Friday, September 29, 2006

 

'Resurrecting' Bacteria's Secret Revealed (Deinococcus radiodurans)

From National Geographic News: Death is the ultimate fate for most bacteria blasted by huge doses of radiation or parched by a severe lack of water. The genetic material irreversibly splinters into hundreds of pieces, dooming the organisms as surely as Humpty Dumpty.

But a few bacteria can "resurrect" themselves by quickly piecing their DNA back together - a strange ability that has mystified biologists for decades.

Now researchers have figured out how one species of these phoenix-like bacteria can rise from the ashes.

A group led by Miroslav Radman, a molecular geneticist at Universite Rene Descartes in Paris, France, announces its findings today on the Web site of the journal Nature.

Radman's group studied a bacteria called Deinococcus radiodurans, which survives in sunbaked deserts and rock surfaces.

Continued at "Resurrecting" Bacteria's Secret Revealed" [Evolution, Science]
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Based on "Reassembly of shattered chromosomes in Deinococcus radiodurans" : Abstract - Full Text is also available but probably only for long as the paper is an 'advance publication'.

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