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Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 20:06 EDT

Latest Microbial ecology Stories

2010-03-30 08:27:46

Microorganisms can indeed live in extreme environments, but the ones that do are highly adapted to survive and little else, according to a collaboration that includes Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Joint Genome Institute (JGI) and the University of Oklahoma. The metagenomic study of a "stressed" microbial community in groundwater near a former waste disposal pond site on DOE's Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) revealed microbes with an overabundance of genes involved in...

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2009-01-20 10:23:00

In terms of diversity and sheer numbers, the microbes occupying the human gut easily dwarf the billions of people inhabiting the Earth. Numbering in the tens of trillions and representing many thousands of distinct genetic families, this microbiome, as it's called, helps the body perform a variety of regulatory and digestive functions, many still poorly understood. How this microbial m©lange may be linked to body weight changes associated with morbid obesity is a relevant and important...

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2008-06-19 09:55:00

Microbes may be smarter than we think. A new study by Princeton University researchers shows for the first time that bacteria don't just react to changes in their surroundings -- they anticipate and prepare for them. The findings, reported in the June 6 issue of Science, challenge the prevailing notion that only organisms with complex nervous systems have this ability. "What we have found is the first evidence that bacteria can use sensed cues from their environment to infer future events,"...

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2007-07-24 16:40:00

A typical human mouth teems with as many as 700 different species of microbes. A handful of these have been specifically implicated in promoting gum disease, dental cavities, and bad breath, but for the most part, the make-up of this complex ecosystem and its impact on human health remain largely unexplored. A new device created by Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) researchers, however, may make some of the most reclusive members of this and other microscopic communities much more...