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SCI Watch bacteria ‘fishing’ for DNA to speed up its own evolution
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  1. #1
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    Watch bacteria ‘fishing’ for DNA to speed up its own evolution

    Video at link.


    For the first time, bacteria has been seen ‘harpooning’ DNA and absorbing it into itself to speed up its evolution. The breakthrough could help in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

    Using a microscope and a new dyeing method, scientists observed one of the bacterium’s appendages, which is more than 10,000 times thinner than a human hair, reaching out and extracting DNA fragments from the surrounding environment. It then incorporated it into its own DNA. The process is known as “horizontal gene transfer.”

    Scientists at Indiana University observed the process in Vibrio cholerae bacteria, which causes cholera, and have published their findings in the journal Nature Microbiology. They were able to capture the DNA transfer using a process which paints both the bacteria’s pili and the surrounding DNA fragments. Before now, it was impossible to understand how the pili works because it is just so small.

    “Horizontal gene transfer is an important way that antibiotic resistance moves between bacterial species, but the process has never been observed before, since the structures involved are so incredibly small,” one of the study’s authors, Ankur Dalia, said. “It’s important to understand this process, since the more we understand about how bacteria share DNA, the better our chances are of thwarting it.”

    The bacterium’s strange arm-like tendril, known as a pili, is vital in the DNA extraction process, the study shows. It acts like a harpoon which penetrates a pore in the bacterium’s wall in order to reach out and spear the DNA with its tip, before pulling the DNA into itself via the same pore.

    “It’s like threading a needle,” the study’s lead author, Courtney Ellison, said of the movement.

    The groundbreaking observation could pave the way to further understanding antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which affects close to 2 million people in the US each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. These strains have been found in almost half a million people suffering with tuberculous.

    The next step for scientists is to research how the bug’s pili is able to hook the DNA at precisely the right spot to seize it.

    https://www.rt.com/news/429947-bacte...dna-evolution/
    Proud Infidel...............and Cracker

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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Hello Millwright.

    Thank you for posting this!

    Just WOW!!!

    Absolutely amazing research!

    Scary stuff!

    There is sooooooo much more research to be done on bacteria! So much we don't know.
    "Apres la Guerre."

  3. #3
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    You will be assimilated.
    Your uniqueness will be added to our own.
    Resistance is futile.
    "...Cry 'Havoc' and let slip the cats of war..."
    Razor sharpening while you wait - Occam
    If it works, it doesn't have enough features. - Windows 10 design philosophy.
    Forget the beer, I'm just here for the doom!
    Humans, just a tool for amino acids to make Swiss watches.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Profit of Doom View Post
    You will be assimilated.
    Your uniqueness will be added to our own.
    Resistance is futile.

    Kinda like the TB "hive brain"

    Proud Infidel...............and Cracker

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  5. #5
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    Bacteria are so promiscuous.

  6. #6
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    All these assumptions based on that crappy little video? Really? It would be like saying that mosquitoes are probing for DNA so they can adapt to their host targets. Or the octopus uses 8 harpoons to grab surrounding DNA to adapt itself. And did you know that elephants use their trunks to drag plant DNA into their bodies so they can reform their own DNA?

    It is all bull crap wrapped in a picture of Obama. If bacteria are intent on absorbing DNA to change themselves, rather than simply eating and reproducing, then there should be thousands of genetic distortions during every infection wherein bacteria become invisible to the host and even develop host form. At least the science fiction "Thing" was entertaining and plausible from an alien life form.

  7. #7
    And when it is all said, and done, is it still bacteria? Or is it a T-Rex, or Bluejay? Or is it a virus, or amoebas, just to keep it on a microscopic level.

    Some people might think I was crazy thinking a bacteria could become a T-Rex.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by LightEcho View Post
    All these assumptions based on that crappy little video? Really? It would be like saying that mosquitoes are probing for DNA so they can adapt to their host targets.
    No. It would be like saying, "we're sure to get more grant money now!"

    For the first time, bacteria has been seen ‘harpooning’ DNA and absorbing it into itself to speed up its evolution. The breakthrough could help in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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