Microbiology News -- ScienceDaily Microbiology News. Articles and images on biochemistry research, micro-organisms, cell functions and related topics, updated daily.

  • Party discipline for jumping genes
    on September 22, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Jumping genes, transposons, are part of the genome of most organisms, aggregated into families and can damage the genome by jumping. How hosts suppress the jumping is well investigated. Why they still can jump has hardly been understood so far. Researchers investigated for the first time in all transposons of the host organism, which properties and host environments facilitate jumping. They showed that family affiliation is more important than position. […]

  • Artificial orchid cultivation kit
    on September 22, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Orchids are loved by gardeners around the world but are notoriously difficult to cultivate. Researchers have developed a new orchid cultivation kit and have succeeded in complete artificial cultivation of an autonomous orchid. Since this kit can be made cheaply, it can broaden the opportunities for orchid cultivation in general households. It is also expected to be useful in preserving the genetic diversity of orchidaceous plants, many of which are in danger of extinction. […]

  • Scientists sequence asexual tiny worm whose lineage stretches back 18 million years
    on September 21, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    A team of scientists has sequenced, for the first time, a tiny worm that belongs to a group of exclusively asexual species that originated approximately 18 million years ago -- making it one of the oldest living lineages of asexual animals known. […]

  • Green algae could hold clues for engineering faster-growing crops
    on September 21, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Two new studies provide a detailed look at an essential part of algae's growth machinery, with the eventual goal of applying this knowledge to improving the growth of crops. […]

  • Dino-killing asteroid's impact on bird evolution
    on September 21, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Human activities could change the pace of evolution, similar to what occurred 66 million years ago when a giant asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs, leaving modern birds as their only descendants. […]

  • Surprising discovery: How the African tsetse fly really drinks your blood
    on September 21, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    Researchers have been taking a close-up look at the biting mouthparts of the African tsetse fly as part of ongoing work on the animal diseases it carries. Using a new high-powered scanning electron microscope, researchers were able to see the rows of sharp teeth and rasps that the fly uses to chew through the skin when it bites. […]

  • Hope to discover sure signs of life on Mars? New research says look for the element vanadium
    on September 21, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    A new article suggests NASA and others hunting for proof of Martian biology in the form of 'microfossils' could use the element vanadium in combination with Raman spectroscopy to confirm traces of extraterrestrial life. […]

  • Researchers discover new cattle disease and prevent it from spreading
    on September 21, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Following genetic studies of deformed calves, research is able to uncover a previously unknown disease found among Holstein cattle. The breeding bull from which the mutation and thus the deformation originate has now been put down to prevent the disease from spreading further. […]

  • Whole food diet may help prevent colon cancer, other chronic conditions
    on September 21, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    A diet that includes plenty of colorful vegetables and fruits may contain compounds that can stop colon cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases in pigs, according to an international team of researchers. Understanding how these compounds work on a molecular level could be an initial step toward finding treatments for people with cancer, they added. […]

  • Millions of new genes in human microbiome
    on September 20, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    A new study of the human microbiome has uncovered millions of previously unknown genes from microbial communities in the human gut, skin, mouth, and vaginal microbiome, allowing for new insights into the role these microbes play in human health and disease. […]

  • Unique property of critical methane-producing enzyme discovered
    on September 20, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    An unexpected discovery has given a group of scientists a greater understanding of an important methane-producing enzyme called methyl-coenzyme M reductase, or MCR. Their findings overturn what was previously believed to be true in the field: that a set of unique modifications present in MCR were essential to how the enzyme functions. […]

  • Imagining a world without species
    on September 20, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Categorizing species can get hazy at small, microbial scales. After all, the classical definition of species as interbreeding individuals with sexually viable offspring doesn't apply to asexual organisms. Examining shared DNA doesn't help either: collectively, E. coli bacteria have only 20 percent of genes in common. In new research, a researcher asks: could organism interactions be described without mentioning species at all? […]

  • Ensuring broccoli sprouts retain their cancer-fighting compounds
    on September 20, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Raw broccoli sprouts, a rich source of potential cancer-fighting compounds, have become a popular health food in recent years. But conventional heat treatment used to kill bacteria on produce can reduce levels of the broccoli sprouts' helpful phytochemicals. Now researchers report that high pressure processing could wipe out harmful bacteria while maintaining high concentrations of its health-promoting ingredients. […]

  • Emerging disease further jeopardizes North American frogs
    on September 19, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    A deadly amphibian disease called severe Perkinsea infections, or SPI, is the cause of many large-scale frog die-offs in the United States, according to a new study. […]

