Navigation Links
Home toxic home
Date:3/8/2013

EAST LANSING, Mich. Most organisms would die in the volcanic sulfur pools of Yellowstone and Mount Etna. Robust simple algae call it home, and their secrets to survival could advance human medicine and bioremediation.

Mike Garavito, Michigan State University professor of biochemistry and molecular biology was part of a research team that revealed how primitive red algae use horizontal gene transfer, in essence stealing useful genes from other organisms to evolve and thrive in harsh environments.

Their study, published in the current issue of Science, shows that the algae's ability to adapt to a hot and extremely acidic environment lies in part in their membrane proteins.

"The algae's membrane proteins are biologically quite interesting because they're receptors and transporters, the same classes of proteins that play key roles in energy metabolism and human immune response," said Garavito. "This has applications in human medicine because virtually all of the important pathways that contribute to disease treatment involve membrane proteins."

What makes the algae's membrane proteins attractive as a model for humans is their robustness. Other traditional candidates, such as yeast, insect cell cultures and slime mold, are fragile. The algae give researchers extra time to manipulate and examine their membrane proteins.

Garavito was part of a team of researchers led by Andreas Weber, former MSU researcher now at Heinrich-Heine-Universitat Dusseldorf (Germany). While at MSU, Weber led a team in first sequencing the algae, one of the first major genome sequencing projects at MSU.

"Weber knew that this would be a good organism from which to harvest a wide variety of genes that could be potential models for those involved in human health and disease," said Dave Dewitt, associate dean of research at MSU's College of Natural Science. "From a biotechnology standpoint, this organism is the Wal-Mart of genomes; if it doesn't have what you're looking for, you probably don't need it."

Furthering the superstore metaphor, the research team also is spending time in the Wal-Mart genome's bioremediation aisle. In this capacity, scientists are quite interested in how the organisms manage toxic chemicals and heavy metal contamination. That's because these algae are found not only near geysers, but they also populate polluted slag pools and mines.

"This organism knows how to deal with leaching loads of heavy metals in a noxious environment," Garavito said. "This research could lead to enzymes that are needed to clean up mine and heavy-metal contamination."


'/>"/>

Contact: Layne Cameron
layne.cameron@cabs.msu.edu
517-353-8819
Michigan State University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Effects of environmental toxicants reach down through generations
2. A toxic menu
3. Dip chip technology tests toxicity on the go
4. Using graphene, scientists develop a less toxic way to rust-proof steel
5. Boosting blood system protein complex protects against radiation toxicity
6. Lab-on-a-chip detects trace levels of toxic vapors in homes near Utah Air Force Base
7. Ions, not particles, make silver toxic to bacteria
8. Specific toxic byproduct of heat-processed food may lead to increased body weight and diabetes
9. Super-strong, high-tech material found to be toxic to aquatic animals
10. University of Tennessee Team receives NSF support to study toxic water in China
11. Measuring mercury levels: Nano-velcro detects water-borne toxic metals
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Home toxic home
(Date:4/3/2017)... April 3, 2017  Data captured by ... platform, detected a statistically significant association between ... to treatment and objective response of cancer ... to predict whether cancer patients will respond ... as well as to improve both pre-infusion potency ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... March 29, 2017  higi, the health IT company ... North America , today announced a Series ... acquisition of EveryMove. The new investment and acquisition accelerates ... tools to transform population health activities through the collection ... higi collects and secures data today on ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Biometric Vehicle ... around 15.1% over the next decade to reach approximately $1,580 million ... estimates and forecasts for all the given segments on global as ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... April 26, 2017 , ... WonderWorks, ... NASA to showcase the future of deep space exploration and inspire space enthusiasts. ... Orion spacecraft and includes a guest appearance by former Shuttle Astronaut Don Thomas. ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 26, 2017 , ... ... headlines and drive high-level conversations among healthcare industry stakeholders, the discussion surrounding the ... – taking place May 15-18, 2017 in Los Angeles, Calif. Hosted by the ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... April 25, 2017 Providence ... licensed its novel immune-modulating technology to an undisclosed global ... allergy. Tregitopes, pronounced T·rej·itopes, are a ... by EpiVax CEO Annie De Groot ... immunoglobulin G, an autoimmune disease therapy, Tregitopes are ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... NEW YORK , April 24, 2017  Dante Labs ... interpretation at only EUR 850 (ca. $900). While American individuals ... marks the first time Europeans can access WGS below EUR ... which are crucial to leveraging genetic information to make informed ... more. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: