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:4/5/2017)... NEW YORK , April 5, 2017 ... security, is announcing that the server component of the ... is known for providing the end-to-end security architecture that ... customers. HYPR has already secured over 15 ... system makers including manufacturers of connected home product suites ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017  On April 6-7, ... Hack the Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters ... two-day competition will focus on developing health and wellness ... Hack the Genome is the first ... tremendous. The world,s largest companies in the genomics, tech ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... March 28, 2017 The report ... (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, VMS), ... - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the ... and is projected to reach USD 75.64 Billion by ... 2022. The base year considered for the study is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 ... ... announces publication of a United States multicenter, prospective clinical study that demonstrates ... point-of-care diagnostic test capable of identifying clinically significant acute bacterial and viral ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... At ... Purple announced Dr. Suneel I. Sheikh, the co-founder, CEO and chief research scientist ... has been selected for membership in ARCS Alumni Hall of Fame . ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... it will be hosting a Webinar titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is your ... on digital pathology adoption best practices and how Proscia improves lab economics and ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... A new ... rates in frozen and fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) transfer cycles. ... to IVF success. , After comparing the results from the fresh and frozen ...
Breaking Biology Technology: