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Microbiology News
Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:40:41 EDT
Real-time tracking system developed to monitor dangerous bacteria inside body
Combining a PET scanner with a new chemical tracer that selectively tags specific types of bacteria, researchers working with mice report they have devised a way to detect and monitor in real time infections with dangerous Gram-negative bacteria. These increasingly drug-resistant bacteria are responsible for a range of diseases, including fatal pneumonias and various bloodstream or solid-organ infections acquired in and outside the hospital.
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:17:52 EDT
Genome editing technique advanced by researchers
Customized genome editing -- the ability to edit desired DNA sequences to add, delete, activate or suppress specific genes -- has major potential for application in medicine, biotechnology, food and agriculture. Now researchers examine six key molecular elements that help drive this genome editing system, which is known as CRISPR-Cas.
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:50:20 EDT
Let there be light: Evolution of complex bioluminescent traits may be predictable
A longstanding question among scientists is whether evolution is predictable. A team of researchers from University of California Santa Barbara may have found a preliminary answer. The genetic underpinnings of complex traits in cephalopods may in fact be predictable because they evolved in the same way in two distinct species of squid.
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 12:59:35 EDT
Ancient Europeans intolerant to lactose for 5,000 years after they adopted agriculture
By analyzing DNA from petrous bones of ancient Europeans, scientists have identified these peoples remained intolerant to lactose (natural sugar in the milk of mammals) for 5,000 years after they adopted agricultural practices. The scientific team examined nuclear ancient DNA extracted from thirteen individuals from burials from archaeological sites in the Great Hungarian Plain. The skeletons sampled date from 5,700 BC (Early Neolithic) to 800 BC (Iron Age).
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:16:10 EDT
Hungry or not, kids will eat treats
Even though they are not hungry, children as young as three will find high-energy treats too tempting to refuse, new research has confirmed. In a study of three and four year olds, 100 per cent of children opted for a sweet or savory snack despite eating a filling healthy lunch only 15 minutes prior.
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:15:14 EDT
Coordination between gut bacteria, biological clocks may be crucial for preventing obesity, glucose intolerance
Proper coordination between our gut bacteria and our biological clocks may be crucial for preventing obesity and glucose intolerance, scientists say. "Our gut bacteria's ability to coordinate their functions with our biological clock demonstrates, once again, the ties that bind us to our bacterial population and the fact that disturbances in these ties can have consequences for our health," a researcher notes.
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:15:10 EDT
Ocean's living carbon pumps: When viruses attack giant algal blooms, global carbon cycles are affected
By some estimates, almost half of the world's organic carbon is fixed by marine organisms called phytoplankton -- single-celled photosynthetic organisms that account for less than one percent of the total photosynthetic biomass on Earth. When giant algal blooms get viral infections, global carbon cycles are affected, scientists have now discovered.
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 10:11:44 EDT
Norovirus stomach bug: Scientists take step towards drug to treat
An experimental drug currently being trialled for influenza and Ebola viruses could have a new target: norovirus, often known as the winter vomiting virus. A team of researchers has shown that the drug, favipiravir, is effective at reducing -- and in some cases eliminating -- norovirus infection in mice.
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 08:56:01 EDT
Once CD8 T cells take on one virus, they'll fight others too
CD8 T cells are known for becoming attuned to fight a specific pathogen ('adaptive immunity'), but a new study shows that in that process they also become first-responders that can fend off a variety of other invaders ('innate immunity'). The findings suggest that innate immunity changes with the body's experience and that the T cells are more versatile than thought.
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:29:28 EDT
Salmonella-infected mice that were given antibiotics became superspreaders
Some people infected with pathogens spread their germs to others while remaining symptom-free themselves. Now, investigators believe they may know why. In a new study, Salmonella-infected mice that were given antibiotics became sicker and began shedding far more bacteria in their feces than they had before.
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