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The CRISPR-Cas bacterial adaptive immune systems

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Prof George Salmond.

Bacteria have evolved ‘immune systems’ as a result of their constant exposure to foreign mobile genetic elements, including bacteriophages and plasmids. For example, an estimated 1025 bacteriophage infections occur every second, which affects global nutrient cycles. Other mobile genetic elements harbour antibiotic resistance or pathogenicity determinants, which influence bacterial evolution and our ability to treat infectious disease. To thwart these invaders, bacteria have many resistance strategies, including innate immunity, such as restriction-modification and abortive infection systems, and adaptive immunity provided by the CRISPR -Cas systems. There have been major advances in our understanding of these systems recently. They have been exploited as molecular biology reagents and led to a new biotechnology revolution. I will present our recent research into the function of the CRISPR -Cas adaptive immune systems in bacteria.

This talk is part of the Seminars at the Department of Biochemistry series.

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