Sweaty Hands Reduce Metal’s Bacteria-fight Ability
Sweaty hands can reduce the effectiveness of bacteria-fighting brass objects in hospitals and schools after just an hour of coming into contact with them, according to scientists at the Univ. of Leicester.
Copper found in everyday brass items such as door handles and water taps has an antimicrobial effect on bacteria and is widely used to prevent the spread of disease, John Bond from the Univ. of Leicester’s Department of Chemistry has discovered that peoples’ sweat can, within an hour of contact with the brass, produce sufficient corrosion to adversely affect its use to kill a range of microorganisms, such as those that might be encountered in a hospital and that can be easily transferred by touch or by a lack of hand hygiene.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/sweaty-hands-reduce-metal%E2%80%99s-bacteria-fight-ability
Researchers Find Weakness in Antibiotic-resistant Bacteria
New research from the Univ. Of East Anglia, published in the journal Nature, reveals an Achilles’ heel in the defensive barrier that surrounds drug-resistant bacterial cells.
The findings pave the way for a new wave of drugs that kill superbugs by bringing down their defensive walls rather than attacking the bacteria itself. It means that in future, bacteria may not develop drug-resistance at all.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/researchers-find-weakness-antibiotic-resistant-bacteria
Fermentation of Cocoa Needs Collaboration Between Bacteria, Yeast
Good chocolate is among the world’s most beloved foods, which is why scientists are seeking to improve the product, and enhance the world’s pleasure. A team of researchers from Germany and Switzerland — the heartland of fine chocolate — embarked upon a quest to better understand natural cocoa fermentation and have published findings ahead of print in the American Society for Microbiology journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
“Our studies have unraveled the metabolism of the rather unexplored acetic acid bacteria in the complex fermentation environment,” says corresponding author Christoph Wittmann of Saarland Univ.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/fermentation-cocoa-needs-collaboration-between-bacteria-yeast
Bacteria Shed Light on Why Stress, Fear Trigger Heart Attacks
Scientists believe they have an explanation for the axiom that stress, emotional shock or overexertion may trigger heart attacks in vulnerable people. Hormones released during these events appear to cause bacterial biofilms on arterial walls to disperse, allowing plaque deposits to rupture into the bloodstream, according to research published in published in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
"Our hypothesis fitted with the observation that heart attack and stroke often occur following an event where elevated levels of catecholamine hormones are released into the blood and tissues, such as occurs during sudden emotional shock or stress, sudden exertion or over-exertion" says David Davies of Binghamton Univ., an author on the study.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/bacteria-shed-light-why-stress-fear-trigger-heart-attacks
Shape-shifting DNA Helps Bacteria Survive
Scientists have discovered that bacteria can reshape their DNA to survive dehydration.
The research, published is the Proceedings of the Royal Society Interface, shows that bacterial DNA can change from the regular double helix – known as B-DNA – to the more compact A-DNA form, when faced with hostile conditions such as dehydration.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/shape-shifting-dna-helps-bacteria-survive
Bacteria, Gases Can Indicate Pipe Condition
The nation’s sewer system is a topic most people would prefer to avoid, but its aging infrastructure is wearing out, and broken pipes leaking raw sewage into streets and living rooms are forcing the issue. To better predict which pipes need to be fixed, scientists report in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology that certain conditions in the pipes can clue utilities in to which ones need repair — before it’s too late.
Mark Hernandez and colleagues, from the Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, note that the maintenance of U.S. wastewater collection systems costs an estimated $4.5 billion every year, much of which goes toward fixing or replacing 8,000 miles of sewers. In the future, these annual costs could top $12 billion.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/bacteria-gases-can-indicate-pipe-condition
Bacteria Changes Shape to Escape Detection
Every once in a while in the U.S., bacterial meningitis seems to crop up out of nowhere, claiming a young life. Part of the disease’s danger is the ability of the bacteria to evade the body’s immune system. Now, scientists are figuring out how the pathogen hides in plain sight. Their findings, which could help defeat these bacteria and others like it, appear in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Linda Columbus and colleagues at the Univ. of Virginia explain that the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis, one cause of meningitis, and its cousin Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which is responsible for gonorrhea, have key-like proteins that allow them to enter human cells and do their damage. Gonorrhea can be cured, though one type of the responsible bacteria has reached “superbug” status, becoming resistant to known drugs.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/bacteria-changes-shape-escape-detection
Even Healthy Placentas Gave Bacteria
Surprising new research shows a small but diverse community of bacteria lives in the placentas of healthy pregnant women, overturning the belief that fetuses grow in a pretty sterile environment.
