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Sea bacterium solves lactose intolerance

A new species of bacteria living 1,200 metres deep at freezing temperatures in the Bay of Bengal is all set to solve the universal problem of lactose intolerance in human beings. Lactose is a type of sugar present in milk. Two-thirds of people around the world cannot digest lactose, which may cause gastric problems including loose motions. Children and the elderly are more prone to lactose intolerance.

Researchers from the department of biotechnology, Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur, discovered the novel species of Thalassospira bacteria while analysing the samples of deep marine waters collected as part of the Sagar Kanya Expedition in the Bay of Bengal. The team comprised K.R. Sambasiva Rao, Pulicherla Krishna Kanth, M. Ghosh, V.P. Rekha, and P.K. Raja. “The water samples contained bacteria producing cold active beta-galactosidase and pectinase enzymes. It was a novel species of Thalassospira genus, and we named it Thalassospira frigidphilosprofundus,” Dr Sambasiva Rao and Dr Krishna Kanth told this correspondent.

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