Tag Archives: Bacteria

Bacteria – exploring new horizons

Historically, bacteria have been thought of as simple cells whose only aim is to replicate. However, research over the past two decades has revealed that many types of bacteria are able to develop into communities that contain several types of … Continue reading

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Siderophores – more than stealing iron

Siderophores are small molecular iron chelators that are produced by microbes and whose most notable function is to sequester iron from the host and provide this essential metal nutrient to microbes. Recent studies have proposed additional, noncanonical roles for siderophores, … Continue reading

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As I look back

Having been involved in microbiology for so long it’s sometimes difficult to see the progress we are making. When I started out as a microbiologist in the 1970s the impact of molecular biology on microbiology was overwhelming, even if it took … Continue reading

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Would you like Salmonella with your salad?

New research from my colleagues at the University of Leicester shows that “salad juice” from damaged leaved in bagged salads can stimulate the growth of Salmonella, even at refrigerator temperatures. Although this research did not look for evidence of Salmonella … Continue reading

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Bugs In Space

Bacteria behave differently in space, as indicated by reports of reduced lag phase, higher final cell counts, enhanced biofilm formation, increased virulence, and reduced susceptibility to antibiotics. These phenomena are theorized, at least in part, to result from reduced mass … Continue reading

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Where are things inside a bacterial cell?

Bacterial cells are intricately organized, despite the lack of membrane-bounded organelles. The extremely crowded cytoplasm promotes macromolecular self-assembly and formation of distinct subcellular structures, which perform specialized functions. For example, the cell poles act as hubs for signal transduction complexes, … Continue reading

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How many bacteria?

I’ve asked the question How many different bacterial species are there on this blog before. It seems that we may be approaching an answer. A census of species of Archaea and Bacteria published recently showed that, despite ever-increasing sequencing efforts, … Continue reading

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How soil bacteria escape sticky root traps

Plant root tips are covered by a protective sleeve of loosely attached border cells that can release a matrix containing proteins, polysaccharides, and DNA. In animal immune systems, extracellular DNA forms the backbone of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) deployed by … Continue reading

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Upsetting the Tree of Life

A nice thought piece by Ford Doolittle in PLoS Genetics. We run our first year students though this each year, so it is nice to think that some of them might find and be influenced by this article next year. … Continue reading

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