Cholera bacteria spear their prey to grab genes

January 2, 2015 2:37 PM

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Cholera bacteria spear their prey to grab genes

The bacteria that cause cholera grab genes from other organisms in a particularly predatory and precise way, new research finds: They spear neighboring cells with a kind of poison-tipped spike.

Bacteria often grab genes from other organisms and incorporate that DNA into their own genomes. But researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute in Lausanne, Switzerland, found that cholera (formally called Vibrio cholerae) have a unique way of doing so. The scientists discovered this by growing the b...

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