Think you can't live without caffeine? Some bacteria can live on caffeine.
Previous studies discovered caffeine-degrading bacteria, but new research one goes a step further and identifies four bacteria that can live on the compound. One of them, known as Pseudomonas putida CBB5, was found in a flowerbed outside a University of Iowa research laboratory. Now they have identified the gene sequence that enables the bacterium to break down the caffeine compound in nature.
Preliminary data from DNA sequencing performed in cooperation with the University Hospital Muenster, Germany, on the Ion Personal Genome Machine (PGM) strongly suggests that the bacterium at the root of the deadly outbreak in Germany is a new hybrid type of pathogenic E. coli strains.
The first observatory experiment to study the dynamic microbial life inside Earth's crust has just been completed. During the four-year subsurface experiment, the research team deployed the first in situ experimental microbial observatory systems below the flank of the Juan de Fuca Ridge, which is located off the coast of Washington (U.S.) and British Columbia (Canada).
With Osama Bin Laden dead, conspiracy theorists will find a way to say it isn't him at all. Sure, a 6'4" thin guy can be replaced by decoys rather easily but science has come a long way since the September 11th, 2001 attacks that took Bin Laden from being a famous terrorist to being infamous - though given recent developments in the middle East and Africa, Bin Laden has ironically done more to promote democracy in the region than anyone, since the establishment of two democracies in retaliation for regional support for Bin Laden has had a domino effect.
Visual identification by a SEAL team (not seeing his face but actual facial recognition technology), and confirmation by a local is good, but not always enough to satisfy everyone.
Is biology too important to be left in the hands of experts? Maybe.
Americans like stories about underdogs who start as outsiders but then become the very core of what being 'inside' means. Think Einstein and the patent office. Or Mendel, an 'uncertified substitute teacher' whose day job was being an Augustian monk but whose knowledge of amateur horticulture allowed him to win a race career biologists did not even know had started.
Outsiders doing important things appeals to the frontier spirit in Americans and there's nothing more like a wide open frontier than biology in the hands of hackers - biopunks.
Princeton University’s Bonnie Bassler has continued to reveal that nature is stranger than science initially supposes. She discovered that before bacteria conjugate, produce spores, form biofilms, cause disease or bioluminesce, they first take a “census of their population”. This is done by “quorum sensing” which involves the release and detection of signaling molecules. Surpassing the appropriate threshold concentration of these molecules activates genes responsible for a specific bacterial behavior. Prior to her work, it was never imagined that crucial bacterial functions were modulated by social interactions.
It's no secret that humans are not the only species with circadian rhythm - a biological clock. Studying red bread mold may teach us how our own internal clock works and by experimenting with the fungus’ response to light and darkness, researchers can explore its reaction to different substances, food and temperatures.
Basically, giving mold jet lag may help us mitigate it in humans.
Most are unaware of it but the evolutionary arms race between plants and plant diseases is always happening around us. Fungi are a major cause of plant diseases and are responsible for large-scale harvest failure in crops like maize and other cereals all over the world.
Researchers analyzed the genetic make-up of Sporisorium reilianum, an important maize parasite. Based on a comparison with the genome of a related fungal species, they succeeded in identifying new genes in maize infestation.
Cephalove recently had a couple of lovely posts
about that most famous of squid symbioses: the bobtail squid Euprymna scolopes
and the bioluminescent bacteria Vibrio fischeri
. It's become a model system for all kinds of questions about bacteria-host relationships, including pathogenic ones (read: bacterial disease). And it's an excuse to add adorable photos to otherwise not-very-photogenic stories about microbes! See:
Chikungunya virus has been terrorizing some parts of the world by causing disease in humans through Aedes albopictus
They belong to a family called alpha virus. Virulence can be attributed to the glycoproteins, E1 and E2 which also line the shell of the virus. Glycoprotein E1 is responsible for membrane fusion and E2 ( a product of cleavage of p62 by Furin, E3 being the second product) is responsible for receptor recognition. p62 and E1 exist as a precursor before Furin cleaves p62 into E2 and E3.