Microbiology
Study shows viruses can have immune systems

Study shows viruses can have immune systems

Washington: A study published in the journal Nature reports that a viral predator of the cholera bacteria has stolen the functional immune system of bacteria and is using it against its bacterial host. The study provides the first evidence that this type of virus, the bacteriophage (“phage” for short), can acquire a wholly functional and adaptive immune system. more

Researchers identify weakness in superbug

Researchers identify weakness in superbug

Washington: The overuse of antibiotics has created strains of bacteria resistant to medication, making the diseases they cause difficult to treat, or even deadly. But now a research team at the University of Rochester has identified a weakness in at least one superbug that scientists may be able to medically exploit. more

Probiotic supplement helps male mice produce healthier bones

Probiotic supplement helps male mice produce healthier bones

Washington: In what could be an early step toward new treatments for people with osteoporosis, scientists at Michigan State University report that a natural probiotic supplement can help male mice produce healthier bones. more

Study explores how ‘villain’ gut bacteria may help control diabetes

Study explores how ‘villain’ gut bacteria may help control diabetes

Washington: A stomach bacterium believed to cause health problems such as gastritis, ulcers, and gastric cancer may play a dual role by balancing the stomach’s ecosystem and controlling body weight and glucose tolerance, according to immunologists at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute of Virginia Tech. more

Scientists find key to growth of “bad” bacteria in inflammatory bowel disease

Scientists find key to growth of “bad” bacteria in inflammatory bowel disease

Washington: Scientists have long puzzled over why “bad” bacteria such as E. coli can thrive in the guts of those with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), causing serious diarrhoea. Now the University of California, Davis researchers have discovered the answer — one that may be the first step toward finding new and better treatments for IBD. more

Antibiotic-eating bug unearthed in soil

Antibiotic-eating bug unearthed in soil

Washington: It’s well known how bacteria exposed to antibiotics for long periods will find ways to resist the drugs — by quickly pumping them out of their cells, for instance, or modifying the compounds so they’re no longer toxic. more

Discovery leads to development of vaccine to help prevent deadly virus

Discovery leads to development of vaccine to help prevent deadly virus

Washington: A scientific discovery made in the laboratory of Christopher C Broder, professor of microbiology and immunology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU), has led to the development of a vaccine to aid in the prevention of the deadly Hendra virus. On November 1, Pfizer Animal Health announced that the new vaccine, called Equivac HeV, is now available for use in Australia. more

Researchers “watch” antibiotics attack tuberculosis bacteria inside cells

Researchers “watch” antibiotics attack tuberculosis bacteria inside cells

Washington: Weill Cornell Medical College researchers report that mass spectrometry, a tool currently used to detect and measure proteins and lipids, can also now allow biologists to “see” for the first time exactly how drugs work inside living cells to kill infectious microbes. As a result, scientists may be able to improve existing antibiotics and design new, smarter ones to fight deadly infections, such as tuberculosis. The study has been published in Science. more

Researchers discover how the body uses vitamin B to recognise bacterial infection

Researchers discover how the body uses vitamin B to recognise bacterial infection

Sydney: An Australian research team has discovered how specialised immune cells recognise products of vitamin B synthesis that are unique to bacteria and yeast, triggering the body to fight infection. more

Scientists uncover virus with potential to stop pimples

Scientists uncover virus with potential to stop pimples

Washington: Doctors may soon have a new weapon against zits: a harmless virus living on our skin that naturally seeks out and kills the bacteria that cause pimples. The new findings by scientists at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) and the University of Pittsburgh are published in the online edition of the American Society for Microbiology’s journal mBio. more