Life Lines by Dr. Dolittle

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Tag Archive for ‘infection’

Viral defenses are encoded in their genes, but not ours

Through the course of evolution vertebrates have apparently lost their gene-encoded viral defense mechanisms. These ancient defenses allow plants and insects to silence the expression of certain genes by using what is known as RNA interference. This natural defense system can be manipulated to create genetically modified crops that resist certain infections. However, a new study by researchers from the University of Leuven in Belgium examined over 40 organisms in […]

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Sponging up bacterial infections

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a pretty scary thing, which is why researchers are working so hard to come up with new and creative ways to fight them off. Take for example nanosponges. In a presentation from the Experimental Biology meeting in Chicago last month, researchers from the University of California in San Diego are testing the use of nanosponges (shown on the right in the figure below) to bind and inactivate […]

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