News From the Field
Scientists Reveal Quirky Feature of Lyme Disease Bacteria
March 21, 2013
Scientists have confirmed that the pathogen that causes Lyme disease--unlike any other known organism--can exist without iron, a metal that all other life-forms need to make proteins and enzymes. Instead of iron, the bacteria substitute manganese to make an essential enzyme, thus eluding immune system defenses that protect the body by starving pathogens of iron.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
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