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Gene protects beer crop from nasty fungus

Finding the gene that gives barley resistance to leaf rust could benefit people who rely on the crop for food and beer.

Researchers have discovered that the gene Rph20 provides resistance to leaf rust in some barley variety adult plants.

“Leaf rust is a fungal disease that could destroy al... Read More

Genetic Code Shows Bird Flu In China Spread Between People

When a new strain of bird flu cropped up in China last winter, the billion-dollar question was whether the deadly virus could transmit between people.

Now, Chinese scientists offer the first clear evidence that the bird flu is indeed contagious, although only slightly.

A father, who became... Read More

Best Way to Kill Lab Animals Sought

Researchers are gathering this week to debate the most humane methods of dispatching lab animals, which are primarily rodents. Killing research animals is one of the most unpleasant tasks in science, and it is imperative to do it as humanely as possible. But researchers who study animal welfare... Read More

The grim trail of bacteria left by flies in hot weather is revealed

The current hot spell of weather has seen increased activities by flies whether in the kitchen or across picnic food and barbecues.

It may make grim reading but every fly leaves a calling card in the form of bacterial deposits.

These deposits come not only from their legs, but also from th... Read More

From harmless colonizers to virulent pathogens: UB microbiologists identify what triggers disease

The bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae harmlessly colonizes the mucous linings of throats and noses in most people, only becoming virulent when they leave those comfortable surroundings and enter the middle ears, lungs or bloodstream. Now, in research published in July in mBio, University at Buff... Read More

Amoeba farms bacteria for food and weapons

There are new details about how the world’s smallest farmer picks up edible bacteria and then harvests them like crops.

The organism, a social amoeba called Dictyostelium discoideum, carries not one but two strains of bacteria. One strain is the “seed corn” for a crop of edible bacteria, and ... Read More

This Psychedelic Art Is Actually Bacteria

This swirling mass may look like some kind of LSD trip, but it's actually fractal artwork created using bacteria.

Produced by Eshel Ben-Jacob—a scientist-cum-artist at Tel Aviv University—the piece came about thanks to two strains of bacteria which grew together in interesting and weird ways.... Read More

Super sunscreen from fjord bacteria

Norwegian researchers have recently discovered a microorganism with very special properties – a bacteria living in Trondheim Fjord with the Latin name Micrococcus luteus. It possesses a trait which is rare and highly sought-after by medical science and the cosmetics industry – a pigment which ca... Read More

Hog Farms Battling to Contain Deadly Virus

The outside world is not allowed in a sanitized and isolated pig farm here, not far from the Iowa border.

Visitors must shower before entering, scrubbing from head to toe, trading their street clothes for disinfected coveralls that have never left the premises. Everything inside the temperatu... Read More

China halts import of New Zealand milk powder because of botulism bacteria

China has halted imports of some New Zealand milk powders after a company disclosed that three batches of an ingredient used in sports drinks and baby formula tested positive for a strain of bacteria that causes botulism.

The New Zealand-based Fonterra Group said Saturday that three batches o... Read More

From The Program of 1st Annual Meeting Society of American Bacteriologists, 1899

Wouldn’t you be tempted to attend such a session if it were part of a current-day ASM meeting? The first five papers ever delivered to a meeting of the Society of American Bacteriologist (now the ASM) are so utterly relevant to our concerns that they could be delivered now. No changes to the ti... Read More

Weathering the Storm…the Archaeal Way

Our understanding of microbial life is greatly biased by our narrow focus on microbes as they grow in the laboratory. Yet, as discussed previously in this blog, microbes can persist in various dormant forms for extended periods of time. Sporulation (from the Greek “spora” or seed) is perhaps the... Read More

TWiV 244: Back in the CVVR



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Read More

Gilbert, Tempe participate in national microbe-swabbing project

A recent national STEM related event hosted in Tempe last Saturday combined a few components that may appear mismatched at first glance, but are much more logical when given a steadier second look.

The event — held at the Arizona Cardinals' training facility on July 20 — featured members of t... Read More

New Microbe Strain Makes Diesel Fuel from Greenhouse Gas

A possible way to harvest and use atmospheric carbon dioxide to make high performance diesel fuel has been proposed by a team of scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) who have engineered a microbe now being used to produce biodegradable plastic in... Read More

Mechanism that allows bacteria to infect plants may inspire cure for eye disease

By borrowing a tool from bacteria that infect plants, scientists have developed a new approach to eliminate mutated DNA inside mitochondria—the energy factories within cells. Doctors might someday use the approach to treat a variety of mitochondrial diseases, including the degenerative eye disea... Read More

Drug works better if cancer can’t sleep

Keeping cancer cells from entering a state of cellular sleep makes cancer drugs more effective and lowers the chance of cancer recurrence, report researchers.

The findings, which will be published in the August 15 issue of the journal Cancer Research and are available online, are the first to... Read More

More Healthcare Workers Hit by MERS

Three new cases of infection with the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) -- including two more healthcare workers -- have been reported in Saudi Arabia.

The two healthcare workers, both women, have mild symptoms after exposure to patients who had laboratory-confirmed MERS... Read More

Bacteria Hold the Clues to Trade-Offs in Financial Investments and Evolution

Scientists have found that bacteria have the potential to teach valuable investment lessons.

The research, published in the journal Ecology Letters, takes advantage of the fact that bacteria, like humans, have limited resources and are constantly faced with investment decisions.

Bacteria t... Read More

Colonies of Growing Bacteria Make Psychedelic Art

In the early 1990s, Eshel Ben-Jacob, a biological physicist at Tel Aviv University, and his colleagues discovered two new species of bacteria—Paenibacillus dendritiformis and Paenibacillus vortex. Both strains of soil bacteria, the species live near the roots of plants.

Each bacterium is only... Read More

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