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August 16, 2011 /  Nivea

Engineering suicide bomber bacteria to kill other bacteria

In a lab in Singapore, scientists are designing and breeding suicide bombers. If their efforts pan out, they will be applauded rather than jailed, for their targets are neither humans nor buildings. They’re bacteria.

Nazanin Saeidi and Choon Kit Wong have found a new way of killing Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an opportunistic species that thrives wherever humans are weak. It commonly infects hospital patients whose immune systems have taken a hit. It targets any tissue it can get a foothold on – lungs, bladders, guts – and it often causes fatal infections. To seek and destroy this threat, Saiedi and Wong have used the common lab bacterium Escherichia coli as a sacrificial pawn.

via Scientists engineer suicide bomber bacteria to kill other bacteria

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