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Electrically Conducting Bacteria Important For Energy, Environment And Technology
2013-11-13 10:52:15

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Tiny electrical wires protrude from some bacteria and contribute to rock and dirt formation. Researchers studying the protein that makes up one such wire have determined the protein's structure. The finding is important to such diverse fields as producing energy, recycling Earth's carbon and miniaturizing computers. "This is the first atomic resolution structure of this protein from an electrically conductive bacterial species, and it sets the...

2011-07-25 23:32:24

Study could help researchers develop anti-bacterial surfaces Jacinta Conrad, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Houston, likens her research into how bacteria move to "tracking bright spots on a dark background." Using a digital camera affixed to a microscope, Conrad and her collaborators videotape hours of moving bacteria. They then analyze these tens of thousands of images to determine exactly how they cross surfaces before forming biofilms,...

2011-06-03 13:14:54

One in three women will be faced at least once in her life with cystitis, for some the start of a constantly recurring infection. Cystitis is caused by Escherichia coli bacteria which fasten on to the wall of the bladder by means of thread-like structures (pili). Han Remaut of the VIB Department for Structural Biology Brussels, Vrije Universiteit Brussel reveals for the first time the complex interactions which lead to the formation of these pili. This knowledge can be used to develop new...

2010-10-23 01:42:40

'Walking' bacteria, kidney stones addressed in junior faculty members' health-related work Researchers can spend entire careers producing outstanding work but still not see their efforts featured in the pages of Science, one of the world's most prestigious scientific journals. That won't be the case, though, for two junior faculty members in engineering at the University of Houston (UH). Jacinta Conrad and Jeff Rimer, both assistant professors in Cullen College of Engineering's department of...

2010-05-19 09:44:09

When the forces of evolution took over an experimental strain of bacteria, it derailed an experiment Duke and NC State researchers thought they were conducting, but led to something much more profound instead. The researchers used a colony of mice raised in a large plastic bubble, called an isolator, that was completely sterile, lacking even a single bacterium. They introduced a single type of bacteria into the mouse colony, but it mutated quickly into different types, making new bacteria...

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2010-01-04 10:56:54

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have discovered that a single atom "“ a calcium, in fact "“ can control how bacteria walk. The finding identifies a key step in the process by which bacteria infect their hosts, and could one day lead to new drug targets to prevent infection. Bacteria can swim, propelling themselves through fluids using a whip-like extension called a flaggella. They can also walk, strolling along solid surfaces using little fibrous...

2009-09-07 08:07:19

Bacteria that generate significant amounts of electricity could be used in microbial fuel cells to provide power in remote environments or to convert waste to electricity. Professor Derek Lovley from the University of Massachusetts, USA isolated bacteria with large numbers of tiny projections called pili which were more efficient at transferring electrons to generate power in fuel cells than bacteria with a smooth surface. The team's findings were reported at the Society for General...


Word of the Day
barghest
  • A goblin in English folklore, often appearing in the shape of a large dog and believed to portend imminent death or misfortune.
  • A ghost, wraith, hobgoblin, elf, or spirit.
The origin of 'barghest' is not known, but it may be from perhaps burh-ghest, town-ghost, or German Berg-geist (mountain spirit) or Bär-geist (bear-spirit).
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