Turechek and colleagues set out to develop a new heat-based treatment that would kill pathogens without hurting the plant. When asked what most excited them about their research and their new method, Turechek responded, 'That it works! By introducing a lower-temperature conditioning step and using steam rather than hot water, we produced plants that were better able to withstand the higher temperature treatment designed to destroy the pathogen.'
Filariae, sometimes up to 70 centimeters long nematodes, can set up residence in their host quite tenaciously and cause serious infectious diseases in the tropics. Researchers have now investigated a mechanism by which the immune system attacks the filariae. Certain immune cells, the eosinophil granulocytes, release DNA that forms a kind of web around the larvae and traps them. The researchers also identified which protein "turns on" the mechanism, known as the Dectin-1 receptor.
Many animal and insect species use Batesian mimicry - mimicking a poisonous species - as a defense against predators. The common palmfly, Elymnias hypermnestra (a species of satyrine butterfly), which is found throughout wide areas of tropical and subtropical Asia, adds a twist to this evolutionary strategy: the females evolved two distinct forms, either orange or dark brown, imitating two separate poisonous model species, Danaus or Euploea.
Scientists at the Wits Research Institute for Malaria (WRIM) in partnership with the University of Pretoria and colleagues in the US, Spain and Switzerland have identified novel antiplasmodial lead compounds for mass drug administration and vector control to eliminate malaria.
Climate and changes in it have direct impacts on species of plant and animals - but climate may also shape more complex biological systems like food webs. Now a research group from the University of Helsinki has investigated how micro-climate shapes each level of the ecosystem, from species' abundances in predator communities to parasitism rates in key herbivores, and ultimately to damage suffered by plants. The results reveal how climate change may drastically reshape northern ecosystems.
Primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a deadly disease caused by the "brain-eating amoeba" Naegleria fowleri, is becoming more common in some areas of the world, and it has no effective treatment. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Chemical Neuroscience have found that a compound isolated from the leaves of a traditional medicinal plant, Inula viscosa or "false yellowhead," kills the amoebae by causing them to commit cell suicide in lab studies, which could lead to new treatments.
The descendants of regular wild-type bacteria can evolve to survive for a long time on metallic copper surfaces that would usually kill them within a few minutes. An international research team led by Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology was able to produce these tiny survivalists in the lab and has been able to study them more closely. The team reports on its findings in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
Mosquitoes are transmitters of several diseases and pesticides are used to control their numbers in many countries. New study finds Wolbachia - a bacteria commonly found in insects - appears to protect them against these pesticides.
Researchers have taken an important step forward in developing a controlled human infection model to test leishmaniasis vaccines.
Bats are mistakenly preferring sites where fungal growth is high and therefore their survival is low.