All news from Microbiology

Ethanol Production: Safety Valve of Yeasts

Why do some yeast cells produce ethanol? Scientists think yeast cells produce ethanol as a 'safety valve, ' to prevent overload when their metabolic operation reaches a critical level. The implications of this new theory could be far-reaching, as well as why cancer cells waste energy by producing lactate. The implications of this new theory were published in  Nature Metabolism .

Novel Eye Tracking Test To Detect Concussion

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will allow marketing of eyebox (Oculogica), the first noninvasive, baseline-free test to help diagnose a concussion. The company plans to market the device for use in children ages 5 and older and adults up to 67 years of age, starting with a pilot launch for select, qualified sites.

Aggressive Prostate Cancer Linked To Breast Cancer

Aggressive prostate cancer, one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in men, is associated with BRCA2 mutations, which are also linked to hereditary breast cancer, ovarian cancer and pancreas cancer, among others. The finding was confirmed in a study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, led by Elena Castro, Nuria Romero-Laorden and David Olmos, from the Prostate Cancer Clinical Research Unit at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO).

Robots to Improve Safety And Efficiency Of Spinal Surgery

Robots will perform spinal surgery with greater accuracy than humanly possible as part of a ground-breaking research project led by Nottingham Trent University. A team led by Professor Philip Breedon, of the Medical Design Research Group, have created a system which allows two robotic arms to semi-autonomously drill holes in individual vertebrae.

Genetic Incompatibility Of Different Species

Most evolutionary biologists distinguish one species from another based on reproductivity: members of different species either won't or can't mate with one another, or, if they do, the resulting offspring are often sterile, unviable, or suffer some other sort of reduced fitness.

Bacteria-Virus Interaction and Human Health

Patients with cystic fibrosis are often infected by Pseudomonas aeruginosa , a bacterium that infects the lungs and prevents breathing, often causing death. P. aeruginosa itself can also be infected by viruses, which can affect the clinical outcomes of cystic fibrosis patients.

Researchers have now used P. aeruginosa as a kind of 'model system' for understanding how bacteria's interactions with viruses may affect human health. Their findings, published in  mSystems , provide insight into this bacterium's diversity and immune system.

The Inner Side of Tumors: Physicists Made It visible

A team of physicists has demonstrated the potential, for oncology, of  an imaging technique  based on the physical properties of tumors. It can differentiate populations of malignant cells and monitor how effective an anticancer treatment is. These results should help in the design of new therapeutic molecules and in the personalization of treatments. These results were published in Physical Review Letters.