I can tell you the exact date that I began to think of myself in the first-person plural — as a superorganism, that is, rather than a plain old individual human being. It happened on March 7. That’s when I opened my e-mail to find a huge, processor-choking file of charts and raw data from a labo... Read More
Michael Pollan, food author, activist and journalism professor, wrote this week’s cover story about the organisms with which we share our bodies — and how we’re dependent on them. His book “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation” came out last month. His last article for the magazine was ab... Read More
Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas inside. What effect does this process have on the microorganisms that naturally exist in the water in this process?
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A cocktail of non-pathogenic bacteria naturally occurring in the digestive tract of healthy humans can protect against a potentially lethal E. coli infection in animal models according to research presented today at the 113th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. The researc... Read More
Plants associated bacteria play a key role in host productivity and health. These bacteria are phylogenetically diverse and form interactions considered neutral, beneficial or detrimental. A better understanding of these interactions will have a direct impact in agriculture by promoting sustaina... Read More
Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States. Each year, it causes about 21 million illnesses and contributes to about 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths. Norovirus is also the most common cause of foodborne-disease outbreaks in the United States. Research... Read More
Food microbiology laboratories continue to submit false negative results and false positive results on a routine basis. A retrospective study of nearly 40,000 proficiency test results over the past 14 years, presented today at the 113th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, ... Read More
Scientists at the University of California, Davis have engineered a strain of photosynthetic cyanobacteria to grow without the need for light. They report their findings today at the 113th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.
“In this work, we used synthetic biology appr... Read More
Researchers have engineered a strain of electricity-producing bacteria that can grow using hydrogen gas as its sole electron donor and carbon dioxide as its sole source of carbon. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst report their findings at the 113th General Meeting of the A... Read More
Microbial ecology may be a young field but it is well understood already that there is a broad spectrum of interactions between bacterial species, ranging from cooperative to competitive. In a recent paper researchers from John Mekalanos’ lab further characterized a recently discovered mechanism... Read More
Could the bacterial populations in your intestines predict the onset of colon cancer? Participants will discuss new research in mouse models that suggests a major shift in microbial population dynamic prior to the onset of tumors as well as the general promise microbiome research holds for the ... Read More
Trypanosome Lytic Factor (TLF) has emerged as a novel arm of innate immunity that is only present in humans and select non-human primates. TLF was originally discovered in human blood as a minor form of High-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as a good cholesterol, that rapidly kills the Afri... Read More
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are part of the innate immune system that is widely distributed in nature, acting as a defense mechanism against invading microorganisms. AMPs have potent antimicrobial activity against a range of microorganisms including fungi, bacteria and viruses. In view of grow... Read More