Microbes and More

Microbes and More News -- ScienceDaily Current science articles on microbes and more. Read about viruses, bacteria, fungi and prions and see related videos.

  • Planet's smallest microbes examined at nation's largest aquarium
    on April 24, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    Biologists have advanced a new scientific frontier -- study of the aquarium microbiome -- to better understand the millions of marine microorganisms living in the water and what role they play in keeping the ecosystem healthy. […]

  • Deep water aquifer acts like natural bio-reactor, allowing microbes to consume carbon
    on April 24, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    Researchers have shown that underground aquifers along the mid-ocean ridge act like natural biological reactors, pulling in cold, oxygenated seawater, and allowing microbes to break down more -- perhaps much more -- refractory carbon than scientists ever believed. […]

  • New take on early evolution of photosynthesis
    on April 24, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    Scientists have begun re-thinking the evolutionary history of photochemical reaction centers (RCs). Their analysis describes a new pathway that ancient organisms may have taken to evolve the great variety of photosynthetic RCs seen today across bacteria, algae, and plants. […]

  • Wiping out the gut microbiome could help with heart failure
    on April 23, 2018 at 11:05 pm

    The bacteria that reside on and within our bodies are known to have a significant influence on our health. New research suggests wiping out the gut microbiota could improve heart functioning and potentially slow the cardiac damage that occurs with heart failure. […]

  • Earth BioGenome Project aims to sequence genomes of 1.5 million species
    on April 23, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    Scientists is proposing a massive project to sequence, catalog and analyze the genomes of all eukaryotic species on the planet, an undertaking the researchers say will take 10 years, cost $4.7 billion and require more than 200 petabytes of digital storage capacity. Eukaryotes include all organisms except bacteria and archaea. There are an estimated 10-15 million eukaryotic species on Earth. […]

  • Just one more ash dieback spore could push European ash trees to the brink
    on April 23, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    Europe's ash dieback epidemic could well have been caused by just one or two mushroom-like fruiting bodies of a fungal pathogen from Asia, according to a comprehensive genome sequencing effort. This leaves even the most resistant ash trees at threat from the introduction of just one more spore from East Asia. […]

  • Virulence switch in 'Iraqibacter': potential Achilles heel?
    on April 23, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Microbiologists have identified a component of a genetic switch, which they call a potential 'Achilles' heel,' for a type of bacteria often associated with wounded warriors. The switch makes it possible for Acinetobacter baumannii to change between a virulent, hardy form and an avirulent form that is better at surviving at lower temperatures outside a host. Defining the switch could map out targets for new antibiotics. […]

  • Growing evidence that probiotics are good for your liver
    on April 23, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    Increased awareness of the importance of the microbes that live in our gut has spurred a great deal of research on the microbiome and fueled a booming probiotics industry. A new study suggests probiotics can improve not only the health of our gut but liver health, as well. […]

  • Large Candida auris outbreak linked to multi-use thermometers in UK ICU
    on April 21, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    Outbreaks of the fungal pathogen Candida auris in healthcare settings, particularly in intensive care units (ICUs), may be linked to multi-use patient equipment, such as thermometers, according to new research. […]

  • West Nile virus reemerged and spread to new areas in Greece in 2017
    on April 21, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    West Nile virus (WNV), which is transmitted via mosquito bites, reemerged and spread to new territories of Greece in 2017 following a two-year hiatus in reported human cases, according to new findings. Greece provides the appropriate ecological and climatic conditions for WNV circulation. The virus has been established in Greece and disease transmission may continue in the future. […]

  • Scientists discover gene controlling genetic recombination rates
    on April 21, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    Genetic recombination is vital to natural selection, yet some species display far more crossover than others. Scientists have discovered a gene in fruit flies that is responsible for the evolution of these recombination rates. […]

  • Fungus: The good, the bad and their fortuitous differences
    on April 20, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    Genetic differences between two very similar fungi, one that led to Quorn™, the proprietary meat substitute, and another that ranks among the world's most damaging crop pathogens, have exposed the significant features that dictate the pair's very different lifestyles, features that promise targets for controlling disease. […]

  • Medical chemists discover peptic ulcer treatment metallodrug effective in 'taming' superbugs
    on April 20, 2018 at 4:28 pm

    A novel solution to antimicrobial resistance -- medical chemists discover peptic ulcer treatment metallodrug effective in 'taming' superbugs. […]

  • Gene-edited stem cells show promise against HIV in non-human primates
    on April 19, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    Gene editing of bone marrow stem cells in pigtail macaques infected with simian/human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) significantly reduces the size of dormant 'viral reservoirs' that pose a risk of reactivation. […]

  • Study predicts 2018 flu vaccine will likely have 20 percent efficacy
    on April 19, 2018 at 5:10 pm

