Navigation Links
Discovery may lead to safer drinking water, cheaper medicine: Queen's University researchers
Date:5/26/2010

KINGSTON, ON A discovery that may pave the way to helping reduce health hazards such as E. coli in water could also make chemicals and drugs such as insulin cheaper to produce and their production more environmentally friendly.

By creating a three-dimensional model, Queen's University biochemistry professor Zongchao Jia and post-doctoral student Jimin Zheng discovered exactly how the AceK protein acts as a switch in some bacteria to bypass the energy-producing cycle that allows bacteria like E. coli and salmonella to go into a survival mode and adapt to low-nutrient environments, such as water.

The unique feature of this discovery is that the switching on and off take place in the same location of the protein. Normally these two opposing activities would happen in two different 'active sites'.

"From a protein function point of view, this is unique and has never been discovered anywhere else," says Professor Jia.

The discovery opens the door for scientists to identify a molecule that can keep the bypass switch from turning on so bacteria will die in water. As a result, drinking water would be cleaner and the incident of water bacterial contamination, such as the Walkerton tragedy, could be reduced.

"While other organisms cannot survive without nutrients, the bypass controlled by AceK allows the bacteria to live and cause health problems," says Professor Jia.

Conversely, discovering a molecule to keep the bypass switch turned on could produce a supply of the bacteria biotechnology companies use to produce compounds, such as insulin. Instead of using glucose in the fermenting process, companies could use less nutritional and cheaper acetate.

The cost difference would be tremendous and the process would produce less carbon dioxide making the process much more environmentally friendly.

"So we haven't found a cure to stop diseases like E. coli water contamination, but we've provided a template for people to design a molecule that will disable its ability to survive in water," says Professor Jia. "It's like we have discovered how a lock works and now all we need is to design a key."


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael Onesi
61-353-360-007-7513
Queen's University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Discovery: Yeast make plant hormone that speeds infection
2. Discovery of stem cell illuminates human brain evolution, points to therapies
3. Covance Establishes New Discovery & Translational Services Group
4. Parallel brainstem circuit discovery suggests new path in Parkinsons research
5. Covance Establishes New Discovery & Translational Services Group
6. Gene discovery may lead to new varieties of soybean plants
7. Discovery of a primate more than 11 million years old
8. Research discovery may lead to advances in heart disease and cancer treatment
9. New drug design technique could dramatically speed discovery process
10. Human fossil discovery -- evidence of new Homo species
11. Washington State Life Sciences Discovery Fund awards health research program grants
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/2/2016)... , Feb. 2, 2016 Technology Enhancements Accelerate ... an analysis of the digital and computed radiography markets ... , and Indonesia (TIM). ... and market size, as well as regional market drivers ... and discusses market penetration and market attractiveness, both for ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... 2, 2016  Based on its recent analysis ... recognizes US-based Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems (IRIS) with ... for New Product Innovation. IRIS, a prominent cloud-based ... America , is poised to set the ... retinopathy market. The IRIS technology presents superior price-performance ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... -- Today, the first day of American Heart Month, the ... first of its kind workplace health solution that leverages ... first application of Watson to ... Welltok will create a new offering that combines AHA,s ... on Welltok,s health optimization platform. The effort is intended ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... -- Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO) announced today that its new website has gone live. On Thursday, ... mobile-friendly. Visit the new site: www.diplomat.is ... ... ... "The goal was to reimagine the website and create ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... , Feb. 5, 2016 ATCC, the ... poised to assist the medical and life science researchers ... Zika Virus infection.   CDC website . ... --> Zika virus is a single-stranded RNA virus ... the West Nile, Dengue and Chikungunya Viruses. Zika virus ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... Australian-US drug discovery and development company, Novogen Limited (ASX:NRT; NASDAQ: ... Chairman, Mr John O,Connor , and new Deputy Chairman, ... James Garner , has also been formally appointed to the ... Iain Ross , will resume his role on the ... , has also been formally appointed to the Board as ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... 04, 2016 , ... Shimadzu Scientific Instruments will showcase several ... and poster sessions, and present on the analysis of mycotoxins and medical cannabis ... to 10 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: