Bacteria News -- ScienceDaily Learn all about bacteria. From the latest research on bacterial infections to using bacteria as biofuel, read all the science news here.

  • Small metabolites have big effects on the intestinal immune response
    on January 23, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    Normal gut bacteria are instrumental in inducing an immune response in the presence of invading pathogens. However, exactly how commensal bacteria cause CX3CR1+ macrophages in the intestine to protrude their tentacle-like dendrites to capture antigens, triggering the immune response, was unclear. Now, a research team has shown that common bacterial metabolites pyruvate and lactate interact with the GPR31 receptor on CX3CR1+ cells, enhancing the immune response and protecting against gut pathogens. […]

  • Infectious disease researchers unveil the secret life of flesh-eating bacteria
    on January 22, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    Using a tool first used for strep throat in horses, researchers unveiled the secret life of flesh-eating bacteria, learning how it causes severe disease while living deep within muscle. The team focused on necrotizing myositis. […]

  • Courage to aim for less cleanliness?
    on January 22, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    Current hygiene measures against aggressive germs could sometimes be counterproductive, according to a group of researchers. They propose to examine the role diversity of microorganisms plays in our domestic environment more intensively. The findings could challenge existing strategies for fighting infectious diseases and resistant germs. […]

  • The diversity of rural African populations extends to their microbiomes
    on January 22, 2019 at 1:44 pm

    In the largest study of its kind, researchers investigated the gut microbiomes of people from seven ethnically diverse populations from remote areas of Botswana and Tanzania. Their findings illuminate the relative impact of lifestyle, geography, and genetics in shaping the microbiome. […]

  • Fecal transplants: The 'super-donor' phenomenon
    on January 21, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    Fecal transplants could be used to treat intestinal disorders like inflammatory bowel disease -- and perhaps even help prevent Alzheimer's and cancer -- if we can unlock the secrets of the gut-rejuvenating 'super donor,' say researchers. […]

  • Fighting deadly drug resistant bacteria in intestines with new antibiotic
    on January 18, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a potentially deadly infection in the large intestine most common in people who need to take antibiotics for a long period of time, particularly in Australia's ageing population. But when doses of a new antibiotic called Ramizol were given to hamsters infected with a lethal dose of the bacteria, a significant proportion of hamsters survived the infection. […]

  • Potential biotech and health applications with new knowledge on bacteria and viruses
    on January 18, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    New research to better understand how bacteria and their viruses interact and evolve will enable future studies to exploit the use of bacteria and their viruses for potential biotechnology and health applications. […]

  • New test to detect disease and infection
    on January 17, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    Researchers have developed a highly innovative new enzyme biomarker test that has the potential to indicate diseases and bacterial contamination saving time, money and possibly lives. […]

  • Antibiotics still routinely prescribed in the ER for infants with viral lung infections
    on January 17, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    Despite recommendations first issued more than a decade ago, antibiotics are still routinely prescribed in US emergency rooms for infants with bronchiolitis, a common viral lung infection. The findings highlight a concerning lag in translating evidence-based guidelines into clinical practice and underscore the need to continue educating health care providers and the public about appropriate antibiotic use. […]

  • Gut bacteria make key amino acids dispensable, expanding food options for invasive flies
    on January 16, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    Fruit flies fed antibiotics to suppress their gut microbiome are forced to avoid the best food patches if they lack vital amino acids, according to a new study. […]

  • Unintended side effects: Antibiotic disruption of the gut microbiome dysregulates skeletal health
    on January 16, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    Diet and exercise regulate the accrual of bone mass, but some evidence suggests the microbiome may also play a role. Researchers examined how the gut microbiome impacts skeletal health and what happens when the system is perturbed. They showed that antibiotic disruption of the gut microbiota induced a pro-inflammatory response that led to increased osteoclast activity and suppressed bone mass accrual in the post-pubertal developing skeleton. […]

  • Researchers create 'shortcut' to terpene biosynthesis in E. coli
    on January 16, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    Researchers have developed an artificial enzymatic pathway for synthesizing isoprenoids, or terpenes, in E.coli. This shorter, more efficient, cost-effective and customizable pathway transforms E. coli into a factory that can produce terpenes for use in everything from cancer drugs to biofuels. […]

  • Experimental treatment approach shows potential against Staphylococcus aureus
    on January 16, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    A new class of engineered proteins may counter infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus -- a bacterial species considered one of the largest global health threats, a new study suggests. […]

  • Simple rules predict and explain biological mutualism
    on January 16, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    Scientists have long employed relatively simple guidelines to help explain the physical world, from Newton's second law of motion to the laws of thermodynamics. Biomedical engineers have used dynamic modeling and machine learning to construct similarly simple rules for complex biology. They have devised a framework to accurately interpret and predict the behavior of mutually beneficial biological systems, such as human gut bacteria, plants and pollinators, or algae and corals. […]

  • Poisons or medicines? Cyanobacteria toxins protect tiny lake dwellers from parasites
    on January 16, 2019 at 1:00 am

