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Latest Environmental microbiology Stories

Queen Of Spades Key To New Evolutionary Hypothesis
2012-05-11 03:02:13

Microscopic ocean plankton mimic card also known as the Black Queen Sleight of hand is a trait that belongs mainly to humans. Or so scientists thought. Studies of common, microscopic ocean plankton named Prochlorococcus show that humans aren't the only ones who can play a mean game of cards. Their method lurks in the Black Queen Hypothesis, as it's called, after the Queen of Spades in the card game Hearts. Scientists Jeffrey Morris and Richard Lenski of Michigan State...

2012-05-07 19:59:38

Infants whose gut is colonised by E. coli bacteria early in life have a higher number of memory B cells in their blood, reveals a study of infants carried out at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. The bacteria in our gut outnumber the cells in our bodies by a factor of ten and are extremely important for our health because they stimulate the maturation of the immune system. The normal bacterial flora in the gut is established at the very beginning of our...

2012-04-26 13:43:57

Whilst some bacteria can provide health benefits there are others that can do annoying things — like kill you. So in order to save ourselves we should probably kill them first. So, stand aside bacterial wipes, hand sanitizers and antiseptic sprays there is a new bug zapper in town. Bring in the plasma flashlight — a torch that emits a plasma jet that kills bacteria on the skin in an instant. Developed by a group of Chinese and Australian scientists, including CSIRO, the...

2012-04-04 20:45:04

A new hypothesis counters popular evolutionary thinking that living organisms evolve by adding genes rather than discarding them A new hypothesis posed by a University of Tennessee, Knoxville, associate professor and colleagues could be a game changer in the evolution arena. The hypothesis suggests some species are surviving by discarding genes and depending on other species to play their hand. The groundbreaking "Black Queen Hypothesis" got its name from the game of Hearts. In...

2012-03-06 23:54:01

Microorganisms play pivotal functions in nature, particularly within aquatic ecosystems. Whether in an ocean or a lake, they are key players in the food chain and the vitality of individual ecosystems. A team of researchers led by Arezoo M. Ardekani, the Rev. John Cardinal O'Hara, C.S.C., Assistant Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, has shown that density stratification, a frequent feature of aquatic environments, has important ecological...

2012-01-31 06:20:47

The first awardees for the pilot project grant program from The Alkek Center for Metagenomics and Microbiome Research at Baylor College of Medicine have been announced. The grants were open to BCM instructors, assistant professors and postdoctoral associates. Six researchers were chosen for the Microbiota Association Discovery award of $20,000 or the Host-Commensal Interaction Study award of $50,000. "The grants were created to support preliminary studies for faculty who are looking to...

Extracellular Matrix Identified As Source Of Spreading In Biofilms
2012-01-24 03:39:59

New research at Harvard explains how bacterial biofilms expand to form slimy mats on teeth, pipes, surgical instruments, and crops. Through experiment and mathematical analysis, researchers have shown that the extracellular matrix (ECM), a mesh of proteins and sugars that can form outside bacterial cells, creates osmotic pressure that forces biofilms to swell and spread. The ECM mechanism is so powerful that it can increase the radius of some biofilms five-fold within 24 hours. The...

2012-01-19 17:53:52

The bottom of a glacier is not the most hospitable place on Earth, but at least two types of bacteria happily live there, according to researchers. The bacteria -- Chryseobacterium and Paenisporosarcina -- showed signs of respiration in ice made in the laboratory that was designed to simulate as closely as possible the temperatures and nutrient content found at the bottom of Arctic and Antarctic glaciers, said Corien Bakermans, assistant professor of microbiology, Penn State Altoona. She...

2012-01-11 09:55:11

By analyzing how multiple microbial species act in concert in the gut, researchers see different patterns in lean and obese people For the first time, researchers have analyzed the multitude of microorganisms residing in the human gut as a complex, integrated biological system, rather than a set of separate species. Their approach has revealed patterns that correspond with excess body weight. The collection of microbes inside the human gut is a bustling network of genetic interplays and...


Word of the Day
tesla
  • The unit of magnetic flux density in the International System of Units, equal to the magnitude of the magnetic field vector necessary to produce a force of one newton on a charge of one coulomb moving perpendicular to the direction of the magnetic field vector with a velocity of one meter per second. It is equivalent to one weber per square meter.
This word is named for Nikola Tesla, the inventor, engineer, and futurist.