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.

  • Yeast species used in food industry can cause disease in humans, study finds
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    A major cause of drug-resistant clinical yeast infections is the same species previously regarded as non-pathogenic and commonly used in the biotechnology and food industries. […]

  • Chemists characterize the fatal fungus among us
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Life-threatening fungal infections affect more than two million people worldwide. Effective antifungal medications are limited. A major challenge is that the fungal cell wall is poorly understood, which has impeded drug development. However, chemist have identified for the first time the cell wall structure of one of the most prevalent and deadly fungi, which could usher in a new era of antifungal drug development to help save lives. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Feeding plants to this algae could fuel your car
    on July 18, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    The research shows that a freshwater production strain of microalgae, Auxenochlorella protothecoides, is capable of directly degrading and utilizing non-food plant substrates, such as switchgrass, for improved cell growth and lipid productivity, useful for boosting the algae's potential value as a biofuel. […]

  • 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. […]

  • 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). […]

  • Thawing permafrost microbiomes fuel climate change
    on July 16, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    A new study could lead to more accurate predictions or the rate of global warming from greenhouse gas emissions produced by thawing permafrost in the next 100 years. The study of the microorganisms involved in permafrost carbon degradation links changing microbial communities and biogeochemistry to the rise of greenhouse gas emissions. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Getting to know the microbes that drive climate change
    on July 16, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    A new understanding of the microbes and viruses in the thawing permafrost in Sweden may help scientists better predict the pace of climate change. […]

  • Natural product that could lead to new class of commercial herbicide
    on July 14, 2018 at 2:01 am

    A team of engineers and scientists discovered a new and potentially highly effective type of weed killer. This finding could lead to the first new class of commercial herbicides in more than 30 years, an important outcome as weeds continue to develop resistance to current herbicide regimens. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Gammaherpesviruses linked to tumors in macaques with simian immunodeficiency virus
    on July 12, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    Viruses known as gammaherpesviruses may raise the risk of cancer in macaques infected with Simian Immunodeficiency Virus or Simian Human Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV/SHIV), according to new research. […]

  • Scientists ID protein exploited by virus ravaging West Africa
    on July 12, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    New research has uncovered a protein enabling the replication of arenaviruses, pathogens now widespread in West Africa that are carried by rodents and can infect humans with lethal fevers. The research identified DDX3 as a key factor promoting arenavirus multiplication through its unexpected ability to promote viral RNA synthesis and dismantle normal human immune system defenses. The study may pave the way to new therapeutic treatments for arenaviruses and hemorrhagic fever. […]

  • Herpes linked to Alzheimer's: Antivirals may help
    on July 12, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    A new commentary on a study by epidemiologists supports the viability of a potential way to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease. When the authors looked at subjects who suffered severe herpes infection and who were treated aggressively with antiviral drugs, the relative risk of dementia was reduced by a factor of 10. […]

  • 3-D structure of 1918 influenza virus-like particles created
    on July 11, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    Virus-like particles (VLPs) are protein-based structures that mimic viruses and bind to antibodies. Because VLPs aren't infectious, they show promise as vaccine platforms for many viral diseases, including influenza. Since details about influenza VLPs are scant, a team of researchers developed a 3-D model based on the 1918 H1 pandemic influenza virus. […]

  • 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. […]

  • How HIV is shielded from immune attack
    on July 10, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    Scientists have discovered that the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) hijacks a small molecule from the host cell to protect itself from being destroyed by the host's immune system. […]