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Fox Bacteria With Crappy DNA

Spread plasmids full of useless DNA all over hospitals and the like
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Bacteria are a problem in Hospitals. They cause infection, infection often kills. Bacteria, rather inconveniently, acquire antibiotic resistance. This is frequently achieved through horizontal gene transfer... plasmids conveying antibiotic resistance genes, and other advantageous features, may be taken up by bacteria allowing them to flourish in an environment that they otherwise would not. I propose swamping the environment with things that ARE plasmids but also useless. They should code for metabolically expensive proteins (fluorescent ones, so you can find them?), useless peptides, or proteins that inactivate existing antibiotic resistance mechanisms.

After a while, bacteria will adapt. They'll stop bothering to acquire extrachromosomal DNA as it's now disadvantageous in their environment. Who knows? they may start secreting nucleases or something as a defense.

Either way, we're left with a much less lethal bunch of bacteria.

O, and it goes without saying that the plasmids are not replication competent... that would just be re-inventing the wheel-virus.

bs0u0155, Sep 05 2012

Blame everything on cats http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19474612
[Phrontistery, Sep 07 2012]

Achilles strain The_20Achilles_20Strain
[bungston, Sep 15 2012]

[link]






       Plasmid-mediated gene transfer is usually driven by the plasmid itself. So you will need donor bacteria. And you will need the plasmid to be replicating in that bacterium, or it won't be there.
Now, using the gift of GM, it's possible to set things up so that the plasmid won't replicate vegetatively in other cells, and may be deleterious in recipient bacteria. But - you can't expect every cell to be a recipient. For example, non-growing cells are typically refractory. Conversely, at high growth (and dilution) rates, transfer alone is insufficient to maintain the infection.
If you did it constantly, you might well get mutants which were refractory to the transfer system you used. But there are a variety of transfer systems, performing in a range of different environments. So what you might then expect is the evolution or introduction of new resistance plasmids which avoided the block you'd introduced.
  

       The real issue is that such systems will be under 100% efficacious, and for it to be a success you would need it to be 100%. That is - you're trying to stop evolution of multiply-resistant bacteria, and the only way to do that is make all pathogens refractory to plasmid transfer. Once a resistant strain has arisen, the proposed system does nothing to stop it.   

       I suppose you could still use such a system to detect presence of certain strains (perhaps with fluorescence), although there are generally other better ways of doing that.   

       If what you do is basically just dump a bunch of deleterious genes around the place, then yes, naturally competent cells would be selected against. But you'd be supplying a nice food source for the others.   

       That is of course apart from legal issues, which I won't consider here.   

       I'm not saying it's a bad idea to try and do things with plasmids vs antibiotic resistance, just that you need to think about how such strategies will play out.
Loris, Sep 05 2012
  

       it doesn't need to be 100%. Just 100% - the 99.9% that Domestos kills.
bs0u0155, Sep 05 2012
  

       How about coating the floor with a high Ca2+ solution then pulsing the entire hospital to 42C every hour?
bs0u0155, Sep 05 2012
  

       very small vertical partitions, to prevent the horizontal gene transfer.
not_morrison_rm, Sep 05 2012
  

       The proportion of cells that take up DNA, whether naturally, by transformation in a tube, or by electroporation is absolutely vanishingly small. (Next time you do a cloning experiment, work out how many copies of your plasmid you put in, and how many transformed colonies you get out.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 05 2012
  

       //it doesn't need to be 100%. Just 100% - the 99.9% that Domestos kills.//   

       Actually, it does.   

       Because you're trying to prevent production of a new strain with altered plasmids. Once such a strain has arisen, it can be selected for by antibiotics and take over regardless of your proposed system.
There will be lots of sources of bacteria which are outside your control - patients coming from different hospitals, visitors with community infections etc.
  

       //The proportion of cells that take up DNA, whether naturally, by transformation in a tube, or by electroporation is absolutely vanishingly small.//   

       Conjugation on the other hand can be quite efficient - 0.1 per donor or more in a typical mating experiment.
Loris, Sep 06 2012
  

       //Fox Bacteria with crappy DNA//   

       So, like if Glenn Beck and Gretchen Carlson had a baby...
RayfordSteele, Sep 06 2012
  

       Or Mulder and Scully <surprised no one else hadn't mentioned this before..wanders away whistling the X-files theme tune>
not_morrison_rm, Sep 06 2012
  

       Read another way, the title seems like a triple redundancy, or a double tautology, or something.
RayfordSteele, Sep 06 2012
  

       //Read another way,   

       Yes. read upside down, it looks more like "And yepac niw alretcap " something.   

       Read from behind the screen it says "Satan is my master".   

       I must get that fixed.
not_morrison_rm, Sep 06 2012
  

       A salvage to this system is to fox bacteria with dan that is not crap but that gives an evolutionary advantage. This advantage comes along with an achilles heel you can use against them. A silimiar scheme is linked. One problem with this is that I am not sure how stable plasmids are. You could (probably would) have the advantageous dna and the achilles heel on the same plasmid, but then lose the heel along the way.
bungston, Sep 15 2012
  

       The achilles heel could be a reverse of the "Roundup Ready" system--make the germs fitter, but weak to a substance that doesn't greatly affect the evolution/development of other strains, and then apply the killer as needed. There's a risk of course of breeding "superbugs" that way.
Spacecoyote, Sep 16 2012
  
      
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