Scientists from Harvard Medical School and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have ingeniously visualized the Escherichia coli evolution through ever increasing amounts of antibiotics. Inspired by a Hollywood movie billboard, the team constructed the so called Microbial Evolution and Growth Arena i.e. MEGA plate to be able to monitor bacteria’s movement, survival and resistance.
Microbes have been present on planet Earth longer than us, humans, and they become our life companions from the moment we are born. They are building, protecting and feeding our bodies.
In 2010 John Craig Venter and his colleagues reported a creation of the first bacterial cell containing a completely synthesized genome. It was a 1.08-mega-base pair Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0 genome and it became the very first citizen of synthetic biology.
The combination of drug misuse, reductions in antimicrobial research by the pharmaceutical industry, and the rapid evolution capabilities of microorganisms has resulted in pathogenic bacteria with stronger and stronger drug resistance. This is an issue that some fear if not handled correctly, could lead to the evolution of a “superbug” that is resistant to everything in our arsenal.
At the last year’s annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience scientists presented a very interesting research topic about our gut microbiome. They have revealed that in some way gut bacteria influence the way how the brain work. An important question arose from the mental health pont-of-view: Can we treat mental and neurological diseases by tinkering with our gut microbiome?
Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne illness in the world. It is a tick-borne illness that afflicts around 60,000 people worldwide every year. Although the mortality rate is low, the diagnosis is complex as doctors must rely upon highly variable symptoms and indirect measures of infection when offering diagnoses.
There are approximately 140 000 species of higher fungi. Only 10% of mushroom-forming species are known, making them an enormous untapped pool of potentially useful substances.
As I was winding down my work for 2015, an article in “The Scientist” on shortage of agar in late November caught my eye. At the time, I was busy planning experiments that involved production of bacteriophages which infect and replicate within bacterial cells
Recent drug discoveries promise new treatments and cures for many diseases. However, getting a drug to work, not only in experiments with cells in the lab, but also in the human body, is difficult. One challenge? Getting past the body’s line of defense, the immune system, which fights foreign invaders that make it into the body.