Immune cells called inflammatory monocytes are often one of the first responders to infections, but they actually facilitate the progression of Cryptococcus neoformans infection in mice, according to a study published March 21 in the open-access journal PLOS Pathogens by Lena Heung and Tobias Hohl of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. According to the authors, these disparate results indicate that inflammatory monocytes possess a plasticity of function that can regulate infection outcomes, making them an important target for immunomodulatory therapies against C. neoformans.
How does the immune system respond to fungi on our skin? Researchers at the University of Zurich have demonstrated that the same immune cells that protect us against skin fungi also encourage the inflammatory symptoms of atopic dermatitis. An antibody therapy could alleviate this chronic inflammatory skin disease.
For thousands of years brewers made beer using specialized strains of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. A new study publishing March 5 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology, led by Justin Fay at the University of Rochester, shows that modern brewing strains were derived from a mixture of European grape wine and Asian rice wine strains. This finding points to the emergence of beer yeast from a historical East-West transfer of fermentation technology.
For millions of years, plants and fungi have exchanged crucial nutrients such as phosphate and fatty acids, but the mechanism by which this exchange happens has been poorly understood. Now, researchers at the Boyce Thompson Institute have uncovered structural networks of tubules at the plant-fungal interface that could shed light on the mechanisms of this symbiotic partnership. Details of the study were published in Nature Plants on Feb. 8.
Scientists at the Smithsonian and INDICASAT in Panama explored the compounds produced by frog skin bacteria as potential novel antifungal sources for the benefit of humans and amphibians.
A new study finds that samples of Candida albicans from patients frequently lack one copy of a vital master regulator, which gives them flexibility to lose the other copy and adapt to different environments.
The symbiosis of plants and fungi has a great influence on the worldwide spread of plant species. In some cases, it even acts like a filter. This has been discovered by an international team of researchers with participation from the University of Göttingen. The results appeared in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution.
Researchers in Japan think they have found an answer to the fundamental biological question of how individual cells know which way to position themselves within a complex, multicellular body. Depending on a cell's purpose in the larger structure, contact or diffuse chemical signals direct it to its final destination.
The first time someone took note of Coniochaeta pulveracea was more than two hundred years ago, when the South African-born mycologist Dr Christiaan Hendrik Persoon mentioned it in his 1797 book on the classification of fungi. Now C. pulveracea has had its whole genome sequenced by microbiologists at Stellenbosch University (SU) in South Africa. All because this relatively unknown fungus has an extraordinary ability to degrade wood -- hence the descriptor 'pulveracea', meaning powdery.
A peculiar fungus was retrieved from an artwork in the Old Cathedral of Coimbra, Portugal during a multi-disciplinary scientific survey. The organism was found to belong to the group of microcolonial black fungi, which are infamous amongst conservationists and biologists who care for historic monuments. They cause significant biodeterioration to stone monuments due to their successful adaptation to hostile environmental conditions. The findings are published in the open-access journal MycoKeys.