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Heavy Metals - resistance

"Living organisms require varying amounts of "heavy metals." Iron, cobalt, copper, manganese, molybdenum, and zinc are required by humans. Excessive levels can be detrimental to the organism. Other heavy metals such as mercury, plutonium, and lead are toxic metals that have no known vital or beneficial effect on organisms, and their accumulation over time in the bodies of animals can cause serious illness. Certain elements that are normally toxic are, for certain organisms or under certain conditions, beneficial. Examples include vanadium, tungsten, and even cadmium." - from wikipedia

Heavy-metal-resistance is the ability of a bacterium to grow in the presence of a heavy metal that is normally toxic. There are many mechanisms that confer heavy metal resistance. Molecular pumps that push the metal outside the cell and enzymes that change the charge of the metal so that it is less toxic are the two primary means of protecting a bacterial cell and allowing it to grow in the presence of the heavy metal.

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