by Daniel Portnoy
Why don't mammals make antibiotics of the type so readily made by bacteria and fungi?
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Maybe because (with some exceptions) their role in nature is not to kill other microbes but to communicate and interact with other microbes (Mlot, C. 2009, Science, 324: 1637-1639). Intercellular communication mechanisms between cells of multicellular organisms might be different because the cells are not separated in space? That is, the types of signalling molecules (proteins, nucleic acids, etc.) used by cells of multicellular organisms can be more "fragile" because they do not have to enter the "environment" before reaching their "target" cells? Maybe.
Posted by: Tom Atherholt | August 18, 2009 at 06:48 AM