Microbiology

β-glucan-enriched Pasta Boosts Good Gut Bacteria, Reduces Bad Cholesterol

People fed β-glucan-enriched pasta for two months showed increased populations of beneficial bacteria in their intestinal tracts, and reduced populations of non-beneficial bacteria. They also showed reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol. This work is part of a br ...

Article - News Staff - Sep 28 2015 - 8:00am

Pigpen's Cloud: Charlie Brown Fiction Becomes Science Fact

We each give off millions of bacteria from our human microbiome to the air around us every day, and that cloud of bacteria can be traced back to an individual. New research focused on the personal microbial cloud-- the airborne microbes we emit into the a ...

Article - News Staff - Sep 23 2015 - 4:16pm

Drug Disarms Deadly C. Difficile Bacteria Without Destroying Healthy Gut Flora

Scientists successfully defeated a dangerous intestinal pathogen, Clostridium difficile, with a drug targeting its toxins rather than its life. C. difficile is responsible for more than 250,000 hospitalizations and 15,000 deaths per year in the United Sta ...

Article - News Staff - Sep 29 2015 - 7:30am

Are Viruses Alive?

A new analysis leads the authors to advance the belief that viruses are living entities that share a long evolutionary history with cells, based on a method for tracing viral evolution back to a time when neither viruses nor cells existed in the forms rec ...

Article - News Staff - Oct 1 2015 - 8:30am

Root Microbiome Engineering Improves Plant Growth

Humans have been breeding crops until they're bigger and more nutritious since the early days of agriculture, but genetic manipulation isn't the only way to give plants a boost. In a review paper, two integrative biologists present how it is pos ...

Article - News Staff - Oct 1 2015 - 11:00am

Ancient Flea Bacteria May Be Ancestor Of The Black Death

About 20 million years ago a single flea became entombed in amber with tiny bacteria attached to it, providing what researchers believe may be the oldest evidence on Earth of a dreaded and historic killer- an ancient strain of the bubonic plague. If indee ...

Article - News Staff - Sep 28 2015 - 7:42pm

A Village Of Bacteria To Help Frogs Fight Disease

The naturally occurring bacteria on a frog's skin could be the most important tool for helping the animal fight off a deadly skin disease, according to an experiment conducted by Virginia Tech researchers. Antibiotics to get rid of the normal bacteri ...

Article - News Staff - Oct 9 2015 - 11:00am

Researchers Create 'Leukemia In A Dish'

Scientists engineered stem cells to better understand the mechanisms behind a form of leukemia caused by changes in a key gene. Past work had established that inherited changes in the DNA code for the gene PTPN11 cause Noonan syndrome, a genetic disease t ...

Article - News Staff - Oct 16 2015 - 6:30am

New Methane-Eating Organisms Discovered

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 ...

Article - News Staff - Oct 23 2015 - 12:47pm

The Tortoise And The Herpes Virus

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

Article - News Staff - Oct 26 2015 - 8:00am