Popular Microbiology News and Current Events

Popular Microbiology News and Current Events, Microbiology News Articles.
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Toxins from one bacterial species contribute to genetic diversity of others
A toxin produced by bacteria as a defence mechanism causes mutations in target bacteria that could help them survive. (2021-02-23)

Tuberculosis drugs work better with vitamin C
Studies in mice and in tissue cultures suggest that giving vitamin C with tuberculosis drugs could reduce the unusually long time it takes these drugs to eradicate this pathogen. The research is published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. (2018-01-03)

Bacteriophages: Are they an overlooked driver of Parkinson's disease?
In the first study of its kind, researchers from the New York-based Human Microbiology Institute have discovered the role certain bacteriophages may play in the onset of Parkinson's disease (PD). The research is presented at ASM Microbe, the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, held from June 7-11 in Atlanta, Ga. (2018-06-10)

Dengue virus infection may cause severe outcomes following Zika virus infection during pregnancy
This study is the first to report a possible mechanism for the enhancement of Zika virus progression during pregnancy in an animal model. (2019-02-08)

Right beneath the skin we all have the same bacteria
In the dermis skin layer, the same bacteria are found across age and gender. This has been shown by researchers from the University of Copenhagen in a new study which has studied skin samples from knees and hips. The researchers hope it is a step in the direction of a better understanding of why skin disorders occur. (2020-02-12)

Genetically boosting the nutritional value of corn could benefit millions
Rutgers scientists have found an efficient way to enhance the nutritional value of corn -- the world's largest commodity crop -- by inserting a bacterial gene that causes it to produce a key nutrient called methionine, according to a new study. (2017-10-09)

Fungi the cause of many outbreaks of disease but mostly ignored
Many people, scientists among them, are largely unaware of the roles fungi play in the world around us. Research on fungi and fungal diseases are seriously neglected as a result -- a situation with grave negative repercussions for human health, agriculture, and the environment -- according to a new report from the American Academy of Microbiology. (2008-07-01)

How the immune system remembers viruses
For a person to acquire immunity to a disease, T cells must develop into memory cells after contact with the pathogen. Until now, the number of cells that do this was believed to depend above all on the magnitude of the initial immune response. A team of researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now called this into question. (2020-11-02)

Unexpected environmental source of methane discovered
Roughly 10 percent of nitrogen-fixing microorganisms contain the genetic code for manufacturing a back-up enzyme, called iron iron-only nitrogenase, to do their job. New research reveals that this enzyme allows these microorganisms to convert nitrogen gas to ammonia and carbon dioxide into methane at the same time. This enzymatic pathway is a previously unknown route for the natural biological production of methane. (2018-01-15)

ID'ing features of flu virus genome may help target surveillance for pandemic flu
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified features of the influenza virus genome that affect how well the virus multiplies. These features are similar but not identical across viral strains. It's possible that the extent of similarity between strains influences whether two flu viruses can mix their genetic material to make a hybrid virus with the potential to explode into pandemic flu. (2018-01-31)

Bacteria are individualists
Cells respond differently to lack of nutrients. (2016-05-12)

How proteins help influenza A bind and slice its way to cells
Researchers have provided new insight on how two proteins help influenza A virus particles fight their way to human cells. (2019-05-14)

IDSA/ASM lab diagnosis guide helps health care providers
Advances in rapid molecular testing mean infectious diseases can be accurately diagnosed in minutes or hours rather than days or weeks and patients can receive appropriate treatment sooner. A guide released by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and American Society for Microbiology (ASM) helps health care providers keep up with the latest technology and know what tests to order and when. (2018-06-28)

Microbes can grow on nitric oxide
Nitric oxide (NO) is a central molecule of the global nitrogen cycle. A study by Boran Kartal from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Germany, and colleagues reveals that microorganisms can grow on NO. Their results, which are now published in Nature Communications, change our view of the earth's nitrogen cycle and how microorganisms regulate the release of greenhouse gases from natural and man-made environments. (2019-03-18)

Plant-derived volatiles may serve as future antifungals
A research team at the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Microbiology has developed a novel screening method to identify antimicrobial properties of volatile substances. With this assay, they tested the vapour-phase-mediated activity of 175 essential oils (EOs) and 37 EO components. Approximately half of them proved active against the most drug-resistant type of Candida. (2018-03-09)

Scientists find new antimalarial drug targets
Researchers have discovered crucial new processes that allow malaria parasites to escape red blood cells and infect other cells, offering potential new treatment targets. The team are already working with pharmaceutical companies to use this knowledge to develop new antimalarial drugs - a critical step in the battle against drug-resistant malaria. (2018-02-20)

27th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases
Media can register now for the 27th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) in Vienna, Saturday 22 April to Tuesday 25 April 2017. Registration for bona fide journalists is free. The world's leading experts will come together to discuss the latest developments in infectious diseases, infection control and clinical microbiology at the largest, most comprehensive and most influential conference combining these topics (2017-03-01)

Antibiotics promote resistance on experimental croplands
Canadian researchers have generated both novel and existing antibiotic resistance mechanisms on experimental farmland, by exposing the soil to specific antibiotics. The research is published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. (2017-06-16)

Common bacterium may help control disease-bearing mosquitoes
Genes from a common bacterium can be harnessed to sterilize male insects, a tool that can potentially control populations of both disease-bearing mosquitoes and agricultural pests, researchers at Yale University and Vanderbilt University report in related studies published Feb. 27 in two Nature journals. (2017-02-27)

Fungi have enormous potential for new antibiotics
Fungi are a potential goldmine for the production of pharmaceuticals. This is shown by researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, who have developed a method for finding new antibiotics from nature's own resources. The findings -- which could prove very useful in the battle against antibiotic resistance -- were recently published in the journal, Nature Microbiology. (2017-04-20)

Genetic blueprint for extraordinary wood-munching fungus
The first time someone took note of Coniochaeta pulveracea was more than two hundred years ago, when the South African-born mycologist Dr Christiaan Hendrik Persoon mentioned it in his 1797 book on the classification of fungi. Now C. pulveracea has had its whole genome sequenced by microbiologists at Stellenbosch University (SU) in South Africa. All because this relatively unknown fungus has an extraordinary ability to degrade wood -- hence the descriptor 'pulveracea', meaning powdery. (2019-02-20)

Antibiotics legitimately available in over-counter throat medications could contribute to increased antibiotic resistance
New research presented at this year's European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) in Amsterdam, Netherlands (April 13-16) shows that the inappropriate of use of antibiotics legitimately available in over-the-counter (OTC) throat medications could be contributing to antibiotic resistance, thereby going against World Health Organization (WHO) goals. (2019-04-11)

How plants handle stress
Plants get stressed too. Drought or too much salt disrupt their physiology. An international research team led by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with the participation of the University of Göttingen investigated how evolutionary changes in receptor proteins led to their ability to sense the hormone abscisic acid (ABA). This enabled them to develop mechanisms that aided their colonization of dry land and their response to stress. The results were published in the journal PNAS. (2019-11-20)

Gene editing just got easier
An international team of researchers has made CRISPR technology more accessible and standardized by simplifying its complex implementation in a way that offers a broad platform for off-the shelf genome engineering. (2018-06-08)

Gut fungi could play a role in obesity epidemic
A high-fat diet changes fungi in the gut and may play a role in the development of obesity, according to a new study in mSphere, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. While gut microbes have previously been implicated in the development of obesity, this study shows that fungi may also play a role. (2017-10-11)

Measles serious threat for babies, toddlers, unvaccinated youths, ECDC says
The vast majority of measles cases in Europe were reported in unvaccinated patients, and children younger than two years old were at a higher risk of dying from measles than older patients, according to research presented at the 28th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID). (2018-04-20)

COVID-19 may have consequences for mental health
The COVID-19 pandemic appears to be adversely affecting mental health among hospitalised patients, the healthcare professionals treating them and the general population. This is shown in a new review from the University of Copenhagen that gathers the current knowledge on mental symptoms and mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. (2020-06-18)

How tumor necrosis factor protects against infection
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a messenger substance in the immune system, plays an important role in triggering chronic inflammatory diseases. For this reason, TNF inhibitors are a standard form of treatment for patients with rheumatoid arthritis and certain inflammatory bowel diseases. However, TNF also protects against infection, which means that inhibiting it can cause latent infections to resurface. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg have now discovered a new mechanism via which TNF protects against intracellular pathogens that cause infection. (2016-07-11)

Young doctors working in infectious diseases suffering burnout and bullying
One in five physicians working in medical microbiology and infectious diseases is suffering from burnout, bullying and poor work-life balance. (2017-02-23)

Scientists find potential weapons for the battle against antibiotic resistance
UNC School of Medicine scientists found that the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa can produce specific molecular factors that dramatically increase or decrease an antibiotic's ability to kill Staphylococcus aureus, another bacterium that often co-infects with P. aeruginosa. The findings, published in PLoS Biology, point to the possibility of new antibiotics employing these factors to enhance antibiotic susceptibility. (2017-12-05)

Scientists' warning to humanity: Microbiology and climate change
When it comes to climate change, ignoring the role of microorganisms could have dire consequences, according to a new statement issued by an international team of microbiologists. (2019-07-08)

E. coli's internal bomb may provide novel target for treatment strategy
Bacteria's internal bomb, the so-called toxin-antitoxin (TA) system that is part of the normal bacterial makeup, may be triggered to make bacteria turn on themselves, providing a valuable target for novel antimicrobial approaches in drug design, according to research presented at the 28th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID). (2018-04-20)

Microbes help make the coffee
When it comes to processing coffee beans, longer fermentation times can result in better taste, contrary to conventional wisdom. Lactic acid bacteria play an important, positive role in this process. Other species of microbes may play a role in this process as well, but more research is needed to better understand their role. The research is published Feb. 1 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. (2019-02-01)

Is a cup of tea really the answer to everything -- even anthrax?
A cup of black tea could be the next line of defense in the threat of bio-terrorism according to new international research. A new study by an international team of researchers from Cardiff University and University of Maryland has revealed how the humble cup of tea could well be an antidote to Bacillus anthracis -- more commonly know as anthrax. (2008-03-12)

Student class engagement soars when they use personal data to learn
Brigham Young University life sciences professors have found that giving students access to their personal biological data has a profound impact on their learning experience. In a summary of their experiment, published in high-ranking scientific journal PLOS ONE, the researchers report students with access to data about their own microbiome -- the trillions of tiny microorganisms that live in a person's gut, mouth and skin -- are significantly more engaged and more interested in course material. (2018-04-11)

Researchers find transferable antibiotic resistance gene in pathogen of developing nations
A team of investigators has found that the mcr-1 drug resistance gene, which encodes resistance to a drug that is used as a last resort, has been found for the first time in Shigella flexneri. Shigella are one of the leading causes of diarrhea worldwide. The research is published March 2 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. (2018-03-02)

Tampons can cause toxic shock syndrome
The use of intravaginal menstrual pads may be responsible for rare cases of menstrual toxic shock syndrome in women whose vaginas have been colonized by Staphylococcus aureus producing toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1). Menses can serve as a growth medium for S. aureus. (2018-04-20)

ISS microbes should be monitored to avoid threat to astronaut health
Strains of the bacterium Enterobacter, similar to newly found opportunistic infectious organisms seen in a few hospital settings, have been identified on the International Space Station (ISS). The strains found in space were not pathogenic to humans, but researchers believe they should be studied for potential health implications for future missions, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Microbiology. (2018-11-22)

New role for death molecule
To unravel programmed cell death pathways, investigators examine a molecule deemed unimportant, and find new function. (2019-02-11)

Development of a novel vaccine for Zika
Research presented by Farshad Guirakhoo, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, GeoVax, Inc., at the ASM Microbe 2017 meeting showed a new Zika virus vaccine that gives 100 percent protection in mice. The vaccine is the first to be based on the Zika virus NS1 protein, and the first to show single-dose protection against Zika in an immunocompetent lethal mouse challenge model. (2017-06-04)

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