Subscribe here to get periodical Newsletter issues on Microorganisms and Environment Management at free of cost.

Interesting facts about Microorganisms

 


October - 2022

Accurately tracking how plastic biodegrades

        Modern agriculture uses a lot of plastic, especially in the form of mulch film that farmers use to cover field soils. This keeps the soils moist for crops, suppresses weeds and promotes crop growth. However, it is usually very time-consuming and costly for farmers to collect and dispose of conventional polyethylene (PE) film after use. In addition, it isn't possible to re-collect all of the thin PE films, as they tear easily. This means PE-pieces remain on and in the soil and accumulate there, because PE doesn't degrade.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Researchers take key step toward big gains in plastics recycling

        Researchers including an Oregon State University College of Engineering faculty member have taken a key step toward greatly expanding the range of plastics that can be recycled. The findings, published today in Science, are important because plastic waste is a massive problem both globally and in the United States, where only about 5% of used plastic is recycled, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which led the study.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Attack on two fronts may force ocean bacteria to take in more carbon

        The types of ocean bacteria known to absorb carbon dioxide from the air require more energy—in the form of carbon—and other resources when they're simultaneously infected by viruses and face attack from nearby predators, new research has found. Viruses are abundant in the ocean, and research now suggests that marine viruses have beneficial functions, including helping to drive carbon absorbed from the atmosphere to permanent storage on the ocean floor. When viruses infect other microbes in that environment (and anywhere, in fact), the interaction results in creation of entirely new organisms called "virocells."

Source: Phys

— Read more

Microbes in Arctic soils are primed to react to climate change

        Global warming is heating the Arctic faster than the rest of the planet. Svalbard, an archipelago north of Norway, is warming even faster than the remainder of the Arctic, making it a "canary in a coalmine" for climate change research. A study published in Frontiers in Microbiology has investigated how microbial genes, enzymes, and cultures interact with the carbon stored in Svalbard soils.

Source: Phys

— Read more

September - 2022

Viruses knowledge unlocked by new metagenomics technologies

        Metagenomic sequencing techniques allows the study of microbiomes from all sorts of habitats, and using this to explore phages (bacteriophage genomes integrated into the circular bacterial chromosome) has expanded knowledge of viruses that integrate into bacterial genomes and how they benefit their hosts.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Microbes' sensitivity to environmental change depends on soil depth

       

Bacteria in surface-level soil affect the global carbon cycle. These microbes break down dead leaves and stems, pumping carbon into the atmosphere and the soil. However, microbes are sensitive to changes in their environment. Predicting how the carbon cycle may shift under climate change requires scientists to understand how soil microbes respond to environmental shocks such as drought and wildfire.

 

Source: Phys

— Read more

Soil microbiota can boost the growth of invasive plant species and provide defense against herbivores

        Soil microbes can have a great impact on the spread of harmful invasive species as they can either hinder or facilitate the plant's growth. Researchers at the Department of Biology of the University of Turku, Finland, studied the role of soil microbiota in the success of garden lupine, which is an invasive species in the Finnish nature.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Researchers help reveal a 'blueprint' for photosynthesis

        New findings in microbes called cyanobacteria present new opportunities for plant science, bioengineering and environmental protection Michigan State University researchers and colleagues at the University of California Berkeley, the University of South Bohemia and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have helped reveal the most detailed picture to date of important biological "antennae."

Source: Phys

— Read more

August - 2022

Mineral-microbe interactions play important roles in geological and environmental processes

        In a paper published in National Science Review, a team of scientists critically summarize major advances in mineral-microbe interactions, including molecular mechanisms of interactions and macroscopic manifestations of such interactions through time. Major challenges and future research opportunities are identified.

Source: Phys

— Read more

How do horticultural crops defend themselves against fungal pathogens?

        Phytochemicals with antimicrobial effects are important components of defense systems in plants. Among such phytochemicals, phytoalexins are induced by external factors, whereas phytoanticipins occur naturally or increase after induction. Antimicrobial phytochemicals are classified according to their chemical structures and are primarily phenolics, flavonoids, coumarins, lignins, terpenoids, alkaloids, glucosinolates, and stilbenes. Phenolics and flavonoids are secondary metabolites that constitute one of the most common and extensive groups of phytochemicals. These compounds inhibit pathogens by inducing membrane lipid peroxidation, which disrupts fungal cell membrane permeability and mitochondrial function. Similarly, terpenoids inhibit fungal growth and also induce disease resistance. The other phytochemicals also exhibit strong and stable broad-spectrum antifungal activity, suggesting that they could be developed as alternatives to chemical fungicides.

