Deadly bacteria show thirst for human blood

Researchers at Washington State University in the USA have discovered that certain deadly bacteria are drawn to human blood, a phenomenon they term “bacterial vampirism.”

When conditions cool down, a bacterial prey species becomes the predator

From PLOS 28/01/24 In a new study, two species of bacteria grown in a lab reversed their predator-prey relationship after one species was grown at a lower temperature. Marie Vasse of MIVEGEC, France, and colleagues publish these findings January 23rd in the open access journal PLOS Biology. Prior research has shown that ecological context can […]

Armed to the hilt: Study solves mystery behind bacteria’s extensive weaponry

From University of Oxford 07/12/23 A new study led by the University of Oxford has shed light on why certain species of bacteria carry astonishing arsenals of weapons. The findings, published today in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution, could help us to engineer microbes that can destroy deadly pathogens, reducing our reliance on antibiotics. […]

Artificial bladders shine light on bugs that cause urinary tract infections

From University College London 18/11/23 The research, published today in Science Advances, is the first to use a sophisticated human tissue model to explore the interaction between host and pathogen for six common species that cause urinary tract infections. The findings suggest that the ‘one size fits all’ approach to diagnosis and treatment currently used […]

Engineered bacteria can detect tumor DNA

From University of California – San Diego 28/08/23 Pushing into a new chapter of technologically advanced biological sensors, scientists from the University of California San Diego and their colleagues in Australia have engineered bacteria that can detect the presence of tumor DNA in a live organism. Their innovation, which detected cancer in the colons of […]

‘Oil-eating’ microbes reshape droplets to accelerate oil spill cleanup

From American Association for the Advancement of Science/AAAS 21/08/23 “Oil-eating” Alcanivorax borkumensis bacteria form “dendritic” biofilms that reshape oil droplets to speed up the rate of consumption, researchers report. The findings reveal how this particular bacterium optimizes oil biodegradation and consumption. Obligately hydrocarbonoclastic bacteria (OHCB) survive by consuming hydrocarbons as a sole carbon and energy […]

Chemical analysis shows real-life Count Dracula could have cried tears of blood

From American Chemical Society 16/08/23 Vlad III, known as Vlad the Impaler, was a 15th-century prince and military leader who was so terrifying, he’s thought to have inspired the creation of the literary vampire, Count Dracula. Now, a scientific examination of his letters is giving new insights into his health. Researchers now reporting in ACS’ […]

Using bacteria to encrypt messages

By Charles Carter, 24/09/22 Biomedical engineering innovators from Duke University have developed a new data encryption method using simulated bacterial growth patterns. The approach involves machine-learning and could have security advantages over existing encoding methods, due to the chaotic nature of bacterial growth. How does it work? The team developed a simulation of how bacteria […]

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