Studies of bacteria first found in Yellowstone's hot springs are furthering efforts at the U.S. Department of Energy's BioEnergy Science Center toward commercially viable ethanol production from crops such as switchgrass.
North Carolina State University chemists have created a compound that makes existing antibiotics 16 times more effective against recently discovered antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
2011 brought two of the deadliest bacterial outbreaks the world has seen during the last 25 years. The two epidemics accounted for more than 4,200 cases of infectious disease and 80 deaths. Software developed at Georgia Tech was used to help characterize the bacteria that caused each outbreak.
A new study by food safety researchers at Drexel University demonstrates that plasma can be an effective method for killing pathogens on uncooked poultry. The study shows that plasma, since it is non-thermal, could successfully reduce pathogens on the surface of fruits and vegetables without cooking.
The pharmaceutical industry won approval to market a record number of new drugs for rare diseases last year, as a combination of scientific innovation and business opportunity spurred new treatments for diseases long-ignored by drug companies. Many of these so-called orphan drugs offer extra patent protections and faster government approval.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have discovered that certain photosynthetic ocean bacteria should beware of viruses bearing gifts: These viruses are carrying genetic material taken from their previous bacterial hosts that tricks the new host into using its own machinery to activate the genes, a process never before documented in any virus-bacteria relationship.
Recent research in China on amphibians so smelly that scientists term them “odorous frogs” has revealed a potentially rich source of new antibiotics. They concluded that these frogs possess the greatest diversity of germ-killing peptides.
The bottom of a glacier is not the most hospitable place on Earth, but at least two types of bacteria happily live there, according to researchers. The bacteria— Chryseobacterium and Paenisporosarcina —showed signs of respiration in ice made in the laboratory simulates the temperatures and nutrient content found at the bottom of Arctic and Antarctic glaciers.
By tethering a disease-fighting protein in our teardrops to a tiny transistor, University of California, Irvine scientists have discovered exactly how it destroys dangerous bacteria. This protein has “jaws” that latch on and chomp through rows of cell walls like someone hungrily devouring an ear of corn.
Modified probiotics, the beneficial bacteria touted for their role in digestive health, could one day decrease the risk of Listeria infection in people with susceptible immune systems, according to Purdue University research.
Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have developed a new laboratory test that can rapidly identify the bacterium responsible for staph infections. This new test takes advantage of unique isotopic labeling combined with specific bacteriophage amplification to rapidly identify Staphylococcus aureus .
Every living organism balances a budget of sorts—by allocating energy to various parts of its body to fuel essential life processes. Throughout its lifetime, an organism may rebalance this budget to spend more energy on certain processes over others. How an organism spends its energy determines, in large part, its ability to survive in the world. Researchers have now developed a mathematical model to depict how energy is spent in the smallest organism on Earth.
By manipulating the way bacteria "talk" to each other, researchers at Texas A&M University have achieved an unprecedented degree of control over the formation and dispersal of biofilms—a finding with potentially significant health and industrial applications, particularly to bioreactor technology.
Scientists at the University of California, San Diego have created a living neon sign composed of millions of bacterial cells that periodically fluoresce in unison like blinking light bulbs. The method involved attaching a fluorescent protein to the bacteria’s biological clock, and the effect can be tuned based on the presence of toxins and pollutants.
Scientists in China are reporting development of a new cotton fabric that does clean itself of stains and bacteria when exposed to ordinary sunlight. Unlike a material reported earlier this year by University of California, Davis scientists that used carboxylic acid to bind with cotton, the latest fabric relies on a coating made from a compound of titanium dioxide.
Single-celled bacteria coordinate attacks by sending each other coded messages. Until now, the diversity of these codes was thought to be extremely limited. But recent research has revealed communication by a previously undescribed signal type. Stranger still is an apparent cypher-breaking system that some plants have evolved in response.
In the human world of manufacturing, many companies are now applying an on-demand, just-in-time strategy to conserve resources, reduce costs, and promote production of goods precisely when and where they are most needed. A recent study from Indiana University scientists reveals that bacteria have evolved a similar just-in-time strategy to constrain production of an extremely sticky cement to exactly the appropriate time and place, avoiding wasteful and problematic production of the material.
At Washington University in St. Louis's Photosynthetic Antenna Research Center, scientists have succeeded in making a light-harvesting antenna from scratch. The new antenna, modeled on the chlorosome found in green bacteria, is a giant assembly of pigment molecules.
Strains of E. coli bacteria were engineered to digest switchgrass biomass and synthesize its sugars into gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. The switchgrass, which is among the most highly touted of the potential feedstocks for advanced biofuels, was pre-treated with ionic liquid, a key to the success of this study.
Chemists at Brown University have synthesized a new compound that makes drug-resistant bacteria susceptible again to antibiotics. The compound—BU-005—blocks pumps that a bacterium employs to expel an antibacterial agent called chloramphenicol. The team used a new and highly efficient method for the synthesis of BU-005 and other C-capped dipeptides.
Researchers at Tel Aviv University have developed a computational model that better explains how bacteria move in a swarm. This model can be applied to man-made technologies, including computers, artificial intelligence, and robotics.
Many infections, even those caused by antibiotic-sensitive bacteria, resist treatment. It’s paradox has vexed physicians for decades, and makes some infections impossible to cure. However, researchers have recently made the surprising discovery that interfering with the ability of biofilm-forming bacteria to sense starvation increases their susceptibility to antibiotics.
Geologists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University have unearthed rare, flask-shaped microfossils dating back 635 to 715 million years, representing the oldest known ciliates in the fossil record.
A new University of Minnesota study has revealed that the release of treated municipal wastewater—even wastewater treated by the highest-quality treatment technology—can have a significant effect on the quantities of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, often referred to as "super bacteria", in surface waters.
Researchers studying how biodiesel can be generated using E. coli as a catalyst have determined the bacteria have what it takes to produce high volumes of the fuel. Now they need to figure out how to tweak its cellular controls in order to kick it into high gear.