Tuesday, February 15, 2005

81: Bt Toxin

Scientists at UCSD identified the cell surface sugars that the Bt toxins bind to, which may allow scientists to prevent various species from evolving resistance to Roundup, and may allow treatment of roundworm caused diseases, too.

Researchers Find How Natural Pesticide Enters Target Cells | Science Blog:

Elements of this structure are found in both insects and nematodes, but are not found in vertebrates at all, which may be one reason these proteins are safe to vertebrates. This work furthermore opens up the possibility of using Bt toxins against roundworms that parasitize humans.
Generates testable evolutionary hypotheses, similarities between roundworms and arthropods is only predictable by common descent.