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February 16, 2005

What Makes Worms Sick?

Breaking News Ground On Bt Resistance

Researchers at the University of California -- San Diego have identified a molecule in the gut of caterpillars and roundworms that is responsible for their susceptibility to Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) toxin, which is widely used by organic farmers, and has been genetically engineered into some corn hybrids to kill corn earworm and rootworm.

Since Bt is non-toxic to humans, one new idea that has come out of this work is to create a pill for that would kill roundworms, human parasites that in the developing world can cause both river blindness and elephantisis.

The research paper is available in the journal Science.

Posted by shepherd.ogden at February 16, 2005 08:50 AM