Scientists Investigate Habitat of Listeria
Listeria are extremely undemanding bacteria. In low amounts they are present almost everywhere, including soil and water. In order to better understand how Listeria spread, a group of scientists from the Institute of Milk Hygiene at the Univ. of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna collected soil and water samples throughout Austria. Their study revealed a higher detection of Listeria in soil and water samples during periods of flooding. The researchers also found antibiotic-resistant strains of Listeria in soil samples. The data were published in the journal Applied Environmental Microbiology.
The literature describes Listeria as ubiquitous bacteria with widespread occurrence. Yet they only become a problem for humans and animals when they contaminate food processing facilities, multiply and enter the food chain in high concentrations. An infection with Listeria monocytogenes can even be fatal for humans or animals with weakened immune systems.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/scientists-investigate-habitat-listeria
One in 10 Antibiotic Treatments Fail
Over a 22 year period, more than one in 10 of all antibiotic treatments in a primary care setting have failed. This rate has increased and continues to rise, according to a new study that analyzed almost 11 million antibiotic prescriptions in the UK. Much data has been gathered about antibiotic resistance in hospitals, but virtually nothing is known about the frequency and pattern of antibiotic failure in primary care.
Researchers from Cardiff Univ. therefore set out to assess antibiotic treatment failure rates in UK primary care with particular focus on four of the most common kinds of infection: upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs), skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) and acute otitis media (AOM – middle-ear infection).
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/one-10-antibiotic-treatments-fail
Bacteria’s Communication System Can Kill Cancer
Cancer, while always dangerous, truly becomes life-threatening when the cancerous cells begin to spread to different areas throughout the body. Now, researchers at the Univ. of Missouri have discovered that a molecule used as a communication system by bacteria can be manipulated to prevent cancer cells from spreading. Senthil Kumar, an assistant research professor and assistant director of the Comparative Oncology and Epigenetics Laboratory at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, says this communication system can be used to “tell” cancer cells how to act, or even to die on command.
“During an infection, bacteria release molecules which allow them to ‘talk’ to each other,” says Kumar, the lead author of the study. “Depending on the type of molecule released, the signal will tell other bacteria to multiply, escape the immune system or even stop spreading. We found that if we introduce the ‘stop spreading’ bacteria molecule to cancer cells, those cells will not only stop spreading; they will begin to die as well.”
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/bacterias-communication-system-can-kill-cancer
New Found Bacteria Eats Hazardous Waste
Tiny single-cell organisms discovered living underground could help with the problem of nuclear waste disposal, say researchers involved in a study at The Univ. of Manchester.
Although bacteria with waste-eating properties have been discovered in relatively pristine soils before, this is the first time that microbes that can survive in the very harsh conditions expected in radioactive waste disposal sites have been found.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/09/new-found-bacteria-eats-hazardous-waste
Cinnamon May Fight E. Coli Outbreaks
For centuries, cinnamon has been used to enhance the flavor of foods, but new research shows that the spice could also help make foods safer.
According to a study by Meijun Zhu and Lina Sheng, food safety scientists at Washington State Univ. in Pullman, the ancient cooking spice could help prevent some of the most serious foodborne illnesses caused by pathogenic bacteria.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/08/cinnamon-may-fight-e-coli-outbreaks
Early Antibiotic Exposure Predisposes Mice to Obesity
A new study published today in Cell suggests that antibiotic exposure during a critical window of early development disrupts the bacterial landscape of the gut, home to trillions of diverse microbes, and permanently reprograms the body’s metabolism, setting up a predisposition to obesity. Moreover, the study shows that it is altered gut bacteria, rather than the antibiotics, driving the metabolic effects.
The new study by NYU Langone Medical Center researchers reveals that mice given lifelong low doses of penicillin starting in the last week of pregnancy or during nursing were more susceptible to obesity and metabolic abnormalities than mice exposed to the antibiotic later in life.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/08/early-antibiotic-exposure-predisposes-mice-obesity
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