Proteins may be more of a factor in shaping regulatory patterns than environment, according to a new study that looks at how cells' protein networks relate to a bacteria's genome.
The lab of computer scientist Luay Nakhleh ar Rice University reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that when environmental factors are eliminated from an evolutionary model, mutations and genetic drift can give rise to the patterns that appear. They studied changes that show up in regulatory networks that determine the organism's characteristics.
A new strain of photosynthetic cyanobacteria have been engineered to grow without the need for light.
The toxin that causes botulism is the most potent that we know of - just 1/1,000th the weight of a grain of salt can be fatal, which is why so much effort has been put into keeping Clostridium botulinum, which produces the toxin, out of our food.
'Pestilence', widespread outbreaks of deadly contagious disease, are known throughout history. In popular translations of the Christian Bible, Pestilence is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Today we call them pandemics but they are nothing like plagues of old, when up to 33% of a population was eradicated, like during the Black Death of the 14th century.
The Black Sea sediment record has a terrific variety of past plankton species that left behind their genetic makeup - the plankton paleome.
The semi-isolated Black Sea is highly sensitive to climate driven environmental changes, and the underlying sediments represent high-resolution archives of past continental climate and concurrent hydrologic changes in the basin. The brackish Black Sea is currently receiving salty Mediterranean waters via the narrow Strait of Bosphorus as well as freshwater from rivers and via precipitation.
When is a suit a lifesaver? My dad, who was a tailor, would threaten to kill me if I didn't wear a suit and tie on certain occasions. But aside from well-known examples such as the spacesuit, immersion suit, and car-racing suits, do other animals ever develop layers that allow them to survive harsh conditions?
Seven Japanese researchers from a variety of places revealed that fruits flies, and certain species of honeybees and fly maggots could withstand high-vacuums as long as they were immediately bombarded with electrons from a scanning electron microscopes or if they were first treated with plasma radiation.
What was going on? And why does it matter?
Bacterial vaginosis is a condition that occurs when the typical mix of microbes in the vagina is knocked off-kilter, sometimes resulting in a change in the consistency of vaginal fluids and an unpleasant odor. Bacterial vaginosis is diagnosed through examination of the vagina and tests of the vaginal fluids and then typically treated with antibiotics.
The condition affects as many as one in every three women, making it more common than yeast infections. But bacterial vaginosis often does not cause significant symptoms, leaving many women unaware they have it, but it has been linked to preterm birth and increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases. New research points to a common species of bacteria as an important contributor to bacterial vaginosis.
The emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a common concern in hospitals worldwide, and is the evolutionary result of the selective pressures caused by our extensive use of antibiotics to fight bacterial infections.
Scientists are often fighting the losing battle against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, with every new antibiotic treatment outwitted by the bacteria’s uncanny ability to adapt to whatever adversity comes their way. Although bacteria’s evasive strategies may have outwitted scientists in the last century, their strategies still fall prey to the nature’s billion-year old bacteria-killing virus known as bacteriophages.
Whole genome sequencing has shown drug-resistant bacteria were transmitted from animals to humans in two disease outbreaks that occurred on different farms in Denmark.
Drug-resistant bacterial infections pose a significant challenge to public health and may have severe and sometimes fatal consequences. As the costs of whole genome sequencing methods continue to plummet and the speed of analysis increases, it becomes increasingly attractive for scientists to use whole genome sequencing to answer disease-related questions.