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Latest Microbial population biology Stories

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2008-11-11 10:00:00

Analysis reveals role of gene swaps in evolution of disease It sounds like a science fiction movie: A killer contagion threatens the Earth, but scientists save the day with a designer drug that forces the virus to mutate itself out of existence. The killer disease? Still a fiction. The drug? It could become a reality thanks to a new study by Rice University bioengineers. The study, which is available online and slated for publication in the journal Physical Review E, offers the most...

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2008-03-27 09:40:00

Scientists know more today than ever before about the microbes that inhabit our mouths. They know so much, in fact, that gathering all of the relevant bits of information into one place when designing experiments can be a job in itself. Now, grantees of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), part of the National Institutes of Health, and their international colleagues intend to solve this problem with the launch of the first comprehensive database of the oral...

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2007-11-16 10:52:46

Study finds biological complexity arises from self-organizing structure of genes What is the fundamental creative force behind life on Earth? It's a question that has vexed mankind for millennia, and thanks to theory and almost a year's worth of number-crunching on a supercomputer, Rice University physicist and bioengineer Michael Deem thinks he has the answer: A changing environment may organize the structure of genetic information itself. Deem's research is available online and slated to...

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2007-09-07 10:21:27

Bacterial to Animal Gene Transfers Now Shown to be Widespread, with Implications for Evolution and Control of Diseases and Pests Scientists at the University of Rochester and the J. Craig Venter Institute have discovered a copy of the genome of a bacterial parasite residing inside the genome of its host species. The research, reported in today's Science, also shows that lateral gene transfer"”the movement of genes between unrelated species"”may happen much more frequently between...

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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...

2005-09-22 15:52:45

Scientists are now revisiting, and perhaps revising, their thinking about how Archaea, an ancient kingdom of single-celled microorganisms, are involved in maintaining the global balance of nitrogen and carbon. Researchers have discovered the first Archaea known to oxidize ammonia for energy and metabolize carbon dioxide by successfully growing the tentatively named, Nitrosopumilus maritimus, in the lab. "Data from several cultivation-independent, molecular experiments led us to suspect that...

2005-08-03 15:00:21

Researchers have obtained further evidence that one of the oldest biological laws can also be applied to bacteria living in the sump tank reservoirs of machines in an engineering workshop in Oxford, according to a paper published in Environmental Microbiology. Scientists from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) in Oxford, found that the patterns of abundance and genetic diversity of bacteria living in oil-based metal-cutting fluid reservoirs were similar to those found in higher...