Tagged: bacteria

New research suggests common herbicides are linked to antibiotic resistance - Guest Work

Guest Work Nov 24, 2017

By Jack Heinemann, University of Canterbury.  Antibiotics are losing their ability to kill bacteria. One of the main reasons for the rise in antibiotic resistance is the improper use of antibiotics, but our latest research shows that the ingredients in commonly-used weed killers like Round-up and Kamba can also cause bacteria to become less susceptible to … Read More

Earth Microbiome Project: crowd-sourcing the world’s bacteria - News

John Kerr Nov 02, 2017

A genetic database of over 27,000 bacterial samples from around the world – including New Zealand – will keep researchers busy for years to come. Cataloging the bacterial diversity of the entire planet? Given that microbes are basically everywhere, this seems like an impossible task. But an international team of researchers is taking on the challenge. The Earth Microbiome … Read More

DNA shows tiny tardigrades are just as cool as we thought - News

Jean Balchin Jul 28, 2017

New genome sequences have revealed exciting new information about the origins of tardigrades as well as the genes that underlie their extraordinary ability to survive in extreme conditions.  A team of researchers led by Mark Blaxter and Kazuharu Arakawa from the universities of Edinburgh, Scotland and Keio, Japan respectively, have carefully stitched together the DNA code for two … Read More

Is it time to drop “complete the course” message for antibiotics? - News

Jean Balchin Jul 27, 2017

The commonly held belief that patients should “complete the course” of antibiotics to avoid antibiotic resistance is not backed by evidence and should be dropped, argue experts in The BMJ (The British Medical Journal) today. According to Professor Martin Llewelyn at Brighton and Sussex Medical School and colleagues, patients are actually put at unnecessary risk from antibiotic resistance when treatment is given … Read More

The brain and the gut talk to each other - Guest Work

Guest Work Jul 17, 2017

Antonina Mikocka-Walus, Deakin University It’s widely recognised that emotions can directly affect stomach function. As early as 1915, influential physiologist Walter Cannon noted that stomach functions are changed in animals when frightened. The same is true for humans. Those who stress a lot often report diarrhoea or stomach pain. We now know this is because the … Read More

Three Inspiring Biology Reads - Pointing At Science

Steve Pointing Jul 07, 2017

Here are the top three readings that have inspired me in science. What do you think? What are your favourite articles?   #3 Endolithic microorganisms in the Antarctic cold desert by Imre Friedmann Emperor Penguins huddling together in Antarctica. I was truly fortunate to work briefly with Imre Friedmann when he was at NASA Ames Research Center. Read More

Microbes aren’t the enemy, they’re a big part of who we are - Guest Work

Guest Work Jul 05, 2017

Amy Loughman, Associate Lecturer, Industry Fellow, RMIT University and Tarsh Bates, PhD candidate, University of Western Australia We have long believed that “good” immune cells recognise and defend against “bad” invaders. That’s why a large proportion of medicine has been directed at killing microbial enemies and conquering microbial infections. This militaristic understanding of immunity reflected the … Read More

Decomposition and decapitated pig’s heads - A History of NZ Science in 25 Objects

Jean Balchin May 31, 2017

Decapitated pig’s heads floating in the moonlit water may sound like a scene from a B-grade horror movie, yet Gemma Dickson’s investigation into the microbial marine decomposition of human and animal remains has revolutionised forensic science. This may come as a surprise, but currently, if human remains wash up on shore, there is no established scientific method to conclude … Read More

Superbug death may herald ‘start of the post-antibiotic era’ - News

John Kerr Apr 21, 2017

Infectious disease experts are “deeply alarmed” by the death of a US woman due to a bacterial infection resistant to all available antibiotics. Writing this week in a  Medical Journal of Australia editorial, researchers warn that the case may herald “the start of the post-antibiotic era.” Professor Cheryl Jones, President of the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID), and … Read More

A typhoid outbreak in Auckland: the hunt for the source is on! - Infectious Thoughts

Siouxsie Wiles Apr 01, 2017

According to news reports, ten people in Auckland have been hospitalised with typhoid, and health officials say we can expect more cases. So what is typhoid and why is this news? Typhoid is an infection caused by the bacterium Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serovar Typhi, usually abbreviated to Salmonella Typhi or S. Typhi. Humans are this bacteria’s only … Read More