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

December - 2021

CRISPRing the microbiome is just around the corner

        To date, CRISPR enzymes have been used to edit the genomes of one type of cell at a time: They cut, delete or add genes to a specific kind of cell within a tissue or organ, for example, or to one kind of microbe growing in a test tube.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Microplastic pollution aids antibiotic resistance

        The Styrofoam container that holds your takeout cheeseburger may contribute to the population's growing resistance to antibiotics. According to scientists at Rice University's George R. Brown School of Engineering, discarded polystyrene broken down into microplastics provides a cozy home not only for microbes and chemical contaminants but also for the free-floating genetic materials that deliver to bacteria the gift of resistance.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Bio-based cellulose acetate plastic disintegrates in the ocean much faster than assumed

        Cellulose diacetate (CDA), a bio-based plastic widely used in consumer goods, disintegrates, and degrades in the ocean far quicker than previously assumed, according to a new study published in Environmental Science & Technology Letters.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Yeast cells cause embedded objects to rise via the microbial Brazil nut effect

        A phenomenon where microbe-generated gas bubbles create granular fluctuations at the wet sandy floors of rivers, oceans, and lakes has revealed more about the distribution of materials at the bottom of waterbodies.

Source: Phys

— Read more

November - 2021

Beating biofilms: New study identifies essential genes for bacterial survival

        Using a newly developed method, they have discovered the genes used by bacteria to live within complex communities called biofilms. This could lead to new ways of stopping bacterial biofilms forming, helping prevent infections. Biofilms are a normal mode of life for bacteria. Communities of microbes form biofilms by exuding a sticky slime to hold them together and also to adhere to surfaces. This helps protect the community from environmental stresses, like drying out or UV light, as well as the actions of disinfectants or antibiotics.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Understanding how pathogenic fungi build their carbohydrate armor

        In a new study published in Nature Communications, Associate Professor Tuo Wang and his research team from the Department of Chemistry at Louisiana State University revealed the molecular architecture of fungal cell walls and the structural responses to stresses, aiding the development of antifungal drugs targeting cell wall components.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Woodrat microbiomes: It's who you are that matters most

        Every mammal hosts a hidden community of other organisms—the microbiome. Their intestines teem with complex microbial populations that are critical for nutrition, fighting disease and degrading harmful toxins. Throughout their lives, mammals are exposed to countless microbes through their food and environment, but only a small subset take up permanent residence in the host. Although scientists agree that diet, geography and evolutionary history structure the microbiome, the relative influence of each factor is a mystery. No rigorous study has investigated all three at once in wild mammal populations. Until now.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Livestock antibiotics and rising temperatures disrupt soil microbial communities

        Soils are home to diverse microbial communities that cycle nutrients, support agriculture, and trap carbon—an important service for climate mitigation. Globally, around 80% of Earth's terrestrial carbon stores are found in soils. Due to climate warming and other human activities that affect soil microorganisms, this important carbon sink is at risk.

Source: Phys

— Read more

October - 2021

Permafrost thaw could release bacteria and viruses

        When considering the implications of thawing permafrost, our initial worries are likely to turn to the major issue of methane being released into the atmosphere and exacerbating global warming or issues for local communities as the ground and infrastructure become unstable. While this is bad enough, new research reveals that the potential effects of permafrost thaw could also pose serious health threats.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Bacteria, fungi interact far more often than previously thought

        In a novel, broad assessment of bacterial-fungal interactions, researchers using unique bioinformatics found that fungi host a remarkable diversity of bacteria, making bacterial-fungal interactions far more common and diverse than previously known. "Until now, examples of bacterial-fungal interactions were pretty limited in number and diversity," said Aaron Robinson, a biologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory and lead author of a new paper describing the research in Nature's Communications Biology journal. "It had been assumed that bacterial-fungal associations might not be that common. But we found a lot of diverse bacteria that appear to associate with fungi, and we detected those associations at a frequent rate."

