Producing biogas from the bacterial breakdown of biomass presents options for a greener energy future, but the complex composition of biomass comes with challenges. Cellulose and woody lignocellulose are especially hard for bacteria to digest but pretreatment can make it easier. Researchers are testing plasma formation in biomass and finding a promising method: A plasma-liquid interaction forms reactive species that help break down the biomass and decrease the viscosity of the biomass material.
Radio-resistance in bacteria first evolves through the adaptation of DNA repair mechanisms, however as evolution continues more mutations accumulate, and more cellular metabolic processes are affected. It is not yet clear which panel of mutations provides high-level resistance. The study shows that acquisition of radio-resistance via evolution is possible independent of other mechanisms like extreme dryness resistance (desiccation).
Toxic protein inhibits cell wall synthesis in rival bacteria. Discovery helps explain how pathogens cause imbalances in established microbial communities and could pave the way to the development of novel anti-microbial compounds.
Researchers at Uppsala University have developed a new method to determine - rapidly, easily and cheaply - how effective two antibiotics combined can be in stopping bacterial growth. The new method is simple for laboratories to use and can provide greater scope for customising treatment of bacterial infections. The study is published in PLOS Biology.
Researchers studying the activity of gut bacteria in breast cancer patients have found a possible link with how well their chemotherapy works.
Multiresistant bacteria are a serious problem in hospital and healthcare environments. By forming a biofilm, these pathogens can colonize door handles and light switches and their presence on medical implants can lead to serious cases of post-operative infection. A team of physicists at Saarland University has now shown why hospital germs adhere strongly to surfaces from which water simply rolls off, but bind so poorly to surfaces that are easily wetted by water.
The ability to move is key for bacteria like some strains of salmonella and E. coli to efficiently spread infections. They can propel themselves forward using threads, known as flagella, powered by the flagellar rotary motor. But how this rotary motor is powered has been a mystery among scientists. Now, researchers from UCPH show that the bacterial flagellar motor is powered by yet another even tinier, rotary motor.
A new bacterial molecule with the unsavory tendency to track down and kill others of its own kind has been discovered in the human microbiome by researchers at Princeton's Department of Chemistry. Named Streptosactin, it is the first small molecule found to exhibit fratricidal activity, according to a paper published in JACS.
A University of Central Florida researcher is co-author of a new paper that may help answer why some animals have a magnetic "sixth" sense, such as sea turtles' ability to return to the beach where they were born. The researchers recently authored an article in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B that proposes a hypothesis that the magnetic sense comes from a symbiotic relationship with magnetotactic bacteria.
As a side effect of their metabolism, microorganisms living on methane can also convert ammonia. In the process, they produce nitric oxide (NO), a central molecule in the global nitrogen cycle. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen (DE), and Radboud University, Nijmegen (NL), now discovered the enzyme that produces NO, closing an important gap in our understanding of how methanotrophs deal with rising environmental ammonia concentrations.