Showing posts with the label bacteria

Genetically Modified E. coli Bacteria Play Tic-Tac-Toe Better Than Unskilled Humans, Shows A Spanish Study

Researchers at the Spanish National Research Council (SNRC) in Madrid have announced that they had genetically modified a strain of Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria and taught it how to play the game of tic-tac-toe. Image Credits: Pixabay The research was started in 2019 when another research group genetically engineered a strain of E. coli bacteria that could sense 12 different chemicals and responded by changing the activity of specific genes. But, the research team at SNRC took this work and applied other modifications. They combined several copies of two circular pieces of DNA called plasmids. Each plasmid encodes a separate fluorescent protein. One is green, and the other is red. The ratio of these two plasmids was constant in bacteria, and hence, their final colour is not predetermined, though it can be affected by different chemicals and antibiotics. Also, the ratio remains constant when no modification is done. Thus, the composition of DNA remains unchanged and stores the

New Frostproof Coolants Are an Eco-Friendly and Long-Lasting Alternative to Conventional De-Icers, Say American Scientists

Scientists at the  University of Illinois Chicago, US , have developed  environmentally  friendly anti-freezing coatings for aeroplanes as an alternative to conventional de-icers. Image credit: Pexels Airports are more crowded during the winters. Delays in board flights become longer when the aeroplanes need to be drenched with de-icing fluids. A de-icer is a substance that prevents the formation of ice by lowering the freezing point of water. These fluids help the aircraft fight the frosty winter. But, after the plane takes off, most of the de-icing liquid drops down from the surface and gets mixed with lakes and rivers, resulting in pollution of freshwater bodies. Sushant Anand , a UIC assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and Rukmava Chatterjee , a UIC PhD student, have developed an efficient alternative to conventional de-icers to benefit the demanding industries and consumers and prevent waterbody pollution. “We questioned the lifetime of the cryoprotectants and looked a

Lack of Oral Hygiene Responsible for Hypertension in Postmenopausal Women Finds Study

Image: According to a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal American Heart Association , certain oral bacteria were linked to the development of hypertension , often known as high blood pressure, in postmenopausal women.  While earlier research has shown that people with periodontal disease had higher blood pressure than those who do not, the researchers think this is the first prospective study to look at the link between oral bacteria and the development of hypertension. High blood pressure is commonly defined by two measurements: systolic blood pressure of 130 mm Hg or higher (the upper number showing pressure while the heart beats) and a diastolic blood pressure of 80 mm Hg or higher (the lower number indicating pressure between heartbeats). “Since periodontal disease and hypertension are especially prevalent in older adults, if a relationship between the oral bacteria and hypertension risk could be established, there may be an opportunity to enhance hyper

Biologists Discover Smallest of Propellers That Make Archae Faster Than Cheetahs

The molecular structure of the propellers. Source Exeter University Biologists at the University of Exeter, England , have discovered new information on tiny locomotive structures or propellers used by archaea. The study also identified the structural elements that helped propellers to improve flexibility. Like bacteria , archaea are single-celled organisms found in large habitats. They are found living in extreme conditions, such as in high salt concentrations, pressures and temperatures. Some species also live in human bodies but unlike bacteria, they do not cause any disease. Archaea have a spiral-shaped filament-like structure called archaellum for locomotion. Some species are able to propel themselves at high speeds by rotating the archaellum. These filaments have intracellular motors that are responsible for rotating these extracellular filaments. The motors use ATP (Adenosine Tri-Phosphate) source of energy for the process. Methanocaldococcus villosus is a species of archaea fo

Human Gut Bacteria Have 'Sex' to Share Vitamin B12

Pixabay Researchers at the University of California Riverside (UCR) have found that human gut bacteria have sex to pass or share vitamin B12 with each other.   Vitamin B12 is one of the essential nutrients that is required for the growth and development of different body parts, including the brain, blood cells, nerves, in humans. Without this nutrient, many living cells, including, bacteria can not function. Thus, beneficial gut bacteria share the ability to capture this nutrient with one another. "The process involves one cell forming a tube that DNA can pass through to another cell," said Patrick Degnan , UCR microbiologist and study head. "It's as if two humans had sex, and now they both have red hair." Scientists have been aware of this process for years. They knew that 'jumping genes' were responsible for transferring DNA between organisms. Many studies have shown that these genes helped bacteria stay alive in the presence of antibiotics (medicine

New Study Shows Aphid ‘Honeydew’ Promotes Bacteria That Can Kill Them

Photo credit: Horror by Numbers/ Unsplash   According to a new study by researchers at Cornell University, New York, honeydew- a sugary sticky liquid secreted by aphids can promote the growth of the bacteria that is highly infectious to the pests. During the study, researchers used  Pseudomonas syringae, a type of bacteria that resides on leaves . Pseudomonas syringae is a rod-shaped bacteria that infect a wide range of plant species. It also affects certain infection carriers like Aphids that transfer the infection while feeding on the sap, damaging crops of billions of dollars around the world. The research shows how certain strains or genetic types of Pseudomonas syringae are infectious to aphids and might also be used to control pests. The research paper, “ Context-Dependent Benefits of Aphids for Bacteria in the Phyllosphere ,” published in the journal ‘The American Naturalist,’ assessed the virulence (micro-organisms ability to damage the host) of different strains (genetic ty

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