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MIAMI (CBS4) – A new study from researchers at Northwestern University is giving doctors new insight into how bacteria and the human body interact.
Researchers found human DNA in the gonorrhea genome. The study said the work was significant because it can help doctors understand how bacteria and hosts may evolve simultaneously, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The discovery showed that bacteria can acquire DNA from its host, and according to the Times, the disease can “take broad evolutionary steps” that could impact the interaction between the host and the disease.
The researchers said they didn’t know how the human DNA functioned in gonorrhea, nor how it got there in the first place.
While scientists have seen genetic transfers across species, the researchers in the study said it’s the first time they have observed a direct gene transfer from humans to a bacteria.