Source: Phys

— Read more

How bacteria defuse hypothiocyanite, an antimicrobial weapon of the innate immune system

        How do a wide variety of bacteria—both pathogenic and commensal—survive antimicrobials released by the mammalian innate immune system? The answer for one of the antimicrobials—hypothiocyanite/hypothiocyanous acid, or OSCN– and HOSCN—has been reported by Michael Gray, Ph.D., and colleagues through discovery of a novel role for an enzyme in E. coli. This previously unknown activity is also exhibited by homologous enzymes found in pathogenic Streptococcus and Staphylococcus bacteria and several commensal gut microbes.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Microbes emit nitrogen oxides—perhaps more than you think

        Microbes emit nitrogen oxides, or NOx. This is important because it involves surface-earth nitrogen (N) cycle, which strongly interacts with environmental quality, food production, biosphere and climate changes. A study led by Drs. Wei Song and Xue-Yan Liu from Tianjin University, China, shows that NOx emissions from the microbial N cycle account for about 24%, 58%, and 31% of the total NOx emissions in the land, ocean, and globe, equivalent to 0.5, 1.4, and 0.6 times of the corresponding fossil fuel NOx emissions. This study fills the data gap of NOx emissions from microbial N cycle in the ocean and updates fluxes of NOx emissions from microbial N cycle in the land and globe. "We confirm the significant contribution of microbial N cycle to global NOx emissions. It should be considered into current and future atmospheric NOx emission reduction policy formulation and eco-environmental and climatic effects assessment," Liu says.

Source: Phys

— Read more

July - 2022

Soil abounds with life and supports all life above it. But Australian soils need urgent repair

        Under your feet lies the most biodiverse habitat on Earth. The soil on which we walk supports the majority of life on the planet. Without the life in it, it wouldn't be soil. Unfortunately, Australia's soils are not in good shape. The new State of the Environment report rates our soils as "poor" and "deteriorating." We're all familiar with some soil dwellers, such as earthworms. But the lion's share of life underneath is invisible to the naked eye. Microbiota like bacteria, nematodes, and fungi play vital roles in our environment. These tiny lifeforms break down dead leaves and organic matter, they cycle nutrients, carbon and water. Without them, ecosystems would collapse. Amazingly, most of this wealth of life is unknown to science.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Bacterial community signatures reveal how cities urbanize water sources

        In a study published today in the journal Science of the Total Environment, led by scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW), bacterial communities were examined in urban water bodies and wastewater in Berlin and compared to less anthropogenically influenced lakes from surrounding rural regions.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Fighting climate change with deep-sea water

        Marine biologists have long known the power of microbes to transform carbon released by surface phytoplankton—algae on the surface of the sea—into more stable molecules. But what happens when that carbon reaches deep parts of the ocean, thousands of meters down? According to new research at Université de Montréal, the answer could provide one more arsenal in the global fight against climate change: the deep-sea microbes could be a great tool to neutralize carbon molecules and store them—for millennia—where they can't do any damage.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Researchers develop a new method for studying functionality of microbiota

        A research group from Turku Bioscience Center, Finland, has developed a new method for studying the functionality of microbiota through metaproteomics. The new method shows broad potential for the study of microbiota on a new, functional level. The characterization of the functionality of gut microbiota is central in the study of human health and disease as well as disease prediction, prevention, and treatment. Previous studies have mainly focused on cataloging the composition of microbiota, but little is known about the functionality of the human gut microbiota.

Source: Phys

— Read more

June - 2022

Exploring fungi that forge relationships with plants

        Her job was to design plans for creating new habitats for endangered species out of degraded or disturbed land. In her work, she kept coming up against one persistent challenge—reinstating soil microbes in the restored habitats. This was due, in large part, to a lack of understanding of how plants interact with the microbes in their environment.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Plastic pollution in ocean may harbor novel antibiotics, study shows

        Scientists estimate between 5 and 13 million metric tons of plastic pollution enter the oceans each year, ranging from large floating debris to microplastics onto which microbes can form entire ecosystems. Plastic debris is rich in biomass, and therefore could be a good candidate for antibiotic production, which tends to occur in highly competitive natural environments.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Molecular dance by which a unique bacterium transfers electrons

        Imagine you wanted to plug a device into an outlet on your wall, but you didn't have a cord that reached all the way. Instead, all you had were short snippets of wire that, put together, weren't enough to cover the distance between the device and the wall. Say you spread them out so they weren't touching each other but traced a dotted line that spanned the whole distance. How would you overcome the gaps between the snippets to get electricity flowing?

