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Microbiology News
Sat, 19 Apr 2014 09:00:26 EDT
Immune cells to be tested on the International Space Station
The human body is fine-tuned to Earth's gravity. Scientists are now conducting an experiment on the International Space Station (ISS) to study whether this also applies to human cells. We know the effect of gravity on muscles, bones and joints inside out; it has been studied extensively in medicine for centuries. For a long time, however, exactly how gravity affects the cells remained a mystery.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 19:20:06 EDT
Multitarget TB drug could treat other diseases, evade resistance
A drug under clinical trials to treat tuberculosis could be the basis for a class of broad-spectrum drugs that act against various bacteria, fungal infections and parasites, yet evade resistance, according to a study. The team determined the different ways the drug SQ109 attacks the tuberculosis bacterium, how the drug can be tweaked to target other pathogens from yeast to malaria -- and how targeting multiple pathways reduces the probability of pathogens becoming resistant.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 19:17:40 EDT
Target for treating dengue fever discovered
New research may help scientists develop treatments or vaccines for dengue fever, West Nile virus, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and other disease-causing flaviviruses. More than 40 percent of people around the world are at risk of being bitten by mosquitoes infected with the virus that causes Dengue fever and more than 100 million people are infected. This new work explains how flaviviruses produce a unique RNA molecule that leads to disease.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 19:17:35 EDT
How the immune system protects children from malaria
Children who live in regions of the world where malaria is common can mount an immune response to infection with malaria parasites that may enable them to avoid repeated bouts of high fever and illness and partially control the growth of malaria parasites in their bloodstream. The findings may help researchers develop future interventions that prevent or mitigate the disease caused by the malaria parasite.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 19:17:33 EDT
Malaria pathogen's cellular skeleton under super-microscope
The tropical disease malaria is caused by the Plasmodium parasite. For its survival and propagation, Plasmodium requires a protein called actin. Scientists used high-resolution structural biology methods to investigate the different versions of this protein in the parasite. Their results may in the future contribute to the development of tailor-made drugs against malaria -- a disease that causes more than half a million deaths per year.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 19:16:18 EDT
Deadly human pathogen Cryptococcus fully sequenced
A ten-year effort by an international team has sequenced the entire genome and all the RNA products of the most important pathogenic lineage of Cryptococcus neoformans, a strain called H99.These genetic instructions can give valuable insight into why a fungus responsible for a million cases of pneumonia and meningitis every year is so malleable and dangerous.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 19:16:12 EDT
Gene variant increases risk of colorectal cancer from eating processed meat
A common genetic variant that affects one in three people appears to significantly increase the risk of colorectal cancer from the consumption of processed meat, according to a new study.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 19:16:10 EDT
Progressive neurodegenerative disorder linked to R-loop formation
A new feature of the genetic mutation responsible for the progressive neurodegenerative disorder, fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome -- the formation of 'R-loops,' has been discovered. Researchers believe it may be associated with the disorder's neurological symptoms, such as tremors, lack of balance, features of Parkinsonism, and cognitive decline.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:41:58 EDT
Influenza, bacterial superinfections reviewed in journal
An expert has analyzed the epidemiology and microbiology of co-infections during the 1918, 1957 and 1968 pandemics, as well as more recent 2009 novel H1N1 pandemic, and published a review on this analysis. Specifically, the co-pathogenesis reviewed is characterized by complex interactions between co-infecting pathogens and the host, leading to the disruption of physical barriers, dysregulation of immune responses and delays in a return to homeostasis.
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:40:26 EDT
Mutant enzyme RECQ4 connected to cancer's 'Warburg effect'
A cancer-prone mutation of the gene RECQ4 causes its corresponding enzyme, RECQ4, to accumulate in the mitochondria. This can cause mitochondrial dysfunction, possibly explaining cancer's "Warburg effect" of preferring lactic acid fermentation over aerobic respiration to generate energy. While this study provides important clues to solving the Warburg effect puzzle, the senior author said further studies are needed on RECQ4 and p32 to better explain cancer's biological processes.
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