Natural-born killers enlisted to fight anthrax

Researchers at The Rockefeller University have hit upon a promising method for rapidly and effectively treating people infected with the deadly anthrax bacterium - including feared drug-resistant strains. The new research, reported in the August 22 issue of Nature, takes advantage of anthrax's number one natural enemy: bateriophage, or "bacteria-eating" viruses.

Bacteriophages, also known as phage, have been battling anthrax and other species of bacteria for billions of years. By isolating one of their primary weapons, the Rockefeller scientists have developed a powerful new agent that can specifically target and wipe out millions of anthrax bacteria within seconds. In addition, the technology shows promise as an anthrax detection and decontamination tool.

"We now know that anthrax is a real threat," says Vincent A. Fischetti, Ph.D., head of the Laboratory of Bacterial Pathogenesis and Immunology at Rockefeller and principal author of the paper.

"But even more of a threat are multidrug-resistant strains of anthrax, which may occur naturally or may be engineered by terrorists using common molecular techniques. Consequently, alternative strategies for combating these dangerous strains are needed now more than ever."

Funding this research is Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the central research and development organization for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Phage (plural) are the most abundant life form on earth and can be found anywhere that bacteria thrive, such as soil, water and sewage. Like human viruses, they inject their genetic material into the bacterial cell, replicate by the hundreds per cell, then burst out before moving on to the next host cell.

In the Nature study, Fischetti and co-authors Raymond Schuch, Ph.D., and Daniel Nelson, Ph.D., focused on a phage that specifically infects the biowarfare agent Bacillus anthracis - anthrax. They isolated the enzyme that allows these phage to rupt

Contact: Whitney Clavin
Rockefeller University

Page: 1 2 3 4 5

Related biology news :

1. Frog skin and supercomputers lead Penn chemists to designing better bacteria killers
2. MGH researchers shed new light on how pain killers work
3. Zoonotic diseases - European scientists unite to fight diseases
4. Molecular therapeutics advance fight against brain cancer
5. Forest managers can fight invasive species that come with roads
6. New UCF researchers, college will help fight Alzheimers disease, cancer
7. Growing new breed of vaccine-producing plants to fight human diseases worldwide
8. Call for greater involvement of developing world scientists in fight against AIDS
9. Virginia Bioinformatics Institute researcher advances fight against sudden oak death disease
10. White tea beats green tea in fighting germs
11. Beagles win first round in fight for reprieve from patenting

Post Your Comments:

(Date:4/1/2019)... ... ... Stay on top of current hot topics through free webinars presented by leading experts ... so be sure to register today to save your place! Participate in the discussion ... upcoming webinars: , CLINICAL TRIALS , April 2 – They’re Talking. Are You Listening? ...
(Date:3/29/2019)... ... March 28, 2019 , ... In the wake of the ... dedicated to Chinese biobanks was launched in July 2018, in an agreement between ... Branch, China Medicinal Biotech Association (BBCMBA). The one-year pilot programme offered two testing ...
(Date:3/29/2019)... Md. (PRWEB) , ... March 29, 2019 , ... ... Stem/Stromal Cell (hMSC) biomanufacturing systems, will attend the Society for Biomaterials Annual Meeting ... gives us the opportunity to connect with academic, healthcare, governmental and business professionals ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/19/2019)... ... March 19, 2019 , ... ... the largest hospital in Israel and the Middle East region, and Swiss-based ... state-of-the-art Cocoon™ manufacturing platform. The partnership will enable Sheba to vastly streamline ...
(Date:3/18/2019)... , ... March 18, 2019 , ... For more than ... to develop solutions that allow life science companies to easily comply with FDA 21 ... Cloud Assurance ™ is a managed service delivering end-to-end GxP compliance from vendor audit ...
(Date:3/14/2019)... CITY (PRWEB) , ... March 14, 2019 , ... ... International for their facility in Oklahoma City, OK. EyeCRO joins the Department of ... of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center as the fifth institution in Oklahoma to receive ...
(Date:3/14/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... March 14, 2019 , ... ... Annual Conference & Expo, themed “Navigating the Full Spectrum of Case Management,” continues ... June 10-14, 2019. This conference is the only case management industry conference serving ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: