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American Society for Microbiology meeting

Cell phones may change your skin bacteria, plus greenhouse microbes and feather-eating bacteria in this week’s news

11:43am, May 27, 2011

American Society for Microbiology, New Orleans, May 21–24, 2011

Foiling cheaters
It can take an entire community to keep cheaters from prospering. New experiments with bacteria show that populations containing different types of bacteria behave very differently than groups composed of only one species. A cheating strain of Salmonella bacteria can make other types of Salmonella and E. coli die out by stealing food and not giving anything back, Christopher Marx of Harvard reported May 22. But mixing Salmonella and E. coli somehow thwarts the cheaters, Marx and his colleagues discovered in a preliminary study. Figuring out how bacteria team up to freeze out cheaters could help researchers better understand how microbial populations behave in the wild. —Tina Hesman Saey


Greenhouse gas changes soil microbes

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