A new target for nitric oxide has been revealed in studies of how it inhibits the growth of Salmonella. This bacterium is a common cause of food-poisoning.
"Nitric oxide is naturally produced in the nose and the gut and other tissues in the body to ward off infection," explained the senior author of the paper, Dr. Ferric Fang. He is a University of Washington (UW) professor of laboratory medicine, microbiology and medicine.
Nitric oxide - not to be confused with nitrous oxide, the laughing gas in dentists' offices - is similar to the preservatives in hotdogs, Fang said. Reactive nitrogen species, like nitric oxide, make brown meat an appetizing pink. They also weed out microorganisms that spoil food or cause food poisoning.
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"Multiple Targets of Nitric Oxide in the Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle of Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium" (http://www.cell.com/cell-host-microbe/abstract/S1931-3128(11)00194-6)