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BacterioFiles Micro Edition 4 - Splicing Spider Silk Sequences

This episode: Making spider silk with bacteria!


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How blocking the 'Programmed Death 1' protein may treat or prevent sepsis and severe infection

Scientists have made an important discovery that could lead to new drugs that reduce the severity of blood infections leading to sepsis. Research presented in the August 2010 issue of Journal of Leukocyte Biology (http://www.jleukbio.org) shows how interfering with the function of the cell membr... Read More

Doctors not strongly encouraging HPV vaccine to girls of certain age

The vast majority of pediatricians and family physicians nationally are offering the human papillomavirus (also called HPV) vaccine, though fewer physicians are strongly encouraging it for 11- to 12-year-old girls as recommended by national guidelines, according to a survey in the September issu... Read More

HIV Components Drive Bone Breakdown, Even without Active Infection

Although individuals who are HIV positive can now expect to live longer because of the availability of anti-retroviral drugs, this advance brings on new health challenges. It is estimated that the majority of the HIV-infected population of the United States will be older than 50 by 2015.

The ... Read More

Flour Investigated as E. coli Source

If you test enough flour you can find some contaminated by the potentially deadly pathogen--E. coli O157:H7--but testing probably is not going to do much when it comes to making flour safe to eat.

So concluded three speakers--Cargill's Joe Shebuski, Nestlé's Tim Jackson, and ConAgra's Ben War... Read More

Blue mozzarella bacteria not harmful to humans, said Germany

The bacteria strain responsible for turning thousands mozzarella cheese blue blue earlier this summer does not pose a human health hazard, said German authorities.

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) said the risk from the family of Pseudomonad bacteria that spoiled up to ... Read More

Making Spider-Strength Materials

Researchers have been trying to make artificial spider silk--a lightweight, tougher-than-steel material that could have countless industrial applications--for decades. In an important step toward that goal, researchers at Tufts University have created genetically engineered microbes that produce... Read More

High-fiber, low-fat diets cultivate healthier intestinal microbes, study suggests

African children who eat a high-fiber diet (and the occasional wood-digesting insect) have gut bacteria that help them digest plant fibers and protect them from diarrhea and inflammatory disease, a new study finds. The research may lead to new probiotics that improve the digestive health of West... Read More

Cells survive lasers and nanoblasts in new drug delivery method

Using chemical "nanoblasts" that punch tiny holes in the protective membranes of cells, researchers have demonstrated a new technique for getting therapeutic small molecules, proteins and DNA directly into living cells.

Carbon nanoparticles activated by bursts of laser light trigger the tiny ... Read More

Basidiobolus haptosporus

Basidiobolus haptosporus. Hypha in subcutaneous phycomycosis granuloma. Read More

An Inactive Mine Provides Active Opportunities

Elio Schaechter of Small Things Considered describes the work by members of Jill Banfield’s lab at Berkeley on a unique set of mine-dwelling microorganisms dubbed ARMAN (for Archaeal Richmond Mine Acidophilic Nanoorganisms). These microbes illustrate many surprising characteristics such as "thei... Read More

DuPont and USDA partner on new tests for E.coli

DuPont and USDA will be developing a test for the detection of "Big 6" non-O157 shiga toxin-producing E. coli pathogens in food, which in recent years have been identified as agents of food-borne illnesses. The O157:H7 STEC strain of E. coli is already associated with global food contamination o... Read More

Oil Spill Causes Record Gulf Dead Zone

Scientists say this year that the "dead zone" area that forms every summer in the Gulf of Mexico is one of the largest ever measured.

The large area of low oxygen that chokes marine life comes in addition to the massive BP oil spill.

Microbes that eat the oil can deplete oxygen in the wate... Read More

Mud from deepest place on Earth could hold key to cures

In a bid to search for new drug discoveries, researchers are using one of the world’s most advanced microscopic scanners to study bacteria taken from mud samples recovered from the deepest place on Earth – the Mariana Trench.

The findings could pave the way for the creation of life-saving dru... Read More

Tropical Fish and Bacterial Mat

At East Diamante volcano (195 m, 640 ft depth), tropical fish swim above boulders covered with bacterial mat, which indicates the presence of hydrothermal venting. These fish live in the reef community above and are about 15 cm long (6 in). Read More

From Microbes to Crude

Accompanying the previous NYT article 'Tracing Oil Reserves to their Tiny Origins" is this graphic which depicts the oil formation process. Read More

Tracing Oil Reserves to Their Tiny Origins

In 1913, as the automobile zoomed into American life, The Outing Magazine gave its readers a bit of background on what fueled the new motorcars in “The Story of Gasoline.” After a brief vignette describing the death of “old Colonel Stegosaurus Ugulatus,” the article explained that “yesterday you... Read More

Robert M. Chanock, MD, 1924-2010

Chanock received his MD in 1947 from the University of Chicago, and after clinical training in pediatrics (note the bowtie), joined Albert Sabin at the University of Cincinnati where he studied arthropod-borne viruses. After a stint in the US Army, he rejoined Sabin’s laboratory in 1954 as an in... Read More

Millions of Microorganisms Reach Spain from the Sahara Desert and the Sahel Region -- By Flying

Every day, millions of microorganisms reach Spain from the Sahara Desert and the Sahel region -- by flying. Louis Pasteur demonstrated back in 1861 that germs can move through the air, but it was only recently discovered that bacteria, fungi and viruses can travel thousands of kilometers stuck o... Read More

Blastomyces dermatitidis

Blastomyces dermatitidis. Yeast stage from 2-day culture on blood agar at 37 . Note double refractile cell wall Read More
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