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:8/21/2020)... ... August 20, 2020 , ... ... Movahhed , a Clinical Operations executive with expertise in clinical trial planning and ... firm as an Expert Consultant. Throughout his career, Mr. Movahhed has helped design ...
(Date:8/5/2020)... ... ... Regenative Labs has received approval from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ... jelly allografts to be assigned a Q code and be approved for application directly ... allograft product to be recognized as a 361 HCT/P by CMS regulated under 21CFR ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... ... July 16, 2020 , ... ... the effectiveness of the Invictus Medical Neoasis™ active noise control device to attenuate ... reported that the Neoasis™ device attenuated the alarm sounds from patient monitors, ventilators ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/18/2020)... , ... July 17, 2020 , ... ... consulting firm for the life sciences and food industries, is pleased to announce ... of Clinical Research – Business Development. , Charles is an accomplished and results-driven ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... ... July 09, 2020 , ... ... therapy, today announced the hiring of Allen R. Nissenson, M.D., F.A.C.P., as its ... the clinical development of Sentien’s lead product, SBI-101. Dr. Nissenson serves as ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... ... June 29, 2020 , ... ... procured purchasing contracts to its membership, recently named BioFit Engineered Products ... the opportunity to purchase ergonomic seating, cafeteria tables, book trucks and carts at ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... ... June 25, 2020 , ... Lumeda Inc. ... cancer, today announced the company has entered a license agreement with Roswell Park ... Lumeda globally exclusive rights to Roswell Park intellectual property surrounding a novel medical ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: