bacteria

05/08/2014 - 08:10

The largest metagenomic search for antibiotic resistance genes in the DNA sequences of microbial communities from around the globe has found that bacteria carrying those vexing genes turn up everywhere in nature that scientists look for them. The findings reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on May 8 add to evidence showing just how common and abundant those resistance genes really are in natural environments.

 

03/27/2014 - 08:49

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Joint BioEnergy Institute have engineered a bacterium to synthesize pinene, a hydrocarbon produced by trees that could potentially replace high-energy fuels, such as JP-10, in missiles and other aerospace applications. With improvements in process efficiency, the biofuel could supplement limited supplies of petroleum-based JP-10, and might also facilitate development of a new generation of more powerful engines.

 

01/21/2014 - 10:00

A new class of molecules called acyldepsipeptides — ADEPs — may provide a new way to attack bacteria that have developed resistance to antibiotics. Researchers at Brown and MIT have discovered a way to increase the potency of ADEPs by up to 1,200 times. Their findings appear in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

 

01/09/2014 - 14:00

Scientists have made an important advance in understanding how a subset of bacterial cells escape being killed by many antibiotics. Cells become "persisters" by entering a state in which they stop replicating and are able to tolerate antibiotics. Unlike antibiotic resistance, which arises because of genetic mutations and is passed on to later generations, this tolerant phase is only temporary, but it may contribute to the later development of resistance.

 

12/16/2013 - 10:37

For decades, researchers have sought a biological toolset capable of precisely and systematically turning off genes throughout the genomes of human cells. The CRISPR-Cas9 system – a recently discovered system with bacterial origins – has the potential to overcome many of the limitations of currently available gene-silencing techniques. Earlier this year, several research groups showed that it was possible to use CRISPR-Cas9 to turn off genes in mammalian cells.

 

12/16/2013 - 10:25

Tests at two wastewater treatment plants in northern China revealed antibiotic-resistant bacteria were not only escaping purification but also breeding and spreading their dangerous cargo.