Engineered viruses could fight drug resistance

In the battle against antibiotic resistance, many scientists have been trying to deploy naturally occurring viruses called bacteriophages that can infect and kill bacteria.

Opening Pandora's Box: Gene editing and its consequences

Today, the scientific community is aghast at the prospect of gene editing to create "designer" humans. Gene editing may be of greater consequence than climate change, or even the consequences of unleashing the energy of the ...

Viruses discern, destroy E. coli in drinking water

To rapidly detect the presence of E. coli in drinking water, Cornell University food scientists now can employ a bacteriophage—a genetically engineered virus—in a test used in hard-to-reach areas around the world.

Virus genes from city pond rescue bacteria

A key question in evolutionary biology is how new functions arise. New research at Uppsala University, Sweden, shows that bacteriophages (viruses that infect bacteria) can contribute to new functions by revealing hidden potential ...

Workbench for virus design

ETH researchers have developed a technology platform that allows them to systematically modify and customise bacteriophages. This technology is a step towards making phage therapies a powerful tool for combating dangerous ...

page 1 from 4

Bacteriophage

A bacteriophage (from 'bacteria' and Greek φαγεῖν phagein "to devour") is any one of a number of viruses that infect bacteria. They do this by injecting genetic material, which they carry enclosed in an outer protein capsid. The genetic material can be ssRNA, dsRNA, ssDNA, or dsDNA ('ss-' or 'ds-' prefix denotes single-strand or double-strand) along with either circular or linear arrangement.

Bacteriophages are among the most common and diverse entities in the biosphere. The term is commonly used in its shortened form, phage.

Phages are widely distributed in locations populated by bacterial hosts, such as soil or the intestines of animals. One of the densest natural sources for phages and other viruses is sea water, where up to 9×108 virions per milliliter have been found in microbial mats at the surface, and up to 70% of marine bacteria may be infected by phages. They have been used for over 90 years as an alternative to antibiotics in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe as well in France. They are seen as a possible therapy against multi-drug-resistant strains of many bacteria.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA