For the first time, MIT chemists have determined the structure of the complex that forms when N2 binds to an iron-sulfur cluster, offering clues as to how microbes use nitrogenase enzymes to convert atmospheric dinitrogen into ammonia.
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have discovered that the frass of the horned passalus beetle is teeming with antibiotic and antifungal chemicals similar to the ones that humans use to ward off bacterial and fungal infections. Understanding the symbiotic relationship between bessbug beetles, actinomycetes and their antimicrobial compounds could help speed the search for new antibiotic drugs, and help doctors create better strategies for preventing the rise of antibiotic-resistant infections.
Danish one-year-olds carry several hundred antibiotic resistant genes in their bacterial gut flora according to a new study from the University of Copenhagen. The presence of these genes is partly attributable to antibiotic use among mothers during pregnancy.
Researchers are finding new details on the complex dynamics involved in how organisms sense an infection from pathogens. The researchers found that worms can sense changes in their metabolism in order to unleash protective defenses, even if they don't directly sense an incursion from pathogens.
Bacteria called methylotrophs can use methane and methanol as fuel; in doing so, they produce large amounts of formaldehyde during growth, but until recently no one knew how they detected and responded to this toxic compound. Publishing on 26th May, 2021 in the Open Access journal PLOS Biology, Christopher Marx of the University of Idaho and colleagues describe their discovery of a novel formaldehyde sensor in the bacterium Methylorubrum extorquens, and other methylotrophs.
An international consortium reports the largest-ever global metagenomic study of urban microbiomes, spanning the air and the surfaces of multiple cities. The project, which sequenced and analyzed samples collected from public transit systems and hospitals in 60 cities around the world, features comprehensive analysis and annotation for all the microbial species identified -- including thousands of viruses and bacteria and two archaea not found in reference databases. The study appears May 26 in the journal Cell.
A research group at São Paulo State University (UNESP) analyzed how Candida albicans fungi and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria influence gene expression and tumor cell survival.
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba have identified a new type of carbonic anhydrase enzyme that can convert CO2 to HCO3- without the use of a metal ion. This discovery not only increases our understanding of how this essential family of enzymes work, but could also be applied to artificial synthesis to help generate renewable energy sources in the future.
As antibiotic-resistant bacteria become more prevalent, silver has seen steep growth in its use in things like antibacterial coatings. Still, a better understanding can provide clues on how to best apply it. In Chemical Physics Reviews, researchers monitored the interaction of silver nanoparticles with a nearby E. coli culture and found the silver undergoes several dramatic changes. Most notably, the E. coli cells caused substantial transformations in the size and shape of the silver particles.
Years of development and testing remain before peptoid drugs, based on peptide-like molecules, could possibly make it to market. But encouraging results thus far suggest they have the potential to become a new category of antiviral treatments for everything from herpes and COVID-19 to the common cold.