Microbiology

Can probiotic yogurt help with lupus?

While most of science disagrees, corporate marketing departments have embraced every chance to imply their product helps with digestion and whatever else can sell product. A new paper in  Applied and Environmental Microbiology adds to that, finding that Lactobacillus species, commonly seen in yogurt cultures, correlate in the guts of mouse models, with mitigation of lupus symptoms, while Lachnospiraceae, a type of Clostridia, correlate with worsening.


Given a critical change in the environment, how exactly do species adapt? 



Bacteria under attack by a flock of bacteriophages. Credit: Graham Beards/Wikimedia Commons

By Luc Henry, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne

High-resolution cryo-electron microscopy has revealed in unprecedented detail the structural changes in the bacterial ribosome which results in resistance to the antibiotic erythromycin.


Researchers are working to select autochthonous bacteria with biofertilizing potential as a result of the stimulating effect they have on the take-up of nutrients by plants, phytohormone production and phytopathogen control.

Both organic and synthetic fertilizers are expensive and not very sustainable from an environmental power of view so researchers from Neiker-Tecnalia, the Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development, in Spain, believe farmers would embrace bacteria-based biofertilizers.
The 21st century promises to bring a kind of science warfare only dreamed about in science fiction. Already it's become clear that it is possible to paralyze a large chunk of America and get policymakers in perpetual crisis mode, even with something as well-known as ebola.(1)

That kind of threat is getting mainstream attention now, but it has long been researched by government agencies that are in the business of predicting threats. And scientists working for them have recently created a hybrid bacteria - a cyborg mix of computer chip and genetically modified organism - that can not only detect infectious diseases but automatically mobilize to defeat them. This ain't your daddy's Deathlok.(2)

Your gut bacteria won't change much. Credit: ponchicaBG

By Nicholas Ellaby, University of Liverpool

From eyes to the gap between the toes, we are covered in bacterial colonies.

Between 500 and 1000 unique species live in our gut alone. We provide an ideal environment for bacteria: warmth, moisture, nutrients and protection.

Valium (Diazepam) and similar medicines degrade naturally in the environment but it takes time, and until it happens there is concern about the freshwater environment.

Bacterial breakdown may give it a boost, a team of researchers has said.

Diazepam, used to treat anxiety and other similar conditions, has been detected in rivers across the UK and Europe. At the levels recorded, there is concern it may have the potential to produce harmful ecological effects in surface waters, including changing the behavior of fish shoals and their ability to sense danger from predators.


Bacteria that metabolize ammonia may improve skin health and could even be used for the treatment of skin disorders like acne, finds a new study conducted by AOBiome LLC. Ammonia is a major component of sweat. 

In a small study, human volunteers using the bacteria reported better skin condition and appearance compared with a placebo control group. 


A team of researchers headed by Prof Dr. Nicole Frankenberg-Dinkel at Ruhr-University Bochum have revealed similarities and differences in the assembly of the light-harvesting machinery of the cryptophyte Guillardia theta compared to cyanobacteria and red algae.

Cryptophytes: Matryoshka dolls of the waters