Friday, February 3, 2017

TB Gene Controlling Mutation

Anyone that watches the news, knows it's common to hear about the next new "superbug" or the next new big bad bacteria with high mortality rate such as the recent zika virus or swine flu outbreak. But behind the scenes geneticist have been working hard to find new breakthroughs concerning bacteria and pathogens. 

Scientist from Centro Nacional de Biotecnologia in Madrid and University of Sussex in Brighton have discovered a new gene referred to as NucS which has a large influence on whether or not mutations develop within the superbug, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis (TB) is responsible for commonly affecting the lungs and can cause ailment in other areas of the body as well. The main problem concerning TB is its ability to mutate which results in becoming resistant to antibiotics. 

The NucS genes produces a specific protein, and this protein is able to repair the genome of TB, thus preventing mutation. If mutation of TB can be controlled or prevented this could allow more time for the development of new antibiotics and also slowing the rate of evolution of this bacteria. 

In my opinion this is amazing on how far science has come and far it can go. With the constant analysis of genes within bacteria and pathogens this could lead to a better understanding on how antibiotic-resistance starts in different strains of bacterium other than TB

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