- Not Exactly Rocket Science
Scientists engineer suicide bomber bacteria to kill other bacteria
In a lab in Singapore, scientists are designing and breeding suicide bombers. If their efforts pan out, they will be applauded rather than jailed, for their targets are neither humans nor buildings. They’re bacteria.
Their E.coli recruits produce a protein called LasR, which recognises molecules that P.aeruginosa cells use to communicate with one another. When LasR detects to these chemical signals, it switches on two genes. The first one arms the bomb. It produces pyocin, a toxin that kills P.aeruginosa by drilling through its outer wall and causing its innards to leak out. The second gene detonates the bomb. It produces a protein that causes the E.coli to burst apart, killing itself but also releasing a flood of deadly pyocin upon