Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Nuclear reactor bacteria (radiation-resistant) may be the future of vaccines

Researchers have always wondered how some organisms are able to survive in extreme conditions where humans can only dream of surviving. This special ability is attracting scientists to more about these organisms. One such organism is a bacteria going by the name Deinococcus radiodurans (nuclear reactor bacteria). This organism is able to withstand the extreme conditions of radioactivity. The bacteria is seen to tolerate radioactivity as high as 1,500 times what a normal human can tolerate.

These bacteria have even survived solar radiation and are known to survive in harsh conditions of mars. However, scientists aren’t still able to figure out how such tiny organisms can achieve this feat. While scientists are still trying to figure the mystery, experts have already modified the organisms in a way to tackle radioactive waste. An even more fascinating fact is that these organisms can be used to produce safer and cheaper vaccines.

Read Also: Circulating tumor DNA can be used as a biomarker for detecting cancer

Producing vaccines from highly-tolerant bacteria

It based on the method if how the bacterium is able to protect itself from harmful radiation. Although experts initially speculated that the bacteria directly protects it’s the genetic material, it seems that it protects its repair proteins so that it can rebuild its genetic material due to damage. This is made possible by manufacturing certain antioxidants that are based on manganese that is helping them to protect themselves. We should see here that the manganese only protects the repair protein, not the genetic material. Therefore, lead researcher Daly said this can be manipulated in a way to manufacture vaccines, Gizmodo reports.

As we all know, vaccines only need a part of the infective material of the organism to create conferred immunity against the disease. Therefore, we can take whatever infectious agents possible, and mix it with the antioxidant, manipulating their genomes to render it non-infective. Once it is achieved, we can able to implement any vaccine possible. We all know a novel vaccine to become commercial takes years of experimentation and research.

In an era where we are faced with newer diseases and strains of a virus, the need for a quick and effective vaccine production method is raising. With many experts in the field backing this idea, we can possibly expect a future of such vaccines against the major disease. Further research and trials will give us more answers.

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