Swedish scientists help decode DNA of bioweapon candidate
Researchers from Sweden, the UK and the US have deciphered the complete DNA sequence of Francisella tularensis, one of the world’s most infectious germs. The sequence took five years to complete.
Defence experts have welcomed the news, as the bacterium is a major bioweapon candidate. Just ten microbes are needed to bring on tularaemia, known as ‘rabbit fever’, in humans and animals.
The genome sequencing work has already had an impact on the search for a vaccine, with protein targets already having been identified.
The scientists have also found a rare cluster of genes that are likely to be responsible for causing illness. These genes have never before been found in a living organism, and their presence suggests
that the microbe may have previously unknown ways of causing disease.
News Source: Cordis Rapidus