MIT engineers have repurposed wasp venom as an antibiotic drug that's nontoxic to human cells.
The gut microbiome -- the world of microbes that inhabit the human intestinal tract -- has captured the interest of scientists and clinicians for its critical role in health. However, parsing which of those microbes are responsible for effects on our wellbeing remains a mystery.
Biomedical engineers at Duke University have experimentally shown that there is more than one flavor of antibiotic resistance. Distinguishing resistance, where individual cells shrug off antibiotics, versus resilience, where a bacterial community's population crashes before adapting to disable the antibiotic, could help keep first-line antibiotics in our medical arsenal.
What's a feast for the human eye may be a literal feast for microorganisms that colonize works of art, according to a new study in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Elisabetta Caselli of the University of Ferrara, Italy, and colleagues. The researchers characterized the microbial community on a 17th century painting and showed that while some microbes destroy such works of art, others might be employed to protect them.
Changing the gut microbiome to beat illness really does hold great potential, said Vanderbilt University biologist Seth Bordenstein, but first scientists must answer what constitutes a healthy gut microbiome and in whom.
The interactions that take place between the species of microbes living in the gastrointestinal system often have large and unpredicted effects on health, according to new work from a team led by Carnegie's Will Ludington. Working with fruit flies, the team found that the interactions that take place between the microbial populations are as important to a fly's physiology as which individual species are present.
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Phloem diseases, including the economically devastating citrus greening, are particularly difficult to study because phloem cells -- essential for plant nutrient transport -- are difficult to access and isolate. Researchers at the University of Florida Citrus Research and Education Center have developed a technique to identify phloem cells using fluorescent microscopy and organelle-specific dyes that is applicable in a variety of phloem diseases across a range of species.
An unconventional approach has successfully reversed deficits in social behaviors associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in genetic, environmental and idiopathic mouse models of the condition.
Scientists from ITMO University developed a method to detect viral RNA without special equipment. The sensor is based on a polymerization reaction: if the sample contains traces of the target virus, then under the ultraviolet irradiation the liquid-sensor turns into a gel. The results of such an analysis can easily be detected even by people with limited vision. Due to stable reagents the method can be used in difficult field conditions. The results are published in RSC Advances.