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Use cells’ suicide alarm to fight bioterrorism

The alarm system the helps immune system cells destroy invading bacteria points to a potentially new way to protect people from biological weapons, researchers report.

Cells in the immune system called macrophages normally engulf and kill intruding bacteria, holding them inside a membrane-bound bag called a vacuole, where they kill and digest them.
Some bacteria thwart this effort by ripping the bag open and then escaping into the macrophage’s nutrient-rich cytosol compartment, where they divide and could eventually go on to invade other cells.

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