Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Random Goodies from Seminars

Sometimes part of the cool stuff during a research lecture is the peripheral stuff. Today, the topic of our lecture was this protein, porB, that hangs out in the cell membrane of one of the bacterias that can give you meningitis, Neisseria Meningitidis.
  • 2 amino acid mutations in one of its membrane proteins can give this bacteria both penicillin and tetracycline resistance.
  • There's no effective vaccine for children, and the adult vaccination has to be given every 2 years. 3% of all cases are fatal.
  • Global climate change means that the vectors of many of these bacterial infections are migrating into places they would not have at survived before.
  • There are receptors that specialize in targeting pathogenic bacteria, while leaving the good, symbiotic bacteria alone. When people have defects in these receptors (called toll-like receptors) and they can't differentiate a bacterial friend from foe, they get IBS.

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