Bacterial Virus to Manipulate Gut Microbiome

Release Date: 09-Nov-2020

A group of researchers have engineered a beneficial bacterium that is observed to be producing medicines and cleaning up the pollutants. Researchers have discovered a virus called as CrAssphages which is estimated to be infecting bacteria at a very high rate in the gut of the human. It is believed that this respective virus is capable of controlling the overall community of the microbiome in the gut of the human. However, the researchers have understood a unique set of mechanism through which they are able to control the microbiome makeup in the gut. Researchers can increase the number of beneficial bacteria in the intestine and on the other side decrease the number of unhealthy bacteria in the gut by controlling the virus.


According to the researchers involved in the research study, the virus found in the gut of the human body use their own enzyme called as RNA polymerase to synthesize their RNA copies of their respective genes. It was found by the researchers that the RNA polymerase enzyme synthesized by the virus doesn’t resemble the other RNA polymerase enzyme but it closely identical to the enzymes found in the humans. The enzyme is also found to be involved in RNA interference. After extensive study of the enzyme, it was found that the RNA interference activity found in the virus is however borrowed by bacteria in evolution.


In addition to all the above-mentioned facts, the researchers also found that the enzyme found in the virus could also be used to generate genetic circuits (synthetic biology) that were not possible in nature such as medicine, nutrient or fuel, sense something in the environment or clean up pollutants. Now the researchers are aiming at comparing number of virus enzymes so that the harmful bacteria in the humans could be killed. As per the researchers, it is estimated that the correct bacterial virus, researchers could alter the composition of the gut microbiome to much extent.

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