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Targeting Bacterial Shells May Hold Key to Preserving Good Bacteria During Treatment

An interdisciplinary team investigating the assembly and function of bacterial organelles has identified a promising means for differentiating between beneficial and harmful bacteria during treatment.  Microcompartments comprise significant portions of the shells of many of the most dangerous bacteria, but are less common among the larger population. The team, led by Danielle Tullman-Ercek, has discovered that altering these microcompartments during cellular assembly can have significant effects on their resulting shape and composition, allowing a targeted treatment to attack an infection without causing collateral damage to the body.  The work is the latest result of an ongoing collaboration between Tullman-Ercek and Niall Mangan, and includes contributions from Michael Jewett.  The discovery contributes to a larger project of understanding and manipulating bacterial formation, opening the door for the sustainable bioproduction of larger numbers of chemicals as cellular engineering advances.  Learn more here.
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