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Latest Microbial population biology Stories

2012-05-31 01:22:21

Humans spend greater than 90 percent of their time indoors, but we're never alone there. Bacteria and viruses, scientists estimate, make up half of the world's biomass–some 10 nonillion (1 followed by 31 zeros) microorganisms–and we most often meet them within enclosed spaces. So, that's where the modern microbe hunter often looks first. A new report issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) offers guidance to make the hunting more effective. A...

New Study Sheds Light On The Evolution Of Multicellularity
2012-01-19 12:21:23

One of the greatest mysteries of evolutionary biology revolves around the question of how Earth´s original single-celled ancestors – the predecessors of all life on the planet – first made the critical transition to multicellularity. A new study published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), however, points out that the switch may not have been as difficult as most scientists have speculated. The traditional paradigm for attempting to...

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...

2011-03-22 08:15:00

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and SHENZHEN, China, March 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- BGI (previously known as the Beijing Genomics Institute), the largest genomic organization in the world, announced its participation and pivotal role in the Earth Microbiome Project (EMP), a massively multidisciplinary effort to systematically determine the functional and evolutionary diversity of microbial communities across the globe for the benefit of the planet and mankind. Unlike past microbial studies that have...

2010-11-17 13:23:35

The types of gut bacteria that populate the guts of primates depend on the species of the host as well as where the host lives and what they eat. A study led by Howard Ochman at Yale University examines the gut microbial communities in great apes, showing that a host's species, rather than their diet, has the greatest effect on gut bacteria diversity. These findings will publish next week in the online, open access journal PLoS Biology. "Bacteria are crucial to human health. They enhance the...

2010-10-12 16:25:54

Many countries now acknowledge the need to obtain their energy supply from renewable sources such as biomass. Prof. Verstraete will explain how his team have developed a new anaerobic digestion reactor which can generate as much electricity as 25 wind turbines. These reactors use a consortium of methanogenic (methane-producing) bacteria to degrade waste and energy crops to produce biogas (a mixture of methane and carbon) which is then converted to electricity using a turbine. We were reminded...

2010-09-14 12:38:40

Farming practices have a significant impact on the diversity of beneficial microbial fungi known to play important roles in crop productivity, soil recovery and maintenance of healthy ecosystems, according to new research published today (14 September 2010) in the journal Environmental Microbiology. The conclusions could have important implications for the way humans manage the agricultural landscape and tackle food security issues. The study was led by Dr Christopher van der Gast at the...

2010-04-27 08:47:44

The human species is dependent for its survival on the billions of microorganisms that inhabit multiple environmental niches within and on the human body. While microbes are commonly associated with diseases and infections, they are also vital in essential, beneficial roles such as digestion, where they help synthesize vitamins and ferment complex indigestible carbohydrates. The overwhelming majority of microbial species (>99%) resist cultivation in the laboratory. However, recent advances...

2010-01-14 15:02:08

Research published in the journal Genetics suggests that mutagenic drugs designed to kill viruses may make them stronger As the flu season continues in full-swing, most people can appreciate the need for drugs that stop viruses after they take hold in the body. Despite this serious need for new drugs, a team of researchers from the University of Texas at Austin raise serious concerns about an emerging strategy for stopping viral infections. According to their research report appearing in the...

2009-06-23 12:27:52

The National Institutes of Health (www.nih.gov) today announced expanded funding for Baylor College of Medicine's (www.bcm.edu) Human Genome Sequencing Center for its involvement in the Human Microbiome Project, which seeks to understand how the trillions of microscopic organisms that live in or on the human body affect human health and lives.Also announced was that BCM's Dr. James Versalovic (http://www.bcm.edu/cmb/?pmid=2446) will lead one of 15 pilot clinical demonstration projects.The...


Word of the Day
callithump
  • A somewhat riotous parade, accompanied with the blowing of tin horns, and other discordant noises; also, a burlesque serenade; a charivari.
'Callithump' is a back-formation of 'callithumpian,' a 'fanciful formation' according to the Oxford English Dictionary. However, the English Dialect Dictionary, says 'Gallithumpians' is a Dorset and Devon word from the 1790s that refers to 'a society of radical social reformers' or 'noisy disturbers of elections and meetings.'
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