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Latest Flagellum Stories

9b58dc37039f1e0cb0f136ccdfae7562
2010-10-12 08:07:44

Tiny creatures may play a crucial role in mixing ocean nutrients Two separate research groups are reporting groundbreaking measurements of the fluid flow that surrounds freely swimming microorganisms. Experiments involving two common types of microbes reveal the ways that one creature's motion can affect its neighbors, which in turn can lead to collective motions of microorganism swarms. In addition, the research is helping to clarify how the motions of microscopic swimmers produces large...

2010-07-07 15:45:15

Japanese team hopes new discovery will aid in creation of therapies for visual, hearing problems It's safe to say that cilia, the hairlike appendages jutting out from the smooth surfaces of most mammalian cells, have long been misunderstood "“ underestimated, even. Not to be confused with their whiplike cousins flagella, which propel sperm, one type of cilia has been known to serve as microscopic conveyor belts. (Picture cilia reaching up like concertgoers supporting a crowd-surfer.)...

e9f73e7ae2badc335c3eae74fd0a1c401
2010-06-30 07:21:32

The deaths of nearby relatives has a curious effect on the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus -- surviving cells lose their stickiness. Indiana University Bloomington biologists report in an upcoming issue of Molecular Microbiology that exposure to the extracellular DNA (eDNA) released by dying neighbors stops the sticky holdfasts of living Caulobacter from adhering to surfaces, preventing cells from joining bacterial biofilms. Less sticky cells are more likely to escape established colonies,...

7a18c91ffc9304d0deb10568bfff3a881
2009-12-28 09:33:28

A protein complex mutated in human disease removes excess signaling molecules to prevent them from damaging cilia, say researchers from UMass Medical School. The study will be published in the December 28 issue of the Journal of Cell Biology. Defective cilia cause a range of diseases including Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS), a rare, multi-tissue disorder linked to mutations in 12 different proteins. Seven of these form a complex called the BBSome, but the function of this protein assembly in...

2009-12-02 18:39:59

A new study reveals how molecular motors that power important subcellular movements can generate cyclical motion. The research, published by Cell Press in the December issue of the Biophysical Journal, opens a new door to understanding motor molecules by using a computer program that faithfully simulates movement of hair-like cellular projections. Many cells and single-celled organisms have tiny appendages called cilia and flagella that can wave or oscillate to move fluid across the cell...

3d6882661d99b366b9249f9c4544ebac
2009-11-05 09:28:45

Research team uncovers how the bacterium that causes ulcers travels through the sticky gels of stomach mucus Mucus is more than gross--it's a critical barrier against disease, trapping many of the germs that want to invade your body. A wet mesh of proteins, antiseptic enzymes and salts, mucus is what keeps all but a few microbes from wreaking havoc on many of our most exposed tissues. Helicobacter pylori is one of the few. The tiny, corkscrew-shaped microbe bores through the mucus that lines...

2009-10-05 06:10:00

Researchers have developed a new method for studying bacterial swimming, one that allows them to trap Escherichia coli bacteria and modify the microbes' environment without hindering the way they move. The new approach, described this month in Nature Methods, uses optical traps, microfluidic chambers and fluorescence to get an improved picture of how E. coli get around. The microfluidic chambers provide a controlled environment in which the bacteria swim, and allow the researchers to...

2009-09-28 13:58:31

Yale University scientists say they have, for the first time, observed and tracked E. coli bacteria moving in a liquid medium. The researchers said their accomplishment will help lead to a better understanding of how bacteria move from place to place and, potentially, how to keep them from spreading. Scientists have long theorized the cigar-shaped cell bodies of E. coli and other micro-organisms would follow periodic orbits that resemble the motion of a kayak paddle. But until now no one had...

d34e55afb573904a782cceeeffbac7c01
2009-09-26 08:50:00

Yale engineers have for the first time observed and tracked E. coli bacteria moving in a liquid medium with a motion similar to that of a kayak paddle. Their findings, which appear online September 29 in the journal Physical Review Letters, will help lead to a better understanding of how bacteria move from place to place and, potentially, how to keep them from spreading. Scientists have long theorized that the cigar-shaped cell bodies of E. coli and other microorganisms would follow periodic...

a3003fc2fa187d8ac9a47e4a8b99bcb41
2009-09-25 05:49:58

Findings show that structure is the same throughout bacterial kingdom, and may provide insight into more complex signaling pathways Using state-of-the-art electron microscopy techniques, a team led by researchers from Caltech has for the first time visualized and described the precise arrangement of chemoreceptors"”the receptors that sense and respond to chemical stimuli"”in bacteria. In addition, they have found that this specific architecture is the same throughout a wide...


Word of the Day
vermicular
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.
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