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Yellow Light Grows the Best Algae for Biofuels

Aaron Wheeler is the director of an interdisciplinary research group at the University of Toronto in Canada. The group develop lab-on-a-chip techniques for applications in biology, chemistry and medicine.

You recently reported an exciting technique that can screen algae grown under different ... Read More

Untapped Plant Microbiome Could Help Feed Billions

The Human Microbiome Project revealed tens of trillions of microbes residing in and on humans. Now scientists are taking a census of plant microbes—and not just the hundreds of billions found in soils. Distinct microbial communities live inside roots, on leaves and within flowers, and all in all... Read More

FDA Gives Nod to New Leukemia Treatment‎

The FDA has approved a new compound for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients who are allergic to asparaginase derived from Escherichia coli.

The agency gave the okay to asparaginase Erwinia chrysanthemi (Erwinaze) as a replacement for E. coli-derived asparaginase or pe... Read More

Antibiotics with a side of steak

We’re in a sad and weird place in biomedical science. In the 1940’s we got penicillin, in the following 30 years another 13 different classes of antibiotic were introduced. Since 1970 the number of new classes has dropped to a worrying 2. Since then we have found new ways to arrange the deckcha... Read More

Bacteria swarms could inspire new generation of smart robots

Tel Aviv University researchers have developed a computational model that explains how bacteria move in a swarm, which can be applied to man-made technologies, including computers, artificial intelligence, and robotics.

Ph.D. student Adi Shklarsh of TAU has discovered how bacteria collectivel... Read More

TWiP 73 letters

Robin writes:


Liquids


Liquids are capable of forming a gas-liquid interface: maintenance of the surface requires adequate pressure in the gas. Adequate in this instance means a gas pressure greater than the vaporisation pressure in the liquid. The gas pressure... Read More

Genome Sequence Sheds New Light On How Plants Evolved Nitrogen-Fixing Symbioses

The genome of Medicago, a close relative of alfalfa and a long-established model for the study of legume biology, has been sequenced by an international team of scientists, capturing around 94 per cent of its genes.

The research gives new insights into the evolution of the Papilionoid subfami... Read More

Bacteria with bodies – multicellular prokaryotes

Bacterial cells are fundamentally different to the cells of multicellular animals such as humans. They are far smaller, with less internal organisation and no nucleus (they have DNA but it is not packaged safely within a membrane). Because of this bacteria are almost exclusively single-celled or... Read More

Targeting Bacterial Gas Defenses Allow for Increased Efficacy of Numerous Antibiotics

Although scientists have known for centuries that many bacteria produce hydrogen sulfide (H2S) it was thought to be simply a toxic by-product of cellular activity. Now, researchers at NYU School of Medicine have discovered H2S in fact plays a major role in protecting bacteria from the effects of... Read More

Serum IgA Responses against Pertussis Proteins in Infected and Dutch wP or aP Vaccinated Children: An Additional Role in Pertussis Diagnostics

Whooping cough is a respiratory disease caused by Bordetella pertussis, which induces mucosal IgA antibodies that appear to be relevant in protection. Serum IgA responses are measured after pertussis infection and might provide an additional role in pertussis diagnostics. However, the possible i... Read More

A Public Policy Expert Looks at the Bird Flu Threat

Responding to experiments in the Netherlands and the United States in which scientists created a highly transmissible form of the potentially deadly H5N1 bird flu virus, the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity urged scientific journals not to publish details of the work out of fear t... Read More

Project Seeks Your Tiny Squatters

Think of the weirdest creatures you’ve even seen in a sci-fi film. Now think of this: there are far stranger, albeit smaller, critters living in your own home. And Rob Dunn at North Carolina State University wants you to go on safari to find them.

Research has been done on the diversity of b... Read More

Refuse vaccines and risk dismissal by doctor

It's not unusual for a patient to change doctors. Doctors retire, families move, insurance changes.

And sometimes, patients get fired.

"Discharging parents from a practice is never easy," says Thomas Tryon, a pediatrician at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Mo. "I nev... Read More

First-Of-Its-Kind 'Drug Resistance Index' For Superbugs Reveals Worrying Pattern Of Antibiotic Use In The Southeastern United States

New research suggests a pattern of outpatient antibiotic overuse in parts of the United States - particularly in the Southeast - a problem that could accelerate the rate at which these powerful drugs are rendered useless, according to Extending the Cure, a project of the Center for Disease Dynam... Read More

Blinding Bacteria to Nutrient Deficiency Boosts Sensitivity to Antibiotics

Preventing pathogenic bacteria from sensing nutrient starvation may present a new therapeutic approach to increasing antibiotic efficacy and preventing drug resistance, researchers claim. A team led by McGill University investigators has found that blocking an active mechanism used by bacteria t... Read More

Sterilizing With Ionized Plasmas Kills Microbes For A Week

University of California, Berkeley, scientists have shown that ionized plasmas like those in neon lights and plasma TVs not only can sterilize water, but make it antimicrobial - able to kill bacteria - for as long as a week after treatment.

Devices able to produce such plasmas are cheap, whi... Read More

Small Things Considered: Virus Hacks Intercellular Communications Network

What do monocytes, lymphocytes, and neutrophils all have in common? Well, yes, they are all leucocytes and part of our immune system, but what else? They all can be prompted to migrate to the site of infection by a specific class of cytokines known as chemotactic cytokines, or chemokines for sho... Read More

Preserving lifesaving antibiotics today and for the future (press release)

Infectious disease experts support 'Get Smart About Antibiotics Week,' Nov. 14-20

With antibiotic-resistant infections increasingly common, and a dangerous lack of new infection fighters in the drug development pipeline, it's more important than ever to use existing antibiotics appropriately.... Read More

The first hairy microbes

Anyone who has taken high school biology has likely come into contact with a ciliate. The much-studied paramecium is one of 7,000 species of ciliates, a vast group of microorganisms that share a common morphology: single-celled blobs covered in tiny hairs, or cilia. These cilia — Greek for “eyel... Read More

New Clues for Improving Antibiotics for Tolerant Bacteria

The superbug MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) has provoked fear in doctors and patients alike because it is endowed with genetic characteristics that make it impervious to many antibiotics, and it can be deadly to boot. Less well known, however, is another class of bacteria tha... Read More

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