The assessment of the alkB bacterial community (Fig.
Nevertheless, the detection of alkB genes confirmed the presence of hydrocarbon-degrading communities (capacity), which may also partly explain why there was very little change in the microbial community composition during treatment.
The study, published in the journal Nature, found that AlkB uses a particular chemical process called oxidative demethylation to repair DNA, relying on the presence of iron and several other chemicals.
During cancer treatments conventional drugs attack tumours by damaging their DNA and AlkB plays an important role in resistance to these treatments.
We think the AlkB molecule could be a major reason for resistance to chemotherapy and now that we know how it works, it should be possible to find ways to overcome this problem.