Silver Attacks Bacteria, Gets ‘Consumed’

As antibiotic-resistant bacteria become more prevalent, silver has seen steep growth in its use in things like antibacterial coatings. Still, a better understanding can provide clues on how to best apply it. In Chemical Physics Reviews, researchers monitored the interaction of silver nanoparticles with a nearby E. coli culture and found the silver undergoes several dramatic changes. Most notably, the E. coli cells caused substantial transformations in the size and shape of the silver particles.

Personalized Microrobots Swim Through Biological Barriers, Deliver Drugs to Cells

Biohybrid robots on the micrometer scale can swim through the body and deliver drugs to tumors or provide other cargo-carrying functions. To be successful, they must consist of materials that can pass through the body’s immune response, swim quickly through viscous environments and penetrate tissue cells to deliver cargo. In this week’s APL Bioengineering, researchers fabricated biohybrid bacterial microswimmers by combining a genetically engineered E. coli MG1655 substrain and nanoerythrosomes, small structures made from red blood cells.

A MOTHER’S BUGS

-Newborn mice derive protective antibodies from their mothers’ microbiota
-Antibodies derived from mothers’ microbiota ward off both localized and widespread systemic infections by the bacterium E. coli
-Study points to the role of maternal microbes in offspring protection and neonatal immunity
-Findings can inform development of microbe-based therapies against infectious diarrhea in infants

Single Mutation Dramatically Changes Structure and Function of Bacteria’s Transporter Proteins

Swapping a single amino acid in a simple bacterial protein changes its structure and function, revealing the effects of complex gene evolution, finds a new study published in the journal eLife. The study—conducted using E. coli bacteria—can help researchers to better understand the evolution of transporter proteins and their role in drug resistance.