    A new study of 6,610 human flu sequences predicts that this fall's flu vaccine will likely have the same reduced efficacy against the dominant circulating strain of influenza A as the vaccine given in 2016 and 2017 due to viral mutations related to vaccine production in eggs. […]

  • Far-red fluorescent silk can kill harmful bacteria as biomedical and environmental remedy
    on April 19, 2018 at 5:10 pm

    A silk hybrid material attacks bacteria when illuminated by a green light, thanks to a far-red fluorescent protein researchers transferred to its genetic makeup. […]

  • The bugs in your gut could make you weak in the knees
    on April 19, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    Scientists have long thought that osteoarthritis in people who are obese was a consequence of excess wear and tear on joints, but a new study suggests that the microbiome is the culprit. The study shows that a high fat diet (like the Western diet) can alter gut microbes, increase inflammation throughout the body, and speed deterioration of joints. An interesting twist: a common dietary supplement overturned these effects in mice. […]

  • Zika presents hot spots in brains of chicken embryos
    on April 18, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    Zika prefers certain "hot spots" in the brains of chicken embryos, offering insight into how brain development is affected by the virus. If the virus also prefers specific sites in human brains, researchers could look to them for targeted therapies and drug testing. […]

  • A new Listeria species from Costa Rica
    on April 17, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    Listeria costaricensis is the official name given to the new bacterial species just described by investigators. […]

  • New way that HIV evades the immune system
    on April 17, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    HIV uses our own cellular machinery to disable a signalling pathway (an assembly line of molecules) that produces anti-viral weaponry in the body. The scientists behind the discovery believe It should open the door to a new era of HIV research aiming to cure and eradicate this deadly virus. […]

  • Honeybees are struggling to get enough good bacteria
    on April 17, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    Modern monoculture farming, commercial forestry and even well-intentioned gardeners could be making it harder for honeybees to store food and fight off diseases, a new study suggests. […]

  • Bacterial 'gene swapping' sparks disease outbreaks
    on April 17, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    A new study documents how the ability of bacteria to swap genetic material with each other can directly affect the emergence and spread of globally important infectious diseases. […]

  • Foodborne illness caused by common agricultural practice, casts doubts on biocidal product labeling
    on April 17, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    Chlorine, commonly used in the agriculture industry to decontaminate fresh produce, can make foodborne pathogens undetectable, according to new research. The study may help explain outbreaks of Salmonella enterica and Listeria monocytogenes among produce in recent years. […]

  • Of mice and disease: Antibiotic-resistant bacteria discovered in NYC house mice
    on April 17, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    Scientists have found that New York City house mice carry bacteria responsible for mild to life-threatening gastroenteritis in people, and some of these bacteria may be resistant to antibiotics. […]

  • The microbiome of a native plant is much more resilient than expected
    on April 17, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    The microbiome, which consists of all microorganisms that live on or in plants, animals and also humans, is important for the health and development of these organisms. Scientists investigated how a plant responds to manipulations of its microbial associations. The results indicate that the enormous bacterial diversity residing in natural soils may account for the stability of the plant-microbiome relationship. […]

  • How does plant DNA avoid the ravages of UV radiation?
    on April 17, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    Plants can't come in from the sun or slather on sunblock; instead they have a super robust DNA repair kit to combat UV radiation. Today, the lab of 2015 Nobel laureate Aziz Sancar published the first repair map of an entire multicellular organism to show how the 'nucleotide excision repair' system works much more efficiently in the active genes of plants as compared to humans. And this efficiency depends on the day/night cycle. […]

  • 'Mono' virus linked to seven serious diseases
    on April 16, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) -- best known for causing mononucleosis -- also increases the risks for some people of developing seven other major diseases, according to a new study. The diseases are: systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, and type 1 diabetes. Combined, these diseases affect nearly 8 million people in the US. […]

  • What's in a niche? Time to rethink microbial ecology, say researchers
    on April 16, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    Scientists are looking to rewrite the textbook on microbial ecology. When it comes to microbe species, they argue, niche is much more important than names. In microbial systems, hundreds of species can co-exist and perform the same biochemical functions in one setting, and switch functions in a different setting, explain scientists. […]

  • BESSY II sheds light on how the internal compass is constructed in magnetotactic bacteria
    on April 16, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    Bacteria exist in many shapes and with very different talents. Magnetotactic bacteria can even sense the earth's magnetic field by making use of magnetic nanoparticles in their interior that act as an internal compass. Experts have now examined the magnetic compass of Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense at BESSY II. Their results may be helpful in designing actuation devices for nanorobots and nanosensors for biomedical applications. […]

  • New way to fight HIV transmission
    on April 16, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    Scientists have developed a new tool to protect women from HIV infection. […]