The key to the bacterium not affected by radiation

The key to the bacterium not affected by radiation
01/05/2007 | Elhuyar
(Photo: M. M. Daly))

The bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans is known to withstand very well the radiation. It is capable of supporting 10,000 gray radiation (a human cell does not support more than 10 grays), making it ideal for investigating radiation protection.

As radiation affects DNA, most researchers have sought protection against radiation in their own DNA. But U.S. researchers, led by Michael Daly, discover that the key is the proteins that form the DNA repair system. Repair systems of the bacterium D. radiodurans are more effective than the rest of bacteria.

The key to reaching this conclusion has been manganese. And they saw that D. radiodurans has 300 times more manganese than normal. Pulling this thread they reached a chemical complex based on manganese. And they realized that this complex had the capacity to neutralize free radicals created by radiation.

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Microbiology; Biochemistry; Biology; Chemistry
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