Bacteria

How Legionella Makes Itself At Home

DALLAS – May 10, 2021 – Scientists at UT Southwestern have discovered a key protein that helps the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease to set up house in the cells of humans and other hosts. The findings, published in Science, could offer insights into how other bacteria are able to survive inside cells, knowledge that could lead to new treatments for a wide variety of infections.

Cannabis use disorder linked to increased complications after spinal surgery

Dragonfly wings, lotus leaves, cicada wings — thanks to millennia of evolution, nature has optimized the ways these surfaces and others behave to offer antibacterial functionality. An international, interdisciplinary team of researchers is trying to find the best way to translate these features to create nature-inspired bactericidal surfaces for use in medical implants. They discuss the surface structures and chemical compositions for an ideal implant material in the journal Applied Physics Reviews.

Weizmann Scientists Find That Bacteria May Aid Anti-Cancer Immune Response

The Weizmann Institute’s Prof. Yardena Samuels, Prof. Eran Segal, and Dr. Ravid Straussman, with partners at MD Anderson Cancer Center, the NCI, and elsewhere, have discovered that the bacteria living inside cancer cells can be harnessed to provoke an immune reaction against the tumor. The work could also help explain findings showing that the microbiome affects the success of immunotherapy.

Antibiotic-Resistant Strains of Staph Bacteria May Be Spreading Between Pigs Raised in Factory Farms and People in North Carolina

DNA sequencing of bacteria found in pigs and humans in rural eastern North Carolina, an area with concentrated industrial-scale pig-farming, suggests that multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains are spreading between pigs, farmworkers, their families and community residents, and represents an emerging public health threat, according to a study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Greenland Melting Likely Increased by Bacteria in Sediment

Bacteria are likely triggering greater melting on the Greenland ice sheet, possibly increasing the island’s contribution to sea-level rise, according to Rutgers scientists. That’s because the microbes cause sunlight-absorbing sediment to clump together and accumulate in the meltwater streams, according to a Rutgers-led study – the first of its kind – in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The findings can be incorporated in climate models, leading to more accurate predictions of melting, scientists say.

Antibiotics for C-sections Effective After Umbilical Cord Clamped

Antibiotics for cesarean section births are just as effective when they’re given after the umbilical cord is clamped as before clamping – the current practice – and could benefit newborns’ developing microbiomes, according to Rutgers co-authored research. The study, by far the largest of its kind and published in the journal Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control, challenges current recommendations for antibiotic use. Administering antibiotics after clamping does not increase the risk of infection at the site of C-section incisions, the study concludes.

Microbes in dental plaque look more like relatives in soil than those on the tongue

A new study out of UChicago and the Marine Biological Laboratory used state-of-the-art sequencing technology to deep-screen the genomes of microbes known as TM7 present in the mouth. This approach determined that TM7 species living on the tongue more closely resembled those found in the GI tract, while TM7 species in dental plaque more closely resembled environmental species, providing a hint at how plaque may have played a role in microbial colonization of the body.

Gut Microbiome Manipulation Could Result from Virus Discovery

Scientists have discovered how a common virus in the human gut infects and takes over bacterial cells – a finding that could be used to control the composition of the gut microbiome, which is important for human health. The Rutgers co-authored research, which could aid efforts to engineer beneficial bacteria that produce medicines and fuels and clean up pollutants, is published in the journal Nature.

Glowing Progress in Pathogen Discovery

OmniScreen is an end-to-end pipeline for quickly and effectively distinguishing a plethora of pathogenic cells in a microbial community. The system extracts, probes, and screens thousands of cells to pick out pathogens in a matter of days.

Scientists use bacteria as micro-3D printers

A team at Aalto University has used bacteria to produce intricately designed three-dimensional objects made of nanocellulose. With their technique, the researchers are able to guide the growth of bacterial colonies through the use of strongly water repellent – or superhydrophobic – surfaces.

What’s That Growing on Your Face Mask?

Many people reuse masks and other face coverings many times without sanitizing them. That is likely because current sanitization methods can be cumbersome. A new device using a hanging rack and UV-C light can sterilize up to six masks and other items simultaneously and quickly, killing bacteria, yeasts, mold spores, and viruses. This device has shown its efficacy against pathogens including the highly-contagious E-coli, which was eradicated in about one minute.

Bacteria Can Defuse Dangerous Chemical In Passaic River

Bacteria that can help defuse highly toxic dioxin in sediments in the Passaic River – a Superfund hazardous waste site – could eventually aid cleanup efforts at other dioxin-contaminated sites around the world, according to Rutgers scientists. Their research, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, needs further work to realize the full potential of the beneficial bottom-dwelling microbes.

Harmful Microbes Found on Sewer Pipe Walls

Can antibiotic-resistant bacteria escape from sewers into waterways and cause a disease outbreak? A new Rutgers study, published in the journal Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology, examined the microbe-laden “biofilms” that cling to sewer walls, and even built a simulated sewer to study the germs that survive within.

Dangerous Tick-Borne Bacterium Extremely Rare in New Jersey

There’s some good news in New Jersey about a potentially deadly tick-borne bacterium. Rutgers researchers examined more than 3,000 ticks in the Garden State and found only one carrying Rickettsia rickettsii, the bacterium that causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever. But cases of tick-borne spotted fevers have increased east of the Mississippi River, and more research is needed to understand why, according to a study in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Algae in the Oceans Often Steal Genes from Bacteria

Algae in the oceans often steal genes from bacteria to gain beneficial attributes, such as the ability to tolerate stressful environments or break down carbohydrates for food, according to a Rutgers co-authored study.
The study of 23 species of brown and golden-brown algae, published in the journal Science Advances, shows for the first time that gene acquisition had a significant impact on the evolution of a massive and ancient group of algae and protists (mostly one-celled organisms including protozoa) that help form the base of oceanic food webs.

Bacteria potentially involved in the development of type 2 diabetes

blood and tissue samples from 40 patients suffering from severe obesity taken during bariatric surgery were used. Half of the participants suffered from type 2 diabetes, while the other subjects showed insulin resistance without being diabetic.

The researchers identified the bacterial genetic material in each of the tissues sampled, which came from the liver and three abdominal fat deposits. Based on the type of bacteria present and their relative abundance, the researchers were able to determine the bacterial signature for each tissue.