Researchers from the Northwestern Medicine University have revealed that the bacterium that causes Gonorrhea has picked up a fragment of the human DNA.
While there have been cases of bacteria and viruses exchanging genetic materials, this is the first time that scientists have found evidence that bacteria have picked up human genes.
AdvertisementThe researchers are certain that this exchange is a recent one since there are no signs of human genes in bacteria that cause bacterial meningitis.
"This has evolutionary significance because it shows you can take broad evolutionary steps when you're able to acquire these pieces of DNA. The bacterium is getting a genetic sequence from the very host it's infecting", lead researcher Hank Seifert wrote in this report published in the journal, mBio.