Tag Archives: bacteriophage

The Virus That Makes a Disposable Syringe

For decades, no one knew how a virus that preys on bacteria transfers its DNA into the host cells because it appeared to lack the structures other viruses use for that process. Now researchers have discovered how the virus does it – using a structure that might hold applications for nanotechnology.

A research team led by the University of Arizona and Purdue University has discovered something very unique about a virus that has been studied for decades: It has the ability to grow a temporary tube-shaped structure, enabling it to inject its DNA into the bacteria on which it preys. (more…)

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Russian Dolls of the Bug World

Parasitic wasps using tiny insects known as aphids as living nurseries for their brood can sniff out whether the host insect is protected by symbiotic bacteria, researchers have discovered.

A research team including Martha (Molly) Hunter from the department of entomology in the University of Arizona’s College of Agriculture of Life Sciences has disentangled relationships in an assembly of players that resemble Russian dolls: a bacterium that lives inside a tiny insect, a virus that infects those bacteria, and a parasitic wasp that lays its eggs in the insect.

In a war between parasite and host, the parasitic wasp, Aphidius ervi, and the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum, are locked in a battle for survival. (more…)

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