HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Radiation-resistant organism reveals its defense strategies

Rehovot, Israel January 9, 2003 Weizmann Institute scientists have found what makes the bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans the most radiation-resistant organism in the world: The microbe's DNA is packed tightly into a ring. The findings, published in the January 10 issue of Science, solve a mystery that has long engaged the scientific community.

The red bacterium can withstand 1.5 million rads a thousand times more than any other life form on Earth and three thousand that of humans. Its healthy appetite has made it a reliable worker at nuclear waste sites, where it eats up nuclear waste and transforms it into more disposable derivatives. The ability to withstand other extreme stresses, such as dehydration and low temperatures, makes the microbe one of the few life forms found on the North Pole. It is not surprising, then, that it has been the source of much curiosity worldwide, recently leading to a debate between NASA and Russian scientists the latter saying that it originated on Mars, where radiation levels are higher.

Since DNA is the first part of a cell to be damaged by radiation and the most lethal damage is the breakage of both DNA strands, scientists have focused on DNA repair mechanisms to find the answer to the microbe's resilience. Cells, including human cells, can mend only very few such breaks in their DNA. Microbes, for example, can repair only three to five. Yet D. radiodurans can fix more than 200. Thus scientists believed that the microbe must possess uniquely effective enzymes that repair DNA. However, a series of experiments showed that the microbe's repair enzymes were very similar to those existing in ordinary bacteria.

Using an assortment of optical and electron microscopy methods, Prof. Avi Minsky of the Weizmann Institute of Sciences Organic Chemistry Department found that the microbe's DNA is organized in a unique ring that prevents pieces of DNA broken by radiation from floating off into the cell's liqu
'"/>

Contact: Jeffrey J. Sussman
Jeffrey@acwis.org
212-895-7951
American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science
9-Jan-2003


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Scientists sequence genome of kind of organism central to biospheres carbon cycle
2. Unicellular organisms contribute more nitrogen to ocean that reported earlier
3. NHGRI adds 18 organisms to sequencing pipeline
4. Fish no exception to trend in marine-organism disease
5. Scientists urge caution when releasing engineered organisms into environment
6. Marsupial among model organisms next in line for sequencing
7. Study of primitive life form expected to provide clues to biological processes in higher organisms
8. Workshop takes systems view of information processing in organisms
9. Scientists determine identity, cell locale and quantity of nearly all proteins in an organism
10. UC Riverside to convene conference on genetically modified organisms, Oct. 14-17, 2003
11. Stay-at-home microbes: New study finds micro-organisms more complicated than we thought

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
TAG: Radiation resistant organism reveals its defense strategies

(Date:7/25/2014)... girls reach puberty is influenced by ,imprinted genes,a subset of ... gene. This is the first evidence that imprinted genes ... of this study were published today in the journal ... menarche, is a marker for the timing of puberty in ... varies between girls, is an inherited trait, and is linked ...
(Date:7/25/2014)... time, Spanish researchers have detected an unknown interaction between ... are introduced into a droplet of salt water and ... crystallisation to create biomineralogical biosaline 3D morphologically complex formations, ... bacteria are revived. The discovery was made by chance ... of the Astrobiology journal and may help ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... wildlife loss leads to conflict among people around the ... Society (WCS) Health & Ecosystems: Analysis of Linkages (HEAL) ... approach to tackle global biodiversity decline. , The harvest ... world,s people and provides protein for more than a ... no surprise that today,s unprecedented loss of wildlife, is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Could age of first period influence development of diseases in older women? 2Bacteria manipulate salt to build shelters to hibernate 2New study draws links between wildlife loss and social conflicts 2
(Date:7/24/2014)...  Now available is a stem cell therapy that ... , located in Guadalajara, Mexico , ... new health option: stem cell therapies for sports ... suffer from joint and muscle injuries due to professional ... rotator cuff, tennis elbow, and knee injuries. Throughout life ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... Security forces worldwide rely on sophisticated equipment, trained ... other public areas against terrorist attacks. A revolutionary ... about to make their job much easier. , ... Patolsky of Tel Aviv University ,s School of ... developed by the Herzliya company Tracense, picks up ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... Yan, Distinguished Professor of Engineering at the University ... to solve problems in energy engineering, environmental sustainability ... on zeolites, porous rock with a well-defined, crystalline ... is so precisely decided that zeolites can separate ... of an angstrom (one-tenth of a nanometer), making ...
(Date:7/24/2014)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ... Instruments Market 2014-2018" report to their offering. ... is the study of the gene and its functions ... functions of proteomes or sets of proteins by using ... the mapping of genes and DNA sequencing to understand ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Stem Cells In Sports Injuries, Joints And Muscular Pain 2Stem Cells In Sports Injuries, Joints And Muscular Pain 3Nano-sized chip 'sniffs out' explosives far better than trained dogs 2University of Delaware researcher describes new approach for creating organic zeolites 2Global Genomics and Proteomics Analytical Instruments Market 2014-2018: Key Vendors are Agilent, Bio-Rad , F. Hoffmann, La Roche, Illumina, PerkinElmer and Thermo Fisher Scientific 2
Cached News: