This episode: Fungi and such can transport pollutants in soil to bacteria for degradation!
This episode: Identifying the microbial communities of the lungs!
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Biologists at Georgia Tech have resurrected a 500-million-year-old gene from bacteria and inserted it into modern Escherichia coli (E.coli) bacteria. The researchers have observed the bacterium grow over more than 1,000 generations, allowing them to see "evolution in action".
In a process cal... Read More
As someone who has been taking a daily regimen of probiotics for some time now, a recent study was of particular interest to me. Probiotics, for those of you who don’t already know, are live microorganisms that are found to benefit the microbiome in your stomach and intestinal tract. They are be... Read More
European researchers at Linköping University in Sweden are showing how bacteria control processes in human cells through a process called quorum sensing. This phenomenon is where bacteria talk to each other via molecules they themselves produce and is an important process during their proliferat... Read More
Simon Fraser University virologist Masahiro Niikura and his doctoral student Nicole Bance are among an international group of scientists that has discovered a new class of molecular compounds capable of killing the influenza virus.
Working on the premise that too much of a good thing can be ... Read More
Researchers at the University of Leeds have identified a crucial stage in the lifecycle of simple viruses like polio and the common cold that could open a new front in the war on viral disease.
The team are the first to observe at a single-molecule level how the genetic material (genome) that... Read More
This episode: Soil bacteria can help plants adapt to changing climate conditions!
A team led by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Public Health has found that the "superbug" methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is prevalent at several U.S. wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). MRSA is well known for causing difficult-to-treat and potentially fat... Read More
A chemical widely used in soaps, toothpaste, and toys weakens muscles in mice. Triclosan, an antibacterial chemical, hinders muscle contractions at a cellular level, slows swimming in fish, and reduces muscular strength in mice, according to researchers at the University of California, Davis, an... Read More
Scientists have discovered bacteria that eats toxic material and, well, poops pure gold. This microbial magician, named Cupriavidus metallidurans, when placed in a minilab full of gold chloride, a nasty toxin, gobbled up the poison and, in about a week, processed it out as 24-karat nuggets of th... Read More
I am glad you had a chance to get a glimpse of the BSL4 world. You might remember that I have been trying for 1 1/2 years to get you to see the Galveston National Laboratory, a facility with an actual ACTIVE program and a number of... Read More
We often think of the world around us as sterile and static, especially when we are in a hospital. In reality, every surface on earth is literally teeming with millions of bacteria.
Jack Gilbert, a microbiologist from the University of Chicago, has spent his career investigating these invisib... Read More
A new study of giant viruses supports the idea that viruses are ancient living organisms and not inanimate molecular remnants run amok, as some scientists have argued. The study may reshape the universal family tree, adding a fourth major branch to the three that most scientists agree represent ... Read More
I comment a bit, as an educator, about the loss of Carl Woese. Not only the importance of his discoveries, but how he went about his work, remains of great value. Read More
A mysterious condition called Inclusion Body Disease (IBD) strikes captive boa constrictors and pythons, causing bizarre behavioral changes and eventually death. Scientists investigating an outbreak of IBD among snakes at the Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco report they may well have found a ... Read More
There is a long history of anecdotal evidence to suggest that cranberries and other alternative therapies to long-term antibiotics can prevent recurrent urinary tract infections but are they really as effective as antibiotics or even a viable alternative for people who do not want to take antibi... Read More
Many species exhibit cooperative survival strategies — for example, sharing food or alerting other individuals when a predator is nearby. However, there are almost always freeloaders in the population who will take advantage of cooperators. This can be seen even among microbes such as yeast, whe... Read More