Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Way That Bacteria Evolve Into Something That Can Make You Sick

Date:
February 17, 2009
Source:
McMaster University
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a new way that bacteria evolve into something that can make you sick. The finding has implications for how scientists identify and assign risk to emerging diseases in the environment.

Researchers of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research have discovered a new way that bacteria evolve into something that can make you sick.

The finding, published in the Feb. 16 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has implications for how scientists identify and assign risk to emerging diseases in the environment.

The researchers found that bacteria can develop into illness-causing pathogens by rewiring regulatory DNA, the genetic material that controls disease-causing genes in a body. Previously, disease evolution was thought to occur mainly through the addition or deletion of genes.

Brian Coombes, an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, was the lead investigator of the study which involved researchers at McMaster University, the University of Melbourne, Australia and the University of Illinois at Chicago, USA.

"Bacterial cells contain about 5,000 different genes, but only a fraction of them are used at any given time," Coombes said. "The difference between being able to cause disease, or not cause disease, lies in where, when and what genes in this collection are turned on. We've discovered how bacteria evolve to turn on just the right combination of genes in order to cause disease in a host. It's similar to playing a musical instrument – you have to play the right keys in the right order to make music."

With infectious diseases on the rise, the McMaster finding has implications on how new pathogens are identified in the environment. Scientists currently monitor the risk of new diseases by assessing the gene content of bacteria found in water, food and animals.

"This opens up significant new challenges for us as we move forward with this idea of assigning risk to new pathogens," Coombes said. "Because now, we know it's not just gene content – it is gene content plus regulation of those genes."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McMaster University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

McMaster University. "New Way That Bacteria Evolve Into Something That Can Make You Sick." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090216175124.htm>.
McMaster University. (2009, February 17). New Way That Bacteria Evolve Into Something That Can Make You Sick. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090216175124.htm
McMaster University. "New Way That Bacteria Evolve Into Something That Can Make You Sick." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090216175124.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Told Hospital He Was from Liberia

Ebola Patient Told Hospital He Was from Liberia

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) The first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S. initially went to a Dallas emergency room last week but was sent home, despite telling a nurse that he had been in disease-ravaged West Africa, the hospital acknowledged Wednesday. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins