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:


(Date:12/15/2016)... , Dec. 15, 2016  There is much ... doors or starting the engine. Continental will demonstrate the ... Las Vegas . Through the combination of ... and Entry) and biometric elements, the international technology company ... vehicle personalization and authentication. "The integration of ...
(Date:12/12/2016)... 12, 2016  Researchers at Trinity College, Dublin, ... by combining the material with Silly Putty. The mixture ... detector able to sense pulse, blood pressure, respiration, ... The research team,s findings were ... here:  http://science.sciencemag.org/content/354/6317/1257 ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Dec. 8, 2016  Singulex, Inc., the leader in ... entered into a license and supply agreement with Thermo ... agreement provides Singulex access to Thermo Scientific BRAHMS PCT ... is used to diagnose systemic bacterial infection and ... to aid in assessing the risk of critically ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... 19, 2017  ArmaGen, Inc., today announced that ... as chief executive officer, as well as a ... to ArmaGen more than 17 years of executive ... of biotherapeutics and pharmaceuticals. "Mathias ... experience and skillset necessary to lead ArmaGen to ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... tech innovators, engineers, and scientists from around the world, was today awarded the ... awards program is based entirely on merit and decided upon by a dedicated ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , Jan. 18, 2017 The ... reach USD 92.9 billion by 2025, according to ... Pharmaceutical industry has been adaptive of the function ... early as 2002. Among the services outsourced, clinical ... For instance, Johnson & Johnson was the first ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... LAKES, N.J. , Jan. 18, 2017 BD (Becton, ... technology company, announced today that it will host a live webcast ... at 1 p.m. (ET). The webcast can be ... be available for replay through Tuesday, January 31, 2017. ... About BD BD ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: