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  • Phages work together to suppress CRISPR bacterial immunity
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    CRISPR are an essential part of bacterial immunity designed to defend against foreign DNA. In bacteria, CRISPR acts just like it does in human cells as a pair of scissors, in their case with the goal of cutting strands of infecting DNA. While researchers have known that CRISPR is found in roughly half of all bacteria in the wild, they did not know much about the molecular battle between CRISPRs and invading viruses or phages. […]

  • Evidence of Salmonella Paratyphi C found for the first time in medieval northern Europe
    on July 19, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    Genome research suggests that enteric fever, a potentially lethal disease more commonly found in hot countries, was present in medieval Europe. Salmonella Paratyphi C causes enteric fever, a life-threatening infection, and has been detected in a 800 year old human skeleton discovered in Trondheim, Norway. […]

  • Overuse of antibiotics not what the doctor ordered
    on July 19, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    With increased use of antibiotics worldwide linked to growing antibiotic resistance, a new study has highlighted the growing impact of non-prescription supply of antibiotics in community pharmacies, and the urgent need for better enforcement of laws. South America has the highest incidence of non-prescription supply of antibiotics in community pharmacies. […]

  • Glowing bacteria on deep-sea fish shed light on evolution, 'third type' of symbiosis
    on July 18, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    For the first time, scientists have sequenced and analyzed the genomes of bacteria that live in anglerfish bulbs. The bacteria were taken from fish specimens collected in the Gulf of Mexico. […]

  • Bacterial armor could be a new target for antibiotics
    on July 18, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    Boosting efforts to fight antibiotic resistance, researchers have found that a thin membrane, thought to be just a shrink wrap around some bacterial cell walls, has structural properties critical for survival. Drugs that destroy the membrane could be a new approach to treating infection. […]

  • Allergies: Mugwort pollen as main source of airborne endotoxins
    on July 18, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    Different airborne substances can cause respiratory problems for asthma sufferers. These include bacteria and their components, which can trigger inflammations. How they become airborne has not been fully explained up to now. A team has now shown that pollen from the mugwort plant is the main vector for bacteria and that this combination renders the pollen more aggressive. This is not the case in certain Alpine regions. […]

  • Lateral gene transfer enables chemical protection of beetles against antagonistic fungi
    on July 18, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    Researchers have discovered that bacteria associated to Lagria villosa beetles can produce an antifungal substance very similar to one found in tunicates living in the marine environment. The researchers revealed that this commonality is likely explained by the transfer of genes between unrelated microorganisms. […]

  • Beef jerky and other processed meats associated with manic episodes
    on July 18, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    An analysis of more than 1,000 people with and without psychiatric disorders has shown that nitrates -- chemicals used to cure meats such as beef jerky, salami, hot dogs and other processed meat snacks -- may contribute to mania, an abnormal mood state. Mania is characterized by hyperactivity, euphoria and insomnia. […]

  • A single genetic change in gut bacteria alters host metabolism
    on July 17, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    Scientists have found that deleting a single gene in a particular strain of gut bacteria causes changes in metabolism and reduced weight gain in mice. […]

  • Nitric oxide tells roundworms to avoid bad bacteria
    on July 17, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    Nitric oxide gas produced by a type of harmful bacteria lets roundworms know to stay away from it, says a new study. […]

  • Impact of temperature on mitochondrial DNA evolution
    on July 17, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    A new study provides evidence towards selection in mtDNA due to variations in temperature. […]

  • The depths of the ocean and gut flora unravel the mystery of microbial genes
    on July 17, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Surprisingly, the functions of a huge number of microbial genes are still unknown. This knowledge gap can be thought of as ''genomic dark matter'' in microbes, and neither computational biology nor current lab techniques have been able address this gap. This challenge has now been tackled through an international collaboration between the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) and two other interdisciplinary research centres, namely the IJS in Ljubljana (Slovenia) and RBI in Zagreb (Croatia). […]

  • Crowdsourcing friendly bacteria helps superbug cause infection
    on July 16, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    Antimicrobial resistant pathogens crowdsource friendly bacteria to survive in immune cells and cause disease, a new study has revealed. […]

  • Bacteria engineered to create fertilizer out of thin air
    on July 16, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    Researchers have created a bacteria that uses photosynthesis to create oxygen during the day, and at night, uses nitrogen to create chlorophyll for photosynthesis. This development could lead to plants that do the same, eliminating the use of some -- or possibly all -- human-made fertilizer, which has a high environmental cost. […]

  • Whole genome sequencing reveals cluster of resistant bacteria in returning travelers
    on July 12, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    Thirteen patients with OXA-48-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae ST392 have been reported by Sweden and Norway between January and April 2018 -- all returning travelers with prior hospital admission in Gran Canaria. Whole genome sequencing showed tight clustering between the bacterial isolates from the cases. […]

  • Who got bit? By mailing in 16,000 ticks, citizen scientists help track disease exposures
    on July 12, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    A bite from a disease-carrying tick can transmit a serious, potentially fatal infection, such as Lyme disease. But many ticks go unnoticed and unreported. Now, with the help of citizen scientists, ecologists are offering better insight into people's and animals' potential exposure to tick-borne diseases -- not just the disease reporting and prevalence that's only tracked when people get sick. […]

  • Light receptors determine the behavior of flashlight fish
    on July 12, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Biologists have characterized new, unknown photoreceptors from the bioluminescent flashlight fish Anomalops katoptron. The photoreceptors known as opsins allow the fish to detect light with a specific wavelength. Scientists found new opsin variants, which are specialized to detect low intensity blue light in the wavelength range of bioluminescent light emitted by the fish. The blue light can be used to influence the fish behavior. […]

  • Healthier hearts equal healthier guts
    on July 11, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    Heart health and gut health may be linked. A new study finds that people with better cardiovascular fitness have more of a certain type of bacteria in their gut. […]

  • Fern's sequenced genome holds environmental promise
    on July 11, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    A tiny fern -- with each leaf the size of a gnat -- may provide global impact for sinking atmospheric carbon dioxide, fixing nitrogen in agriculture and shooing pesky insects from crops. The fern's full genome has now been sequenced. […]

  • Gastrointestinal flora: the culprit for severe lung damage after blood transfusion
    on July 11, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    Knowledge that the gastrointestinal flora affects both healthy physiological processes and various disease mechanisms has increased in recent years. A new study reveals a previously unknown link between the bacteria in the gut and acute lung injury after blood transfusions. […]

  • Enzyme discovery could help in fight against TB
    on July 11, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    Research has revealed new findings about an enzyme found in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the bacterium that causes TB. […]

  • New approach to treating infectious diseases as an alternative to antibiotics
    on July 11, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    Researchers have clarified how pathogenic E. coli bacteria attached to the host intestinal epithelium. They revealed that type IV pili on the surface of the bacteria were not sufficient for adherence to intestinal epithelial cells and that proteins secreted by E.coli were also necessary. It was found that this attachment mechanism might be a common feature in many enteropathogens such as Vibrio cholera and constitutes a novel therapeutic target against such bacterial pathogens. […]

  • How Mycobacterium tuberculosis escapes death in macrophages
    on July 10, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    The bacteria that cause the devastating disease tuberculosis have the ability to escape destruction and grow after they are engulfed by lung macrophages, the immune cells that are supposed to destroy pathogens. Now researchers have described key biochemical steps between the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the macrophage responsible for that ability. […]

  • Stop antibiotics before resistance 'tipping point'
    on July 10, 2018 at 11:19 am

    Treatments using antibiotics should stop as soon as possible to prevent patients passing the 'tipping point' of becoming resistant to their effects, new research has shown. […]

  • Transmission of NDM bacteria between dogs and humans established
    on July 9, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    In 2015, a New Delhi-metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM) Escherichia coli bacteria was discovered in two Finnish dogs. A new article reveals that the dogs' owner did also carry the bacterium. This is presumably the first time in the world that the transmission of NDM-bacteria between a dog and a human has been reported. […]

  • Releasing our inner jellyfish in the fight against infection
    on July 9, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    How mucus genes dating back to our time as a jellyfish could be key in our quest for new antibiotics. […]

  • Meningococcal infection: Bacterial aggregates form thick honey-like liquid that flows through...
    on July 9, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    Medical researchers and physicists have unraveled a key stage in infection by Neisseria meningitidis, a human pathogen responsible for meningitis in infants and young adults. Bacterial aggregates in blood vessels appear to facilitate the progression of the disease. Even if treatment is administered rapidly, the mortality rate due to meningococcal infections remains very high. […]

  • Natural lipid acts as potent anti-inflammatory
    on July 6, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    Researchers have identified a naturally occurring lipid -- a waxy, fatty acid -- used by a disease-causing bacterium to impair the host immune response and increase the chance of infection. Inadvertently, they also may have found a potent inflammation therapy against bacterial and viral diseases. […]

  • Biomarker discovered for pathogen that can blind or kill healthy young people
    on July 6, 2018 at 8:06 pm

    Researchers have have discovered several biomarkers that can accurately identify hypervirulent K. pneumoniae, a pathogen that infects completely healthy people and can cause blindness in one day and flesh-eating infections, brain abscesses and death in just a few days. […]

  • Potential shortcoming of antibiotic lab tests
    on July 6, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    To determine which antibiotics reliably treat which bacterial infections, diagnostic laboratories that focus on clinical microbiology test pathogens isolated from patients. However, a recent study reveals that one aspect of these tests may fall short and not be stringent enough. […]