Tagged With bacteria

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Flood waters are receding in Houston after the historic rainfall from Hurricane Harvey earlier this month. But the water itself was not the only threat. Flooding breached dozens of waste treatment centres, sending a deluge of bacteria throughout the city. The New York Times reports on the victims of the bacterial spread, including an elderly woman who contracted a rare, "gruesome and often deadly infection commonly known as flesh-eating bacteria" after she fell while evacuating.

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Reading science news all day can be real grim. Animals are dying, the climate is changing, the nuke's a coming, yadda yadda. But sometimes (in fact, often) scientists do something that's just neat, important, and won't keep you up at night -- that is, if you're cool with photosynthesising cyborg bacteria.

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What's a strand of DNA but data? We often think of its units, the As, Cs, Ts, and Gs, as letters of the words in an instruction manual. But what if, instead, we think of them as biological computer bits, storing the smallest unit of information? What stops scientists from harnessing the power of those units, using the latest biological technology to treat DNA like a writable disk?

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The human body isn't just your cells, but a home for trillions of bacteria. We know that many of those bacteria serve important purposes, and imbalances or a lack of diversity could lead to illness. But research into this field is pretty new. At least, new enough that you shouldn't just transplant someone else's gut bacteria into your own colon without good reason.

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A new experiment shows that long-term exposure to microgravity affects bacteria at the genetic level -- conferring reproductive advantages that persist even after the bacteria is reintroduced to unaffected colonies and normal levels of gravity here on Earth.

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Bacteria have had some pretty great PR, recently. Thanks to a lot of new research about their importance to our bodies, they aren't really seen as soulless microscopic murderers any more. They're colourful, misunderstood beings living together outside the spotlight, freeloading in our guts in exchange for favours. In other words, they're artists.

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The bacterial world is rife with unusual talents, among them a knack for producing electricity. In the wild, "electrogenic" bacteria generate current as part of their metabolism, and now researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), have found a way to give that ability to non-electrogenic bacteria.

This researchers say this discovery could be used in sustainable electricity generation and wastewater treatment.

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Researchers at Ghent University have hit on a method of harvesting energy from raw sewage that treats the wastewater without using external electricity. It's all thanks to starving bacteria. Although this method is still in its lab testing stage, industry leaders are already interested in utilising it.

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British red squirrels are being afflicted by a medieval strain of leprosy that was thought to have disappeared from Europe over 700 years ago, according to a new DNA analysis. Researchers say the chances of the dreaded disease spreading to humans is low, but the discovery suggests this strain of leprosy has been lingering for quite some time.