    The cyanobacteria blooms that plague western Lake Erie each summer are both an unsightly nuisance and a potential public health hazard, producing liver toxins that can be harmful to humans and their pets. […]

  • Gene expression study sheds new light on African Salmonella
    on January 15, 2019 at 7:40 pm

    Scientists have completed one of the largest bacterial comparative gene expression studies to date and taken another step forward in understanding the African Salmonella strain that is currently killing around 400,000 people each year in sub-Saharan Africa. […]

  • Black mangroves' impact on the salt marsh food web
    on January 15, 2019 at 6:29 pm

    Warmer temperatures are causing more tropical species to move northward. Among these are black mangroves, whose abundance is steadily increasing in the northern Gulf of Mexico. A new article examines how this tropical species is impacting the salt marsh food web. […]

  • Marine bacterium sheds light on control of toxic metals
    on January 14, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    An ocean-dwelling bacterium has provided fresh insights into how cells protect themselves from the toxic effects of metal ions such as iron and copper. Although essential to life, metal ions can also generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) -- highly reactive molecules that damage cells as they try to form bonds with other molecules. In humans, reactive oxygen species are linked to aging and also to diseases such as cancers. […]

  • Gene-editing tool CRISPR repurposed to develop better antibiotics
    on January 12, 2019 at 12:25 am

    Scientists have repurposed the gene-editing tool CRISPR to study which genes are targeted by particular antibiotics, providing clues on how to improve existing antibiotics or develop new ones. […]

  • Technique identifies electricity-producing bacteria
    on January 11, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    Engineers have developed a microfluidic technique that can quickly process small samples of bacteria and gauge a specific property that's highly correlated with bacteria's ability to produce electricity. They say that this property, known as polarizability, can be used to assess a bacteria's electrochemical activity in a safer, more efficient manner compared to current techniques. […]

  • Bacteria help discover human cancer-causing proteins
    on January 10, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    Researchers applied an unconventional approach that used bacteria to discover human proteins that can lead to DNA damage and promote cancer. […]

  • Viral production is not essential for deaths caused by food-borne pathogen
    on January 10, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    The replication of a bacterial virus is not necessary to cause lethal disease in mice infected with a food-borne pathogen called Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), according to a new study. The surprising findings could lead to the development of novel strategies for the treatment of EHEC and life-threatening kidney-related complications in children. […]

  • Giving Cas9 an 'on' switch for better control of CRISPR gene editing
    on January 10, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    Scientists have created an 'on' switch for CRISPR-Cas9 that allows it to be turned on in select cells only, specifically those that have a particular protein-cutting enzyme, or protease. Viruses produce such proteases, as do cancer cells, so the Cas9 variants -- called ProCas9 -- could be used as sensors for viral infections or cancer. The variants were discovered by circular permutations on wild-type Cas9 designed to produce a stripped-down Cas9 tuned to human cells. […]

  • New strategy may curtail spread of antibiotic resistance
    on January 10, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    In studying a bacterium that causes disease in hospitalized people, researchers have figured out a key step in the transmission of antibiotic resistance from one bacterium to another. Their insight suggests a new strategy for stopping the spread of antibiotic resistance. […]

  • Space microbes aren't so alien after all
    on January 8, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    A new study has found that -- despite its seemingly harsh conditions -- the ISS is not causing bacteria to mutate into dangerous, antibiotic-resistant superbugs. The bacteria are instead simply responding, and perhaps evolving, to survive in a stressful environment. […]

  • Bacterial immunity and infectious disease
    on January 8, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    Patients with cystic fibrosis are often infected by pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium that infects the lungs and prevents breathing, often causing death. P. aeruginosa itself can also be infected by viruses, which can affect the clinical outcomes of cystic fibrosis patients. Researchers have now used P. aeruginosa as a kind of 'model system' for understanding how bacteria's interactions with viruses may affect human health. […]

  • New anti-Wolbachia drug with potential to treat onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis
    on January 8, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    Researchers have successfully optimized a hit from a whole cell screening of a 10000-compound library to deliver the first novel fully synthetic and rationally designed anti-Wolbachia drug, AWZ1066S, which could potentially be used to treat onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis (LF). […]

  • Antibiotic resistance in the environment linked to fecal pollution
    on January 8, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    A study shows that 'crAssphage', a virus specific to bacteria in human feces, is highly correlated to the abundance of antibiotic resistance genes in environmental samples. […]

  • A little squid sheds light on evolution with bacteria
    on January 7, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    Researchers have sequenced the genome of a little squid to identify unique evolutionary footprints in symbiotic organs, yielding clues about how organs that house bacteria are especially suited for this partnership. […]

  • Yeast makes ethanol to prevent metabolic overload
    on January 7, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    Why do some yeast cells produce ethanol? Scientists have wondered about this apparent waste of resources for decades. Now scientists think they have a solution: yeast cells produce ethanol as a 'safety valve,' to prevent overload when their metabolic operation reaches a critical level. The implications of this new theory could be far-reaching, as it also explains why cancer cells waste energy by producing lactate. […]