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Lysozyme

Lysozyme

C012/5587

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Credit

CAROL & MIKE WERNER / VISUALS UNLIMITED, INC. / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CAROL & MIKE WERNER / VISUALS UNLIMITED, INC. / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Lysozyme is an antimicrobial enzyme found in a wide variety of organisms including birds, mammals, plants, insects, and bacteria. Investigated in the 1960s and 1970s as a possible natural antibiotic and aid in diagnosing disease, lysozyme has again become of interest to researchers seeking alternatives to antibiotics no longer effective against so-called superbugs. Lysozyme acts on some bacteria by hydrolyzing certain molecules in the cell membrane, causing the organism to more or less explode.

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