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.

  • No guts no glory: Harvesting the microbiome of athletes
    on August 20, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Scientists have tapped into the microbiome of elite runners and rowers, and have identified particular bacteria that may aid athletic performance. The goal is to develop probiotic supplements that may help athletes -- and even amateur fitness enthusiasts -- recover from a tough workout or more efficiently convert nutrients to energy. The researchers will present their work today at the 254th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society. […]

  • Mineral layer around avian flu pathogen may be the cause for human infections
    on August 18, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Avian flu can be transmitted from birds to humans; transmission among humans, however, is limited. The reason may be an eggshell-like mineral layer that the virus acquires due to the high calcium concentration in the intestines of birds. These mineralized viruses are significantly more infectious and, in addition, more robust and heat stable than the native viruses. […]

  • Cheesemaking secret unlocked
    on August 18, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Researchers say their new knowledge on the inner workings of a bacterium has important implications for Australia's billion dollar cheese industry. The research group has explained the regulation of an enzyme in the bacterium Lactococcus, which is used as a starter culture in cheese production. […]

  • New gene catalog of ocean microbiome reveals surprises
    on August 17, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    Oceanographers report completing the largest single-site microbiome gene catalog constructed to date. With this new information, the team discovered nutrient limitation is a central driver in the evolution of ocean microbe genomes. […]

  • Disrupted gut microbiome makes children more susceptible to amoebic dysentery
    on August 17, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Children with lower diversity of microbial species in their intestines are more susceptible to severe infection with the Entamoeba histolytica parasite, according to a new study. […]

  • Bacteria stab amoebae with micro-daggers
    on August 17, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Researchers have discovered a type of bacteria that uses tiny daggers to prevent itself from being eaten by amoebae. The scientists also resolved the three-dimensional structure of the mechanism that allows the micro-daggers to be shot quickly. […]

  • Antibiotics found to weaken body's ability to fight off disease
    on August 17, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Adding another reason for doctors to avoid the overuse of antibiotics, new research shows that a reduction in the variety of microbes in the gut interferes with the immune system's ability to fight off disease. […]

  • Viruses and aphids that help crops? Scientists think it may be possible
    on August 17, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    Scientists are making an effort to help corn stand up to stress brought on by drought and disease by using viruses and aphids to activate desirable traits. It’s speculative research that could yield new insight into how viruses, insects and plants interact. […]

  • Hemorrhagic fevers: Countering inflammation to prevent circulatory failure
    on August 17, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    Hemorrhagic fevers are severe viral diseases that are often fatal. Researchers have now identified messenger substances of the immune system, which in infected mice lead to the development of shock. […]

  • Peroxisomes identified as 'fighters' in the battle against bacterial infections
    on August 17, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Peroxisomes are required for cells in the innate immune response to bacteria and fungi. Now scientists have found that peroxisomes are necessary for proper functioning of the innate immune system, the body's first line of defense against microorganisms. […]

  • Slowing dangerous bacteria may be more effective than killing them
    on August 17, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    A new study suggests it may be possible to slow dangerous infections by manipulating the messages microbes send to one another, allowing the body to defeat an infection without causing the bacteria to develop resistance to the treatment. […]

  • Are stem cells the link between bacteria and cancer?
    on August 17, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    A new mechanism of stomach gland regeneration reveals impact of Helicobacter pylori infection. […]

  • Study shows response to phytase varies among canola meal varieties
    on August 16, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    Canola meal, which is included in diets fed to pigs as a protein source, is also relatively high in phosphorus. However, most of the phosphorus in canola meal is bound to phytic acid, and microbial phytase is often added to diets to help make more phosphorus available to pigs. New research shows that not all kinds of canola meal respond equally to the addition of phytase. […]

  • Mystery of how first animals appeared on Earth solved
    on August 16, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    Research has solved the mystery of how the first animals appeared on Earth, a pivotal moment for the planet without which humans would not exist. […]

  • Pig-to-person spread of flu at fairs a continued concern
    on August 16, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    The spread of influenza among pigs is common at fairs and other gatherings, and protective measures including cutting the length of time pigs and people congregate make good sense for both the animals and humans, say the authors of a new study. […]