  • What web browsers and proteins have in common
    on September 19, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    The discovery of a previously overlooked site on protein molecules may solve a mystery about how proteins are able to carry out specialized functions in living cells. […]

  • New hosts for Chagas disease vectors identified
    on September 19, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Solitary weasel-like animals called tayra might look pretty harmless, but some may actually be incubators for a parasite that causes Chagas disease, a chronic, debilitating condition that is spread by insects called kissing bugs and affects more than 8 million people worldwide. […]

  • Exposure to pet and pest allergens during infancy linked to reduced asthma risk
    on September 19, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Children exposed to high indoor levels of pet or pest allergens during infancy have a lower risk of developing asthma by 7 years of age, new research reveals. The findings may provide clues for the design of strategies to prevent asthma from developing. […]

  • Parasitic eye infection poses significant threat to UK dogs, warn experts
    on September 19, 2017 at 2:22 am

    A parasitic worm that is becoming increasingly common in Europe poses a significant threat to UK dogs, warn experts in a new report. […]

  • Potential pathway to treat flesh-eating bacteria
    on September 18, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    Researchers have solved a 100-year-old mystery, providing them a possible key to unlock a pathway for treating diseases caused by flesh-eating bacteria. Medical researchers have found a critical target on which to focus for developing a potential Group A Streptococcus vaccine or antibiotic to fight it. By manipulating this target, they hope to either reduce the severity of these infections or clear them up faster. […]

  • RNA discovery could help boost plant heat, drought tolerance
    on September 18, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    The discovery of a RNA that can increase drought and salt tolerance in thale cress could illuminate a new research approach and hold implications for other plants, including food crops. […]

  • How bacteria hinder chemotherapy
    on September 18, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Scientists have found bacteria in pancreatic tumors that metabolize a common drug, explains a new report. […]

  • Sheep gene insights could help farmers breed healthier animals
    on September 18, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Fresh insights into the genetic code of sheep could aid breeding programs to improve their health and productivity. Scientists have now mapped which genes are turned on and off in the different tissues and organs in a sheep's body. […]

  • More efficient use of raw materials with the aid of 'molecular conveyor belts'
    on September 18, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Making valuable products, such as fuels, synthetic materials or pharmaceuticals, from renewable raw materials is to date not efficient enough because the microorganisms used only process the raw materials very slowly and generate many by-products in addition to the substances actually wanted. Biotechnologists have now succeeded in optimizing sugar utilization in baker's yeast. […]

  • Cells programmed like computers to fight disease
    on September 18, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Cells can be programmed like a computer to fight cancer, influenza, and other serious conditions -- thanks to a breakthrough in synthetic biology. […]

  • Membrane vesicles released by bacteria may play different roles during infection
    on September 18, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    Bacteria release membrane-derived vesicles (MVs), which are small particles that can transport virulence factors to neighboring bacteria or to the cells of a mammalian host. This special MV-based system for delivering toxic proteins and nucleic acids in a protected manner to the target cells may have different specific functions depending on whether the bacterium acts as an extracellular or intracellular pathogen. […]

  • Innate immunity: To operate, insert dimers
    on September 15, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    The presence of DNA in mammalian cell cytoplasm triggers an immune response by binding to a dimeric enzyme, which inserts between DNA double helices to form the “rungs” of a ladder-like structure, as an LMU team has now shown. […]

  • Scientists question study about plastic-eating caterpillars
    on September 15, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Do the larvae of the wax moth really solve the world's plastic problem? Sensational report of biochemical degradation of polyethylene by caterpillars not confirmed. […]

  • 'Exciting' discovery on path to develop new type of vaccine to treat global viruses
    on September 15, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Scientists have made a significant discovery in efforts to develop a vaccine against Zika, dengue and Hepatitis C viruses that affect millions of people around the world. […]

  • New organelled discovered in parasitic wasp venom
    on September 15, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Biologists have identified the composition of 'virus-like particles' (VLPs) found in the venom of a wasp that is a parasite of fruit flies. Invisible to the eye, wasp VLPs suppress the flies' immune responses by killing their blood cells. […]

  • Carbohydrates may be the key to a better malaria vaccine
    on September 15, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    An international research team has shown for the first time that carbohydrates on the surface of malaria parasites play a critical role in malaria's ability to infect mosquito and human hosts. The discovery also suggests steps that may improve the only malaria vaccine approved to protect people against Plasmodium falciparum malaria -- the most deadly form of the disease. […]