HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
In a tiny squid, bacterial toxin governs organ development

MADISON - In a tiny Pacific Ocean squid, a toxic molecule that causes whooping cough and gonorrhea in humans has been found to be a critical catalyst for organ development.

The toxin, produced by different types of bacteria in different hosts, is known as tracheal cytotoxin. And the astonishing discovery that it can be either good or bad - depending on its biological context - promises to rattle long-held perceptions of microbes and their role as pathogens.

The new work, funded by the National Institutes of Health, was reported this week (Nov. 12) in the journal Science.

That the same toxic molecule produced by different bacteria in different host animals plays such disparate roles - disease and massive tissue damage on the one hand, and critical organ development on the other - may force biologists to rethink the relationship between the world's many microorganisms and their host plants and animals, according to Margaret McFall-Ngai, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of medical microbiology and the corresponding author of the Science paper.

"It is all context dependent," says McFall-Ngai. "It has to be that we have mechanisms to use these molecules in different ways. Until now, molecules of a virulent nature have not been recognized as having essential roles in development."

In the diminutive Hawaiian bobtail squid, the toxin was found to spur the development of a structure, a light-producing organ that acts as a sort of "Klingon cloaking device," mimicking starlight to confuse hungry predators lurking in the depths. In humans, the same toxic molecule, produced by different species of bacteria, causes massive tissue damage in the lungs in the case of whooping cough, and in the fallopian tubes in the case of gonorrhea.

When the squid are born, they are about half the size of a grain of rice, and they must acquire the toxin-producing bacteria from their oc
'"/>

Contact: Margaret McFall-Ngai
mjmcfallngai@wisc.edu
608-262-2393
University of Wisconsin-Madison
11-Nov-2004


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. A new plant-bacterial symbiotic mechanism promising
2. UCF professor finds bacterial pathogen may be key to understanding cancer development
3. Researchers discover acquired DNA key to certain bacterial infection
4. Hot on the TRAIL of controlling inflammation in bacterial meningitis
5. A new plant-bacterial symbiotic mechanism promising for crop applications
6. Researchers develop way to calculate speed of bacterial sex
7. Gallium: A new antibacterial agent?
8. New antibacterials being developed to tackle MRSA superbug
9. The pull of bacterial chromosome segregation
10. Green plants share bacterial toxin
11. ASU researchers test antibacterial effects of healing clays

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/8/2017)... Report Highlights ... The global synthetic-biology market reached nearly $3.9 billion in ... a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.0% through 2021. ... for synthetic biology. - Analyses of global market trends, with ... annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2021. - Coverage of core ...
(Date:2/7/2017)... WARSAW, Ind. , Feb. 7, 2017 ... global leader in musculoskeletal healthcare, will present at the ... Lotte New York Palace Hotel on Wednesday, February 15, ... A live webcast of the presentation can be accessed ... for replay following the conference via Zimmer Biomet,s Investor ...
(Date:2/3/2017)... A new independent identity strategy consultancy firm ... . Designed to fill a critical niche in technical ... partners Mark Crego and Janice Kephart ... identity expertise that span federal governments, the 9/11 Commission, ... combined expertise has a common theme born from a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... as insulin, cortisol, CRP, adiponectin, uric acid, and/or other biomarkers or SNPs of ... Assay from Salimetrics’ SalivaLab , the relationship between insulin and other relevant ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... UK (PRWEB) , ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... optics and photonics , have been named Fellows of the Society this year, ... technical contributions in the multidisciplinary fields of optics, photonics, and imaging as well ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... , Feb. 22, 2017 Scientists propose ... inflammation and organ damage in Gaucher and maybe other ... risks and lower costs than current therapies. ... Hospital Medical Center , which also included investigators from ... , report their data Feb. 22. The study was ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... DUBLIN , Feb 22, 2017 ... addition of the "Global Biological Crop Protection (Bio-Pesticide) Market-By Type, ... Forecasts (2016-2021)" report to their offering. ... Global Biological Crop Protection Market is ... The strong growth in biopesticide or biological crop protection ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: