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Genetically engineered bacteria can be used to attack other bacterial species - The Economist

Genetically engineered bacteria can be used to attack other bacterial species - The Economist | oral microbiology | Scoop.it
Genetically engineered bacteria can be used to attack other bacterial species
The Economist
BIOFILMS are a problem in medicine.
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Novel materials shake ship scum | ScienceDaily.com

Novel materials shake ship scum | ScienceDaily.com | oral microbiology | Scoop.it

Just as horses shake off pesky flies by twitching their skin, ships may soon be able to shed the unwanted accumulation of bacteria and other marine growth with the flick of a switch.

 

Duke University engineers have developed a material that can be applied like paint to the hull of a ship and will literally be able to dislodge bacteria, keeping it from accumulating on the ship's surface. This buildup on ships increases drag and reduces the energy efficiency of the vessel, as well as blocking or clogging undersea sensors.

 

The material works by physically moving at the microscopic level, knocking the bacteria away. This avoids the use of bacteria-killing paints, which can contain heavy metals or other toxic chemicals that might accumulate in the environment and unintentionally harm fish or other marine organisms.

 

The Duke researchers also say that similar types of materials could be used in other settings where the buildup of bacteria -- known as biofilms -- presents problems, such as on the surfaces of artificial joint implants or water purification membranes.

 

"We have developed a material that 'wrinkles,' or changes it surface in response to a stimulus, such as stretching or pressure or electricity," said Duke engineer Xuanhe Zhao, assistant professor in Duke's Pratt School of Engineering. "This deformation can effectively detach biofilms and other organisms that have accumulated on the surface."

 

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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
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Recruiting E. coli to combat hard-to-treat bacterial infections - EurekAlert (press release)

Science World Report
Recruiting E. coli to combat hard-to-treat bacterial infections
EurekAlert (press release)
The researchers' report appears in the journal ACS Synthetic Biology and describes development of this new type of E.
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Chlorine not effective against Legionella biofilm | The Journal of Legionella and the Law

Chlorine not effective against Legionella biofilm | The Journal of Legionella and the Law | oral microbiology | Scoop.it
RT @LegionnaireLaw: #Chlorine not effective against #Legionella #biofilm http://t.co/kn6Mo25rH0 #disinfection #water #bacteria
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MicroMicrobe •  Microbial image of the month This is a great...

MicroMicrobe •  Microbial image of the month This is a great... | oral microbiology | Scoop.it
 Microbial image of the month


This is a great image of a biofilm growing on a micro-fibrous material. Biofilms are aggregates of bacteria that are coated with a ‘slimy’ substance consisting of polysaccharide, DNA and proteins.

Via Naomi Osborne
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Biofilm: A New (Gross) Thing to Worry About

Slime can be great, but when it's the wrong kind of slime (you know, the kind that can kill you?), it gets added to the list of things Hank wishes he didn't ...
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Glowing Light Reveals Bacterial Infections in Implants - LiveScience.com

Glowing Light Reveals Bacterial Infections in Implants - LiveScience.com | oral microbiology | Scoop.it
Glowing Light Reveals Bacterial Infections in Implants
LiveScience.com
If bacteria are involved, time is critical: Once bacteria gain a foothold on an implant, they can form a sticky biofilm that is hard to treat with antibiotics.
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Interkingdom Signaling Induces Streptococcus pneumoniae Biofilm Dispersion and Transition from Asymptomatic Colonization to Disease

ABSTRACT

Streptococcus pneumoniae is a common human nasopharyngeal commensal colonizing 10% to 40% of healthy individuals, depending on age. Despite a low invasive disease rate, widespread carriage ensures that infection occurs often enough to make S. pneumoniae a leading bacterial cause of respiratory disease worldwide. However, the mechanisms behind transition from asymptomatic colonization to dissemination and disease in otherwise sterile sites remain poorly understood but are epidemiologically strongly linked to infection with respiratory viruses. In this report, we show that infection with influenza A virus and treatment with the resulting host signals (febrile-range temperatures, norepinephrine, extracytoplasmic ATP, and increased nutrient availability) induce the release of bacteria from biofilms in a newly developed biofilm model on live epithelial cells both in vitro and during in vivo colonization. These dispersed bacteria have distinct phenotypic properties different from those of both biofilm and broth-grown, planktonic bacteria, with the dispersed population showing differential virulence gene expression characteristics resulting in a significantly increased ability to disseminate and cause infection of otherwise sterile sites, such as the middle ear, lungs, and bloodstream. The results offer novel and important insights into the role of interkingdom signaling between microbe and host during biofilm dispersion and transition to acute disease.


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3-D-printed bacteria in any number of shapes may unlock secrets of antibiotic resistance and disease

3-D-printed bacteria in any number of shapes may unlock secrets of antibiotic resistance and disease | oral microbiology | Scoop.it

Bacteria are often social creatures. Suspended in colonies of varying shapes and sizes, these microbes communicate with their brethren and even other bacterial species — interactions that can sometimes make them more deadly or more resistant to antibiotics.

 

Now, bacterial colonies sculpted into custom shapes by a 3-D printer could be a key to understanding how some antibiotic-resistant infections develop. The new technique uses methods similar to those employed by commercial 3-D printers, which extrude plastic, to create gelatin-based bacterial breeding grounds. These microbial condos can be carved into almost any three-dimensional shape, including pyramids and nested spheres. This 3-D-printing technique could be used to investigate questions like "how many bacteria have to be clustered together, and in what size and what shape, in order for that microcolony to start acting differently than the cells do on their own," said study researcher Jason Shear, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Texas at Austin. 

 

Bacterial clustering is important precisely because bacteria bunched together often act differently than a single cell on its own. In some cases, bacteria even cement themselves together and onto surfaces with a gluelike substance, creating biofilms that are stubbornly resistant to antibiotics or the immune system. The plaque dentists scrape off your teeth is a biofilm that can contain dozens of interacting bacterial types, Shear told LiveScience.

 

More deadly are the biofilms that gather in the lungs of patients with the respiratory disease cystic fibrosis. Antibiotics can halt scattered bacteria that cause lung infections in these patients, but persistent biofilms on the lung tissue lurk, waiting to spit out new bacterial vagabonds. The result, Shear said, is a cycle of infection and treatment that is often fatal for the patient. On average, people with cystic fibrosis live to just their mid-30s, according to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

 

Understanding biofilms and other bacterial communities is crucial for learning how to breach bacterial defenses, but "really, technologies just haven't been there," Shear said.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Seeing the Future: How a Revolutionary Bacterial Screening Device Can Predict ... - PR Web (press release)

Seeing the Future: How a Revolutionary Bacterial Screening Device Can Predict ... - PR Web (press release) | oral microbiology | Scoop.it
Seeing the Future: How a Revolutionary Bacterial Screening Device Can Predict ...
PR Web (press release)
Developed by CariFree, a caries research company, the CariScreen test measures the levels of cavity-causing bacteria in the biofilm in seconds.
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