Brown University researchers have found that kimchi made without seafood products has the same “probiotic” bacteria as more traditional kimchi. (more…)
Tag Archives: microbes
In the Jan. 5 issue of Science, researchers from the University of Chicago Medicine show that specific strains of commensal bacteria—the swarms of microorganisms naturally dwelling in the intestines—can improve the response rate to immunotherapy for patients being treated for advanced melanoma. (more…)
In these recent sweltering days of summer, air conditioning might seem like your best friend. But those refreshingly cold gusts of air could also be delivering microbes around your house or office – and possibly making you sick. (more…)
In deserts and other arid lands, microbes often form very thin top layers on soil known as biocrusts, which behave a bit like Rip Van Winkle. He removed himself from a stressful environment by sleeping for decades, and awoke to a changed world; similarly, the biocrust’s microbes lie dormant for long periods until precipitation (such as a sudden downpour) awakens them. Understanding more about the interactions between the microbial communities—also called “microbiomes”—in the biocrusts and their adaptations to their harsh environments could provide important clues to help shed light on the roles of soil microbes in the global carbon cycle. (more…)
Joint BioEnergy Institute Researchers Combine Systems Biology with Genetic Engineering to Improve Production of Isopentenol in E.Coli
In the on-going effort to develop advanced biofuels as a clean, green and sustainable source of liquid transportation fuels, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have identified microbial genes that can improve both the tolerance and the production of biogasoline in engineered strains of Escherichia coli. (more…)
Berkeley Researchers Show Expanded Role for Guide RNA in Cas9 Interactions with DNA
The potential is there for bacteria and other microbes to be genetically engineered to perform a cornucopia of valuable goods and services, from the production of safer, more effective medicines and clean, green, sustainable fuels, to the clean-up and restoration of our air, water and land. Cells from eukaryotic organisms can also be modified for research or to fight disease. To achieve these and other worthy goals, the ability to precisely edit the instructions contained within a target’s genome is a must. A powerful new tool for genome editing and gene regulation has emerged in the form of a family of enzymes known as Cas9, which plays a critical role in the bacterial immune system. Cas9 should become an even more valuable tool with the creation of the first detailed picture of its three-dimensional shape by researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley. (more…)
AMHERST, Mass. – When microbiologist James Holden of the University of Massachusetts Amherst launches new studies next month of the microbes living deep in the cracks and thermal vents around an undersea volcano, for the first time in his 25-year career his deep-sea research will not be funded by a government source.
Instead, Holden will be funded by philanthropists committed to supporting oceanographic research: The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation started by the co-founder of Intel and his wife, and the Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI), started by Eric Schmidt of Google and his wife, Wendy. The Moores’ foundation is dedicated to advancing environmental conservation and scientific research, while the SOI supports oceanographic research projects that “help expand the understanding of the world’s oceans through technological advancements, intelligent observation and analysis, and open sharing of information.” (more…)
New Technique Identifies Populations Within a Microbial Community Responsible for Biomass Deconstruction
One of the keys to commercialization of advanced biofuels is the development of cost-competitive ways to extract fermentable sugars from lignocellulosic biomass. The use of enzymes from thermophiles – microbes that thrive at extremely high temperatures and alkaline conditions – holds promise for achieving this. Finding the most effective of these microbial enzymes, however, has been a challenge. That challenge has now been met by a collaboration led by researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI).
Working with a compost-derived consortium of thermophillic bacterium adapted to grow on switchgrass, a leading potential fuel crop, and using a combination of metagenomic and metaproteomic technologies, the collaboration has identified individual microbial species whose enzymes were the most active in deconstructing the switchgrass biomass. Major institutes in addition to JBEI participating in this collaboration included DOE’s Joint Genome Institute (JGI), and EMSL, the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, a national scientific user facility at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). (more…)