Since bacteria, such as those that cause gonorrhea or gastrointestinal infections, are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics, scientists are searching for outside-the-box ideas to tackle the problem. They may have found in one in bacteriophage: viruses that exclusively infect and kill bacteria.
Antibacterial surfaces are one way that we are fighting back against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In one type of surface – naturally found on dragonfly wings – tiny pillars physically rip bacteria apart.
Ironically, from the bacterium's perspective, the very enzyme that it uses to protect itself from antibiotics becomes complicit in its own demise.
The authors had a clear strategy in mind: (1) Do a study on a common household object; (2) Produce boring data that doesn't surprise any microbiologist; (3) Write a provocative, fear-mongering headline; (4) Market it to a gullible, clickbait-hungry press, exhibiting no critical thinking; and (5) Watch the grant dollars roll in.
We expect bacteria to be almost everywhere. New research shows that even though there are bacteria living in ice cubes, those same bacteria cannot survive in whisky. So, the next time that you want to have a scotch, go ahead and throw in the rocks.
Ancient parchments decay over time, showing purple spots. The cause appears to be a succession of microbial communities: First, purple, salt-loving microbes grow. Then, other environmental microbes invade.
For decades, only three mechanisms for spreading DNA (such as antibiotic resistance genes) from one bacterium to another were known. Now researchers have characterized a fourth, adding a new wrinkle in our war on bacteria and a new page to microbiology textbooks.
Microbiologists have long known that the kitchen is an incredibly fertile field for bacterial growth — and a prime source is the kitchen sponge. A recent study of sponges found that even those that are "cleaned" by their users provide a soup of bacteria — some of which are pathogenic.
Telling the difference between a viral and bacterial infection isn't always easy. Physicians end up guessing, which results in prescriptions being given for unnecessary antibiotics. A group is working on a new tool that could take the guesswork out of this important issue.
Think your coffee tastes like ... well ... crap? With recent reports revealing ice from three of the largest coffee companies was contaminated with fecal matter, expect a little panic to ensue. As for now, here's the medical scoop on this poop.
As essential to scientific research as beakers, the sequence of an organism's genome is a staple in today's world of scientific experimentation. That means the sequencing and publication of more than 1,000 new bacterial genomes is akin to "making it rain" in the microbiology-research community.
University of Montana researchers discovered that when grown in co-culture, two different species of the fungus Penicillium – the same genus that produces the antibiotic penicillin – cooperate to synthesize an antibiotic that neither species produces when grown alone.