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:4/17/2014)... NY, April 17, 2014The development of stem cell therapies ... ability to characterize stem cell populations based on cell ... discovered a new marker that is highly expressed in ... cord blood, which they describe in an article in ... Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... Andr Gauthier and Professor Luca Razzari of the ... awarded large grants from the John R. Evans ... (CFI) for the acquisition of state-of-the-art biotech and ... matching grants from the Ministre de l,Enseignement suprieur, ... la Technologie (MESRST). These new laboratories will help ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... is available in German . ... recognise objects; they also provide us with a continuous stream ... around, fall or sit still in a car the ... on our retinas. Seemingly without effort, our brain calculates self-motion ... stable position and a steady gaze during our own movements. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):New state-of-the-art biotech and nanotech equipment for INRS 2How vision makes sure that little fish do not get carried away 2How vision makes sure that little fish do not get carried away 3How vision makes sure that little fish do not get carried away 4
(Date:1/15/2014)... , January 15, 2014 A study ... races on the Formula 1 track could help to tackle ... Applied Technologies (MAT), Stowhealth (a GP surgery based in Stowmarket) ... healthcare provider Simplyhealth. Telemetry technology, which is inspired ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... Two champions of science, technology, engineering, ... an annual competition for middle and high school students ... STEM study. The competition presents students with real-world problems ... Aptitude, Mathematics, and Sciences is a program administered ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... DTS Language Services, Inc . is pleased to announce ... organizations who need document translations. Clients will now have ... in advance with a selection of nearly 50 life science ... critical factor in clinical and scientific fields, and decrease the ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... 15, 2014 Freeslate, Inc ., ... announced that Lupin Limited, one of India’s top five ... Protégé PharmD System for high throughput solid form ... focused on a wide range of quality, affordable generic ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Formula 1 Technology Tackles Obesity in Unique Healthcare Partnership 2Formula 1 Technology Tackles Obesity in Unique Healthcare Partnership 3Formula 1 Technology Tackles Obesity in Unique Healthcare Partnership 4Technology Student Association Partners with Leaders in STEM Education Advocacy for Annual Competition 2Technology Student Association Partners with Leaders in STEM Education Advocacy for Annual Competition 3Technology Student Association Partners with Leaders in STEM Education Advocacy for Annual Competition 4Technology Student Association Partners with Leaders in STEM Education Advocacy for Annual Competition 5DTS Improves Efficiency for Life Science Document Translations 2Lupin Selects Freeslate’s CM Protégé PharmD System to Accelerate Polymorph Screening for Drug Development 2Lupin Selects Freeslate’s CM Protégé PharmD System to Accelerate Polymorph Screening for Drug Development 3
Cached News: