Microbes in the News: Post #1

Article and link: “Scientists turn food poisoning microbe into powerful cancer fighter” — https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/02/scientists-turn-food-poisoning-microbe-powerful-cancer-fighter

 

Summary: Scientists in Korea are researching how to use microbes to fight cancer. Genetically modified Salmonella, known to cause food poisoning, is being used to target necrotic tissue found in tumors. So far, the tumors tend to come back after treatment and there is a risk of the bacteria turning toxic, but the research is promising and is continuing to develop.

 

Connections: I made the connection between microbes and the immune system. Many pathogens have great, innovative ways in which they evade the immune system. Scientists are using this immune evasion as a treatment in humans.

 

Critical Analysis:  Using a microbe that has enough pathogenicity to “infect” bad tissue but isn’t particularly life threatening is an interesting concept. Microbial treatments in medicine are particularly interesting to me, since I’m interested in human medicine and am focusing on infectious diseases. I think this article explained the science in a very basic way, since it is for the non-scientist reader. There didn’t seem to be any scientific inaccuracies. It is written in an informative way that is still interesting.

 

Question: What makes scientists distinguish which microbes to use in human medicine, particularly a treatment such as this?

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