SMART researchers uncover new anti-phage defense mechanisms

Wednesday, May 13, 2020 - 13:20 in Biology & Nature

Researchers from Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), MIT’s research enterprise in Singapore, have discovered a new anti-phage defense mechanism found in some bacteria, which use previously unknown features to protect their DNA. The groundbreaking discovery enables scientists to overcome existing challenges in bacterial resistance to antibiotics. The growing antimicrobial resistance is a major concern for the global health community, and phage therapy is an important pillar in combating bacterial infections. Bacteriophages, an effective alternative to fight bacteria that are resistant to commonly used antibiotics, work by injecting their own DNA into the bacteria, where it can replicate to the point that it destroys the bacteria. In a paper published in Nature Microbiology, the research team describes a new defense system found in many bacteria that work in unique ways to protect themselves against bacteriophages. Led by Professor Lianrong Wang at Wuhan University, the paper was jointly written by a group...

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