ASM Weekly Newsdigest #611



  1. Hepatitis C virus survives by hijacking liver microRNA: study
  2. NASA Wants to Power Robots With Microbes
  3. Stealth tactics of bacteria revealed
  4. Blinking bacteria in 'biopixel' displays
  5. DNA Implanted Bacteria To Detect Glucose
  6. The FDA Fast Tracks a Vaccine to Fight Pneumonia in Older Adults
  7. Clayoquot Sound bacteria 'communicate' to co-ordinate feeding times, researchers find
  8. A deadly balance
  9. Novel Compound To Halt Virus Replication Identified By Researchers
  10. Bacteria Survive in Cold, Dry, Mars-like Conditions By Living Off Iron
  11. How Hard Would It Be for Avian Flu to Spread?



Hepatitis C virus survives by hijacking liver microRNA: study
MedicalXpress
January 2, 2011
http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-01-hepatitis-virus-survives-hijacking-liver.html
Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, working with colleagues from the University of Colorado, have shown for the first time how a small RNA molecule that regulates gene expression in human liver cells has been hijacked by the hepatitis C virus to ensure its own survival – helping medical scientists understand why a new antiviral drug appears to be effective against the virus.


NASA Wants to Power Robots With Microbes
Wired
January 4, 2012
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/01/navy-microbial-fuel-cells/
Gregory Scott at NRL’s Spacecraft Engineering Department has been awarded a NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) research grant to investigate the initial phase of tiny planetary robots that are powered by bacteria.


Stealth tactics of bacteria revealed
New Scientist
January 4, 2012
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228443.300-stealth-tactics-of-bacteria-revealed.html
We are now privy to the ways bacteria outsmart antibiotics, thanks to a technique which measures the evolution of antibiotic resistance.


Blinking bacteria in 'biopixel' displays
CNet
January 2, 2012
http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57350985-76/blinking-bacteria-trained-in-biopixel-displays/
To make a new kind of display, researchers have engineered bacteria to be brighter.


DNA Implanted Bacteria To Detect Glucose
MedicalNewsToday
January 4, 2012
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/239896.php
Should a study by a team of students from Missouri University of Science and Technology become reality, individuals suffering with diabetes will be able to monitor their blood sugar levels in a more cost-effective way. 


The FDA Fast Tracks a Vaccine to Fight Pneumonia in Older Adults
The Atlantic
Januarry 2, 2012
http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/01/the-fda-fast-tracks-a-vaccine-to-fight-pneumonia-in-older-adults/250735/
U.S. health regulators approved the expansion of Pfizer Inc's blockbuster Prevnar vaccine for use in adults 50 and older to fight pneumonia, meningitis, and other diseases cause by pneumococcus bacteria.


Clayoquot Sound bacteria 'communicate' to co-ordinate feeding times, researchers find
Montreal Gazette
January 3, 2012
http://www.montrealgazette.com/technology/Clayoquot+Sound+bacteria+communicate+ordinate+feeding+times/5933669/story.html
Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts found the first clear evidence that bacteria are engaging in "chemical conversations" to co-ordinate feeding activity on decomposing plankton and other biological material as it sinks through the water column.


A Deadly Balance
The Economist
December 31, 2012
http://www.economist.com/node/21542156
Tempting fate is never wise; tempting a flu pandemic is downright foolish. Yet it is impossible for scientists to understand influenza or create vaccines without at least some risk. The question, then, is what level of risk is acceptable.


Novel Compound To Halt Virus Replication Identified By Researchers
MedicalNewsToday
January 5, 2012
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/239906.php
A team of scientists from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have identified a novel compound that inhibits viruses from replicating.

Bacteria Survive in Cold, Dry, Mars-like Conditions By Living Off Iron
Discover
January 4, 2012
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2012/01/04/bacteria-survive-in-cold-dry-mars-like-conditions-by-living-off-iron/
Scientists have discovered several species of bacteria that hint at what life on Mars, if it exists, might look like. These microbes survive on minerals in the surrounding rocks—minerals also found in the Martian surface.


How Hard Would It Be for Avian Flu to Spread?
New York Times
January 2, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/03/health/an-explanation-of-how-avian-flu-spreads.html?_r=2
Scientists say that increased transmissibility usually depends on changes in at least two of eight genes: one that helps the virus invade cells, and one that helps it copy itself.

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