Volume 95 Issue 20 | p. 7 | News of The Week
Issue Date: May 15, 2017

Ancient protein protects bacteria from modern viral pathogens

Genetic engineering strategy could one day defend crops
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: synthetic biology, biotchnology, bacteria, thioredoxin

Researchers have resurrected a 2.5 billion-year-old protein, engineered its gene sequence into modern Escherichia coli, and observed that the modified bacteria could avoid harm from invading viruses.

The protein hails from the Precambrian era and is the ancient form of thioredoxin, which plays an important role in all organisms studied to date: It shuttles electrons around a cell so that chemical reactions can occur. Both then and now, the bacteriophage T7 virus successfully infects host . . .

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