||Last Updated: Nov 17th, 2006 - 22:35:04
Gut Bacteria Cospeciating with Plataspid stinkbug
With some 1 million species and counting, insects may be the most abundant class of animals living today. Their protective exoskeleton, prolific reproductive rate, and wings help their cause, as do the symbiotic bacteria that inhabit their cells, gut, or body cavity. Endocellular symbionts live inside specialized insect cells and provide essential nutrients for their hosts, which in turn provide suitable habitat for the bacteria. Insect mothers transmit endocellular symbionts to their offspring during egg or embryo development, preserving an intimate bond between host and symbiont that is evident in both species' genomes.
Oct 11, 2006, 04:57
How West Nile virus evades immune defenses
West Nile virus evades the body's immune defenses by blocking immune signaling by a protein receptor, a finding that could pave the way for a vaccine to protect against North American strains of the virus, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers report.
Oct 5, 2006, 01:05
An infectious agent of deception, exposed through proteomics
Salmonella bacteria, infamous for food poisoning that kills hundreds of thousands worldwide, infect by stealth. They slip unnoticed into and multiply inside macrophages, the very immune system cells the body relies on to seek and destroy invading microbes.
Oct 1, 2006, 22:56
Gram positive bacterial membrane mystery solved
A 25-year quest to identify the first biochemical step that many disease-causing bacteria use to build their membranes has led to a discovery that holds promise for effective, new antibiotics against these bacteria, according to investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Sep 1, 2006, 17:56
E.Coli uses 'shock absorbers' to combat adverse conditions
Bacteria have hair-like protrusions with a sticky protein on the tip that lets them cling to surfaces. The coiled, bungee cord-like structure of the protrusions helps the bacteria hang on tightly, even under rough fluid flow inside the body, researchers report in the journal PLoS Biology.
Aug 29, 2006, 20:54
Innovative method for creating a human cytomegalovirus vaccine outlined
Each year, about 40,000 children are born infected with human cytomegalovirus, or CMV, and about 8,000 of these children suffer permanent disabilities due to the virus – almost one an hour. These disabilities can include hearing loss, vision loss, mental disability, a lack of coordination, and seizures. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CMV is as common a cause of serious disability as Down syndrome, fetal alcohol syndrome, or neural tube defects.
Aug 2, 2006, 11:43
Cracking Virus Protection Shield
Ebola, measles and rabies are serious threats to public health in developing countries. Despite different symptoms all of the diseases are caused by the same class of viruses that unlike most other living beings carry their genetic information on a single RNA molecule instead of a double strand of DNA. Now researchers from the Institut de Virologie Moléculaire et Structurale [IVMS] and the Outstation of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory [EMBL] in Grenoble have obtained a detailed structural picture of a protein that allows the rabies virus to withstand the human immune response and survive and replicate in our cells. The study that is published in this week's online edition of Science suggests new potential drug targets in rabies and sheds light on how similar approaches can help fighting other viral diseases.
Jun 19, 2006, 02:18
Viruses trade-off between survival and reproduction
Living is an energy-intensive exercise that inevitably involves trade-offs. As many a mother may tell you, expending the energy necessary to raise a clutch of kids can shave years off one's life. Trade-offs between reproductive success and survival have been demonstrated for a wide variety of organisms and, in keeping with life history theory, should arise in any organism striving to maximize fitness under the constraints of finite resources.
Jun 15, 2006, 12:09
Smart Petri Dish could rapidly screen new drugs for toxic interactions
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have developed what they call a “Smart Petri Dish” that could be used to rapidly screen new drugs for toxic interactions or identify cells in the early stages of cancer circulating through a patient’s blood. Their invention, described in the June 20 issue of Langmuir, a physical chemistry journal published by the American Chemical Society, uses porous silicon crystals filled with polystyrene to detect subtle changes in the sizes and shapes of the cells.