These are mostly varieties of “good germs” that live in everybody. But this week’s study also hints that the make-up of this microbial colony plays a role in premature birth.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/even-healthy-placentas-gave-bacteria
Bacteria Lives for Days on Airplane Surfaces
Disease-causing bacteria can linger on surfaces commonly found in airplane cabins for days, even up to a week, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.
“Many air travelers are concerned about the risks of catching a disease from other passengers given the long time spent in crowded air cabins,” says Kiril Vaglenov, of Auburn Univ. who presented the data. “This report describes the results of our first step in investigating this potential problem.”
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/bacteria-lives-days-airplane-surfaces
Strep Bacteria Can Fight Colon Cancer
Researchers at Univ. of Western Ontario have shown how the bacteria primarily responsible for causing strep throat can be used to fight colon cancer. By engineering a streptococcal bacterial toxin to attach itself to tumor cells, they are forcing the immune system to recognize and attack the cancer.
Kelcey Patterson, a PhD Candidate at Western and the lead author on the study, showed that the engineered bacterial toxin could significantly reduce the size of human colon cancer tumors in mice, with a drastic reduction in the instances of metastasis. By using mouse models that are stripped of their immune system, they were able to create a “humanized mouse” – one that would not only grow human colon cancer cells, but would also support a human immune system, to test the anti-cancer immunotherapy.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/strep-bacteria-can-fight-colon-cancer
The motto “no guts, no glory” may need rewriting if Rice Univ. synthetic biologist Jeff Tabor succeeds in his quest to help the Navy create an edible probiotic bacterium that can help protect sailors and marines from obesity and depression.
“Our goal is to engineer a new probiotic bacterium that can protect against a common large-intestine disorder that causes obesity and depression,” says Tabor, assistant professor of bioengineering at Rice and the lead investigator on a new project funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR).
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/edible-bacteria-can-alter-mood-weight
Yale Univ. researchers have determined how a scarce molecule produced by marine bacteria can kill cancer cells, paving the way for the development of new, low-dose chemotherapies.
The molecule, lomaiviticin A, was previously shown to be lethal to cultured human cancer cells, but the mechanism of its operation remained unsolved for well over a decade. In a series of experiments, Yale scientists Seth Herzon, Peter Glazer and colleagues show that the molecule nicks, cleaves and ultimately destroys cancer cells’ DNA, preventing replication.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/marine-bacteria-joins-fight-against-cancer
Scientists from the Univ. of Granada have successfully created magnetic bacteria that could be added to foodstuffs and could, after ingestion, help diagnose diseases of the digestive system like stomach cancer. These important findings constitute the first use of a food as a natural drug and aid in diagnosing an illness, anywhere in the world.
The researchers — members of Bionanomet, the Metallic Bionanoparticle research group of the Department of Inorganic Chemistry and the Institute of Biotechnology of the Univ. of Granada — have conducted this research in collaboration with BIOSEARCH SA, a private company. Their results have been published in the latest issue of Advanced Functional Materials.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/artificial-bacteria-change-food-diagnostic-test
RMIT researchers have developed a new antibacterial fabric that can kill a range of infectious bacteria, such as E. coli, within 10 minutes. The discovery could significantly reduce the risk of deadly hospital-acquired infections and revolutionize the way the medical industry deals with infection control.
Secondary infections are a serious and potentially deadly complication for hospital patients. Antibacterial fabrics do not allow nasty disease-causing bacteria, like Staphylococcus, to stick to and grow on their surface — creating an infection-free environment.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/antibacterial-fabric-may-revolutionize-infection-control
Tomato-Eaters Win When Benign Bacteria Beats Salmonella
Scientists from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have identified a benign bacterium that shows promise in blocking Salmonella from colonizing raw tomatoes. Their research is published ahead of print in the American Society for Microbiology’s journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
When applied to Salmonella-contaminated tomato plants in a field study, the bacterium, known as Paenibacillus alvei, significantly reduced the concentration of the pathogen compared to controls.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/tomato-eaters-win-when-benign-bacteria-beats-salmonella