News in Brief
An intestinal pathogen that causes severe and sometimes life-threatening diarrhea is an opportunist that grows like gangbusters under the right conditions. Now, scientists may have discovered the opportunity that Clostridioides difficile waits for.
In mice, a disruption of the mix of microbes in the gut sets the stage for C. difficile infections. Such upsets allow the pathogen to...
Microcins\MĪ-kro-sins\ n.11/28/2016 - 10:00 Microbiology
Bacterial proteins that kill rival bacteria
Competition is cutthroat in the crowded world of the intestines, so bacteria have evolved ways to kill rivals for a survival advantage. One strain of bacteria, called Escherichia coli Nissle 1917, has tiny proteins called microcins that may help E. coli’s host fight pathogens that cause gut inflammation, researchers at...
A new genetic discovery could equip researchers to fight a superbug by stripping it of its power rather than killing it outright.
Scientists have identified a set of genes in Clostridium difficile that turns on its production of toxins. Those toxins can damage intestinal cells, leading to diarrhea, abdominal pain and potentially life-threatening disease. Unlocking the bug’s genetic...
Each of us is a metropolis. Bustling about in everyone's body are tens of trillions of microbes. Some are descended from starter populations provided by mom during birth. Additional bacteria, yeasts, and other life forms hitchhike in with foods. By age 3, everyone's gut hosts a fairly stable, yet diverse, ecosystem.
Most of the tiny stowaways hide out in the...
What's in a Name?
Anthropology & Archaeology
Botany & Zoology
Cell & Molecular Biology...
About 3 years ago, physicians in Quebec noticed an alarming pattern in patients with diarrhea. "All of a sudden, we were having patients so sick that they needed the ICU [intensive-care unit]," says doctor and epidemiologist Sandra Dial. The same illness was also sending patients to the morgue as never before. They weren't succumbing to the ailment that brought them to the hospital. Instead,...