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

  • Model by which plants adapt their photosynthetic metabolism to light intensity
    on November 21, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    A new model explains the molecular mechanism used by plants to adapt their photosynthetic mechanism to light intensity. […]

  • Corn genetics research exposes mechanism behind traits becoming silent
    on November 21, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    For more than a century, plant geneticists have been studying maize as a model system to understand the rules governing the inheritance of traits, and a team of researchers recently unveiled a previously unknown mechanism that triggers gene silencing in corn. […]

  • New malaria parasites identified in wild bonobos
    on November 21, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Malaria parasites, although widespread among wild chimpanzees and gorillas, have not been detected in bonobos, a chimp cousin. Although the researchers saw evidence of a new malaria species in bonobos, it was limited to one small area of their range. This work helps the hunt for biological loopholes to potentially exploit the life history of ape pathogens to better understand how they cross over to humans. […]

  • Cell cycle proteins help immune cells trap microbes with nets made of DNA
    on November 20, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    In your bloodstream, there are immune cells called neutrophils that, when faced with a pathogenic threat, will expel their DNA like a net to contain it. These DNA snares are called neutrophil extracellular traps or NETs. Researchers describe an important step in how these NETs are released and how they stop a fungus from establishing an infection in mice and human cells. […]

  • What makes soil, soil? Researchers find hidden clues in DNA
    on November 20, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Ever wondered what makes a soil, soil? And could soil from the Amazon rainforest really be the same as soil from your garden? […]

  • Space dust may transport life between worlds, research suggests
    on November 20, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Life on Earth might have originated from tiny organisms brought to our planet in streams of fast-moving space dust, according to a new study. […]

  • Disposable optical test substrate for detecting harmful microbes
    on November 20, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    Harmful microbes and toxic micromolecules in food and drinking water can cause serious health problems around the world. Now a researcher has developed a disposable optical test substrate for use in microbial detection. The aim is to enable cost-effective detection of harmful microbes and toxins. […]

  • Protein 'intentionally' terminates own synthesis by destabilizing synthesis machinery -- the...
    on November 20, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    Cell biologists have discovered that a protein, during its synthesis, may destabilize the structure of the ribosome and end its own synthesis prematurely, and found that this phenomenon is used for adapting the cell to its environment. […]

  • Raindrops splash pathogens onto crops
    on November 20, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses or fungi, cause harmful plant disease and often lead to the destruction of agricultural fields. With many possible dispersal methods, it can often be difficult to assess the damage of a pathogen’s impact before it’s too late. […]

  • Interstellar space probes: Where's the brakes?
    on November 17, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    With a miniaturized space probe capable of being accelerated to a quarter of the speed of light, we could reach Alpha Centauri, our nearest star, in 20 to 50 years. However, without a mechanism to slow it down, the space probe could only collect data from the star and its planets as it zoomed past. A theoretical physicist has now examined whether interstellar spacecraft can be decelerated using 'magnetic sails'. […]

  • Biological timing: Biologists investigate the mechanism of an auxiliary clock
    on November 17, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    This year's Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology recognizes the identification of genes that control the biological clock. In newly published research, scientists have found that not only the biological clock, but also a protein acting as an "auxiliary clock" ensures that recurring routines take place in the cells. […]

  • Age, gut bacteria contribute to MS disease progression, according to study
    on November 17, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Gut bacteria at a young age can contribute to multiple sclerosis disease onset and progression, new research indicates. […]

  • Using eDNA to identify the breeding habitat of endangered species
    on November 17, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Using wide-ranging eDNA analysis combined with traditional collection survey methods, researchers have identified the breeding site of critically endangered fish species Acheilognathus typus in the mainstream of Omono River in Akita Prefecture, Japan. […]

  • Unlocking the secrets of Ebola
    on November 16, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    Scientists have identified a set of biomarkers that indicate which patients infected with the Ebola virus are most at risk of dying from the disease. The results come from one of the most in-depth studies ever of blood samples from patients with Ebola. Researchers found 11 biomarkers that distinguish fatal infections from non-fatal ones and two that, when screened for early upon symptom onset, accurately predict which patients are likely to die. […]

  • How Snapdragons keep their color: Signposting trick reveals evolutionary mechanism
    on November 16, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    A study of the colour patterns among wild flowers in a mountain valley has yielded a clue about how nature controls fundamental evolutionary change in all species. […]

  • How the immune system identifies invading bacteria
    on November 16, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    Never-before-seen images of mouse immune system proteins and bacterial bits reveal an inspection strategy that identifies pathogens. […]

