Science has discovered super bacteria that are immune to all viruses

Bacteria that are immune to all known viruses. This is what was obtained in the laboratory after research conducted by Harvard Medical School in Boston and published in the journal Nature. The research aims, in particular, to reduce the risk of viral contamination that often entails very high costs when bacteria are specifically exploited to produce drugs such as insulin or other substances, including biofuels.

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More specifically, the in vitro superbacteria were obtained from a modified Escherichia coli strain through synthetic biology, which also includes two security measures. The latter, in particular, prevents microorganisms from surviving in nature, and also eliminates the risk of the modified genetic material spreading to other organisms. To achieve this, the researchers, led by Akos Nyerges, used transfer RNAs or better, tRnas, that is, molecules that have the task of reading the information contained in DNA by transferring the correct amino acids to the proteins under construction.

More specifically, the researchers replaced the tRnas with real “cheats” that had inserted the wrong amino acids. Once the virus invades, the bacterium is forced to manufacture its own proteins, but faulty tRnas, by misreading the instructions provided, produce non-functioning proteins that prevent the virus from replicating. More specifically, superbugs allow for two different measures of safety.

Thus, superbacteria prevent the transfer of modified genetic material to another organism, a phenomenon that often occurs in nature and is called “horizontal gene transfer”. What’s more, the researchers made the E. coli strain dependent on an amino acid built in the lab, and thus not found in nature. If the latter escapes he will die instantly, thus, no human being risks being infected by a super bacteria.

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