Current Event Summaries by Evan J.

6 Responses to Current Event Summaries by Evan J.

  1. Evan Jiang says:

    The bacteriophage, or phage for short, are viruses that cannot reproduce on its own. It targets bacteria and forces them to make more phages, also killing the bacteria in the process. Phages only target certain types of bacteria and don’t target human cells, because human cells are too different from bacteria. Our current weapon to fight diseases is antibiotics, but many bacteria have developed resistance to antibiotics and have become superbugs and phages might be our only way to kill them. Phages are specialized so they only target 1 kind of bacteria, so they only kill the bacteria we want them to, instead of killing good and bad bacteria alike, which is what antibiotics do. Making phages a better way to treat diseases and kill unwanted bacteria. Like bacteria, phages are living and they evolve, which makes them very good for killing bacteria because they also evolve get better along with the bacteria. Even if bacteria become resistant to phages, they need to give up the resistance to antibiotics, so we can use our antibiotics to kill the bacteria. Phages will be our best weapon to defeat the superbugs that we have created.
    I personally think that using phages to treat bacterial infections would be a good idea because we can catch bacteria in a catch 22 where they won’t be able to develop resistance to both phages and antibiotics at the same time. I am very surprised that we are not already using phages to kill bacteria and still using antibiotics instead. I think phages would be way more effective than antibiotics and using the alongside could kill a lot of deadly bacteria and save a lot of lives.

    “Bacteriophage: A Solution to Our Antibiotics Problem? How We Can Us a Virus to Fight Bacterial Infection.” Science in the News, 2 Feb. 2018,

  2. Evan Jiang says:

    The complement system is a part of the immune system that often people don’t know exists, The complement system consists of trillions of different proteins that work together to help our immune system stop bacteria and viruses. There are trillions of proteins that are already floating around in your body is a passive state. These proteins can be activated and when activated, they change shape to allow them to interact with their surroundings. The complement system is very complicated so we are just going to talk about a specific part of the complicit system that has also been simplified.
    The process starts with a protein called C3. C3 can be activated in 3 ways but for simplicity reasons, I am not going to talk about how it is activated, but we will just say it gets activated in some way when bacteria enter the body. When activated, the C3 splits into two parts, C3a and C3b. We are going to start by talking about the C3b. The C3b then tries to find bacteria, viruses or fungi to attach to. Let’s say the C3b attaches to a bacteria. The C3b then attaches itself to the bacteria’s membrane where it then changes shape to allow other proteins to attach to it or modify it which ultimately creates a C3bBb which is also called a C3 Convertase. The C3 convertase activates more C3 proteins which creates ore C3 convertases.
    The other protein that C3 splits into is C3a and it flows into the bloodstream. The immune cells in the bloodstreams notice the C3a proteins and follow the proteins to the site of infection. Phagocytes are usually the first immune cells that arrive at the infection site. Phagocytes are basically cells that eat bacteria whole, the C3 convertases that are attached to the bacteria allow phagocytes to easily grab bacteria, which is usually difficult, and get rid of bacteria quicker.
    Complement systems can also directly attack bacteria. Another C3 protein can bind to the C3 convertase and change its shape, changing the C3 convertase into a C5 convertase. The C5 convertase activates a series of proteins that form a membrane attack complex. The membrane attack complex also binds to the bacteria membrane and begins to allows C8 and C9 proteins to pierce into the bacteria’s membrane and eventually create a large enough hole that makes the insides of a bacteria spill out and therefore killing the bacteria.
    I was very interested in this subject because I have not learned about the compliment system prior to my research. The complement system was really never talked about in science and wasn’t mentioned when learning about the immune system. It was very interesting to learn about how random proteins floating around in your body manages to defend our body against bacteria and viruses.

    The complement system and innate immunity
    Janeway CA Jr, Travers P, Walport M, et al.

  3. Evan Jiang says:

    More bacteria and pathogens have been starting to become resistant to the antibiotics that were our weapon against them. We have used our antibiotics too carelessly and now pathogens have started to be resistant to them and have caused thousands of deaths across the world. Scientists are starting to investigate alternative ways to help kill pathogens using proteolytic complex ClpX-ClpP. ClpP is an enzyme that degrades other proteins, but it needs ClpX which is another protein to help it target the right thing. Without ClpX, ClpP would both attack the “good” cells and the “bad” cells. Researchers are now starting to produce ClpX-ClpP in hopes to win the ongoing battle against pathogens. Scientists also need to find a way to stabilize the ClpX-ClpP complex so the risk of the ClpP protein attacking our own cells are less. But if we can get this to work, we could have a great upper hand over the superbugs our antibiotics created.
    This article made me very hopeful that fewer people will be killed by pathogen infections in the future. Our antibiotics have created bigger stronger bacteria and with the help of new technology, we can finally fight back. I think the ClpX-ClpP complex combined with the phages I talked about in an earlier current event summary will help us win the war against bacteria and have fewer deaths happen in the world.

  4. Evan Jiang says:

    Viruses are hard to observe because of their small size and because viruses also have very weak interactions. Both of those factors made observing viruses very hard and it also makes it hard for scientists to see how they are formed. Scientists have finally found a way to observe the creation of viruses. Scientists used a technique to view viruses called interferometric scattering microscopy which allows the scientists to see the change in the size of the viruses but not the structure of the viruses. By observing the viruses, scientists found out more about the viruses. Scientists found out that a group of proteins called a nucleus need to be formed before proteins can form around the RNA to create capsids. These observations on viruses will help us build better models of them and have a better understanding of them in order to prevent them from infecting our own bodies.
    I think this discovery would be very important to the improvement of our medical technology. Understanding the structure of viruses and how they form is essential to know how to cure viruses infections. Knowing how viruses form can help us develop ways to kill viruses and end infections more quickly and effectively.

    Rare view into the formation of viruses
    Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
    Science Daily
    October 4, 2019

  5. Evan Jiang says:

    Researchers found that a bacteria called vibrio cholerae or v. cholerae is capable of stealing DNA from other bacteria. The v. cholerae is one of the fist cells discovered that is capable of horizontal gene transfer. The v. cholerae has a spear like mechinism to stab other bacteria and steal their DNA. The v. cholerae can steal up to 150 genes from one attack and can use those genes to muteate and steal abilities that other bacteria have. This allows the v. cholerae to evolve rapidly which leads to the v. cholerae to be able to infect people quickly and resist antibotics. V. cholerae has caused many major pandemics and kills around 100,000 people a year and affects millions of others. V. cholearae show that bacteria are able to wuickly adapt and grow stronger by using genes from other bacteria.
    This article reveals to me how bacteria can evolve and become stronger over time. I had no idea bacteria are able to steal genes from other bacteria and evolve that way. It explains how superbugs can form and how bacteria can devolp immunity against our antibotics. This article relates to the horizontal gene transfer we have benn talking about in class and is a good exmaple of another way genes can be transfered horzontally frrom one bacteria to another.

    The cholera bacterium can steal up to 150 genes in one go
    Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
    Science Daily
    October 7, 2019

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *