Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine and three other schools have just discovered that a bacteria named Marinomonas mediterranea takes “RNA mug shots” to help recognize and defeat harmful viruses. The bacteria can take “RNA mugshots” or “DNA mugshots” depending on whether the invader is RNA-based or DNA-based.
Researchers want to use this technic to genetically form crops that have this virus-identifying property. Another use is to prevent viruses from infecting dairy products.
CRISPR is a new way of editing genomes that relates to this discovery. Bacteria takes pieces of DNA from cells and store them, also like “mugshots”.
RNA help DNA is coding, decoding, and expressing genes. By just getting a snapshot of a virus’ RNA or DNA, bacteria can identify this virus and destroy it in the future.
This finding is very new and so scientists are still studying how it exactly works and what its applications are. How do our readers think about it? Is this a surprising discovering or does it seem obvious? Were you aware that viruses have their own DNA and RNA? How do you think bacteria can apply this technic to other problems in the body, such as the regulation of cell production? Comment below on your scientific observations of this finding!