Source: Phys

— Read more

Synthetic biology moves into the realm of the unnatural

        The field of synthetic biology has had great success engineering yeast and bacteria to make chemicals—biofuels, pharmaceuticals, fragrances, even the hoppy flavors of beer—cheaply and more sustainably, with only sugar as the energy source. Yet, the field has been limited by the fact that microbes, even with genes thrown in from plants or other animals, can only make molecules by using the chemical reactions of nature. Much of chemistry and the chemical industry is focused on making substances that are not found in nature with reactions invented in a laboratory.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Microbiology researchers further understanding of ocean's role in carbon cycling

        Microbiology researchers at Oregon State University have shed new light on the mechanisms of carbon cycling in the ocean, using a novel approach to track which microbes are consuming different types of organic carbon produced by common phytoplankton species.

Source: Phys

— Read more

September - 2021

Bacteria stunt with established plant-soil feedback theory

        For years, Bezemer studied the interaction between plants and the soil microbiome: The bacteria and fungi living in the soil. "This microbiome and the plants affect each other, by the chemicals they release, for instance. We call that plant-soil feedback," the researcher explains.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Bacteria can boost fitness of their host

        Microorganisms can increase their host's ability to adapt to the environment and reproduce—evolutionary biologists are now studying the underlying molecular mechanisms. A research team headed by Dr. Fabian Staubach and Yun Wang from the Institute of Biology I at the University of Freiburg has now studied the relationship of Gluconobacter bacteria and Drosophila melanogaster fruit flies. They have found that specific Gluconobacter variants supply the flies with vitamin B1 improving fly fitness. The research involved comparison of different but closely-related strains of Gluconobacter bacteria and the effect they have on fruit flies. Bacteria carrying genes forvitamin B1 production increased fly offspring number. In addition, the researchers discovered that bacteria can pass on the necessary vitamin-producing genes horizontally—that is, not just to their offspring but also to other living bacteria. The microbial genome-wide association study (GWAS) was conducted together with researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology and the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, U.S.. The results have been published in the journal BMC Biology.

Source: Phys

— Read more

The microbial molecule that turns plants into zombies

        A newly discovered manipulation mechanism used by parasitic bacteria to slow down plant aging, may offer new ways to protect disease-threatened food crops. Parasites manipulate the organisms they live off to suit their needs, sometimes in drastic ways. When under the spell of a parasite, some plants undergo such extensive changes that they are described as "zombies". They stop reproducing and serve only as a habitat and host for the parasitic pathogens.

Source: Phys

— Read more

The world in a drop of water: DNA tool transforms nature tracking

        In their search for pink river dolphins, researchers in the Peruvian Amazon scooped up river water sloshing with genetic material that they hoped could trace the elusive creatures. They found what they were looking for. And then some. The environmental DNA collected yielded information on 675 species, including dozens of land-based mammals like deer, jaguar, giant anteaters, monkeys and 25 species of bat.

Source: Phys

— Read more

August - 2021

More research needed into microbes that live in and on sea creatures

        All animals and plants and other multicellular organisms are covered inside and out with a diverse "microbiome", communities of microorganisms. Most research has focused on microbiomes on land, but what about the microbes that live in and on the organisms that inhabit our vast oceans?

Source: Phys

— Read more

How the 'sponge' made by the bacteria Geobacter soaks up uranium

        "The biological mechanism of how they were doing this remained elusive for 20 years," said Gemma Reguera, the Spartan microbiologist whose team solved that mystery 10 years ago. Well, three-quarters of the mystery. She's now cracked the rest of the case.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Microbial study reveals extended lifespan of starved bacteria

        A study of microbial populations under a prolonged period of starvation by Indiana University professor Jay T. Lennon and his laboratory could help researchers answer questions pertaining to chronic infections, the functioning of bacteria in the environment and the persistence of life itself.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Ability of urban trees, soils to maintain critical ecosystem services

        If you're a tree, country life is much easier than city living. Rural trees—which can live long, productive lives of sometimes more than 100 years—draw on vast resources of an extensive forest network of nearby trees. In urban areas, friendly, neighboring trees can be few and far between. Heat island effects and variation in nutrient levels leave urban trees more vulnerable to natural environmental pressures. The consequences are depressed growth and an early death.

Source: Phys

— Read more

July - 2021

Ocean microbes reveal distribution of nitrogen-fixers at a global level

        Nitrogen is one of the major building blocks of life. It makes up 80 percent of Earth's atmosphere and it is described as one of the most important growth-limiting nutrients for both land and marine plants. This is because the most abundant form of nitrogen—dinitrogen, or N2—is particularly stable and resistant to chemical reactions, meaning that it cannot be assimilated by most organisms. Given the important role nitrogen plays in all living matter, microbes that can 'fix' atmospheric N2 into more accessible forms for organisms are crucial components of Earth's ecosystems.

Source: Phys

— Read more

'Cyborg soil' reveals the secret microbial metropolis beneath our feet

        Dig a teaspoon into your nearest clump of soil, and what you'll emerge with will contain more microorganisms than there are people on Earth. We know this from lab studies that analyze samples of earth scooped from the microbial wild to determine which forms of microscopic life exist in the world beneath our feet.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Unique pigments in photosynthetic marine bacterium reveal how it lives in low light

        A high-resolution structural analysis by RIKEN biochemists of photosystem I, which contains chlorophyll d and pheophytin a, the light-absorbing pigments found in a marine bacterium, could help scientists discover how the microbe survives in the low-energy light conditions of the deep sea.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Are silver nanoparticles a silver bullet against microbes?

        Antimicrobials are used to kill or slow the growth of bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms. They can be in the form of antibiotics, used to treat bodily infections, or as an additive or coating on commercial products used to keep germs at bay. These life-saving tools are essential to preventing and treating infections in humans, animals and plants, but they also pose a global threat to public health when microorganisms develop resistance to them, a concept known as antimicrobial resistance.

Source: Phys

— Read more

June - 2021

Some seafloor microbes can take the heat: Here's what they eat

        It's cold in the depths of the world's oceans; most of the seafloor is at a chilly 4°C. Not so the seafloor of Guaymas Basin in the Gulf of California. Here, tectonic plates drift apart and heat from Earth's interior can rise up—so far up that it bakes large areas of the seafloor sediments, turning buried organic matter into methane and other energy-rich compounds.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Microbes feast on crushed rock in subglacial lakes beneath Antarctica

        Pioneering research has revealed the erosion of ancient sediments found deep beneath Antarctic ice could be a vital and previously unknown source of nutrients and energy for abundant microbial life.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Growing food with air and solar power: More efficient than planting crops

        A team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, the University of Naples Federico II, the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences has found that making food from air would be far more efficient than growing crops. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their analysis and comparison of the efficiency of growing crops (soybeans) and using a food-from-air technique.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Researchers create self-sustaining, intelligent, electronic microsystems from green material

        A research team from the University of Massachusetts Amherst has created an electronic microsystem that can intelligently respond to information inputs without any external energy input, much like a self-autonomous living organism. The microsystem is constructed from a novel type of electronics that can process ultralow electronic signals and incorporates a device that can generate electricity "out of thin air" from the ambient environment.

Source: Phys

— Read more

May - 2021

Deep and extreme: Microbes thrive in transition

        A diverse microbial community has adapted to an extremely salty environment deep in the Red Sea. The microbes, many unknown to science, occupy a one-meter-thick area overlying the Suakin Deep, an expansive 80-meter-deep brine lake, 2,771 meters below the central Red Sea. The chemical properties of this thin "brine-seawater interface," along with the composition of microbial communities, change surprisingly rapidly across a sharp gradient.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Keeping more ammonium in soil could decrease pollution, boost crops

        Modern-day agriculture faces two major dilemmas: how to produce enough food to feed the growing human population and how to minimize environmental damage associated with intensive agriculture. Keeping more nitrogen in soil as ammonium may be one key way to address both challenges, according to a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Source: Phys

— Read more

Research reveals ancient people had more diverse gut microorganisms

        Just ask Dr. Meradeth Snow, a University of Montana researcher and co-chair of UM's Department of Anthropology. She is part of an international team, led by the Harvard Medical School-affiliated Joslin Diabetes Center, that used human "paleofeces" to discover that ancient people had far different microorganisms living in their guts than we do in modern times.

