Illness producing poisons are classified as exotoxins and endotoxins Exotoxins are proteins secreted by eukaryotes › Can produce a disease even if the prokaryotes that manufacture them are not present Endotoxins are lipopolysaccharide components of the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria › Only released when the bacteria die and their cell walls break down
So how have humans slowed the reproduction of prokaryotic diseases? › Antibiotics › Better sanitation habits
Improvements in sanitation and antibiotics has reduced the threat of pathogenic prokaryotes. However, resistance to the antibiotics are becoming more likely because of the fast reproduction of prokaryotes.
Horizontal gene transfer turns normally harmless prokaryotes to fatal pathogens. E.Coli for example is harmless, but strains that cause bloody diarrhea emerged. O157:H7 causes 75,000 infections per year often from contaminated beef. › It was compared to K-12 and 1,387 out of 5,416 genes have no counterpart in K-12.
Prokaryotes are the principal agents in bioremediation. › Bioremediation is the use of organisms to remove pollutants from soil, air, or water. › Bioremediation also breaks down radioactive waste and cleans up oils spills.
Prokaryotes are used in mining. Through genetic engineering, humans can now modify prokaryotes to produce vitamins, antibiotics, and hormones. Craig Venter – one of the leaders of the Human Genome Project.