Lab grows macroscale, modular materials from bacteria

Rice University bioscientists have turned bacteria into self-assembling building blocks. The macroscale, slime-like engineered living materials they form could be used to soak up environmental contaminants or as custom catalysts. Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University Engineered living materials promise to aid efforts in human health, energy and environmental remediation. Now they can be built big and … Read more

Decoding how bacteria talk with each other

2-fold) are shown as a percentage of the total number of genes within each species. Credit: mBio (2022). DOI: 10.1128/mbio.02486-21″ width=”800″ height=”464″/> THOR member with coculture fitness defect exhibits greatest transcriptional response. Each THOR member was inoculated at 1 x 106 CFU/mL alone, in pairwise coculture and full community. Every 24 h, cultures were quantified … Read more

Keeping bacteria at bay in Hawaiian water bodies

Tyler Gerken, recent graduate from the University of Washington, School of Public Health, collecting soils from native forests on Hawaii Island. The research team determined levels of the different bacteria in the samples. Credit: Maria Steadmon During heavy rains, Hawaii’s streams, rivers, and nearshore waters change on microscopic levels. Bacteria in these aquatic systems increase, … Read more

Bacteria provide immunity against giant viruses

The FISH image—FISH stands for a visualization method called fluorescence in situ hybridisation—shows amoebae infected simultaneously with the Viennavirus (for the first time isolated in this study and therefore named by the research team) and the bacterial symbiont. In the image, the amoebae are shown in magenta, their symbionts in cyan and DNA in yellow. … Read more

Warring genetic parasites could lead to new defenses against dangerous bacteria

Nucleic Acids Research DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkab859″ width=”800″ height=”505″/> Features of plasmids encoding CRISPR-Cas components. (A) Mobility predictions for the collection of non-redundant proteobacterial plasmids analyzed in this study, presented according to their CRISPR-Cas contents: complete CRISPR-Cas loci, orphan CRISPRs or cas, and no CRISPR or cas. (B) Size distributions for the collection of plasmid genomes carrying … Read more

Scientists discover new antiviral defense system in bacteria

A team led by researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT has discovered that organisms across all three domains of life—bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes (which includes plants and animals)—use pattern recognition of conserved viral proteins to defend against pathogens. Credit: Feng Zhang Bacteria use … Read more

New dog food? Study shows your dog’s gut bacteria could turn over within a week

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain When a dog starts a new diet, the community of microbes in its gut changes. Wallflower bacteria multiply to dominate the scene, with the old guard slinking off in defeat. As microbial species jostle for control, their metabolic byproducts, many of which are critical for Fido’s overall health, change as well. … Read more

‘Future-proof’ method using bacteria to remove phosphorus from wastewater

Water Research (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2022.118301″ width=”800″ height=”359″/> Graphical abstract. Credit: Water Research (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2022.118301 Singapore Center for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering (SCELSE) scientists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and the National University of Singapore, have developed a technique to remove phosphorus from wastewater at higher temperatures than is possible using existing techniques, … Read more

Giant bacteria found in Guadeloupe mangroves challenge traditional concepts

View of sampling sites amidst the mangroves in Guadeloupe. This image is associated with a June 2022 Science paper about a giant single-celled bacterium found in the mangroves of Guadeloupe titled, “A centimeter-long bacterium with DNA contained in metabolically active membrane-bound organelles.” Credit: Hugo Bret At first glance, the slightly murky waters in the tube … Read more