Bacterium Living with High Level Radiation

Posted on May 16, 2007  Comments (1)

Organism found at SRS amazes scientific world by Rob Pavey

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.”

Related: What is an Extremophile? – more info on Kineococcus radiotolerans

One Response to “Bacterium Living with High Level Radiation”

  1. CuriousCat: Light-harvesting Bacterium Discovered in Yellowstone
    July 26th, 2007 @ 11:43 pm

    “In the hot springs of Yellowstone National Park, a team of researchers has discovered a novel bacterium that transforms light into chemical energy…”

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