HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
MIT, BU team builds viruses to combat harmful 'biofilms'

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--In one of the first potential applications of synthetic biology, an emerging field that aims to design and build useful biomolecular systems, researchers from MIT and Boston University are engineering viruses to attack and destroy the surface biofilms that harbor harmful bacteria in the body and on industrial and medical devices.

They have already successfully demonstrated one such virus, and thanks to a plug and play library of parts believe that many more could be custom-designed to target different species or strains of bacteria.

The work, reported in the July 3 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, helps vault synthetic biology from an abstract science to one that has proven practical applications. Our results show we can do simple things with synthetic biology that have potentially useful results, says first author Timothy Lu, a doctoral student in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology.

Bacterial biofilms can form almost anywhere, even on your teeth if you don't brush for a day or two. When they accumulate in hard to reach places such as the insides of food processing machines or medical catheters, however, they become persistent sources of infection.

These bacteria excrete a variety of proteins, polysaccharides, and nucleic acids that together with other accumulating materials form an extracellular matrix, or in Lu's words, a slimy layer, that encases the bacteria. Traditional remedies such as antibiotics are not as effective on these bacterial biofilms as they are on free-floating bacteria. In some cases, antibiotics even encourage bacterial biofilms to form.

Lu and senior author James Collins, professor of biomedical engineering at BU, aim to eradicate these biofilms using bacteriophage, tiny viruses that attack bacteria. Phage have long been used in Eastern Europe and Russia to treat infection.

For a phage to be effective against a biofilm, i
'"/>

Contact: Elizabeth Thomson
thomson@mit.edu
617-258-5402
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
9-Jul-2007


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. New clean-up project builds upon success gained in field
2. Study shows enzyme builds neurotransmitters via newly discovered pathway
3. Orange, grapefruit juice for breakfast builds bones in rats
4. Insulin research builds on Nobel Laureates work
5. Signaling protein builds bigger, better bones in mice
6. Features of replication suggest viruses have common themes, vulnerabilities
7. Discovery in plant virus may help prevent HIV and similar viruses
8. Revealed -- Mosquito genes that could be controlling the spread of killer viruses
9. How memory T cells curb the spread of viruses throughout the body
10. Insignia -- A new way to identify viruses and bacteria
11. Spreading viruses as we breathe

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


(Date:3/3/2016)... MONTEREY, Calif. , March 3, 2016  FlexTech, ... in the categories of Innovation, Research & Development, Leadership ... Industry Leadership. This is the 9 th year ... select group of companies and individuals from past ... nominations based on a pre-described set of criteria, by ...
(Date:3/2/2016)... March 2, 2016 ... addition of the  "Global Biometrics Market in ... ,     (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130307/600769) , , Global biometrics ... at a CAGR of around 27%   ... has announced the addition of the  "Global ...
(Date:3/1/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO , March 1, 2016  (RSAC ... every year, but a whopping $118 billion is lost ... due to overzealous and inaccurate fraud detection. At the ... shift in the way companies handle authentication by devaluing ... biometric and behavioral analytics. --> ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... 04, 2016 , ... The Children’s Tumor Foundation announced its annual month-long campaign ... on nerves throughout the body. It affects 1 in 3,000 people of all populations; ... the month of May, as well as online activities, Neurofibromatosis Awareness Month and “I ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... , May 3, 2016 ... Chip (Genomics, Drug Discovery, Gene Expression) Lab-on-a-chip ... user (Academics Institutes, Diagnostics Centers), Fabrication Technology ... by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to ... USD 7.63 Billion in 2015, growing at ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... ... May 03, 2016 , ... Flagship Biosciences, ... Nancy Gillett to its Board of Directors. Dr. Gillett recently retired from Charles ... Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer. A board-certified veterinary pathologist, Dr. Gillett joined ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... WOODLANDS, Texas , May 3, 2016  Dr. ... certified plastic surgeon in The Woodlands, Texas ... that destroys 24 percent of treated fat cells in ... and woman. Close to 90 percent of Americans report ... treatment options. Nonsurgical fat reduction procedures are a growing ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: