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Commensal E. coli mutates one gene, becomes invasive

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E. coli K-12 is a lot like your average lab rat: predictable, well-understood, and tame. However, there’s one important difference between a white rat and K-12: the rat can’t mutate and become a voracious, man-eating scourge.

Okay, maybe that characterization is a little overblown. But it demonstrates the point of a new study in mBio this week: E. coli K-12 can undergo a simple mutation in an architectural protein that bestows the ability to invade human cells. From commensal to invasive in one easy step, without any major genomic flux.
Click on the "source" link above to read more on mBio's blog, mBiosphere...
 
 

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