Tag Archives: pathogens

UCLA nanoscientists are first to model atomic structures of three bacterial nanomachines

Cryo electron microscope enables scientists to explore the frontiers of targeted antibiotics

Researchers at UCLA’s California NanoSystems Institute have become the first to produce images of the atomic structures of three specific biological nanomachines, each derived from a different potentially deadly bacterium — an achievement they hope will lead to antibiotics targeted toward specific pathogens. (more…)

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Decreased ability to identify odors can predict death

For older adults, being unable to identify scents is a strong predictor of death within five years, according to a study published Oct. 1 in the journal PLOS ONE. Thirty-nine percent of study subjects who failed a simple smelling test died during that period, compared to 19 percent of those with moderate smell loss and just 10 percent of those with a healthy sense of smell. (more…)

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Bacteria fighting fabric

Gates Foundation funds civil engineering professor’s novel wastewater treatment fabric

Each year in India, waterborne diseases sicken approximately 37.7 million people. One and a half million children die of diarrhea alone, according to a report by WaterAid

In the developing world, open pit latrines are common, but they pose a significant risk to public health and the environment. Open pit latrines can be as sophisticated as an outhouse or as simple as a trench in the ground. (more…)

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‘Life as Research Scientist’: Taichi Suzuki, Evolutionary Biologist

Taichi Suzuki, an Evolutionary Biologist, is currently involved in PhD program in Integrative Biology at the University of California Berkeley. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the Nihon University in Japan and completed Master’s in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at The University of Arizona. He is also associated with Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley.

So, let’s join Mr. Suzuki to our latest round of interviews on ‘Life as research scientist’:

Q. Let us start with your research topic. What is your research area? Will you please tell us a bit more on this? What did you find?

Taichi Suzuki: My research topic is focused on ‘Host associated microbial ecology’. I am interested in understanding how symbiotic microbial community affects host (e.g. animals) health and evolution. I found correlation between obese-associated gut microbial community composition and geography (i.e. latitude). (more…)

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UCLA life scientists, colleagues differentiate microbial good and evil

To safely use bacteria in agriculture to help fertilize crops, it is vital to understand the difference between harmful and healthy strains. The bacterial genus Burkholderia, for example, includes dangerous disease-causing pathogens — one species has even been listed as a potential bioterrorist agent — but also many species that are safe and important for plant development.

Can the microbial good and evil be told apart? Yes, UCLA life scientists and an international team of researchers report Jan. 8 in the online journal PLOS ONE. (more…)

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Initial positive results reported on vaccine to treat genital herpes

Initial, positive results have been reported for a therapeutic vaccine candidate for treating patients with genital herpes. This first-in-class, investigational, protein subunit vaccine, GEN-003, is under development by Genocea Biosciences Inc.

Dr. Anna Wald, University of Washington professor of medicine and laboratory medicine in the School of Medicine and professor of epidemiology in the School of Public Health, is among those leading clinical studies of GEN-003. The trials are also taking place at six other centers in the United States. (more…)

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Google, Intel Founders Support Undersea Research by UMass Amherst Microbiologist

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…)

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‘Life as Research Scientist’: Angel Byrd, Cell Biologist

For years, Brown University M.D./Ph.D. student Angel Byrd had dedicated herself to studying how immune system cells capture invading fungal pathogens. Like those cells, called neutrophils, she had seized on seemingly every opportunity that had come her way.

In high school she was the valedictorian and won a 10-year Gates Millennium Scholarship. As an undergrad at Tougaloo College she earned the opportunity to do summer research in China on gene expression and was named a Leadership Alliance scholar. Later at Brown she earned a research internship at drug giant Eli Lilly, and has piled up awards for research posters. Twice she met with senators and representatives on Capitol Hill on behalf of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. And after she won a coveted United Negro College Fund/Merck Graduate Fellowship in 2011, she sparkled on televisions around the country in a segment featuring her on BET.

Recently we spoke with Miss Byrd to know more about her research work, why this is important, and how life as a research scientist is. But before proceeding with our questions to Miss Byrd, let us learn on her childhood from her own words: (more…)

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