Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Bacteria

Researchers have modified a strain of E. coli to produce a lipid compound called NAPE in t...

Researchers at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee have raised hopes for the possibility of developing of a probiotic to treat obesity and other chronic diseases. The team inhibited weight gain, insulin resistance and various other negative health effects of a high-fat diet in mice by modifying bacteria to produce a therapeutic compound in the gut.  Read More

Jeremy Nussbaumer with the DrinkPure filter

It's no secret that hundreds of millions of people around the world have little or no access to drinkable water. While a number of projects are aimed at getting filtration systems to those people, many of those systems require electricity, contain costly materials such as silver, or treat the water at a slow rate. The low-cost DrinkPure filter, by contrast, is simply screwed onto the top of an existing bottle, and can purify approximately one liter (34 fl oz) of water per minute.  Read More

Waste like this should meet all of a UK grocery store's electrical needs (Photo: Shutterst...

It's an unfortunate fact that every day around the world, supermarkets throw out tons of food that has spoiled before it could be purchased. While it would be best if that spoilage could be avoided in the first place, British grocery chain Sainsbury's is taking what might be the next-best approach – it's about to start using that unsellable food to power one of its stores.  Read More

McMaster University chemical biology graduate student Andrew King examines a chemical used...

A research team from McMaster University, the University of British Columbia and Cardiff University has discovered a fungus in the soil of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia that may offer hope in an increasingly fraught battle against drug-resistant bacteria.  Read More

Researchers have discovered a way to lower the defenses of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, ...

The discovery of antibiotics is one of the most important breakthroughs of the 20th century. But their effectiveness and low cost has led to their overuse, resulting in the worrying rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or so-called superbugs. Researchers at the University of East Anglia (UAE) in England have now uncovered an Achille's heel in the bacterial cell defenses that could mean that bacteria wouldn't develop drug-resistance in the first place.  Read More

NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio prepares to test the ultraviolet light decontamination har...

The International Space Station (ISS) is perhaps the most artificial environment that human beings have ever taken up residence in. It’s not the sort of place where you’d want a lab accident, because you can’t run out the door and wait in the carpark for the air to clear, so NASA uses gloveboxes to keep the crew and equipment separate from dangerous contaminants. To increase this level of safety and expand the number experiments the station can carry out, the space agency is fitting one of the larger gloveboxes with an Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) system to to prevent potentially dangerous microorganisms from escaping.  Read More

Electron micrograph of a flagellated Listeria monocytogenes bacterium, an infectious agent...

It is estimated that every year in America there are around 76 million food-borne illnesses that result in 325,000 hospitalizations and over 5,000 deaths. One of the main causes is the disease "Listeria", which has the highest hospitalization (92 per cent) and death (18 per cent) rate among all food-borne pathogen infections. Now researchers at the University of Southampton say that they are trialling a device designed to detect these bacteria directly on food preparation services, and without the need to send samples away for laboratory testing.  Read More

Methanogens prepared to be exposed to Martian conditions

Since the first Mariner probes reached the Red Planet in the 1960s, it’s become clear just how very alien Mars is and how hard it is to find parallel examples of possible Martian life on Earth. However, it’s not impossible. Rebecca Mickol, a doctoral student in space and planetary sciences at the University of Arkansas, has discovered that two species of methane-producing bacteria can live in the harsh conditions on Mars, and may aid in the search for life there.  Read More

US researchers have engineered a bacterium whose genetic material includes DNA or bases  n...

Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in California have produced a living bacterium that has a strand of artificial DNA made with chemical “letters” not found in nature or any other organism.  Read More

The technology is also built into Kohler's new Cimarron Touchless Toilet

When it comes to things that the germ-conscious want to avoid touching, toilet flush levers likely occupy the top spot. Kohler evidently realizes this, as it now offers a retrofit kit that allows buyers to flush their existing toilet without touching it.  Read More

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