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From VOA Learning English, this is the Health Report.
Not many people consider a bacterium a friend, but scientist Roy Curtiss does–at least the bacterium Salmonella. Mr. Curtiss is a microbiologist at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University in Tempe. He studies Samonella. It is the most common bacteria to contaminate or infect food. It is found in undercooked meats, eggs and milk. Salmonella can cause severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever. Millions of people are sickened each year by Salmonella. But a genetically-modified version of the bacteria may someday be used as a weapon against cancer. Genetically modified means the genes in the bacteria have been changed in some way. Researchers in the U.S. and Germany say they have turned Salmonella into a weapon against cancer. Mr. Curtiss says the Salmonella makes the cancer cells disappear. He and his colleagues modified the genetic material of the Salmonella to die in healthy tissue, but kill cancer cells. They put human cancer cells into the mice. Then, he says, they put the genetically-modified Salmonella bacteria into the mice and sent them on a search-and-destroy mission of cancer cells. A medical journal titled mBio published an article describing the work. However, Roy Curtiss says it will be a while before the genetically-modified version of Salmonella is tested on humans. He wants to make more changes to the bacteria to increase their cancer-killing power. Salmonella would not be a stand-alone anti-cancer therapy. Instead, Mr. Curtiss says he hopes it will be used in addition to traditional treatments.