthcare Conference to be held at the ... st , at 8.50am (ET) and ProMetic,s management team ... presentation will be available live via a webcast accessible at ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: