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bions - non-living "nanobacteria" / nanoparticles

introduction

  • for decades the so-called nanobacteria have tantalised the scientific world as possible new types of life forms as they are about 1/10th size of bacteria and thus should not be able to be big enough to contain cellular elements such as DNA, RNA, organelles, but they behave life bacteria in that they are self-propagating and can divide and form branches
  • they possess intriguing biomimetic properties that include the formation of cell-like and tissue-like morphologies and the possibility to grow, proliferate and propagate by subculture
  • nevertheless, current consensus is that they are NOT living organisms but organic mineral complexes consisting of protein bound to minerals such as calcium carbonate 1)2)
  • it is quite possible that they are part of the mechanism for calcification such as in atherosclerosis, and renal calculi
  • they may be part of a physiological cycle that regulates the function, transport and disposal of elements and minerals in the human body
  • these mineralo-organic nanoparticles form spontaneously in body fluids when the concentrations of calcium and phosphate ions exceed saturation, although it may be that they develop from membrane vesicles (MVs) secreted by various cells.
    • these MVs are 20-400nm in size and contain the serum proteins albumin, fetuin-A, and apolipoprotein A1; the mineralization-associated enzyme alkaline phosphatase; and the exosome proteins TNFR1 and CD63, and have been shown to form nanoparticles when added to cell culture medium and that it may be the presence of calcium-binding lipid phosphatidylserine (PS) on their surface which acts as nucleating sites for calcium phosphate deposition on the vesicles. This would suggest that secretion of MVs are the cause of the calcification, and not nanoparticles per se 3)
bions.txt · Last modified: 2015/03/07 10:03 (external edit)