Microbiologists at Goethe University Frankfurt have discovered how the bacterium Acetobacterium woodii uses hydrogen in a kind of cycle to conserve energy. The bacterium lives in an environment without oxygen, and thanks to hydrogen cycling, it can exist independent of other species of bacteria.
A variety of sea animals can take up virus particles while filtering seawater for oxygen and food. Sponges are particularly efficient. That was written by marine ecologist Jennifer Welsh from NIOZ this week, in a publication in Nature Scientific Reports. This Monday, Welsh will defend her thesis at the Free University of Amsterdam, through an online connection.
In the current situation when the fear of virus infections in the public is common, it is good to remember that some viruses can be extremely beneficial for mankind, even save lives. Such viruses, phages, infect bacteria. The research conducted at the University of Jyväskylä shed some light on the phage therapy history. It revealed that Brazil was a strong user and developer of phage therapy in 1920-40's. The research was published in Lancet Infectious Diseases -publication on March 2020.
One of the most widely used oil-based plastics, polyurethane, is particularly hard to recycle or destroy safely. It also releases toxic chemicals into landfills. However, some microorganisms are capable of metabolizing these compounds and degrading the plastic waste in the process. A team of scientists in Germany have identified one such bacterium that could be used to help break down polyurethane-based plastics for future bio-recycling.
Crop yields have increased substantially over the past decades, occurring alongside the increasing use of nitrogen fertilizer. While nitrogen fertilizer benefits crop growth, it has negative effects on the environment and climate, as it requires a great amount of energy to produce. Many scientists are seeking ways to develop more sustainable practices that maintain high crop yields with reduced inputs.
A transport protein that is used by the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis to import vitamin B12 turns out to be very different from other transport proteins. It contains a huge water-filled cavity, in which hydrophilic substances are transported across the cell membrane. This discovery, which changes our understanding of bacterial physiology, was made by imaging the transport protein using cryo-electron microscopy. The results were published in the journal Nature on 26 March.
Municipal solid waste is trash -- such as plastic, food scraps and lawn clippings -- that goes into garbage bins and doesn't get recycled. Most of this waste is buried in landfills or is incinerated. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology have shown that when disposed of in this way, municipal solid waste can be an important source of antibiotic-resistance genes in the air.
The giant cavity, in a protein that transports nutrients across the cell membrane, is unlike anything researchers have seen before.
Magnetic bacteria might soon be used for the production of novel biomaterials. A team of microbiologists at the University of Bayreuth led by Prof. Dr. Dirk Schüler developed a modular system for the genetic reprogramming of bacteria, thereby turning the organisms into cell factories for multifunctional magnetic nanoparticles that combine various useful functions and properties.
Using a recently developed fluorescent imaging technique, researchers in the United States have developed high-resolution maps of microbial communities on the human tongue. The images, presented March 24 in the journal Cell Reports, reveal that microbial biofilms on the surface of the tongue have a complex, highly structured spatial organization.