Liberty University releases E. Coli draft genome sequence

Courtesy of the CDC
Liberty University said Friday that its researchers have released a first draft of the genome sequencing for a leading strain of the E. coli bacteria in an article in the American Society for Microbiology's Genomic Announcements.

"We are doing cutting-edge research (that is) published in secular, scientific journals," Liberty Associate Professor of Microbiology and Lead Researcher Andrew Fabich said. "Our students get hands-on training using the latest, greatest technology that is the most sophisticated, state-of-the-art equipment you find at major institutions."

Fabich; Abigail Lenz, a graduate student in biomedical science; and Adjunct Professor Jeffery Tomkins conducted the sequencing of the Citrobacter rodentium strain. The strain is one of the leading causes of enterohemorrhagic E. coli, a leading cause of kidney failure.

Lenz's research focuses on genetic manipulation of the bacteria in order to determine its effect upon the gastrointestinal tract.

The research could one day lead to research into treatments or a potential cure based upon the genetic makeup of the bacteria.
"Publishing a draft genome will certainly raise the profile of Liberty University in regards to the kind of research we are doing,"  Liberty Department of Biology & Chemistry Chairman David DeWitt said. "A study like this really highlights the research involvement students can have with our faculty members."

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American Society for Microbiology Liberty University

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