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.

  • Fungal toxins easily become airborne, creating potential indoor health risk
    on June 23, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    Toxins produced by three different species of fungus growing indoors on wallpaper may become aerosolized, and easily inhaled. The findings likely have implications for 'sick building syndrome. […]

  • Scientists work to develop heat-resistant 'cow of the future'
    on June 23, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    More than half the cattle in the world live in hot and humid environments, including about 40 percent of beef cows in the United States. By using genomic tools, researchers aim to produce an animal with superior ability to adapt to hot living conditions and produce top-quality beef. […]

  • Tropical viruses: Coming soon to Europe?
    on June 23, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    The mosquito-borne viral disease Chikungunya is usually found in tropical areas. Researchers have now discovered how climate change is facilitating the spread of the Chikungunya virus. Even if climate change only progresses moderately – as scientists are currently observing – the risk of infection will continue to increase in many regions of the world through the end of the 21st century. If climate change continues unchecked, the virus could even spread to southern Europe and the United States. […]

  • First Chikungunya-infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes found in Brazil
    on June 22, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    While more than 13,000 cases of Chikungunya viral disease were reported in Brazil in 2015, scientists had never before detected the virus in a captured mosquito in this country. Now, researchers have identified a mosquito -- caught in the Brazilian city of Aracaju -- that's naturally infected with the East-Central-South-African (ECSA) genotype of Chikungunya. […]

  • How bacterial organelles assemble
    on June 22, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Scientists are providing the clearest view yet of an intact bacterial microcompartment, revealing at atomic-level resolution the structure and assembly of the organelle's protein shell. This work could benefit research in bioenergy and pathogenesis, and it could lead to new methods of bioengineering bacteria for beneficial purposes. […]

  • The two faces of rot fungi
    on June 22, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Yogurt, beer, bread and specialties such as tasty blue cheeses or good wine -- special microorganisms and refining processes first produce the pleasant flavors and enticing aromas of many foodstuffs. Researchers have now investigated the formation of rot in grapes and have shown that when this is caused by certain kinds of mold fungi, the resultant wine can have not only moldy but also floral aromas. […]

  • Pathogen that causes sleeping sickness: Promising new target
    on June 22, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    The life-threatening African trypanosomiasis, also called sleeping sickness, is caused by protozoa of the species Trypanosoma brucei. A team of researchers has studied the pathogens and reported exciting news: The trypanosomes have a so far unknown enzyme which does not exist in humans and other vertebrates. This makes it a promising target for therapy. […]

  • Algae: The final frontier
    on June 21, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Algae dominate the oceans that cover nearly three-quarters of our planet, and produce half of the oxygen that we breathe. And yet fewer than 10 percent of the algae have been formally described in the scientific literature, as noted in a new review. […]

  • Zika: Studying the 'rebound virus'
    on June 21, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Scientists are investigating how the Zika virus is able to find a safe harbor in an infected host's tissue and stage a rebound weeks after the virus was seemingly cleared by the immune system. […]

  • Simple method measures how long bacteria can wait out antibiotics
    on June 21, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    A simple test that measures how long it takes to kill bacteria could help doctors treat strains that are on their way to becoming resistant to antibiotics. If implemented in hospitals' microbiology labs, the test could help guide treatment decisions, and could ultimately reduce the ever-growing risk of bacterial resistance. […]

  • Regional 'hot spot' of Borna disease discovered in upper Austria
    on June 21, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Bornaviruses cause a lethal form of encephalitis, Borna disease, among horses and sheep. To date only a few cases were reported in Austria. Recently, four horses were afflicted in the same area of Upper Austria within just two years. Tests on local shrews, the reservoir host, confirmed the suspicion of a local viral reservoir. The study documents a rare outbreak of Borna disease in a new endemic area in Austria. […]

  • The rise of giant viruses
    on June 21, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Giant viruses acquire genes piecemeal from others, researchers have found. The discovery has implications for bioenergy production and environmental cleanup. […]

  • Finding the perfect match: New approach to battle drug-resistant bacteria
    on June 20, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Antibiotics were the wonder drug of the 20th century, but bacteria evolved resistance. According to the CDC, more than 2 million people in the U.S. develop MDR infections every year. Researchers have now developed a rapid screen to pair existing FDA-approved drugs to combat MDR infections. […]

  • Bacterial superantigens turn our immune cells to the dark side
    on June 20, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    A subpopulation of immune cells that normally fend off pathogens can turn against the host during certain infections, a new study reveals. […]

