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Special Feature

The bridge that bacteria build

  • from Shaastra :: vol 02 issue 04 :: Jul - Aug 2023
A cryo-electron microscopy image of gut bacteria exchanging antimicrobial resistance genes through the F-pilus bridges.

A study finds that a molecule called PG phospholipid shields bacteria from antibiotics.

The F-pilus Bridge intrigued the scientists. It didn't snap when bent to almost 180 degrees. Testing its strength and resilience in harsh chemical environments, they applied a force that typically unzips or breaks the structure of most proteins. The bridge, however, went on to exhibit spring-like properties. The team boiled it in highly concentrated urea, a chemical known to deform proteins. The bridge held its own.


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