Sunday, January 29, 2012

Viruses outrun us..and bacteria

A recent study published in Science invested gated viral replication in E.coli. The bacteriophage, lambda, attach via specific receptors and attack glycoproteins on E.coli. Scientists generated a bacteria that lack the virus-specific receptor required for viral entry and insertion of genome into host genome. However, within 15 days, the virus evolved to utilize a different receptor to gain entry into its host.

I think this article is interesting because bacteriophages are good models for human viruses. The speed of viral evolution to facilitate infection is impressive but threatening to our health. It would be interesting to learn more about how the virus evolved that fast and I wonder if there's a way for our immune system to adapt faster.

-Michelle Jin


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