  • Mathematical biology tackles destructive plant virus
    on June 20, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Plant diseases pose a serious threat to global food security, especially in developing countries, where millions of people depend on consuming what they harvest. In sub-Saharan Africa, one plant disease in particular -- maize lethal necrosis -- is ravaging one of the region's preferred crops for food, feed and income. But understanding its biology in order to manage the disease is difficult because the disease arises from two viruses interacting -- which is where mathematics comes into play. […]

  • Blocking yeast-bacteria interaction may prevent severe biofilms that cause childhood tooth decay
    on June 20, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    In early childhood caries, a severe form of tooth decay that affects more than a third of toddlers in the US, yeast often partners with bacteria to form an intractable biofilm. New research reveals the mechanisms and suggests a way to block the interaction and reduce plaque. […]

  • Bacterial classification may be more elusive than previously thought
    on June 19, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    A new study provides new insights into processes behind the evolution of microorganisms and describes what it means for existing bacterial classification approaches. […]

  • Understanding E. coli behavior in streams
    on June 19, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Determining E. coli levels in sediments and its ability to attach to sand and silt and float downstream will help scientists figure out what needs to be done to decrease bacterial levels in streams. […]

  • First atomic structure of an intact virus deciphered with an X-ray laser
    on June 19, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    An international team of scientists has for the first time used an X-ray free-electron laser to unravel the structure of an intact virus particle on the atomic level. The method used dramatically reduces the amount of virus material required, while also allowing the investigations to be carried out several times faster than before. […]

  • Mutant mosquitoes make insecticide-resistance monitoring key to controlling Zika
    on June 19, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    One of the most common insecticides used in the battle against the Aedes aegypti mosquito has no measurable impact when applied in communities where the mosquito has built up resistance to it, a study finds. […]

  • DNA delivery technology joins battle against drug-resistant bacteria
    on June 19, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    A new DNA delivery technology has been developed to fight drug-resistant bacteria, report investigators. […]

  • Treating autism by targeting the gut
    on June 19, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Therapies to change the bacteria in the gut, through diet, pro-and prebiotic supplements, fecal matter transplants or antibiotics, could treat autism. A review of six decades of research linking the gut to brain development could pave the way for cheap and effective treatment. […]

  • Probiotics could improve survival rates in honey bees exposed to pesticide, study finds
    on June 19, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Probiotics can potentially protect honey bees from the toxic effects of pesticides, new research indicates. […]

  • Common disease-causing bacteria can live airborne for 45 minutes, study shows
    on June 19, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Scientists have developed a new technique to study how some common disease-causing bacteria can spread up to 4 meters and remain alive in the air for up to 45 minutes. […]

  • Antibiotics promote resistance on experimental croplands
    on June 16, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Researchers have generated both novel and existing antibiotic resistance mechanisms on experimental farmland, by exposing the soil to specific antibiotics. […]

  • Scientists solve 30-year old mystery on how resistance genes spread
    on June 16, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    For more than 30 years, scientists have proposed that resistance genes actually originate from the microorganisms producing the antibiotic. Now, research shows for the very first time that antibiotic resistance genes originate from the same place as the antibiotic compounds, i.e. from a group of soil bacteria called Actinobacteria. […]

  • Bacteria free themselves with molecular 'speargun'
    on June 16, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Many bacteria are armed with nano-spearguns, which they use to combat unwelcome competitors or knockout host cells. The pathogen responsible for tularemia, a highly virulent infectious disease, uses this weapon to escape from its prison in cells defending the host, report researchers. […]

  • Mutations that allow bird flu strain to spread among humans identified
    on June 15, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Scientists have identified several genetic mutations that, should they arise, could potentially allow the avian influenza strain H7N9 to spread between humans. […]

  • Scientists reveal mechanism behind mosquito-borne-disease 'blocker' used to fight viruses
    on June 15, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    A new study may explain how a bacterium called Wolbachia prevents mosquitoes from transmitting deadly diseases such as dengue fever, West Nile virus and Zika. […]

  • New antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria
    on June 15, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Scientists have discovered a new antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria: pseudouridimycin. The new antibiotic is produced by a microbe found in a soil sample collected in Italy and was discovered by screening microbes from soil samples. The new antibiotic kills a broad spectrum of drug-sensitive and drug-resistant bacteria in a test tube and cures bacterial infections in mice. […]