Cell biology Design inference Intelligent Design Viruses

Charming bacteria set off virus bombs in their neighbors

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At least in the lab:

Certain E. coli strains can engage in a form of bacterial warfare by producing colibactin, a chemical that can awaken long-dormant viruses inside neighboring cells’ DNA, sometimes resulting in their destruction, according to a new study published February 23 in Nature.

“It’s an interesting strategy, and it’s also a dangerous strategy,” Heather Hendrickson, an evolutionary microbiologist at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, who was not involved in the work, tells Science News…

The researchers don’t yet know whether colibactin can trigger prophages when bacteria are in their natural habitats, such as human and other animal intestines. And perhaps awakening the viruses is an accident, Balskus tells Science News. She says she and her colleagues are continuing to work toward finding out whether that’s the case.

Natalia Mesa, “Bacteria Set Off Viral “Bombs” Inside Neighbors” at The Scientist (March 7, 2022)

If it is the case, then it is another example of a life form having strategy that raises the question, “Could it really have randomly evolved with no underlying intelligence in nature?” Lot of those questions piling up.

The paper is open access (via a sharing token).

You may also wish to read: Why do many scientists see cells as intelligent? Bacteria appear to show intelligent behavior. But what about individual cells in our bodies?

2 Replies to “Charming bacteria set off virus bombs in their neighbors

  1. 1
    martin_r says:

    a form of bacterial warfare by producing colibactin, a chemical that can awaken long-dormant viruses

    It seems,, that blind unguided process is the best chemist in the world … never makes mistakes, everything is delivered at the right moment, at the righ place, in the right order, the right ingredients and chemical composition ….

    Another example would be snake’s venom … just another chemical with the right chemical composition …. blind unguided natural process always knows how to solve the most complex things … and never make mistakes …

    As discussed before – Darwinists believe in magic …

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    This behavior raises a deeper question: Empathy or ‘theory of mind’.

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