Jun 15, 2006, 11:41
Master key to yeasts' pathogenic lifestyles discovered
For some microbes, the transformation from a benign lifestyle in the soil to that of a potentially deadly human pathogen is just a breath away. Inhaled into the lungs of a mammal, spores from a class of six related soil molds found around the world encounter a new, warmer environment. And as soon as they do, they rapidly shift gears and assume the guise of pathogenic yeast, causing such serious and sometimes deadly afflictions as blastomycosis and histoplasmosis.
Apr 28, 2006, 13:45
New hybrid virus provides targeted molecular imaging of cancer
Researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center have created a new class of hybrid virus and demonstrated its ability to find, highlight, and deliver genes to tumors in mice. Researchers say the advance, reported in the journal Cell, is potentially an important step in making human cancer both more visible and accessible to treatment; it may also allow prediction and monitoring of how specific anti-cancer agents are actually working.
Apr 22, 2006, 19:32
Artificial Illumination Using White or Green Light May Prevent Biofilm Formation on Artwork
Using white or green light to artificially illuminate artwork may prevent biofilm formation and surface deterioration, say researchers from Spain. They report their findings in the April 2006 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
Apr 15, 2006, 18:41
Mass spectrometry to detect norovirus particles
Scientists have used mass spectrometry for decades to determine the chemical composition of samples but rarely has it been used to identify viruses, and never in complex environmental samples. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health recently demonstrated that proteomic mass spectrometry has the potential to be applied for this purpose. Using a two-step process, researchers successfully separated, purified and concentrated a norovirus surrogate from a clinical sample within a few hours. Nanospray mass spectrometry was used to demonstrate the feasibility of detecting norovirus particles in the purified concentrates.
Apr 10, 2006, 14:08
xCT molecule is a major gateway for KSHV to enter human cells
Researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), have identified a critical human cell surface molecule involved in infection by Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV), the virus that causes Kaposi's sarcoma and certain forms of lymphoma. Kaposi's sarcoma is a major cancer associated with HIV/AIDS, and it typically manifests as multiple purple-hued skin lesions.
Apr 7, 2006, 13:56
Surprising discovery about the inner workings of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)
Biochemists at Wake Forest University School of Medicine have made a surprising discovery about the inner workings of a powerful virus – a discovery that they hope could one day lead to better vaccines or anti-virus medications.
Apr 7, 2006, 13:53
Salmonella bacteria use RNA to assess and adjust magnesium levels
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have added a gene in the bacterium Salmonella to the short list of genes regulated by a new mechanism known as the riboswitch. The Salmonella riboswitch is the first to sense and respond to a metal ion, substantially expanding the types of molecules that riboswitches can detect to help cells assess and react to their environment.
Apr 7, 2006, 03:47
New human retrovirus - Xenotropic MuLV-related virus (XMRV)
Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers and their colleagues have discovered a new retrovirus in humans that is closely related to a cancer-causing virus found in mice. Their findings describe the first documented cases of human infection with a retrovirus that is native to rodents.
Apr 1, 2006, 19:27
Genomics Sheds Light on Metabolism of Cryptic Marine Microbes
In 1977 Carl Woese and George Fox expanded our appreciation of microbial diversity by analyzing the genetic sequence of a molecule (ribosomal RNA) found in all cells. They discovered that species previously classified as bacteria, called methanogenic bacteria, possessed unique enzymes and an unusual metabolism based on reducing carbon dioxide to methane. These traits were foreign to both “uber” domains of life, Eurkaryota and Bacteria, prompting Woese to create a new category, which he called Archaebacteria (archae means ancient in Greek), acknowledging a metabolism that would have suited the putative conditions on earth over 3 billion years ago.
Mar 22, 2006, 12:02
How deadly toxin botulinum neurotoxin A hijacks cells
Scientists have pinpointed exactly how botulinum neurotoxin A - a potential agent of biological warfare and one of the most lethal toxins known to man - is able to sneak into cells. The finding is crucial for the development of new treatments against botulism, a paralytic illness caused by the toxin more commonly known as botox. As small amounts of botox are also known to alleviate many medical problems, the recent work could help to quell any risks associated with the toxin's clinical use.
