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Indexed under : Life Sciences / Zoology

Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of Unknowns Wikenigma - an Encyclopedia of the Unknown


Macrophages are a type of white blood cell which are a crucial component of the immune system. They engulf and 'digest' microbes and cancer cells etc. (See Wikipedia)

Although the overall role of macrophages has been known for over 100 years, we understand surprisingly little of the actual mechanisms by which bacteria are destroyed.

Source : Molecular Microbiology 80(3), 580–583

It's known that the phages disable bacteria by inducing 'Oxidative Stress' caused by the production of chemicals called 'Reactive Oxygen Species' (ROS) - specifically the superoxide anion (O2-)

But the specific targets within bacteria which are damaged by the oxidising process is so far unknown. (See the paper linked above for more detail)

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