Thread: Nuclear slime bacteria!

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  1. #1 Nuclear slime bacteria! 
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    This is just amazing. :eyepop:

    Article: http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories...t_126668.shtml

    Click the spoiler button for the article.
    [spoiler]Organism found at SRS amazes scientific world
    By Rob Pavey| Staff Writer
    Monday, April 30, 2007

    One of the world's tiniest celebrities hails from one of the planet's toughest neighborhoods.

    Its story began a couple of years ago, when scientists fished a strange slime off a probe used to examine decades-old, high-level nuclear waste inside tanks stored at Savannah River Site.

    "At first, nobody was sure what it was," said Christopher "Kitt" Bagwell, a senior scientist at the top-secret Savannah River National Laboratory.

    Turns out, the greenish-orange slime was alive.

    The more it was studied, the more it enamored scientists who were fascinated with its ability to survive radiation doses thousands of times greater than what is considered lethal to humans.

    "Finding an organism in such a toxic environment is very unexpected," said Dr. Bagwell, who will present a paper about the bacteria - dubbed kineococcus radiotolerans - to the American Society for Microbiology next month.

    In addition to thriving in the face of normally-lethal radiation, the organism also demonstrates remarkable survival characteristics in terms of its DNA.

    Humans and most organisms can tolerate few breaks in DNA molecules, he said, but kineococcus radiotolerans has the ability to reassemble itself.

    "With this organism, we can take an intact DNA molecule, blast it into little pieces, and in five to six hours the organism is restored and growing normally again," Dr. Bagwell said.

    Dr. Bagwell and others who have studied the organism hope further research will yield clues that could aid in medical research, cancer studies and other areas.

    "There's a lot of excitement about this organism because of its ability to withstand tremendous abuse," he said. "What we don't know is how it does these things - and what more it can do. That's the direction we're going now."[/spoiler]

    - Kineococcus radiotolerans
    - Lives in nuclear waste.
    - Can survive 1000s of times more radiation than that which is fatal to humans.
    - Can restore its own DNA in a matter of hours. (Excellent healing abilities)
    - Could help with medical research
    - Could possibly help break down certain chemicals or radioactive materials.
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  2. #2 Nuclear slime bacteria! 
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    <span style="color:DarkOrchid">Interesting, sounds like something straight out of a sci-fi flick. O_o</span>
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  3. #3 Nuclear slime bacteria! 
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    Yeah, it really does. It's not the first time I've heard that.

    This article describes what happens in humans when DNA strands break. It pretty much explains why the nuclear bacteria's healing abilities are excellent.
    http://theoncologist.alphamedpress.org/cgi...t/full/10/5/361

    For anyone that doesn't want to read the whole thing, here's the important part...
    [spoiler]
    Because of the trimming that occurs at each end, and because synapsis may occur between any two broken DNA ends, this process is imprecise. In the case of the antibody genes, this is a good thing, since it is the way that our immune system builds a large repertoire of slightly different antibodies. But for repair of accidental damage, these small (and large) errors can be dangerous, in some cases leading to cancer. For instance, if two breaks occur at once, and the ends get mixed up when the repair is made, genes may be translocated from one place to another. In the case of Burkett’s lymphoma, this process moves a normally inactive c-myc gene into a very active area, causing overexpression of the gene and leading to uncontrolled growth in the cell. In other forms of leukemia, the arms of two different chromosomes are switched, forming the "Philadelphia chromosome" with a fused Bcr-Abl protein at the join site. The fused protein is overactive and leads to transformation of the cell.[/spoiler]
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