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Bacteria


— Medical

Surface coating for medical devices prevents blood clotting and bacterial infections

By - October 13, 2014 2 Pictures
Our bodies have evolved to be pretty good at dealing with incursions by foreign objects and bacteria. Usually, that's a positive thing, but it can spell trouble for medical devices, such as replacement joints, cardiac implants and dialysis machines, which increase the risk of blood clots and bacterial infection. Now researchers at Harvard University have developed a surface coating that smooths the way for medical devices to do their job inside the human body. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Beyond the call: Scientist self-administers fecal transplant in search for healthy microbiome

By - October 9, 2014 2 Pictures
American scientist Jeff Leach performed his own fecal transplant with stool borrowed from a hunter gatherer tribesman to better understand the changing nature of gut bacteria ecosystems. Mr Leach was working with the Human Food Project to study to Hadza tribe of Tanzania and the way their gut bacteria may differ from those of people in the West. Read More
— Science

Seaweed could provide a safer alternative to antibacterial silver

By - September 30, 2014 2 Pictures
Silver nanoparticles are very effective at killing bacteria, finding use in everything from water filters to non-smelly clothing. That said, there are some major concerns regarding the effects that those particles may have on human health and on the environment. Among other things, it has been suggested that they cause cell death, and compromise the immune system. Now, however, scientists at Sweden's KTH Royal Institute of Technology have come up with what could be a less harmful alternative – red algae. Read More
— Science

Shellfish proteins inspire waterproof wonderglue

By - September 23, 2014 1 Picture
Clingy barnacles might be something of a nuisance for seafarers, but these stubborn shellfish and their relatives could hold the key to a new breed of sticky materials. Engineers from MIT have created waterproof adhesives based on the proteins that give these creatures such qualities, a development that could one day be used in ship repairs or medical applications. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

DARPA working on portable and ruggedized artificial "biospleen" to fight sepsis

By - September 18, 2014 4 Pictures
Today, when we think of the dangers of the battlefield, we think of wounds caused by bullets, bombs, and other weapons. But as late as the Spanish American war of 1898, the number of soldiers who died from infectious diseases as opposed to directly from combat injuries was seven to one. Thanks to the discovery of penicillin and other antibiotics, that ratio has swung dramatically the other way, but it’s still a major problem, not only for military personnel, but civilians too. DARPA is developing an artificial spleen, or "biospleen," as a way to help fight deadly infections without antibiotics. Read More
— Health and Wellbeing

Low-cost water purifiers use chip packets to kill off dangerous bacteria

By - September 16, 2014 3 Pictures
Armed with plywood, a glass tube and some empty chip packets, mechanical engineering students from the University of Adelaide have developed a low-cost water purification system capable of killing off harmful bacteria. The solution is designed for remote communities in Papua New Guinea (PNG), an area where water is particularly susceptible to pathogen infestation. Read More
— Environment

Newly-discovered waste-eating bacteria could help in nuclear waste disposal

By - September 10, 2014 1 Picture
"Extremophile" bacteria have been found thriving in soil samples from a highly alkaline industrial site in Peak District of England. Although the site is not radioactive, the conditions are similar to the alkaline conditions expected to be found in cement-based radioactive waste sites. The researchers say the capability of the bacteria to thrive in such conditions and feed on isosaccharinic acid (ISA) make it a promising candidate for aiding in nuclear waste disposal. Read More
— Medical

Honey, we could have a new weapon in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria

By - September 9, 2014 2 Pictures
We've seen several promising developments arise in recent years in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or so-called "superbugs", from antibiotic "smart bombs" and hydrogels to "ninja polymers" and natural proteins. The latest potential weapon to join the armory comes from a substance used for thousands of years to fight infections – raw honey. Read More
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