  • Research agenda for microbiomes, indoor environments, and human health
    on August 16, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Even with a growing body of research on microorganisms and humans in indoor environments, many of their interconnections remain unknown, says a new report. The report proposes a research agenda to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the formation, dynamics, and functions of indoor microbiomes that can guide improvements to current and future buildings as well as enhance human health and well-being. […]

  • Addressing superbug resistance with Phage therapy
    on August 16, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    International research shows that bacteriophage therapy -- a process whereby bacterial viruses attack and destroy specific strains of bacteria -- can be used successfully to treat systemic, multidrug resistant bacterial infections. […]

  • Soil microbes persist through National Mall facelift
    on August 16, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    It's not every day United States history mixes with microbes in the soil. But when the turf on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was replaced, it offered scientists the opportunity to study changes in the soil microbiome underneath. […]

  • Can previous exposure to West Nile alter the course of Zika?
    on August 16, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    West Nile virus is no stranger to the U.S.-Mexico border; thousands of people in the region have contracted the mosquito-borne virus in the past. But could this previous exposure affect how intensely Zika sickens someone now? […]

  • The irresistible fragrance of dying vinegar flies
    on August 16, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Vinegar flies should normally try to avoid their sick conspecifics to prevent becoming infected themselves. Nevertheless they are irresistibly attracted to the smell given off by sick flies. A dramatic increase in the production of the sex pheromones responsible for the attractive odor of the infected flies is caused by pathogens: this perfidious strategy is used by the deadly germs to enable them to infect healthy flies and spread even further. […]

  • Understanding antibiotic resistance
    on August 15, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Researchers have uncovered new insights into how bacteria respond to stress. When deprived of nutrients, strains of the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae mount a coordinated defense. When exposed to antibiotics, the bacterial response is highly disorganized, revealing the bacteria are far less familiar with antibiotics and do not recognize how to respond. […]

  • Gene that controls immune response to chronic viral infections identified
    on August 15, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    A gene that helps some people and animals fend off persistent viral infections has now been discovered by a team of scientists. […]

  • Organs fight infections that enter through the skin
    on August 15, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    New information about how and where the innate immune system fights off viral infections that enter through the skin could lead to better treatments for viruses like Zika, dengue and measles, according to researchers. […]

  • Epigenetic drugs show promise as antivirals
    on August 15, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Some epigenetic pharmaceuticals have the potential to be used as broad spectrum antivirals, according to a new study. The study demonstrated that histone methyltransferases EZH2/1 inhibitors, which are being used in cancer clinical trials, have activity against a variety of viruses, including herpes simplex virus (HSV). […]

  • How head-on collisions of DNA protein machines stop replication
    on August 15, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Head-on collisions between the protein machines that crawl along chromosomes can disrupt DNA replication and boost gene mutation rates. This may be one of the ways bacteria control their evolution by accelerating mutations in key genes when coping with new conditions. Some mutations may help bacteria survive hostile environments, resist antibiotics or fend off immune attacks. […]

  • Plant-produced polio vaccines could help eradicate age-old disease
    on August 15, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Plants have been used to produce a new vaccine against poliovirus in what is hoped to be a major step towards global eradication of the disease. […]

  • Human intrusion on fruit bat habitats raises exposure risk to Hendra virus in Australia
    on August 15, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    There is a rising risk of human and domestic animal exposure to deadly Hendra virus (HeV) carried by fruit bats in Eastern Australia due to human intrusion into their habitats, human proximity to woodlands and vegetation loss, a new study reveals. […]

  • An immune signaling pathway for control of yellow fever virus infection
    on August 15, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Researchers have uncovered a critical role for a new immune signaling pathway in controlling infection by the flavivirus Yellow Fever Virus (YFV). […]

  • Mercury is altering gene expression
    on August 15, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Mercury causes severe neurological disorders in people who have consumed highly contaminated fish. Whereas we know about the element's extreme toxicity, what happens further down the food chain, all the way down to those microalgae that are the first level and the gateway for mercury? By employing molecular biology tools, a team of researchers measured the way mercury affects the gene expression of algae, even when its concentration in water is very low. […]

  • Probiotics help poplar trees clean up contaminated groundwater
    on August 14, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    Researchers have conducted the first large-scale experiment on a Superfund site using poplar trees fortified with a probiotic -- or natural microbe -- to clean up groundwater contaminated with trichloroethylene, or TCE. […]