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Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Borrelia burgdorferi

Caption: Saito collaborated with biomedical researchers at Johns Hopkins University, applying his proteomic techniques to explore proteins in a terrestrial organism, the bacteria that cause Lyme Disease. Unlike all other known organisms, Borrelia burgdorferi need manganese (blue dot), rather than iron, to serve as linchpins bonded into key enzymes. The scientists found that to cause disease, Borrelia require unusually high levels of manganese. The findings open new avenues to search for ways to attack the bacteria.

Credit: Illustration by P. John Hart, University of Texas

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Related news release: Scientists reveal quirky feature of Lyme disease bacteria

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