Source: Phys

— Read more

New study finds 19th-century wooden shipwrecks to be thriving habitats for deep-sea microbiomes

        Historic wooden shipwrecks alter seafloor microbial communities, reports a recent study. There are millions of shipwrecks in the world's oceans, each providing a potentially new habitat for sea life. Microbes form the foundation of ecosystems and this is the first evidence of how human structures impact their distribution in the deep sea.

Source: Phys

— Read more

May - 2022

Under anaerobic conditions, common microbial communities can break the ultra-strong carbon-fluorine bond

        Under anaerobic conditions, a carbon-carbon double bond is crucial for the shattering the ultra-strong carbon-fluorine bond by microbial communities. While breaking the carbon-carbon bond does not completely degrade the molecule, the resulting products could be relayed to other microorganisms for defluorination under in aerobic conditions.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Using bacteria to accelerate CO2 capture in oceans

        You may be familiar with direct air capture, or DAC, in which carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere in an effort to slow the effects of climate change. Now a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has proposed a scheme for direct ocean capture. Removing CO2 from the oceans will enable them to continue to do their job of absorbing excess CO2 from the atmosphere.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Fungi-based meat alternatives could help save Earth's forests

        Market-ready fungi-based meat alternatives are similar to meat in taste and texture. They involve reduced land resources and greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and land-use change. This goes under the assumption of a growing world population's increasing appetite for beefy bites, and it is the first time researchers have projected the development of these market-ready meat substitutes into the future, assessing their potential impact on the environment.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Soil microbes use different pathways to metabolize carbon

        Much of what scientists think about soil metabolism may be wrong. New evidence from Northern Arizona University suggests that microbes in different soils use different biochemical pathways to process nutrients, respire, and grow. The study, published last month in Plant and Soil, upends long-held assumptions in the field of soil ecology and calls for more investigation and higher-resolution methods to be applied to what has been a black box for the field.

Source: Phys

 

— Read more

April - 2022

Microbial response to a changing and fire-prone arctic ecosystem

        Greenhouse gas emissions from human activities have caused Earth's climate to change—and in Arctic regions, air temperatures are warming twice as fast as the global average. Permanently frozen Arctic soils located in tundra ecosystems store approximately twice the amount of carbon currently in the atmosphere. This frozen organic matter is thawing, thus increasing microbial decomposition, which releases carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Arctic climate change can also lead to more droughts, lower air moisture, and more lightning—all factors that can increase the frequency and intensity of wildfires.

Source: Phys

— Read more

How bacteria evade bacteriophages in vivo

        Phage therapy, which uses viruses known as bacteriophages to treat bacterial infections, is a long-standing medical procedure whose mechanisms of action are still poorly understood. Scientists from the Institut Pasteur and CNRS have demonstrated in vivo in a murine model that bacteria are capable of regulating their gene expression to evade the numerous bacteriophages present in the gut environment. This research explains the difference in bacteriophage efficacy between in vitro and in vivo conditions. The findings were published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe on April 13, 2022.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Ocean water samples yield treasure trove of RNA virus data

        Ocean water samples collected around the world have yielded a treasure trove of new data about RNA viruses, expanding ecological research possibilities and reshaping our understanding of how these small but significant submicroscopic particles evolved. Combining machine-learning analyses with traditional evolutionary trees, an international team of researchers has identified 5,500 new RNA virus species that represent all five known RNA virus phyla and suggest there are at least five new RNA virus phyla needed to capture them.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Researchers discover vulnerability of a dangerous hospital pathogen

        Each year, more than 670,000 people in Europe fall ill through pathogenic bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, and 33,000 die of the diseases they cause. In 2017, the WHO named antibiotic resistance as one of the greatest threats to health worldwide. Especially feared are pathogens that are resistant to several antibiotics. Among them, Acinetobacter baumannii stands out; it's a bacterium with an extraordinarily pronounced ability to develop multi-resistance, and as a hospital superbug, dangerous above all for immunosuppressed patients. Acinetobacter baumannii is highly resilient because it can remain infectious for a long time even in a dry environment and thus endure on the keyboards of medical devices or on ward telephones and lamps. This property also helps the microbe to survive on dry human skin or in body fluids such as blood and urine, which contain relatively high concentrations of salts and other solutes.

