Latest News

New powerful antibiotics discovered using machine learning
Bacteria are amazing creatures. They adapt rapidly to any stress that is put on them or at least some...
Read more
Top Publishers Sued over Collusion in Textbook Market
Textbook prices are out of control and this is why I spent years of my life writing and running this...
Read more
Americans are fatter than ever and processed food is to blame
Before diving into this article we need to clarify how being obese is measured. There are many ways to...
Read more
Through the Microscope updates
An important feature of Through the Microscope is the animations that depict important processes. Often...
Read more
Obesity and the Microbiome
A large body of evidence is emerging showing that the microbiome has a role in obesity and I cover some...
Read more
News

News

Messages list

Show all entries

Intestinal Bacteria May Fuel Inflammation and Worsen HIV Disease

  Surprisingly, the human body consists of more bacterial cells than human cells. An important region where bacteria reside is the intestinal tract. The bacterial community present plays an important role not only in food absorption, but also in the body’s immune response. The bacterial community is dynamic and adapts as its environment, the human body, changes. As the title suggests, researchers hypothesized that HIV infection would have a significant impact the int...

Read more of Intestinal Bacteria May Fuel Inflammation and Worsen HIV Disease

Bugs provide new insights into relationships between animals and bacteria

  A unique three-tiered symbiotic relationship is now being studied in order to better understand how organisms transfer and share genes in mutualistic interactions. Surprisingly, this gene transfer is not analogous to how mitochondria and chloroplasts have evolved with their host genome. 

Read more of Bugs provide new insights into relationships between animals and bacteria

Microbial Exposure During Early Life Has Persistent Effects on Natural Killer T Cell Function

  In early life, one is exposed to thousands upon thousands of microorganisms. The most affected organs are naturally the gastrointestinal tract and the lungs, as they are constantly exposed to the outside world. How one is affected via microbial exposure during this early stage of life could have an effect on them throughout their life. This article discusses the benefits of these early exposures to microorganisms in the way of preventing diseases later on.

Read more of Microbial Exposure During Early Life Has Persistent Effects on Natural Killer T Cell Function

Effect of Packaging Type on Microbial Growth and Sensory Characteristics in Lamb Shoulders

  Food safety is of utmost importance to the satisfaction and health of consumers, and control of microbial growth is a key factor to preventing food spoilage.   An Australian study, performed by the Food Safety and Innovation Research and Development Institute took a look at the effects of various types of packaging techniques on the longevity of storage in lamb shoulders. 

Read more of Effect of Packaging Type on Microbial Growth and Sensory Characteristics in Lamb Shoulders

Novel chemistry for a new class of antibiotic

  A novel class of antibiotic being explored at the University of Adelaide has shown potential in the fight against bacterial antibiotic resistance.  Professor Andrew Abell and his colleagues have engineered antibiotic compounds that target a key metabolic enzyme, biotin protein ligase, instead of the cell membrane, which is a common target of some existing antibiotics.  By changing the target of the antibiotic, it is hoped that a broad range of antibiotic resistant bacteria wi...

Read more of Novel chemistry for a new class of antibiotic

Invasive Ladybird has Biological Weapon

  The harlequin ladybird Harmonia axyridis, one of the world’s most invasive insects, has become an invader of Europe and North America. Initially introduced for biological pest control, the harlequin ladybird, native to Asia, is now harming indigenous ladybird species, specifically the seven-spotted ladybird Coccinella septempunctata. Previously, some scientists believed the harlequin’s success was due to a harmonine, a toxic antibacterial chemical found in its blood. However, entomol...

Read more of Invasive Ladybird has Biological Weapon

Drug Resistance Loiters on Antibiotic-Free Farms

  Scientists have found, to their surprise, that after two and a half years of being antibiotic free, pigs that were involved in a Canadian study carried bacteria that were still resistant to antibiotics. Scientists originally hypothesized that the antibiotic resistant mutation would be associated with some sort of fitness disadvantage, like many similar mutations. If this had been true, the bacteria would have been likely to lose their resistance when no longer in the presence of antibiotics.

Read more of Drug Resistance Loiters on Antibiotic-Free Farms

Intestinal microbes are linked to obesity and cancer

  Today, there is an epidemic in the United States that was not apparent 50 years ago. This epidemic is obesity amongst adults and children in this country. Blame for obesity has been set upon processed foods and sedentary lifestyles, but it wasn’t until Eiji Hara of Tokyo turned his attention towards microbes in the intestine that other significant factors were considered to be risks of obesity as well. Hara executed two types of experiments. In one experiment, he fed mice different diet...

Read more of Intestinal microbes are linked to obesity and cancer

Bacterial DNA in Human Tumors

  Recent studies conducted at the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine indicate that bacterial DNA can be transferred to human tumor cells easier than into healthy human cells.  Such genetic transfer, in which DNA from one organism is implemented into another organism of a different species, without traditional reproduction processes, is called lateral gene transfer or horizontal gene transfer.  In order to research the role of lateral gene transfer in tumors, researchers at the...

Read more of Bacterial DNA in Human Tumors

The Microbial Effects of Climate Change

  It isn't often when scientists and policy makers think about the effects of climate change that they consider the microbial population. Microbes are 60% of the biomass on earth and have profound effects on the global environment. As a demonstration of this, Professor Ferran Garcia-Pichel of Arizona State University has studied the microbes present in desert soil using new molecular survey techniques. These methods allow researchers to rapidly characterize the population of microbes...

Read more of The Microbial Effects of Climate Change