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Making DNA up for Grabs!?

posted Oct 19, 2019, 10:23 AM by Rachel Aronoff   [ updated Nov 17, 2019, 3:39 AM ]
So excited by the amazing work in Vibrio cholerae by an old UNIL colleague, Noémie Matthey, who presented her thesis work at the EPFL last week!  Illustrated by her own gorgeous and clear art-work, her public defence was a triumph in presenting molecular microbiological results for the general public.
Their open science article in eLife just came out, but we can expect more amazing revelations, I am sure... 

So many are super keen on the CRISPR system, used by bacteria to defend against foreign DNA (and now by biologists to chose what they would like to modify/repair!), but who would have thought that bacteria would be killing each other to acquire DNA from other species to enhance their capacity for evolving new functions!? 

Apparent regulation not only of the killing and lasso-ing mechanisms, but of an extracellular nuclease by these microbes, makes this activity seem almost a 'conscious' mechanism for disrupting or enhancing genomic integrity, depending upon whether the bug is the one killed or doing the killing!  ;)

Hoping to learn more soon!