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:4/28/2016)... BANGALORE, India , April 28, 2016 ... of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung SDS, ... partnership that will provide end customers with a more ... payment services.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ) ... financial services, but it also plays a fundamental part in ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... , April 15, 2016  A new ... make more accurate underwriting decisions in a fraction ... timely, competitively priced and high-value life insurance policies ... screenings. With Force Diagnostics, rapid testing ... lifestyle data readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... -- Genomics firm Nabsys has completed a financial  restructuring under ... M.D., who returned to the company in October 2015. ... including Chief Technology Officer, John Oliver , Ph.D., ... Vice President of Software and Informatics, Michael Kaiser ... Bready served as CEO of Nabsys from 2005-2014 and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... , ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... diabetes, and traumatic injuries, will be accelerated by research at Worcester Polytechnic Institute ... engines of wound healing and tissue regeneration. , The novel method, developed by ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... Rockville, Maryland (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2016 ... ... introduction of a newly re-branded identity. The new Media Cybernetics corporate branding reflects ... the world of imaging and image analysis. The re-branding components include a crisp, ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... Ind. , May 23, 2016 Zimmer Biomet ... musculoskeletal healthcare, today announced that its Board of Directors has ... for the second quarter of 2016. The ... or about July 29, 2016 to stockholders of record as ... declarations of dividends are subject to approval of the Board ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... Carolina (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2016 , ... ... and building management solutions and services based in Aurora, Ohio, has broken ground ... established business in the Research Triangle Park area, this new location solidifies a ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: