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National Academies advisory: Preventing microbial contamination of Mars
If microbes on a spacecraft bound to Mars were to survive the trip and grow there, they could interfere with scientific investigations to detect any life that might be native to Mars. (2005-07-25)

New insight into autoimmune disease: Bacterial infections promote recognition of self-glycolipids
The ability of the immune system to recognize the body's own tissues is essential, but sometimes the immune system loses the ability to distinguish (2005-06-21)

Scientists team up for multiyear studies of microbial mysteries
More than two dozen researchers from 16 institutions will participate in $10 million, three- to- five-year (2005-05-18)

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, May 2005
Story ideas from the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory include ENVIRONMENT -- Nitrate's worst nightmare; INSTRUMENTATION -- Symposium slated May 8-12; BIOLOGY -- Microbial sleuth; and ENVIRONMENT -- Lower emissions. (2005-05-04)

Researchers develop new method for facile identification of proteins in bacterial cells
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have developed a (2005-05-04)

Yale researchers identify molecule for detecting parasitic infection in humans
Researchers at Yale, in collaboration with NIH researchers, have identified a specific protein molecule that is used by the immune system for detection of parasitic infections, leading the way for development of future vaccines to combat these infections. (2005-04-28)

LUCA technologies confirms real-time methane generation
Luca Technologies has confirmed within the 110,000 acre Monument Butte oilfield in North Eastern Utah the presence of a living, community of microorganisms capable of actively converting hydrocarbons (including oil, coal fields or oil shales) deep with the earth to methane on an ongoing, real-time basis. Such (2005-04-28)

Report suggests infectious connection to chronic diseases
Some diseases like ulcers and certain types of cancer, once thought to be primarily related to lifestyle factors, are now known to be caused by microorganisms, and many more syndromes, including some psychiatric conditions, may have a connection to infection, according to a report released today by the American Academy of Microbiology. (2005-04-22)

Schizophrenic antifungal bacteria
Dutch researcher Daniƫl van den Broek investigated bacteria which fight fungal infections in plants. Spontaneous variations in the phase of these bacteria reduce the anti-fungal protective function but increase the bacteria's competitive advantage and with this their chances of survival. (2005-04-12)

Clearing the air on airplane cabin air
Fear about the safety of air in airplane cabins heightens whenever new infections, such as SARS or avian flu, appear in headlines. (2005-04-07)

Could microbes solve Russia's chemical weapons conundrum?
One of nature's most versatile microorganisms - a bacterium called Pseudomonas putida - could help mop up the toxic by-products caused by the destruction of the chemical weapon mustard, write Russian researchers in Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology this month. (2005-03-08)

Report highlights diseases from the environment
While many infectious diseases are caused by human-to-human transmission, others are caused by microorganisms that exist in the outside environment. Scientists from a variety of fields, including medicine and the environment, must work together to address the challenges posed by these environmental pathogens, according to a new report, From Outside to Inside: Environmental Microorganisms as Human Pathogens, released today by the American Academy of Microbiology. (2005-03-04)

New book looks at ecosystem of mucous membranes
A new book from ASM Press highlights the codependent relationship that has evolved between mammals and microbes in the mucous membranes. (2005-02-16)

Systems microbiology has great scientific promise in health and environment
Systems microbiology treats microorganisms or microbial communities as a whole, integrating fundamental biological knowledge with genomics and other data to create an integrated picture of how a microbial cell or community operates. According to a new report, (2005-01-06)

Microbe's genome promises insight into Earth's carbon and sulfur cycling
Scientists have sequenced the genome of the microorganism Silicibacter pomeroyi, a member of an abundant group of marine bacteria known to impact the Earth's ecosystem by releasing and consuming atmospheric gases. This genetic blueprint provides insight into the biochemical pathways the bacterium uses to regulate its release of sulfur and carbon monoxide. Atmospheric sulfur serves as a catalyst for cloud formation, in turn, directly affecting the planet's temperature and energy regulation, while carbon monoxide is a greenhouse gas. (2004-12-16)

NSF funds Panikov's Alaskan Tundra Microbial Observatory project
A grant has been awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to Drs. Nicolai S. Panikov (PI, Stevens Institute of Technology) and Vladimir Romanovsky (Co-PI, University of Alaska, Fairbanks) to establish a Microbial Observatory project in the Alaskan tundra. The long-term challenge is to identify the biological nature of recently discovered mysterious microorganisms able to metabolize in the permafrost. (2004-12-15)

Common lineage suggested for viruses that infect hosts from all three domains of life
Scientists at The Wistar Institute, working in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Helsinki, have discovered structural similarities among viruses that infect hosts from all three domains of life. These structural similarities suggest that the viruses, despite their genomic variations and differences in hosts, may have evolved from a common ancestor billions of years ago. (2004-12-02)

Discovery of real-time natural gas formation offers prospect for renewable energy resource
Researchers at Luca Technologies have made a discovery regarding natural gas production in Wyoming's Powder River Basin that could lead to a renewable source of energy for generations. Laboratory evidence shows that the Powder River Basin (PRB) coals are generating natural gas in real time through the activity of anaerobic microbes resident in those coal fields. The company believes the careful management of such sites may offer a new long-term solution to U.S. energy needs. (2004-11-16)

Gut microbes can open gates in fat cells
The microorganisms that normally live in the gut can increase body fat, say researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. They found that gut microbes can open the (2004-11-01)

Microbes eat their way to better concrete
Two South Dakota School of Mines and Technology researchers are creating living organisms that may provide a better way to seal cracks in concrete. (2004-09-22)

$18 million bioinformatics center to become weapon against deadly diseases
A computer database designed to help biomedical scientists identify and exploit the weak spots in scores of deadly microorganisms will be established with an $18 million contract from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health. (2004-09-03)

Full promise of genomics in disease research yet to be realized
Over the past decade genomics has revolutionized our understanding of how microorganisms cause disease. However, genomic studies need to be extended to a more diverse array of microorganisms and research tools improved to gain additional insights into pathogenesis, according to a new report released by the American Academy of Microbiology. (2004-08-05)

Sagging symbionts
Animals house substantial microbial populations within their bodies. In some cases microorganisms are necessary for host survival or reproduction, but not in all. It is interesting to understand whether facultative associations with microorganisms ever benefit the host in lesser ways. In a study by Leonardo in Ecology Letters, June, antibiotic treatment, in combination with genetic data presented, implies that the aphid, rather than symbiont, genome is responsible for causing the observed specialization. (2004-05-13)

New research suggests therapeutic approach for autoimmune diseases
Researchers at the Jackson Laboratory have identified a novel therapeutic target for treating autoimmune disease. A team headed by Senior Staff Scientist Derry Roopenian discovered that a normally functioning protein, FcRn, plays an important role in promoting arthritis, a common form of autoimmune disease, and that blocking FcRn in mice reduces arthritis symptoms. (2004-05-03)

Jennie Hunter-Cevera wins 2004 USFCC/J. Roger Porter Award
Jennie C. Hunter-Cevera, Ph.D., President, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, Baltimore, will receive the 2004 USFCC/J. Roger Porter Award. Supported by the United States Federation for Culture Collections (USFCC) and the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the award recognizes Hunter-Cevera's remarkable expertise in collecting, maintaining, and preserving microbial cultures. (2004-04-30)

Derek R. Lovley receives 2004 Proctor & Gamble Award from American Society for Microbiology
Derek R. Lovley, Ph.D., Distinguished University Professor and Department Head, Department of Microbiology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, has won the Proctor & Gamble Award in Applied and Environmental Microbiology from the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). (2004-04-30)

The American Academy of Microbiology releases report
The American Academy of Microbiology has recently released a report entitled, (2004-04-07)

Ethanol to power the future of hydrogen fuel cells
Hydrogen fuel cell technology's potentially strong future as a fuel for automobiles and various other applications is likely to be weakened by issues regarding its availability and the expenses involved in storage. Bio-based products such as ethanol are expected to open up new areas for research. (2004-03-29)

Bacteria live in the esophagus!
The esophagus isn't merely a tube for food traveling from the mouth to the stomach, it also provides an environment for bacteria to live, according to a new study by NYU School of Medicine scientists that overturns the general belief that the esophagus is free of bacteria. (2004-03-15)

NETs protect against pathogenic bacteria
White blood cells can kill bacteria by trapping them in net-like extracellular structures, report scientists in Arturo Zychlinsky's lab at the Max-Planck-Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin. (2004-03-04)

Researchers discover 1.2 million new genes in Sargasso Sea microbes
Department of Energy funded researchers at the Institute for Biological Energy Alternatives (IBEA) have sequenced microbes in the Sargasso Sea and have discovered at least 1,800 new species and more than 1.2 million new genes. IBEA researchers' discoveries include 782 new rhodopsin-like photoreceptor genes (only a few dozen have been characterized in microorganisms to date). (2004-03-04)

Light-sensitive gloves reduce risk of germ transfer
High technology is now at our fingertips - literally. A new type of disposable glove emits chlorine dioxide when exposed to light or moisture, killing potentially harmful microbes and making it ideal for use among health care and food workers, according to a study in the March 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, now available online. (2004-03-03)

Targeting hard-to-kill fungal infections
A study appearing in the February issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine demonstrates that radioimmunotherapy (RIT) provides a new, highly effective way to kill Cryptococcus neoformans and Histoplasma capsulatum, the fungi responsible for fungal meningitis and pneumonia, using much smaller levels of radiation than required to kill the fungi by external radiation. The study used organism-specific monoclonal antibodies coupled with radioactive isotopes of bismuth or rhenium. (2004-02-12)

Symposium focuses on unique challenges of environmental pathogens
A symposium sponsored by the American Academy of Microbiology, (2004-02-09)

Findings could aid efforts to harness nature for making drugs
Chemical engineers at Purdue University have shown how to make yeast cells double the activity and boost productivity of a type of enzyme plants need to create important chemicals such as anticancer compounds. Findings are detailed in a paper appearing in the Jan. 20 issue of the journal Biotechnology and Bioengineering. (2004-01-28)

Mars on Earth?
A team of scientists from LSU, NASA, the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and other research organizations has discovered an area of Earth that is shockingly similar to the surface of Mars. This joint research effort has discovered clues from one of Earth's driest deserts about the limits of life on this planet, and why past missions to Mars may have failed to detect life. (2004-01-13)

Bacteria discoveries could resemble Mars, other planets
A team of scientists has discovered bacteria in a hole drilled more than 4,000 feet deep in volcanic rock on the island of Hawaii near Hilo, in an environment they say could be analogous to conditions on Mars and other planets. The discovery is one of the deepest drill holes in which scientists have found living organisms encased within volcanic rock. (2003-12-30)

Researchers probe how microbes speed up acid production at mining sites
Microbes are everywhere, but when they are in mined soils, they react with the mineral pyrite to speed up acidification of mine run-off water. Scientists have been trying to understand the chemistry behind this process that eventually leads to widespread acidification of water bodies and deposition of heavy metals. (2003-12-11)

New treatment appears effective for rosacea
Application of a new formulation of azelaic acid gel to the face reduces the redness and lesions associated with rosacea better than a commonly used treatment (metronidazole gel), according to an article in the November issue of The Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. (2003-11-17)

Study of primitive life form expected to provide clues to biological processes in higher organisms
Primitive microorganisms provide important clues as to how all creatures employ a basic regulatory mechanism to conduct the business of life. Peter Kennelly, professor of biochemistry at Virginia Tech, is studying a primitive organism discovered in acidic hot springs at Yellowstone National Park to find clues about that mechanism in higher organisms. (2003-11-11)

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