Source: Phys

— Read more

New species discovered in the human gut microbiome could improve nitrogen availability

        This new species, Desulfovibrio diazotrophicus, is from a family of bacteria that survive and grow on sulfur-containing compounds. They are known as sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) and a biproduct of their activity is the release of the gas hydrogen sulfide, which has a characteristic 'rotten egg' smell. Whilst this is unpleasant for those around you, there is also some concern that it is detrimental for gut health; the presence of SRB has been associated with gut inflammation, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colorectal cancer.

Source: Phys

— Read more

April - 2021

Deep under the ocean, microbes are active and poised to eat whatever comes their way

        The subseafloor constitutes one of the largest and most understudied ecosystems on Earth. While it is known that life survives deep down in the fluids, rocks, and sediments that make up the seafloor, scientists know very little about the conditions and energy needed to sustain that life.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Environmental DNA: How a tool used to detect endangered wildlife ended up helping fight the COVID-19 pandemic

        Imagine discovering an animal species you thought had gone extinct was still living without laying eyes on it. Such was the case with the Brazilian frog species Megaelosia bocainensis, whose complete disappearance in 1968 led scientists to believe it had become extinct. But through a novel genetic detection technique, it was rediscovered in 2020.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Bacteria breaking down mountains: Bioleaching to extract ores with less pollution

        How do you break down kilometers of rock to get the metals within? You go small. Bacteria-level small. If you've got a big rock with a little bit of metal in it, how do you get it out? Most of the time, you would smash it and dunk it in powerful acid until everything dissolves, then sieve out the metal. But what if that big rock is thousands of kilometers across? That's a lot of acid to buy. Not to mention how detrimental it could be for the environment.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Bacteria help plants grow better

        A current study by scientists of the University of Bonn and Southwest University in China sheds light on an unusual interdependence: Maize can attract special soil bacteria that, in turn, help the plants to grow better. In the long term, the results could be used to breed new varieties that use less fertilizer and therefore have less impact on the environment. The study is published in the prestigious journal Nature Plants.

Source: Phys

— Read more

March - 2021

New study shows microplastics turn into 'hubs' for pathogens, antibiotic-resistant bacteria

        It's estimated that an average-sized wastewater treatment plant serving roughly 400,000 residents will discharge up to 2,000,000 microplastic particles into the environment each day. Yet, researchers are still learning the environmental and human health impact of these ultra-fine plastic particles, less than 5 millimeters in length, found in everything from cosmetics, toothpaste and clothing microfibers, to our food, air and drinking water.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Researchers create more accurate model of how some microbes search for nutrients

       Many bacteria swim towards nutrients by rotating the helix-shaped flagella attached to their bodies. As they move, the cells can either 'run' in a straight line, or 'tumble' by varying the rotational directions of their flagella, causing their paths to randomly change course. Through a process named 'chemotaxis,' bacteria can decrease their rate of tumbling at higher concentrations of nutrients, while maintaining their swimming speeds. In more hospitable environments like the gut, this helps them to seek out nutrients more easily.

