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Cystic Fibrosis lung infection: Scientists open black box on bacterial growth

Cystic Fibrosis lung infection: Scientists open black box on bacterial growth

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have shown for the first time how bacteria can grow directly in the lungs of Cystic fibrosis patients, giving them the opportunity to get tremendous insights into bacteria behavior and growth in chronic infections. The study also discovered the bacterial growth in chronic lung infections among cystic fibrosis (CF) patients was halted or slowed down by the immune cells. The researchers discovered the immune cells consumed all the oxygen and helped “suffocate” the bacteria, forcing the bacteria to switch to a much slower growth. Continue reading

Staph ‘gangs’ share nutrients during infection

Staph ‘gangs’ share nutrients during infection

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria can share resources to cause chronic infections, Vanderbilt investigators have discovered. Like the individual members of a gang who might be relatively harmless alone, they turn deadly when they get together with their “friends.” The findings, reported Oct. 8 in Cell Host & Microbe , shed light on a long-standing question in infectious diseases and may inform new treatment strategies, said Eric Skaar, Ph.D., MPH, Ernest W Continue reading

Mineralization of sand particles boosts microbial water filtration

Mineralization of sand particles boosts microbial water filtration

Mineral coatings on sand particles actually encourage microbial activity in the rapid sand filters that are used to treat groundwater for drinking, according to a paper published ahead of print in Applied and Environmental Microbiology . These findings resoundingly refute, for the first time, the conventional wisdom that the mineral deposits interfere with microbial colonization of the sand particles. “We find an overwhelmingly positive effect of mineral deposits on microbial activity and density,” says corresponding author Barth F. Continue reading

Mineralization of sand particles boosts microbial water filtration

Mineralization of sand particles boosts microbial water filtration

Mineral coatings on sand particles actually encourage microbial activity in the rapid sand filters that are used to treat groundwater for drinking, according to a paper published ahead of print in Applied and Environmental Microbiology . These findings resoundingly refute, for the first time, the conventional wisdom that the mineral deposits interfere with microbial colonization of the sand particles Continue reading

Dynamic motion of HIV as it readies an attack: Seen in real time, for the first time

Dynamic motion of HIV as it readies an attack: Seen in real time, for the first time

Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have developed technologies that allow investigators, for the first time, to watch what they call the “dance” of HIV proteins on the virus’ surface, which may contribute to how it infects human immune cells. Their discovery is described in the Oct. 8 issue of Science , and is also a part of a study published the same day in Nature Continue reading

Probiotics protect children, pregnant women against heavy metal poisoning

Probiotics protect children, pregnant women against heavy metal poisoning

Yogurt containing probiotic bacteria successfully protected children and pregnant women against heavy metal exposure in a recent study. Working with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Canadian and Tanzanian researchers created and distributed a special yogurt containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus bacteria and observed the outcomes against a control group Continue reading

New discovery in the microbiology of serious human disease

New discovery in the microbiology of serious human disease

Previously undiscovered secrets of how human cells interact with a bacterium which causes a serious human disease have been revealed in new research by microbiologists at The University of Nottingham. The scientists at the University’s Centre for Biomolecular Sciences have shed new light on how two proteins found on many human cells are targeted by the human pathogen Neisseria meningitidis which can cause life-threatening meningitis and septicaemia Continue reading

Ebola genome browser now online to aid researchers’ response to crisis

Ebola genome browser now online to aid researchers’ response to crisis

The UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute late Tuesday (Sept. 30) released a new Ebola genome browser to assist global efforts to develop a vaccine and antiserum to help stop the spread of the Ebola virus. The team led by University of California, Santa Cruz researcher Jim Kent worked around the clock for the past week, communicating with international partners to gather and present the most current data. Continue reading

Immune activity shortly after surgery holds big clue to recovery rate

Immune activity shortly after surgery holds big clue to recovery rate

The millions of people who undergo major surgery each year have no way of knowing how long it will take them to recover from the operation. Continue reading

Search for better biofuels microbes leads to human gut

Search for better biofuels microbes leads to human gut

Scientists have scoured cow rumens and termite guts for microbes that can efficiently break down plant cell walls for the production of next-generation biofuels, but some of the best microbial candidates actually may reside in the human lower intestine, researchers report. Continue reading