  • Progression from infection to pulmonary tuberculosis follows distinct timeline
    on November 16, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    Researchers have uncovered a sequence of biological processes that occur in humans infected with the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis as the infection progresses to pulmonary tuberculosis. […]

  • Paraplegic rats walk and regain feeling after stem cell treatment
    on November 16, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Paralyzed rats implanted with engineered tissue containing human stem cells were able to walk independently and regained sensory perception in their hind legs and tail. The implanted rats also show some degree of healing in their spinal cords. The research demonstrates the great potential of stem cells to treat spinal cord injury. […]

  • Bacterium in a beetle makes it a leaf-eater
    on November 16, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    A leaf-eating beetle has evolved a symbiotic relationship that allows the insect to break down pectin. The findings on the novel function of the bacterium, which has a surprisingly tiny genome -- much smaller than previous reports on the minimum size required for an organism not subsisting within a host cell. […]

  • Kill switches for engineered microbes gone rogue
    on November 16, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Stable autonomous kill switches ensure biocontainment of living microbes designed as devices for medicine or the environment. New research outlines two new types of kill switches that address these challenges. The new kill switches are self-sufficient and highly stable in bacterial populations that evolve, and they last over many generations. They can ensure that only bacteria with intact synthetic gene circuits survive, or confine bacteria to a target environment at 37°C (body temperature) while inducing them to die at lower temperatures, as demonstrated during bacterial exit from a mouse intestinal tract. […]

  • Secrets of succulents' water-wise ways revealed
    on November 16, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Plant scientists have revealed new insights into the mechanisms that allow certain plants to conserve water and tolerate drought. The research could be used to help produce new crops that can thrive in previously inhospitable, hot and dry regions across the world. […]

  • How to destroy any protein in any cell
    on November 16, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Scientists present a novel method to directly and rapidly destroy any protein in any kind of cell, explains a new report. […]

  • Gene discovery may halt worldwide wheat epidemic
    on November 16, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    A gene that enables resistance to a new devastating strain of stem rust, a fungal disease that is hampering wheat production throughout Africa and Asia and threatening food security worldwide, has been identified by scientists. […]

  • How bacteria in the gut influence neurodegenerative disorders
    on November 16, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Humans have roughly as many bacterial cells in their bodies as human cells, and most of those bacteria live in the gut. New research released today reveals links between the gut microbiome -- the population of microorganisms living in the gastrointestinal tract -- and brain diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, including potential new ways to track and treat these diseases. […]

  • New procedures for DNA stability
    on November 16, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    In eukaryotic cells the proximity of the genes to the nuclear pores, which are found in the nuclear membrane, contributes to maintaining the integrity of the genome. This is due to the fact that the anchoring of DNA to the pore during transcription avoids the formation of DNA-RNA hybrids, which are a natural source of DNA breaks and genome instability. […]

  • More than a numbers game: New technique gauges microbial communities by biomass
    on November 16, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    New technique provides deeper look at microbial communities by assessing their biomass. […]

  • Down and dirty: Cleaning Okinawan pig farm wastewater with microbial fuel cells
    on November 16, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Scientists have enhanced the productivity of green technology used to treat wastewater from pig farms, explains a new report. […]

  • Genomic study explores evolution of gentle 'killer bees' in Puerto Rico
    on November 16, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    A study of Puerto Rico's Africanized honey bees -- which are more docile than other so-called 'killer bees' -- shows they retain most of the genetic traits of their African honey bee ancestors, but that a few regions of their DNA have become more like those of European honey bees. These changes likely contributed to the bees' rapid evolution toward gentleness in Puerto Rico, a change that occurred within 30 years, and could spell hope for beekeeping in North America. […]

  • Potential cell receptors to reduce antibiotic resistance identified
    on November 15, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    The bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the leading cause of hospital-acquired infections. The pathogen is resistant to many antibiotics so treating those infections, particularly in patients with compromised immune systems, is difficult. A new study has identified certain chemical receptors in cells that could deceive the bacteria and improve patient response to drugs. […]

  • Engineering the gut microbiome with 'good' bacteria may help treat Crohn's disease
    on November 15, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    Researchers have singled out a bacterial enzyme behind an imbalance in the gut microbiome linked to Crohn's disease. The new study suggests that wiping out a significant portion of the bacteria in the gut microbiome, and then re-introducing a certain type of 'good' bacteria that lacks this enzyme, known as urease, may be an effective approach to better treat these diseases. […]