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Compound halts foodborne bugs

In a year when cantaloupe tainted with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes killed 30 people, Cornell University researchers’ discovery of a compound that controls this deadly bacteria—and possibly others—is great news.

The compound, fluoro-phenyl-styrene-sulfonamide (FPSS), is safe for mammals but interrupts a mechanism in Listeria that controls genes that are expressed when the bacterium experiences a rapid change in its environment.

The discovery, reported in mBio, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology, offers new directions for basic research on how L. monocytogenes and other bacteria survive in a wide range of rapidly changing hostile conditions, from fluctuating temperatures to the low pH levels found in the human stomach.
 
 

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