Source: Phys

— Read more

March - 2022

Scientists propose a new mechanism by which oxygen may have first built up in the atmosphere

        For the first 2 billion years of Earth's history, there was barely any oxygen in the air. While some microbes were photosynthesizing by the latter part of this period, oxygen had not yet accumulated at levels that would impact the global biosphere. But somewhere around 2.3 billion years ago, this stable, low-oxygen equilibrium shifted, and oxygen began building up in the atmosphere, eventually reaching the life-sustaining levels we breathe today. This rapid infusion is known as the Great Oxygenation Event, or GOE. What triggered the event and pulled the planet out of its low-oxygen funk is one of the great mysteries of science.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Research reveals how global ecosystems produce greenhouse emissions

        Oakland University biology researchers banded with scientists across the world to understand the relationship between greenhouse gas emissions produced by ecosystems and environmental change. Their findings offer new methods and baseline information to follow changing ecosystems as the earth warms.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Researchers discover speargun-​like mo­lecu­lar in­jec­tion sys­tems in two types of bacteria

        Biologists from ETH Zurich have discovered speargun-like molecular injection systems in two types of bacteria and have described their structure for the first time. The special nanomachines are used by the microbes for the interaction between cells and could one day be useful as tools in biomedicine.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Harmless or deadly? Examining the evolution of E. coli

        Genetic material from E. coli bacteria in farm animals could be contributing to the evolution of deadly pandemic strains of E. coli in humans, new research shows. E. coli usually live as harmless bacteria in the gastrointestinal tracts of birds and mammals, including humans. They also reside, independent of a host, in environments such as water and soil, and in food products including chicken and turkey meat, raw milk, beef, pork and mixed salad.

Source: Phys

— Read more

February - 2022

A fresh view of microbial life in Yellowstone's hot springs

        Yellowstone National Park is home to more than 10,000 hydrothermal features. The park's hot springs, geysers, mud pots, and fumaroles are home to trillions of heat-loving microbes. For photosynthetic biofilms, the rule of thumb is that algae tend to dominate in acidic springs (pH less than 3), whereas cyanobacteria dominate in alkaline environments (pH greater than 6). However, this generalization is rooted in 50-year-old research, and most studies have overlooked the intermediate pH values between the extremes.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Researchers find hybrid metabolism in fermented food microbe

        Lactic acid bacteria are essential in creating fermented foods like yogurt, cheese and sauerkraut. Certain strains are also used as probiotics to improve human gut health. Researchers at the University of California, Davis, and Rice University have discovered that lactic acid bacteria use a previously unknown energy metabolism, which radically changes the scientific understanding of how these bacteria may thrive in their natural environments.

Source: Phys

— Read more

'Taste' and 'smell' of coral reefs provide insights into a dynamic ecosystem

        Coral reefs are hotspots of biodiversity and are amazingly productive, with a vast number of organisms interacting simultaneously. Hundreds of molecules that are made by important members of the coral reef community were recently discovered by a team of scientists. Together, the compounds—modified amino acids, vitamins and steroids—comprise the "smell" or "taste" of corals and algae in a tropical reef, and will help scientists understand both the food web dynamics and the chemical ecology of these ecosystems.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Microbes making tree methane 'farts' in ghost forests are in the soils, study shows

        This escaping methane gas, known colloquially as ghost forest tree "farts," is actually generated by different tiny microorganisms. Researchers wanted to know if different communities of microbes are making methane gas inside the soils or in the dead trees, which are also known as snags. They found that although the methane gas is generated in the soils, the trees act like filtering straws as the gas rises through the wood. Microbes in the wood further chemically alter and consume the gas as it rises.

Source: Phys

— Read more

January - 2022

Researchers identify new bacteria and viruses on human skin

        Researchers at EMBL's European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), the NIH National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, and colleagues have identified new bacterial and fungal species, as well as viruses in the human skin microbiome.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Current marsh pollution has dramatic, negative effects on sea anemone's survival

        Stationary marine organisms that don't ply the ocean, but spend their lives rooted in one spot, have evolved impressive ways to capture prey. The sea anemone Nematostella, for instance, burrows into salt marsh sediments and stays there for life. But it has specialized 'stinging cells' that hurl toxins into passing prey, immobilizing the morsel so the anemone can snatch it with its tentacles.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Scientists use Summit supercomputer, deep learning to predict protein functions at genome scale

        A team of scientists led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Georgia Institute of Technology is using supercomputing and revolutionary deep learning tools to predict the structures and roles of thousands of proteins with unknown functions.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Genetically engineered E. coli could improve drug development

        Whether you are taking a muscle relaxant or a heart medication, you are possibly using a medication that contains a synthetically produced benzoxazole. Although natural benzoxazoles show more significant promise in pharmaceuticals, their time to develop organically and inherent undesired properties impede their usage.

Source: Phys

— Read more

 
 
Copyright © 2005 ENVIS Centre ! All rights reserved This site is optimized for 1024 x 768 screen resolution Query Form | Feedback | Privacy