bacteria

Tag archives for bacteria

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a pretty scary thing, which is why researchers are working so hard to come up with new and creative ways to fight them off. Take for example nanosponges. In a presentation from the Experimental Biology meeting in Chicago last month, researchers from the University of California in San Diego are testing the…

Researchers at George Mason University have created a synthetic version of a peptide found in the blood of Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis). They dubbed the synthetic peptide DRGN-1. Living up to its name, DRGN-1 proved to be pretty tough against microbes (Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus) as well as biofilms. Bacteria stick together to create biofilms that attach to surfaces and help…

Researchers studying komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis) at George Mason University discovered 48 previously unknown peptides in their blood that might have antimicrobial properties. Their findings were published in the Journal of Proteome Research. For the largest lizard, these peptides may help prevent the animals from getting infections from their own saliva, which is host to at least 57 species…

Heroic horseshoe crabs

The blue blood of horseshoe crabs contains a special chemical limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL) that medical laboratories obtain from thousands of animals annually to detect bacterial infections in humans. The labs are only allowed to draw up to 30% of their blood once a year. Despite these precautions, researchers are becoming increasingly concerned that some…

New research published in the American Journal of Physiology Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology shows that bacterial infections increase the production of nitric oxide in chicks, which is similar to what happens in rodents. The increase in nitric oxide is thought to be related to the development of fever. In fact, when nitric oxide production was blocked,…

Why dentists may have rats to thank

  What does tooth decay have to do with rats? For Neandertals, tooth decay was a rare occurance. Research suggests that tooth decay became more prominent with the development of agriculture. Dr. Ordaz, Stanford School of Medicine, and colleagues analyzed common strains of bacteria (Streptococcus mutans) responsible for causing cavities. They found that the bacteria began expanding exponentially around 10,000…

Training dogs to smell bacteria

Researchers have actually trained a beagle named Cliff to detect the intestinal bacteria Clostridium difficile on patients and in stool samples that were collected from infected patients in the Netherlands. This infection is common in hospitals and long-term treatment facilities. Infection with the contagious C. diff results in diarrhea that has been responsible for the deaths…

Malaria fighting bacteria

Researchers, Jacobs-Lorena et al., at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have altered a harmless bacteria (Pantoea agglomerans) naturally found in the midgut of mosquitos to fight malaria by producing and releasing proteins that are toxic to malaria but harmless to mosquitos or humans. Since the gut is where the malaria parasite reproduces,…