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bacteria Create

How bacteria create a piggy bank for the lean times: Basic science discovery could lead to improved biomaterial production

Bacteria can store extra resources for the lean times. It’s a bit like keeping a piggy bank or carrying a backup battery pack. One important reserve is known as cyanophycin granules, which were first noticed by an Italian scientist about 150 years ago. He saw big, dark splotches in the cells of the blue-green algae…

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bacteria Create

How bacteria create a piggy bank for the lean times

Cyanophycin biosynthesis looks like a windshield wiper in action: one domain is responsible for adding aspartate (Asp), a second domain is responsible for adding arginine (Arg), two nitrogen-rich amino acids, and the third domain holds on to the growing chain of cyanophycin. Credit: Schmeing lab Bacteria can store extra resources for the lean times. It’s…

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bacteria Stunt

Bacteria stunt with established plant-soil feedback theory

Credit: Leiden University “What I find most alluring about soil life is that you can steer it,” researcher Martijn Bezemer of the Institute Biology Leiden (IBL) reveals. “You can ask: What do you want? And then I can transform the soil into something you need. At least, that is what we thought.” For years, Bezemer…

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bacteria Grime-loving

Grime-loving bacteria could save priceless art

Bacteria and other tiny organisms have traditionally been viewed as a threat to art. But a small number of researchers in Europe are making microbes work for them. Specialized microbes have been set loose on everything from centuries-old frescoes to oil paintings to massive cathedral walls, all in an effort to clean and restore the…

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bacteria indicator

Gut bacteria might be an indicator of colon cancer risk

A study published today in the journal Cell Host & Microbe reported that the increased presence of certain bacteria in a gut biome indicates a greater likelihood that colon polyps will become cancerous. In his research, William DePaolo, associate professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine, tracked 40 patients who had undergone routine…

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bacteria yeast

Yeast and bacteria together biosynthesize plant hormones for weed control

Credit: CC0 Public Domain Plants regulate their growth and development using hormones, including a group called strigolactones that prevent excessive budding and branching. For the first time, scientists led by UC Riverside have synthesized strigolactones from microbes. The work is published in the open-access journal, Science Advances. Strigolactones also help plant roots form symbiotic relationships…

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bacteria targeting

Targeting Bacteria in COPD Shows Promise

One study of an immunotherapy for reducing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations missed its primary endpoint and failed to show a statistically significant benefit even in the subgroup that showed the greatest response. Another study, involving a similar product, showed results so dramatic that an independent expert suspected they were “too good to be…

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bacteria influence

Gut bacteria influence brain development

Extremely premature infants are at a high risk for brain damage. Researchers have now found possible targets for the early treatment of such damage outside the brain: Bacteria in the gut of premature infants may play a key role. The research team found that the overgrowth of the gastrointestinal tract with the bacterium Klebsiella is…

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bacteria rewind

Gut bacteria rewind aging brain in mice

In 1895, on turning 50, Elie Metchnikoff became increasingly anxious about aging. As a result, the Russian Nobel prize-winning scientist, and one of the founders of immunology, turned his attention away from immunology and towards gerontology—a term that he coined. He was fascinated by the role that intestinal bacteria play in health and disease and…

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bacteria Vaginal

Bacteria are key to vaginal health, study finds

Bacterial vaginosis is the most common and recurrent gynecological condition affecting nearly 30% of women between the ages of 15 and 44, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A University of Arizona Health Sciences-led study recently identified a specific bacteria family and uncovered how it contributes to bacterial vaginosis, paving the…