Highlights from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

Bacteria

Researchers have created a nanoscale biomicrorobot (or 'cytobot') that responds electrical...

By cladding a living cell with graphene quantum dots, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) claim to have created a nanoscale biomicrorobot (or cytobot) that responds electrically to changes in its environment. This work promises to lay the foundations for future generations of bio-derived nanobots, biomicrorobotic-mechanisms, and micromechanical actuation for a wide range of applications.  Read More

Research team member Dr. Katarzyna Wybranska, with a wound dressing treated with the gold ...

We've been hearing a lot about the antibacterial qualities of silver, with silver nanoparticles finding use in everything from water filters to food packaging. Unfortunately, there are also concerns about the toxicity of those particles, particularly when they enter our bodies. Now, however, Polish scientists have developed what they claim is a safer alternative – an antibacterial coating that kills microbes using gold.  Read More

Bacterial biofilm formation on the right side of medical tubing is visible after being sta...

Whenever foreign objects such as catheters, implants or other devices are placed within the human body, there's a danger that bacterial colonies known as biofilms could collect on them, leading to infections. Now, however, scientists at Harvard University's Wyss Institute have created a material that's too slippery for those biofilms to cling onto. It works by continuously releasing oil.  Read More

New research gives hope that diabetics may one day be able to take a daily probiotic pill ...

Researchers at Cornell University have successfully treated diabetic rats by engineering a strain of lactobacillus, a rod-shaped bacteria common in the human gut, resulting in up to 30 percent lower blood glucose levels. The technology could pave the way for a new treatment for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes that could one day see managing diabetes be as easy as taking a daily probiotic pill..  Read More

A section of a 2.3 billion-year-old rock bearing fossils (the dark areas) that are essenti...

Claimed to be the greatest lack of evolution ever discovered, a deep-sea microorganism – sulfur bacteria – recently uncovered by an international group of scientists is reported not to have evolved for more than 2 billion years. Despite it appearing to be an aberration in nature, researchers say that the microscopic creature’s unchanging nature actually supports Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.  Read More

Nitrogen gas promises a quicker, cheaper, cleaner way to increase production in bioethanol...

Zymomonas mobilis bacterium might be tricky to say, but this bioethanol-producing microbe could become a household name if Indiana University biologists have their way. The biologists claim have found a quicker, cheaper, cleaner way to increase bioethanol production in this microorganism by using the most abundant element in the Earth’s atmosphere: nitrogen gas (N2). By replacing chemical fertilizers with N2, production costs could be slashed and cellulose ethanol derived from wood pulp made much more economically viable – so much so that the researchers believe it may compete with corn ethanol and gasoline on price.  Read More

OpenBiome is paying cold, hard cash for your best poo (Photo: Shutterstock)

If you think your better half buys a lot of crap, then you might want to consider OpenBiome before starting on the criticism. The American non-profit is paying donors dollars for their doo-doo in an effort to gather more materials for fecal microbiota transplants (FMTs), a relatively new, but 90 percent effective, treatment for the debilitating Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).  Read More

Researchers have cured children of peanut allergies using a probiotic treatment (Photo: Sh...

Last year, scientists from the University of Chicago found that a probiotic therapy using a common gut bacteria prevented sensitization to peanut allergens – in mice. Now researchers at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia, have shown that a similar probiotic treatment, this time involving Lactobacillus rhamnosus, has a similar effect, but this time in children.  Read More

A new study from KCL could lead to treatment options designed to lower the of occurrence o...

A fresh study carried out by researchers from King's College London (KCL) has established a link between a certain form of bacteria present on the skin following a surface wound and a type of white blood cell receptor, that together tip the scale away from the normal healing process and instead encourage the formation of cancerous tumors. The results of the study have the potential to create innovative treatment options for patients suffering from skin diseases, such as those that result in chronic ulcers and severe blistering.  Read More

LLNL physical chemist George Farquar, who led the team that invented DNATrax, demonstrates...

According to the US Center for Disease Control (CDC), 129,000 Americans are sent to hospital and 3,000 die each year from food poisoning. Currently, tracing contaminated food is largely a matter of record keeping and detective work, but Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers, in partnership with DNATrek, have developed DNATrax, a DNA-based additive for directly tracking food from producer to consumer.  Read More

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