Technology Inceptions: India to Establish One lakh Digital Villages: Ravi Shankar Prasad  |  Best Practices: FSSAI to Impose Curbs on Promoting Unhealthy Products in School Premises  |  Management lessons: E-Services Most Important in Design of Smart Tourism Organisation  |  Rajagiri Round Table: 'Draft New Educational Policy Comprehensive, Hurdles Likely in Implementation'  |  International Edu News: Estonian schools promote English  |  Technology Inceptions: Microsoft AI Helps Leading Naukrigulf.com Attract More Jobseekers, Employers  |  Technology Inceptions: Microsoft To Set up AI Digital Labs in Association With 10 Universities  |  Science Innovations: IIT Guwahati Develops Simple Technique to Check Milk Quality  |  Teacher Insights: Rural-Urban Divide Among Animals Too- The Case of Bengaluru Lizards  |  Technology Inceptions: Steam game streaming for iPhone, Apple TV   |  Parent Interventions: Picky-eating tots get constipation  |  National Edu News: Check AIIMS MBBS Exam Results @aiimsexams.org  |  Higher Studies: EducationUSA India Mobile App Launched  |  International Edu News: Indian Student Enrolments in US Universities Double in a Decade  |  Policy Indications: IIT Delhi To Study How Much Heat Stress You Can Endure  |  
  • Pallikkutam Magazine
  • Companion Magazine
  • Mentor
  • Smart Board
  • Pallikkutam Publications

February 06, 2018 Tuesday 01:02:54 PM IST

Bacteria Lessons on How to Defend Virus

Science Innovations

6th February, 2018: Phages, a kind of viruses are dangerous for bacteria; they can infect and kill bacteria. Naturally, bacteria have developed mechanisms to defend themselves against viral attacks. Scientists of University of California, USA, have recently identified such mechanisms adopted by bacteria against viral attacks. They have identified ten sets of bacterial genes, which have roles of defending against viruses, as per the study published in Science recently.

The current discovery “probably more than doubles the number of immune systems known in bacteria,” says Joseph Bondy-Denomy, a microbiologist at the University of California.

During viral infection, phages usually hijack bacteria’s genetic machinery and force them to produce viral DNA instead. Some bacteria are smart enough to store the pieces of past invader’s DNA so that they could recognize and fend off those phages in the future. This amounts to only 40% of the total bacteria. What are the defense mechanisms of the rest of bacteria? This was the question triggered the current research.

Researchers sifted through genetic information from about 45,000 microbes from far and wide, including from the bottom of the sea, to identify their defense mechanism against virus. Researchers found that nine groups of bacterial genes actually had antiphage defense system. One other gene protected bacteria against plasmids, another source of foreign DNA in bacteria. Some of the genes so identified were contained fragments of DNA that are also known to be an important part of the innate immune system in plants, mammals and invertebrates.


The newly identified genes are named after deities like Zorya, a pair of goddesses from Slavic mythology.

Researchers believe that their results will trigger further studies and would lead to the development of novel tools for defense against viruses in biotechnology.


Comments