Source: Phys

— Read more

How an 'antibiotic' helps bacteria eat

        For years, scientists have known that certain bacteria produce molecules that are toxic to other bacteria when there is competition for food and space. Now, Caltech researchers have discovered these so-called antibiotics have another purpose: they help the bacteria acquire essential nutrients when resources are scarce.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Roundworms 'read' wavelengths in the environment to avoid dangerous bacteria that secrete colorful toxins

        Roundworms don't have eyes or the light-absorbing molecules required to see. Yet, new research shows they can somehow sense color. The study, published in the journal Science, suggests worms use this ability to assess the risk of feasting on potentially dangerous bacteria that secrete blue toxins. The researchers pinpointed two genes that contribute to this spectral sensitivity and are conserved across many organisms, including humans.

Source: Phys

— Read more

February - 2021

Visualizing the process of digestion in the oldest known animal-microbe symbiosis

        Marine biologists have been able to visualize for the first time how tropical sponges and their symbiotic bacteria work together to consume and recycle organic food. The research led by Meggie Hudspith and Jasper de Goeij from the University of Amsterdam, was a collaborative project with colleagues from the Australian Universities of Sydney, Queensland and Western Australia, and the research institute Carmabi on Curaçao, and is now published in the scientific journal Microbiome.

Source: Phys

— Read more

A unique prototype of microbial life designed on actual Martian material

        Experimental microbially assisted chemolithotrophy provides an opportunity to trace the putative bioalteration processes of the Martian crust. A study on the Noachian Martian breccia Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034, composed of ancient (ca. 4.5 Gyr old) crustal materials from Mars has delivered a unique prototype of microbial life experimentally designed on actual Martian material. As the researchers show in the current issue of Nature Communications Earth and Environment, this life form of a pure Martian design is a rich source of Martian-relevant biosignatures. The study was led by Tetyana Milojevic, the head of the Space Biochemistry group at the University of Vienna.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Secret to how cholera adapts to temperature revealed

        Scientists have discovered an essential protein in cholera-causing bacteria that allows them to adapt to changes in temperature, according to a study published today in eLife.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Lab 3-D prints microbes to enhance biomaterials

        Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists have developed a new method for 3-D printing living microbes in controlled patterns, expanding the potential for using engineered bacteria to recover rare-earth metals, clean wastewater, detect uranium and more.

Source: Phys

— Read more

January - 2021

Microbes fuelled by wind-blown mineral dust melt the Greenland ice sheet

        Scientists have identified a key nutrient source used by algae living on melting ice surfaces linked to rising sea levels.The Greenland ice sheet—the second largest ice body in the world after the Antarctic ice sheet—covers almost 80% of the surface of Greenland. Over the last 25 years, surface melting and water runoff from the ice sheet has increased by about 40%.The international research team, led by the University of Leeds, analysed samples from the southwestern margin on Greenland's 1.7 million km2 ice sheet over two years.They discovered that phosphorus containing minerals may be driving ever-larger algal blooms on the Greenland Ice Sheet. As the algal blooms grow they darken the ice surface, decreasing albedo—the ability to reflect sunlight. The blooms cause increased melting thus contributing to higher sea levels. In particular, a band of low-albedo ice, known as the Dark Zone, has developed along the western margin of the massive ice sheet.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Volcanic microbes

        Oak Ridge National Laboratory contributed to an international study that found almost 300 novel types of microbes living near a deep sea volcano. These microbes, which could be used in biotechnology, reveal new insights about their extreme underwater environment.

Source: Phys

— Read more

Scientists uncover the genomic differences of marine and freshwater microalgae

        Associate Professor of Biology Kourosh Salehi-Ashtiani and NYUAD Senior Research Scientist David Nelson report in a new study that they have successfully cultured and sequenced 107 microalgae species from 11 different phyla indigenous to varied locations and climates to gain insights on genomic differences in saltwater and freshwater microalgae. The researchers have also discovered that these algae genomes show widespread widespread viral-origin gene content.

Source: Phys

— Read more

How 'Iron Man' bacteria could help protect the environment

       As other reviewers and the program manager didn't share this sentiment, NSF funded the proposal. And, now, Reguera's team has shown that microbes are capable of an incredible feat that could help reclaim a valuable natural resource and soak up toxic pollutants.

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