New Route to Identify Drugs That Can Fight Bacterial Infections

WASHINGTON, DC — July 29, 2014—About 100 drugs already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for other purposes can also prevent the growth of certain bacterial pathogens inside human cells, including those that cause Legionnaires’ disease, brucellosis, and Mediterranean spotted fever. The findings, published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, demonstrate a new way of identifying non-antibiotic drugs that could one day help curb bacterial infections.

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The Microbes Make the Sake Brewery

WASHINGTON, DC – July 24, 2014 – A sake brewery has its own microbial terroir, meaning the microbial populations found on surfaces in the facility resemble those found in the product, creating the final flavor according to research published ahead of print in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. This is the first time investigators have taken a microbial census of a sake brewery.

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Investigators Identify Genes That Contribute to Radiation Resistance

WASHINGTON, DC – July 21, 2014 – A team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin have identified 46 genes in Escherichia coli that are necessary for its survival at exceptionally high levels of radiation. The paper appears ahead of print in the Journal of Bacteriology.

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MERS Coronavirus Detected in the Air of a Saudi Arabian Camel Barn

WASHINGTON, DC – July 22, 2014 – Saudi Arabian researchers have detected genetic fragments of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the air of a barn holding a camel infected with the virus. The work, published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, indicates that further studies are needed to see if the disease can be transmitted through the air.

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Potential New Flu Drugs Target Immune Response, Not Virus

WASHINGTON, DC – July 21, 2014 -- The seriousness of disease often results from the strength of immune response, rather than with the virus, itself. Turning down that response, rather than attacking the virus, might be a better way to reduce that severity, says Juliet Morrison of the University of Washington, Seattle. She and her collaborators have now taken the first step in doing just that for the H7N9 influenza, and their work has already led to identification of six potential therapeutics for this highly virulent strain. The research is published ahead of print in the Journal of Virology.

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