These strange bacteria conduct electricity via a structure never before seen in nature -- a structure scientists can co-opt to miniaturize electronics, create powerful-yet-tiny batteries, build pacemakers without wires and develop a host of other medical advances.
Little research has been conducted into the spread and distribution of fecal bacteria in rivers and, above all, into their input from the surrounding landscape. Researchers from the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries and from Scotland's University of Aberdeen have developed an indicator-based model that can be used to assess the dynamics of fecal bacteria such as E. coli on the basis of hydrological processes in the landscape and the connectivity of streams.
Professor Douglas Kell and colleagues have developed novel technology that identifies the most effective antibiotic to kill organisms in urinary tract infections.
Academics from the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London have genetically modified yeast cells to help scientists control how they react to their environment in a more desirable way. Yeast was chosen because it shares key characteristics with human cells -- most importantly that it can sense its environment using G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). The study will help scientists understand how diseased cells function.
Probiotics typically aim to rebalance bacteria populations in the gut, but new research suggests they may also help break apart stubborn biofilms. Biofilms are living microbial communities -- they provide a haven for microbes and are often resistant to antibiotics. A new study describes a specific probiotic mix that could help patients with gastrointestinal diseases avoid harmful biofilms that can worsen their symptoms.
Ground-breaking work by university experts in Tennessee, Texas and Swansea is helping develop a better understanding of the growing threat posed by antifungal drug resistance. Invasive aspergillosis is a devastating disease caused by breathing in small airborne spores of the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus and it is a condition where drug resistance has been encountered. They have just released a paper revealing how they have been able to identify a previously uncharacterized genetic mutation in clinical isolates that leads to resistance.
Scientists aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute's research vessel Falkor recently discovered and explored a hydrothermal field at 2,000 meters depth in the Gulf of California where towering mineral structures serve as biological hotspots for life. These newly discovered geological formations feature upside down 'mirror-like flanges' that act as pooling sites for discharged fluids.
Nature has provided us with lots of antimicrobials. However, given the rapid increase of antimicrobial resistance, there is a need for the development of new-to-nature antibiotics. Lantibiotics are an interesting option. Molecular biologists from the University of Groningen and their colleagues in Switzerland and Germany have now developed a pipeline to create and screen large numbers of new lantibiotic peptides. The first results were published on April 1 in Nature Chemical Biology.
Patients with colorectal cancer have the same consistent changes in the gut bacteria across continents, cultures, and diets -- a team of international researchers, from University of Copenhagen among others, find in a new study. The hope is the results in the future can be used to develop a new method of diagnosing colorectal cancer.
A highly drug-resistant bacteria common in hospitals, Klebsiella pneumoniae, represents a significant antimicrobial resistance threat and should be monitored globally, say UCL researchers. The warning follows new genetic analyses revealing how K. pneumoniae are able to quickly evolve to change their genetic makeup. This has implications for understanding how several species of bacteria -- called Enterobacteriaceae -- can rapidly adapt to essentially any antibiotic currently used in treatment.