Lower Airways Are Distinct in Cystic Fibrosis Even at Younger Ages

In the largest study of its kind, researchers found that the lower airways in children with cystic fibrosis (CF) have a higher burden of infection, more inflammation and lower diversity of microorganisms, compared to children with other illnesses who also have lung issues. They noted a clear divergence in these bacterial communities in toddlers, which is typically before progressive lung disease takes hold in patients with CF. Their findings, published in the journal PLOS ONE, could help providers target specific pathogens earlier, treat them and potentially prevent more severe lung disease.

Study: Dental implant surfaces play major role in tissue attachment, warding off unwanted bacteria

The surface of implants, as well as other medical devices, plays a significant role in the adsorption of oral proteins and the colonization by unwanted microorganisms (a process known as biofouling), according to a new study led by the University at Buffalo and the University of Regensburg.

Bacteria and Algae Get Rides in Clouds

Human health and ecosystems could be affected by microbes including cyanobacteria and algae that hitch rides in clouds and enter soil, lakes, oceans and other environments when it rains, according to a Rutgers co-authored study.

Cooperative Microorganisms Get Competitive

Organisms in phototropic microbial communities survive by exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide with each other. Using a combination of computational modeling and experiments, researchers found that two different kinds of microorganisms can coexist in either in a cooperative or competitive fashion depending on resource availability, the environment, and the microorganisms’ genetic background.

After Turning Microorganisms Into Art, Student Helps NASA Study Origins of Life Through Algae (Video)

Rutgers student Julia Van Etten, whose @Couch_Microscopy Instagram page garnered more than 25,000 followers by showcasing microorganisms as art, is now working with NASA on research into how red algae can help explain the origins of life on Earth.

New Portable Tool Analyzes Microbes in the Environment

Imagine a device that could swiftly analyze microbes in oceans and other aquatic environments, revealing the health of these organisms – too tiny to be seen by the naked eye – and their response to threats to their ecosystems. Rutgers researchers have created just such a tool, a portable device that could be used to assess microbes, screen for antibiotic-resistant bacteria and analyze algae that live in coral reefs. Their work is published in the journal Scientific Reports.

How microbes reflect the health of coral reefs

Microorganisms play important roles in the health and protection of coral reefs, yet exploring these connections can be difficult due to the lack of unspoiled reef systems throughout the global ocean. A collaborative study led by scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the Centro de Investigaciones Marinas – Universidad de La Habana (CIM-UH) compared seawater from 25 reefs in Cuba and the U.S. Florida Keys varying in human impact and protection, and found that those with higher microbial diversity and lower concentrations of nutrients and organic carbon—primarily caused by human activities—were markedly healthier.