In a new study, iron-oxidizing microbes give fresh meaning to the phrase "living off the grid," and provide fresh hope as a potential biofuel.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, have coaxed a species of bacteria into trading their usual diet of partially-oxidized iron for a... Read More
Not long ago, Elio said in this blog that predation, a major force in evolution, is somewhat neglected in microbiological circles. The full implications of predation are just beginning to be uncovered as more becomes known about the ecology, physiology, and genomics of predators against microbes... Read More
Multiple RNA sequences can code for the same amino acid, but differences in their respective "optimality" slow or accelerate protein translation. Stanford biologists find optimal and non-optimal codons are consistently associated with specific protein structures, suggesting that they influence t... Read More
Imagining tiny creatures infiltrating human brains is creepy enough. But Marion Vittecoq knows she has been invaded. Her inner companions may be just hanging out — or they may be subtly changing her personality, manipulating her behavior or altering her risk of disease. Yet she doesn’t sound par... Read More
El podcast del microbio Nº 378 summarize an article published in Nature communications by Ribeiro-Viana R et al. on the use of Virus-like glycodendrinanoparticles to block viral infection. El podcast del microbio Nº 3... Read More
Both Nature and the New York Times have weighed in on the resumption of influenza H5N1 research. In an editorial from 23 January 2013, Nature opines that “Experiments that make deadly pathogens more dangerous demand the utmost scrutiny”. They call for a quantitative risk-benefit analysis of H5N1... Read More
OHSU researchers, in partnership with scientists from several other institutions, have published two new research papers that signal how the next class of powerful medications may currently reside at the bottom of the ocean. In both cases, the researchers were focused on ocean-based mollusks -- ... Read More
Scientists have found a new protein that protects against viral infections, including influenza. They have been investigating the “defensive devices” contained within the T-cells that are located on exposed body surfaces such as skin and mucosal surfaces to ward off infection.
T-cells detect ... Read More
Each year, hundreds of millions of metric tons of dust, water, and humanmade pollutants make their way into the atmosphere, often traveling between continents on jet streams. Now a new study confirms that some microbes make the trip with them, seeding the skies with billions of bacteria and othe... Read More
Researchers seeking to improve production of ethanol from woody crops have a new resource in the form of an extensive molecular map of poplar tree proteins, published by a team from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Populus, a fast-growing perennial tree, holds potenti... Read More
Iron oxidizing bacteria aren’t exactly rare, but they’re hard to study in the lab because of the copious amounts of oxidized iron (Fe(III)) they produce. In mBio this week, a group at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities describes a new method for growing iron-oxidizing bacteria using a ste... Read More
In their search for habitable worlds, astronomers have started to consider exomoons, or those likely orbiting planets outside the solar system. In a new study, a pair of researchers has found that exomoons are just as likely to support life as exoplanets.
The research, conducted by René Helle... Read More
A federal advisory committee yesterday recommended increased biosafety precautions for research involving H5N1 avian influenza viruses that can spread among mammals, a step that stems from the ongoing controversy over studies involving lab-modified H5N1 strains that show increased transmissibili... Read More
Forget chicken soup or hot tea. There is a new batch of home flu remedies — and they don’t skimp on the alcohol.
When Jeni Britton Bauer, owner of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in Columbus, Ohio, was young, getting a cold or the flu meant her mother and grandmother would mix up a cocktail of the... Read More
Although the flu appears to be leveling off in the East, South and Midwest, numbers are still rising in the Southwest and Northwest, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
The flu is widespread now in Washington state, said Donn Moyer of the Washington State Department of He... Read More
This episode: Figuring out which bacteria help fecal transplants work so well against C. difficile!
Vanderbilt biochemists have discovered that the process bacteria undergo when they become drug resistant can act as a powerful tool for drug discovery.
Their findings -- reported this week in the Online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences -- should give a majo... Read More
If we are to believe a half-century of daytime TV commercials, housekeeping is war — a perpetual battle against the sneaky soldiers of nature. For decades, we’ve armed ourselves with cleaning products to slay bacteria, scrape away fungus and torture mites. As our household organisms move up the ... Read More