Engineered Microbes Grow in the Dark
DENVER, CO – May 19, 2013 – Scientists at the University of California, Davis have engineered a strain of photosynthetic cyanobacteria to grow without the need for light. They report their findings today at the 113th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.
Bacteria Use Hydrogen, Carbon Dioxide to Produce Electricity
DENVER, CO – May 19, 2013 – Researchers have engineered a strain of electricity-producing bacteria that can grow using hydrogen gas as its sole electron donor and carbon dioxide as its sole source of carbon. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst report their findings at the 113th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.
Pathogen turns protein into a virulence factor in one easy step
WASHINGTON, DC – May 7, 2013 -- To infect its host, the respiratory pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa takes an ordinary protein usually involved in making other proteins and adds three small molecules to turn it into a key for gaining access to human cells. In a study to be published May 7 in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, scientists at Emory University School of Medicine, the University of Virginia, and Universidad de las Islas Baleares in Mallorca, Spain, uncover this previously unknown virulence factor in P. aeruginosa, one of the most common causes of hospital-acquired pneumonia.
Microbes capture, store, and release nitrogen to feed reef-building coral
WASHINGTON, DC – May 14, 2013 – Microscopic algae that live within reef-forming corals scoop up available nitrogen, store the excess in crystal form, and slowly feed it to the coral as needed, according to a study published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. Scientists have known for years that these symbiotic microorganisms serve up nitrogen to their coral hosts, but this new study sheds light on the dynamics of the process and reveals that the algae have the ability to store excess nitrogen, a capability that could help corals cope in their chronically low-nitrogen environment.
Protein Improves Efficacy of Tumor-killing Enzyme
WASHINGTON, DC – April 30, 2013 – Scientists have devised a method for delivering tumor cell-killing enzymes in a way that protects the enzyme until it can do its work inside the cell. In their study in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, researchers assembled microscopic protein packages that can deliver an enzyme called PEIII to the insides of cells. By attaching a protein called ubiquitin to the enzyme, they were able to protect it from degradation by the cell, allowing the enzyme to complete its mission. The results indicate that ubiquitin may be a useful addition to targeted toxins.