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

  • CRISPR/Cas9 used to control genetic inheritance in mice
    on January 23, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    Using active genetics technology, biologists have developed the world's first CRISPR/Cas9-based approach to control genetic inheritance in a mammal. The achievement in mice lays the groundwork for further advances based on this technology, including biomedical research on human disease. Future animal models may be possible of complex human genetic diseases, like arthritis and cancer, which are not currently possible. […]

  • In surprising reversal, scientists find a cellular process that stops cancer before it starts
    on January 23, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    Scientists studying the relationship of telomeres to cancer made a surprising discovery: a cellular recycling process called autophagy -- generally thought of as a survival mechanism -- actually promotes the death of cells, thereby preventing cancer initiation. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Urbanization changes shape of mosquitoes' wings
    on January 22, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    Research shows that rapid urbanization in São Paulo City, Brazil, is influencing wing morphology in the mosquitoes that transmit dengue and malaria. […]

  • How sex pheromones diversify: Lessons from yeast
    on January 22, 2019 at 7:28 pm

    What happens to sex pheromones as new species emerge? New research studies sex pheromones in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, revealing an 'asymmetric' pheromone recognition system in which one pheromone operates extremely stringently whereas the other pheromone is free to undergo a certain degree of diversification, perhaps leading to a first step towards speciation. […]

  • Effective strategies for safeguarding CRISPR gene-drive experiments
    on January 22, 2019 at 5:56 pm

    Researchers have demonstrated for the first time how two molecular strategies can safeguard CRISPR gene-drive experiments in the lab, according to a new study. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Scientists achieve the first stable simulations of DNA crystals
    on January 22, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    A new breakthrough enables the study of the role of each molecular component in the stability and conformation of DNA crystals. […]

  • Emerging significance of gammaherpesvirus and morbillivirus infections in cats
    on January 22, 2019 at 4:49 pm

    Emerging infectious diseases comprise a substantial fraction of important human infections, with potentially devastating global health and economic impacts. A 2008 paper in Nature described the emergence of no fewer than 335 infectious diseases in the global human population between 1940 and 2004. In the veterinary field, just as in the medical field, advanced molecular techniques and sophisticated computer-based algorithms for genetic sequence assembly and analysis have revolutionized infectious disease research. […]

  • For zombie microbes, deep-sea buffet is just out of reach
    on January 22, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    A new study is beginning to pick apart how bizarre zombie-like microbes survive by examining their source of 'food' -- nearby molecules of organic carbon. The study helps further our understanding of the limitations of life on Earth and could help inform how life might exist on other planets. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Leaf age determines the division of labor in plant stress responses
    on January 21, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    A new study shows that the crosstalk between plant responses to physical and biological stresses varies between young and old leaves to enable optimal plant performance when the two kinds of stress are encountered simultaneously. […]

  • 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. […]

  • New 'architecture' discovered in corn
    on January 21, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    New research on the United States' most economically important agricultural plant -- corn -- has revealed a different internal structure of the plant than previously thought, which can help optimize how corn is converted into ethanol. […]

  • How staying in shape is vital for reproductive success
    on January 21, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    Cells must keep their shape and proportions to successfully reproduce through cell division, scientists have found. The research reveals a fundamental biological basis for scaling, where cells maintain their proportions as they grow or shrink. This principle is seen throughout life, from single cells through to complex organisms, but its biological origins have remained a mystery. […]

  • 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. […]

  • Plant peptide helps roots to branch out in the right places
    on January 18, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    How do plants space out their roots? A research team has identified a peptide and its receptor that help lateral roots to grow with the right spacing. […]

  • Unraveling of 58-year-old corn gene mystery may have plant-breeding implications
    on January 18, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    In discovering a mutant gene that 'turns on' another gene responsible for the red pigments sometimes seen in corn, researchers solved an almost six-decades-old mystery with a finding that may have implications for plant breeding in the future. […]

  • Why do Hydra end up with just a single head?
    on January 18, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    Hydra is able to regenerate any part of its body to rebuild an entire individual. The head organizer performs two opposite activities, one activating, which causes the head to differentiate, and the other inhibiting, which prevents the formation of supernumerary heads. Researchers have discovered the identity of the inhibitor, called Sp5, and deciphered the dialogue between these two antagonistic activities, which helps maintain a single-headed adult body and organize an appropriate regenerative response. […]

  • Alternations in gut microbiota in pregnancy and lactation
    on January 17, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    Recent studies have shown that maternal gut microbiota in humans primes the offspring's immune and metabolic development during pregnancy and lactation. Due to environmental factors that are impractical to control in human studies, however, much remains unknown around changes in maternal gut microbiota during these stages. A new study utilized a pig model to enable exploration of maternal gut microbiota change due to pregnancy and lactation. […]

  • Artificially produced cells communicate with each other
    on January 17, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    Researchers have for the first time created artificial cell assemblies that can communicate with each other. The cells, separated by fatty membranes, exchange small chemical signaling molecules to trigger more complex reactions, such as the production of RNA and other proteins. […]

  • Gene therapy blocks peripheral nerve damage in mice
    on January 17, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    Scientists have developed a gene therapy that blocks axonal degeneration, preventing axon destruction in mice and suggesting a therapeutic strategy that could help prevent the loss of peripheral nerves in multiple conditions. […]

  • How to rapidly image entire brains at nanoscale resolution
    on January 17, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    A powerful new technique combines expansion microscopy with lattice light-sheet microscopy for nanoscale imaging of fly and mouse neuronal circuits and their molecular constituents that's roughly 1,000 times faster than other methods. […]

  • Scientists learn how common virus reactivates after transplantation
    on January 17, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    A new study challenges long-held theories of why a common virus -- cytomegalovirus, or CMV -- can reactivate and become a life-threatening infection in people with a compromised immune system, including blood cancer patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation. […]

  • How our cellular antennas are formed
    on January 17, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    Most of our cells contain an immobile primary cilium. The 'skeleton' of the cilium consists of microtubule doublets, which are 'pairs' of proteins essential for their formation and function. Scientists have developed an in vitro system capable of forming microtubule doublets, and have uncovered the mechanism and dynamics of their assembly. Their study reveals the crucial role of tubulin, a real building block, in preventing the uncontrolled formation of ciliary structures. […]

  • Individual lichens can have up to three fungi
    on January 17, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    Individual lichens may contain up to three different fungi, according to new research from an international team of researchers. This evidence provides new insight into another recent discovery that showed lichen are made up of more than a single fungus and alga, overturning the prevailing theory of more than 150 years. […]

  • Complex molecules emerge without evolution or design
    on January 17, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    In biology, folded proteins are responsible for most advanced functions. These complex proteins are the result of evolution or design by scientists. Now scientists have discovered a new class of complex folding molecules that emerge spontaneously from simple building blocks. […]

  • 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. […]