Staphylococcus aureus is rapidly becoming resistant to all antibiotic therapies. Studying DNA obtained from patients experiencing persistent blood stream infections, researchers in Australia found that just one small change in DNA can allow Staph to become resistant to the last-line antibiotic, vancomycin.
Critical genetic secrets of a bacterium that holds potential for removing toxic and radioactive waste from the environment have been revealed in a study led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers. The researchers have created a first-of-its-kind gene map of Desulfovibrio vulgaris , which can be used to identify the genes that determine how these bacteria interact with their surrounding environment.
California Institute of Technology researchers are finding that cells can respond using a new kind of pulsating mechanism, instead of just shifting from one steady state to another and staying there. The principles behind this process are surprisingly simple and could drive other cellular processes, revealing more about how the cells—and ultimately life—work.
Researchers report they have figured out how the cancer-causing bacterium Helicobacter pylori attacks a cell's energy infrastructure, sparking a series of events in the cell that ultimately lead it to self-destruct.
The bacterium Micavibrio aeruginosavorus "makes its living" by seeking out prey—certain other bacteria—and then attaching itself to its victim's cell wall and essentially sucking out nutrients. This behavior has scientists excited about the possibility of using it to fight infectious diseases.
A study conducted by evolutionary biologists at the University of California, San Diego questions the longstanding paradigm of whether bacteria age. The biologists concluded that not only do bacteria age, but that their ability to age allows bacteria to improve the evolutionary fitness of their population by diversifying their reproductive investment between older and more youthful daughters.
With salmonella-tainted ground turkey sickening more than 100 people and listeria-contaminated cantaloupes killing 15 this year, the ability to detect outbreaks of food-borne illness and determine their sources has become a top public health priority. A new approach, developed by Cornell University scientists, will enable government agencies and food companies to pinpoint the exact nature and origin of food-borne bacteria with high accuracy.
Among the complex molecular processes involved in the development of bacteria-borne disease is quorum sensing, the way bacteria communicate and coordinate collective behaviors. By studying how to inhibit quorum sensing, scientists may be able create antibacterial pharmaceuticals for a variety of ailments.
Think the future of communication is 4G? Think again. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are working on communication solutions for networks so futuristic they don't even exist yet. The team is investigating how to get devices a million times smaller than the length of an ant to communicate with one another to form nanonetworks.
UK researchers have built a type of logic gate called an “AND gate” from E. coli bacteria, which is normally found in the lower intestine. The team altered the E. Coli with modified DNA, which reprogrammed it to perform the same switching on-and-off process as its electronic equivalent when stimulated by chemicals.
The Deepwater Horizon spill contained a large amount of natural gas, which immediately became food for bacteria. In a new study, scientists explain how they used DNA to identify the microbes present in the Gulf of Mexico during the spill, and how temperature played a role the microbes' ability to consume the gas.
Two heat-loving fungi, often found in composts that self-ignite without flame or spark, could soon have new vocations. The complete genetic makeup of Myceliophthora thermophila and Thielavia terrestris has been decoded by an international group of scientists. The findings may lead to the faster and greener development of biomass-based fuels, chemicals, and other industrial materials.
Researchers at the Bio-SANS instrument at the High Flux Isotope Reactor are getting a leg up in their research from a "low tech" lighting tool that can be fixed to their samples and then pushed directly into the neutron beam, to illuminate the response of layers of cyanobacteria to changes in light.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers have developed PCR-free techniques for identifying the most active microbial populations in samples based on the PhyloChip, the Lab's high-density DNA microarray. These new techniques will be used in a wide variety of applications including the development of advanced biofuels.
Researchers have developed a new method to sequence and analyze the dark matter of life—the genomes of thousands of bacteria species previously beyond scientists' reach, from microorganisms that produce antibiotics and biofuels to microbes living in the human body.
Vats of blue-green algae could one day replace oil wells in producing raw materials for the chemical industry, a University of California, Davis chemist predicts. Shota Atsumi, an assistant professor of chemistry, is using "synthetic biology" to create cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, that convert carbon dioxide in the air into complex hydrocarbons, all powered by sunlight.
Sometimes it's good to start with a clean slate. That's the idea behind a new four-year, $2 million research program at Rice University and the University of Washington that aims to push the boundaries of synthetic biology by modifying run-of-the-mill bacteria with sophisticated genetic circuits.
Preliminary research on Fusarium , a group of fungi that includes devastating pathogens of plants and animals, shows how these microbes travel through the air. Researchers now believe that with improvements on this preliminary research, there will be a better understanding about crop security, disease spread, and climate change.
Researchers at Michigan State University have unraveled the mystery of how microbes generate electricity while cleaning up nuclear waste and other toxic metals.
University of Illinois scientists have engineered a new strain of yeast that converts seaweed into biofuel in half the time it took just months ago.
A team at the Stanford University School of Medicine has cataloged, down to the letter, exactly what parts of the genetic code are essential for survival in one bacterial species, Caulobacter crescentus .
Here's one way that old-fashioned newsprint beats the Internet. Tulane University scientists have discovered a novel bacterial strain, dubbed "TU-103," that can use paper to produce butanol, a biofuel that can serve as a substitute for gasoline.
A team of scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have successfully reengineered an important antibiotic to kill the deadliest antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The researchers report the finding has clinical significance.
Strains of a bacterium commonly found in fruit flies can prevent the Aedes aegypti mosquito from transmitting the virus that causes dengue fever, researchers have found. Their discovery could lead to a more effective way to control dengue worldwide.
A team of Swinburne University of Technology researchers has shown that low-temperature microwaves can be used to open up pores in bacterial cells, which could lead to significant improvements in the design of drug delivery systems.