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Bacteria help themselves in damaged lungs

Detailed understanding of how unusual bacteria survive could help treat deadly infections that plague cystic fibrosis patients

10:40am, December 18, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO — Researchers have discovered that antibiotics made by Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria also serve as molecular snorkels that help the bacteria breathe even when buried in mucus or squeezed into the middle of a colony.

The finding was reported by MIT researchers Lars Dietrich and Dianne Newman December 16 at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology. It reveals a new role for antibiotics produced by bacteria, which scientists previously believed were mainly employed to fend off othe

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