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Cholesterol-busting bug with a taste for waste

I wonder if this could replace Lipitor?

A novel species of bacteria with cholesterol-busting properties has been discovered by scientists at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain. Dr Oliver Drzyzga and colleagues isolated the new bug, called Gordonia cholesterolivorans, from sewage sludge. Their findings are reported in the current issue of the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology.

A steroid found in all body tissues, cholesterol is used in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries as stabilizer, emollient and water-binding agent. As a consequence, steroids - including cholesterol - are a major group of contaminants in urban sewage residues.

Dr Drzyzga and co-workers are studying the genetics of this novel bacterium to genetically modify strains that might also be used to synthesise new and industrially useful breakdown products of cholesterol.
 
 

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