The video is amazing! For The First Time, Scientists Have Caught Bacteria “Fishing” For DNA From Their Dead Friends as sciencealert said in their article.
“Bacteria are slippery little suckers. They evolve rapidly, developing resistance to antibiotics and therefore becoming increasingly difficult to deal with. Now, for the first time, researchers have caught on film one of the mechanisms the microbes use for this speedy evolution”
” Two Vibrio cholerae bacteria – the pathogen responsible for cholera – sit under a microscope, glowing a vivid green. As we watch, a tendril snakes forth from one of the bacterium, harpooning a piece of DNA and carrying it back to its body.”
Read Also: Can life continue without a Moon ?
” Antibiotic resistance can be transferred between bacteria in several ways, and there are several mechanisms for horizontal gene transfer. The uptake of DNA from the surrounding environment is called transformation.
When bacteria die, they split open and release their DNA, whereupon other bacteria can snare and incorporate it. If the dead bacterium had an antibiotic resistance, the bacterium that caught the dead fellow’s DNA also develops that resistance – and spreads it to its own offspring.
And this is the first time scientists have directly observed a bacterium using this mechanism for the gene transfer; it’s a mechanism that has been hypothesized for decades.”
In this way, the resistance can spread like wildfire through a population. And it’s a big problem. According to the CDC, at least 23,000 deaths have occurred in the US because of antibiotic resistance.
By figuring out the exact mechanisms bacteria use to spread antibiotic resistance, researchers hope to be able to devise ways of preventing it.
Read the full article in ScienceAlert