Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Superbugs, shapes and nanotechnology

Abstract:
A common hospital superbug called Clostridium has a protective coat of armour that can self assemble when put into a test tube on its own, which may have important commercial uses in nanotechnology, according to scientists speaking today (Thursday 6 September 2007) at the Society for General Microbiology's 161st Meeting at the University of Edinburgh, UK, which runs from 3-6 September 2007.

Superbugs, shapes and nanotechnology

UK | Posted on September 5th, 2007

Like many other micro-organisms, Clostridium difficile produces a lattice coat made of proteins to surround its cell wall and protect it like a suit of armour. The complete protein coat is then attached to the underlying cell wall with chemical bonds.

"We have discovered that these protein coats have a remarkable ability to self-assemble when they are taken off the bacteria and put into a test tube. Normally, on the bacteria, the proteins are not randomly arranged, they form regularly spaced geometrically arranged shapes, a bit like the rings in chain mail¡", says Dr Neil Fairweather of Imperial College London, UK. "We discovered that the proteins can do the same thing, and form the same distinct layers and shape, on their own in a test tube¡".

This finding opens up two areas of research for the science teams. It may lead to new ways of fighting hospital superbugs like Clostridium difficile by exposing weaknesses in the coats, or by identifying new target molecules. And in the new field of nanotechnology, where tiny particles are currently used in sunscreens and other products, finding ways to make molecules self assemble themselves into regular shapes could have important commercial applications.

"The field of nanotechnology is opening up to many new areas, and our research points to applications for this exciting technology in fighting superbugs like C. difficile¡" says Dr Fairweather.

####

About Society for General Microbiology
The Society for General Microbiology is the largest microbiology society in Europe, and has over 5,500 members worldwide. The Society provides a common meeting ground for scientists working in research and in fields with applications in microbiology including medicine, veterinary medicine, pharmaceuticals, industry, agriculture, food, the environment and education.

The SGM represents the science and profession of microbiology to government, the media and the general public; supporting microbiology education at all levels; and encouraging careers in microbiology.

Notes to News Editors:
For further information contact Dr Neil Fairweather, Division of Cell and Molecular Biology, Imperial College London tel: 020 7594 5247, fax: 020 7594 3069, email:

Dr Fairweather is presenting the paper "Clostridium difficile and nanotechnology" at 1150 on Thursday 06 September 2007 in the Clinical Microbiology Group session of the 161st Meeting of the Society for General Microbiology at the University of Edinburgh, 03 - 06 September 2007.

For press enquiries during the meeting please contact the SGM desk on +44 (0) 131 650 4581 or mobile telephone +44 (0) 7824 88 30 10

For enquiries prior to the meeting contact Lucy Goodchild at the SGM office, tel: +44 (0) 118 988 1843, fax: +44 (0) 118 988 5656, email:

Full programme details of this meeting can be found on the Society's website at: http://www.sgm.ac.uk/meetings/MTGPAGES/Edinburgh07.cfm . Hard copies are available on request from the SGM.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Lucy Goodchild

44-011-898-81843

Copyright © Society for General Microbiology

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Self Assembly

Physicists gain new insights into nanosystems with spherical confinement: Enormous potential for the targeted delivery of pharmaceutical agents and the creation of tailored nanoparticles July 27th, 2017

Oddball enzyme provides easy path to synthetic biomaterials May 17th, 2017

Nanotubes that build themselves April 14th, 2017

Nanocages for gold particles: what is happening inside? March 16th, 2017

Discoveries

Application of air-sensitive semiconductors in nanoelectronics: 2-D semiconductor gallium selenide in encapsulated nanoelectronic devices September 22nd, 2017

Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells September 22nd, 2017

DNA triggers shape-shifting in hydrogels, opening a new way to make 'soft robots' September 21st, 2017

Physicists develop new recipes for design of fast single-photon gun Physicists develop high-speed single-photon sources for quantum computers of the future September 21st, 2017

Announcements

Application of air-sensitive semiconductors in nanoelectronics: 2-D semiconductor gallium selenide in encapsulated nanoelectronic devices September 22nd, 2017

Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells September 22nd, 2017

DNA triggers shape-shifting in hydrogels, opening a new way to make 'soft robots' September 21st, 2017

Physicists develop new recipes for design of fast single-photon gun Physicists develop high-speed single-photon sources for quantum computers of the future September 21st, 2017

Events/Classes

Leti Develops Proof of Concept to Test Wireless Systems in Aircraft: Will Present Results of Joint Project at AeroTech Conference And Exhibition in Fort Worth, Texas, Sept. 26-28 September 20th, 2017

Applications for the nanomedTAB are open until September 18th, 2017 September 13th, 2017

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals to Host R&D Day on RNAi-Based Therapies September 1st, 2017

Silk could improve sensitivity, flexibility of wearable body sensors August 20th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project