Mar 17, 2006, 14:02
String Test: Effective and Inexpensive Method for Detecting Helicobacter pylori
Swallowing a string may offer a simple and effective alternative to costly and invasive techniques used for detecting Helicobacter pylori in patients say researchers from the U.S. and abroad. They report their findings in the March 2006 issue of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.
Mar 11, 2006, 20:37
Multivariate Linear Regression May Assist in Determining Virulence Factors for Microbes
A well established statistical tool known as multivariate linear regression may offer a new approach in determining contributions of multiple virulence factors to the overall virulence of pathogenic microbes say researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York and Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah. Their findings appear in the March 2006 issue of the journal Infection and Immunity.
Mar 11, 2006, 20:37
Scientists develop biosensor to detect E. Coli bacteria
Scientists have developed a fast working biosensor that can accurately and rapidly detect an infectious agent that causes food borne illness, including the dangerous E. Coli bacteria.
Feb 25, 2006, 10:03
Found - bacteria with strange magnetic personality
Researchers have reported the discovery of a bacterium with strange magnetic properties - it tends to swim towards south magnetic pole while being in the northern hemisphere.
While 'Magnetotactic bacteria' are known to swim toward geomagnetic north in the northern hemisphere and geomagnetic south in the southern hemisphere, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Iowa State University have found a bacterium in New England that does just the opposite: a northern hemisphere creature that swims south.
Feb 24, 2006, 02:26
Student discovers protein in yoghurt that fights E. coli
A high school student in the US has discovered a protein in yoghurt that has the potential to fight E.coli, the leading cause of diarrhoea in the world.
Feb 24, 2006, 02:23
Viruses can be forced to evolve as better delivery vehicles for gene therapy
Viruses and humans have evolved together over millions of years in a game of one-upmanship that, often as not, left humans sick or worse. Now, a University of California, Berkeley, researcher has shown that viruses - in this case, a benign one - can be forced to evolve in ways to benefit humans. The adeno-associated virus, or AAV, is a common, though innocuous, resident of the body that has received a lot of attention in recent years as a possible carrier for genes in gene therapy. Because as many as 90 percent of people already have the virus, however, their immune systems are primed with antibodies to quickly tackle and neutralize it, thwarting any attempt at gene therapy.
Feb 8, 2006, 11:34
Slugs May Spread E. coli to Salad Vegetables
A new study suggests that slugs have the potential to transmit E. coli to salad vegetables. Researchers from the University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom, report their findings in the January 2006 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
Jan 20, 2006, 14:01
Epstein-Barr Virus Found in Breast Cancer Tissue May Impact Efficiency of Treatment
Epstein-Barr virus has been detected in breast cancer tissue and tumor cells and may impact the efficiency of chemotherapeutic drug treatment say researchers from France and Japan. They report their findings in the January 2006 issue of the Journal of Virology.
Jan 20, 2006, 14:01
Honeybees May Transmit Viruses to Their Offspring
Researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture report what may be the first evidence of queen honeybees transmitting viruses to their offspring. They report their findings in the January 2006 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
Jan 20, 2006, 13:56
Escherichia coli doesn’t gamble with its metabolism
The ubiquitous and usually harmless E. coli bacterium, which has one-seventh the number of genes as a human, has more than 1,000 of them involved in metabolism and metabolic regulation. Activation of random combinations of these genes would theoretically be capable of generating a huge variety of internal states; however, researchers at UCSD will report in the Dec. 27 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that Escherichia coli doesn’t gamble with its metabolism. In a surprise about E. coli that may offer clues about how human cells operate, the PNAS paper reports that only a handful of dominant metabolic states are found in E. coli when it is “grown” in 15,580 different environments in computer simulations.
Dec 17, 2005, 15:58
Understanding how Rickettsia conorii interacts with host cells
New research by a team of scientists in France and the United States has identified both the bacterial and host receptor proteins that enable Rickettsia conorii, the Mediterranean spotted fever pathogen to enter cells. Understanding how this bacterium interacts with the cells of its host could lead to new therapeutic strategies for diseases caused by related pathogens, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever and typhus.
Dec 17, 2005, 15:41