Tag Archives | Bacteria


Showerheads delivering a pathogen payload

Bathroom showers can deliver a face-full of potentially pathogenic bacteria, suggests a surprising new University of Colorado at Boulder study. The researchers analyzed 50 showerheads from nine cities in seven states that included New York City, Chicago and Denver. They found that nearly a third of the devices harbored significant levels ofMycobacterium avium, a pathogen […]

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Microbe Colonies Show Sophisticated Learning Behaviors

Microbes may be smarter than we think, at least that’s according to Princeton University researchers who have shown for the first time that bacteria don’t just react to changes in their surroundings – they anticipate and prepare for them. The findings, reported in Science, challenge the prevailing notion that only organisms with complex nervous systems […]

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Organics Shaping Up As Next Wave In Digital Signal Processing

Fungi, E. Coli, DNA: meet the newest tools for digital signal processing. At least, that’s according to Northwestern University computer boffins Sotirios Tsaftaris and Aggelos Katsaggelos, in their recently published “point of view” piece in the Proceedings of the IEEE(Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). Digital signal processing uses mathematics and other techniques to manipulate […]

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Bacterial Rainmakers Ubiquitous

Scientists from Montana State University and Louisiana State University have found evidence that globally distributed airborne bacteria play a pivotal role in the rain cycle. The research, published inScience, will have far reaching implications in fields such as ecology, microbiology, plant pathology and climatology. The researchers examined precipitation from locations around the world, including California, […]

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Pimped Bacterium Churns Out Hydrogen

Thomas Wood, a professor in Texas A&M University’s chemical engineering department, has “tweaked” a strain of E. coli so that it produces 140 times more hydrogen than is created in a naturally occurring process. Wood, writing about his work in Microbial Biotechnology, envisions his success as a significant stepping stone on the path to the […]

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Prof Pooh-Poohs Western World’s Anti-Bacterial Crusade

Society’s anti-bacterial crusade makes children and adults more likely to develop asthma and allergies – and perhaps even mental illnesses, says Dr. Gerald Callahan, an immunologist from Colorado State University. Callahan argues that all living things on Earth must have infections to thrive, and people’s love affair with anti-bacterial products is changing how immune systems, […]

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Super Bacteria Created In Zero-Gravity

Space flight doesn’t just affect human physiology; it can also make microbes much more infectious, researchers from the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University (ASU) have found. “Space flight alters cellular and physiological responses in astronauts including the immune response,” said ASU’s Cheryl Nickerson, who led a project aboard NASA’s space shuttle. “However, relatively little […]

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Bacterial Accumulation Doesn’t Appear To Impact Longevity

Investigating the aging process in flies, researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) have established that while older flies accumulate very large populations of bacteria, the infestations don’t seem to hasten the insects’ death. The surprising finding, published in Cell Press, suggests that the energy expended by the immune system to fight the burgeoning […]

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Dung Critter Lifts Mood

Scientists from the University of Bristol and University College London have found that treating mice with soil bacteria altered their behavior in a way similar to that produced by antidepressant drugs. The findings, reported in Neuroscience, indicate that the dung-loving bacterium Mycobacterium vaccae activated a group of neurons in the brain that produce serotonin. It […]

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Bacterial Swimming Style Goes Against The Flow

The fact that some pathogenic bacteria swim “to the left” could explain the high incidence of infections associated with catheters in hospital patients, say researchers from Yale. The new study into bacterial “swimming” styles appears inPhysical Review Letters. To get to grips with bacterial backstroke, Yale hydrodynamics engineer, H�r Köser, constructed microfluidic devices with channels […]

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