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Jacquelyn G. Black
Laura J. Black
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The image shows two T4 bacteriophage viruses attaching to, and injecting DNA into, a bacterium. Like alien invaders, they are going to consume the contents of the bacterial cell, using the materials to make hundreds of copies of themselves, finally rupturing open the cell wall of the now dead bacterium, liberating the hundreds of offspring to attack more bacteria. Using bacteriophages (bacteriophage therapy) gets around the problems of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. And, since a given bacteriophage will target and kill only one specific strain of bacterium, the normal bacterial flora will not be disturbed, thus preventing side effects such as diarrhea and vaginal yeast infections.
Jackie black is an expert in bacteriophage therapy. For more information on this fascinating topic, view her lecture on the student website (www.wiley.com/college/black).
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