Navigation Links
McMaster researchers discover new mode of how diseases evolve
Date:2/16/2009

Hamilton, ON (February 13, 2009) - Researchers of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research have discovered a new way that bacteria evolve into something that can make you sick.

The finding, published in the Feb. 16 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has implications for how scientists identify and assign risk to emerging diseases in the environment.

The researchers found that bacteria can develop into illness-causing pathogens by rewiring regulatory DNA, the genetic material that controls disease-causing genes in a body. Previously, disease evolution was thought to occur mainly through the addition or deletion of genes.

Brian Coombes, an assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, was the lead investigator of the study which involved researchers at McMaster University, the University of Melbourne, Australia and the University of Illinois at Chicago, USA.

"Bacterial cells contain about 5,000 different genes, but only a fraction of them are used at any given time," Coombes said. "The difference between being able to cause disease, or not cause disease, lies in where, when and what genes in this collection are turned on. We've discovered how bacteria evolve to turn on just the right combination of genes in order to cause disease in a host. It's similar to playing a musical instrument you have to play the right keys in the right order to make music."

With infectious diseases on the rise, the McMaster finding has implications on how new pathogens are identified in the environment. Scientists currently monitor the risk of new diseases by assessing the gene content of bacteria found in water, food and animals.

"This opens up significant new challenges for us as we move forward with this idea of assigning risk to new pathogens," Coombes said. "Because now, we know it's not just gene content it is gene content plus regulation of those genes."


'/>"/>

Contact: Veronica McGuire
vmcguir@mcmaster.ca
90-552-591-402-2169
McMaster University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. McMaster University engineering professor receives Humboldt Research Award
2. Researchers shed new light on connection between brain and loneliness
3. Texas researchers provide emissions data for livestock industry
4. Biodiversity itself begets a species cascade, researchers say
5. NYU Langone Medical Center researchers find micro RNA plays a key role in melanoma metastasis
6. While focusing on heart disease, researchers discover new tactic against fatal muscular dystrophy
7. NSF-funded workshops help young researchers teach science
8. Researchers observe evolution chain reaction
9. Researchers examine role of climate change in disease spread
10. Mayo Clinic researchers suspect a novel gene is causing restless legs syndrome in a large family
11. Researchers disprove 15-year-old theory about the nervous system
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/14/2016)... 2016 NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the ... announces the airing of a new series of commercials on ... March 21 st .  The commercials will air on Bloomberg ... on the Street show. --> NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" ... commerce market, announces the airing of a new series of ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... BELL, Pa. , March 10, 2016   Unisys ... U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is testing its ... San Diego to help identify certain ... States . The test, designed to help determine the ... pedestrian environment, began in February and will run until May ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... , March 3, 2016  FlexTech, a SEMI ... categories of Innovation, Research & Development, Leadership in Education, ... This is the 9 th year of the ... of companies and individuals from past years . ... on a pre-described set of criteria, by a panel ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/19/2016)... 19, 2016  AdvancedFlow Systems Inc. (AFS), a ... out of Maple Ridge, British Columbia ... its existing portfolio of contract manufacturing clients by ... with its sister companies Surround Technologies (STI) and ... industrial group that specializes in providing contract manufacturing ...
(Date:5/18/2016)... ... May 18, 2016 , ... Tech Coast Angels (TCA) today ... Cognition Therapeutics at the annual ACA Summit last week in Philadelphia. , ... of ACA’s member angel groups. It is the highest honor available for an early-stage ...
(Date:5/18/2016)... ... 18, 2016 , ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics has been helping graduating ... a total of $1 million in awarded scholarships. , The AMA is happy to ... across the nation has helped bring the total of AMA scholarships that have been ...
(Date:5/17/2016)... ... May 17, 2016 , ... PATH and Laerdal Global Health ... bring a feeding cup to market based on a reference design co-developed by ... Seattle Children’s Hospital, thereby ensuring an innovative feeding option for the 7.6 million ...
Breaking Biology Technology: