What’s your intestinal bacteria type?

As partners in the international research consortium named MetaHit, scientists from the University of Copenhagen have contributed to show that an individual’s intestinal bacteria flora, regardless of nationality, gender and age, organises itself in certain clusters. The cluster of intestinal bacteria flora is hypothesised to have an influence on how we react to both our diet and medicine absorbed through the gastro-intestinal tract. The results have recently been published in the journal Nature.

Most people know about blood types, some also know about tissue types. However, now we may need to consider intestinal bacteria types as well. As part of a large, international research consortium, scientists from the University of Copenhagen have recently contributed to map special “enterotypes”, which are three distinctive clusters of bacteria in the human distal gut. Each of these enterotypes reflects a certain balance between various categories of bacteria in the distal gut, and is thought to impact intestinal bacteria digest food leavings, and utilise these for energy delivery to the gut and the whole body energy metabolism, and on how various drugs are absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract. Continue reading “What’s your intestinal bacteria type?”

Advertisements

New chemical can kill latent tuberculosis bacteria

Success in the laboratory suggests that a new compound can point the way to preventing active tuberculosis in people infected with the latent form of the bacterium, says a team led by researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. A drug with such properties could also be useful in treating people who already have tuberculosis by shortening the lengthy treatment period. The discovery also points to new ways of thinking about fighting bacterial infection, which is becoming increasingly resistant to traditional antibiotics.

Continue reading “New chemical can kill latent tuberculosis bacteria”

Newly Engineered Genetic Switches Enhance Production Of Proteins, Pharmaceuticals

Bacteria have evolved complex mechanisms called quorum sensing systems that provide for cell-to-cell communication, an adaptation that allows them to wait until their population grows large enough before mounting an attack on a host or competing for nutrients. Lianhong Sun, a chemical engineer at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has engineered one of these systems to create genetic switches that could lower the cost of producing therapeutic proteins and pharmaceuticals.
Continue reading “Newly Engineered Genetic Switches Enhance Production Of Proteins, Pharmaceuticals”

Scientists Create the First Synthetic Bacterial Genome

A team of 17 researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) has created the largest man-made DNA structure by synthesizing and assembling the 582,970 base pair genome of a bacterium, Mycoplasma genitalium JCVI-1.0. This work, published online today in the journal Science by Dan Gibson, Ph.D., et al, is the second of three key steps toward the team’s goal of creating a fully synthetic organism. In the next step, which is ongoing at the JCVI, the team will attempt to create a living bacterial cell based entirely on the synthetically made genome.
Continue reading “Scientists Create the First Synthetic Bacterial Genome”

Researchers Find Promising New Targets for Antibiotics

University of Illinois at Chicago researchers have identified new sites on the bacterial cell’s protein-making machinery where antibiotics can be delivered to treat infections.
Continue reading “Researchers Find Promising New Targets for Antibiotics”

Scientists equip bacteria with custom chemo-navigational system

Using an innovative method to control the movement of Escherichia coli in a chemical environment, Emory University scientists have opened the door to powerful new opportunities in drug delivery, environmental cleanup and synthetic biology. Their findings are published online in the Journal of the American Chemical Society and will be published in a future print issue.
Continue reading “Scientists equip bacteria with custom chemo-navigational system”

Bacteria vs. Humans: Score One for Us

Researchers in San Diego announce a new molecule that stops bacteria from mutating to become resistant to antibiotics.

A biochemist at Scripps Research Institute, Dr. Romesberg has announced the discovery of a molecule that inhibits bacteria’s ability to change its DNA and fend off the mortal threat of antibiotics. The moleculer was found after the lab screened more than 100,000 possible compounds. The molecule also slips easily into a bacterial cell, which is critical to creating an effective tool to zap the bugs.

Read rest of this story on Technology Review site.