Microbiology

Among adults with Clostridium difficile infection that is recurrent or not responsive to treatment, the use of frozen compared with fresh fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) did not result in a significantly lower rate of resolution of diarrhea, indicating that frozen FMT may be a reasonable treatment option for these patients. 

When you think of it, all of the natural gas harvested by hydraulic fracturing is natural but groups that once embraced it as clean energy have now turned on it and have sought to use its biological origins against it, with manufactured videos of flaming tap water and such that have nothing to do with fracking.

New research on how our immune system works shows how the body mobilizes a previously unknown defense against viruses and bacteria- and thus why we do not constantly get ill despite the viruses around us. 

Fever, sore muscles and other influenza-like symptoms are typical signs that your immune system is fighting against viruses and bacteria. The unpleasant condition is, among other things, due to the body forming a substance called interferon, which must defeat the virus. For many years researchers and doctors have assumed that this was the body's earliest response when attacked by various infections.

An experiment to study aging in yeast cells followed molecular processes inside and discovered that an overproduction of the proteins needed to make new proteins which could be the root cause of the cellular processes that eventually kill the cells. 

Baker's yeast is extensively used to study aging. A 'mother cell' can produce some twenty daughters in about four days, following which it dies. But as mothers and daughters are mixed in any yeast culture, it is virtually impossible to follow the aging process in great detail. 

Migration between different communities of bacteria is the key to the type of gene transfer that can lead to the spread of traits such as antibiotic resistance, according to researchers. While horizontal gene transfer - also known as bacterial sex - has long been acknowledged as central to microbial evolution, why it is able to exert such a strong effect has remained a mystery. 

But now scientists at Oxford University have demonstrated through mathematical modelling that the secret is migration, whereby movement between communities of microbes greatly increases the chances of different species of bacteria being able to swap DNA and adopt new traits.

The study sheds new light on how the spread of traits such as antibiotic resistance is able to happen.

Prairie gardens offer Midwestern suburban dwellers an alternative option to the traditional grass lawn. Their combination of native grasses, like tall and wispy bluestem and sideoats, and forbs, such as the colorful yellow and purple coneflowers, are a welcome addition to any lawn.

They also attract beneficial bees and other insects, as well as beautiful butterflies. The prairie plants are native to the Midwest and once established can require fewer resources, such as water, fertilizer, and time to maintain.

The hepatitis A virus can trigger acute liver inflammation which generally has a mild course in small children but which can become dangerous in adults. The virus, which is found worldwide, has previously been considered to be a purely human pathogen which at most is found in isolated cases in non-human primates.

Now an international team of researchers under the direction of the University of Bonn has now discovered in a large-scale study with nearly 16,000 specimens from small mammals from various continents that the hepatitis A virus - like HIV or Ebola as well - is of likely animal origin.

We are often told how bad it is to keep sitting at the computer, but one good outcome at least is how some much interesting science news comes one’s way.  One item dated 19 October 2015 from Radboud University (Nijmegen, the Netherlands) states:

Testudinid herpesvirus 3 ( TeHV-3) is a herpes virus causing high mortality rates in several protected species of tortoises (including Hermann’s tortoise).

Understanding of methane-metabolizing organisms might have to be rethought after researchers announced discovery of two new ones.

 The discovery of the novel methane-metabolizing microorganisms was made using techniques that sequence DNA on a large scale and assemble these sequences into genomes using advanced computational tools. 

"Traditionally, these type of methane-metabolizing organisms occur within a single cluster cluster group of microorganisms called Euryarchaeota. This makes us wonder how many other types of methane-metabolizing microorganisms are out there?" asked Gene Tyson, associate professor and Deputy Head of University of Queensland's Australian Centre for Ecogenomics in the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences.