Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Silence of the amoebae

01.09.2006
Weizmann Institute scientists render a disease-causing pathogen harmless

Freedom of expression is great, but silence is golden – at least when it comes to amoebae, which are intestine-dwelling parasites that cause life-threatening dysentery in many parts of the world. Three years ago, scientists at the Weizmann Institute accidentally discovered a way to silence the expression of a key amoebic gene, one which codes for a toxic protein that kills human intestinal cells infected with this devastating illness. Now the scientists have developed a way to successfully silence the expression of two additional virulence genes in the same amoebae.

Rivka Bracha and colleagues in the lab of Prof. David Mirelman in the Biological Chemistry Department had shown that expression of the gene coding for the toxic protein could be prevented by inserting a plasmid (a small loop of DNA) containing a copy of a specific part of that gene into the amoeba cell nucleus. Introducing the plasmid led to the modification of DNA "packing" proteins, causing the DNA-protein packages to become more tightly coiled – something like a tangled telephone cord – and causing an irreversible silencing of gene expression. In a recent paper published in PLoS Pathogens, the Weizmann scientists report the silencing of two additional virulence genes in the same amoebae using a similar plasmid-induced principle.

The disabled amoebae, though rendered harmless, still display the same repertoire of surface antigens (markers recognized by the immune system) as the disease-causing strain. The scientists now plan to test the ability of these silenced amoebae to serve as a live vaccine by evoking an intestinal immune response. If successful, it may put an end to amoebic diseases that claim the lives of thousands yearly and afflict millions more.

Jennifer Manning | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.acwis.org

Further reports about: scientists

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>