Category: microbiology

Pathogen Resistance

Via XKCD

Alt/title text:

We’re not not trapped in here with the coronavirus. The coronavirus is trapped in here with us.

Explain xkcd

A new research tool (Bellymount) allowed biologists to watch in real time the cell renewal process that keeps gut tissue healthy, as well as the interactions between bacterial species that make up the microbiome.

Image caption

Bellymount allows researchers to peer into the live tissue of the fruit fly gut and other visceral organs in real time. It provides researchers with massive amounts of time-series imaging data, which is revolutionary in the biological sciences. Image is courtesy of Leslie Koyama and Lucy O’Brien.

Via Carnegie Science: 

Eavesdropping On “Conversations” Between Gut Stem Cells And Gut Bacteria

Paper:

Bellymount enables longitudinal, intravital imaging of abdominal organs and the gut microbiota in adult Drosophila (PLOS Biology, biorxiv.org).

An evocative image, no doubt.

Via Phys.org: New green technology generates electricity ‘out of thin air’

Caption:

Graphic image of a thin film of protein nanowires generating electricity from atmospheric humidity. UMass Amherst researchers say the device can literally make electricity out of thin air.

Credit: UMass Amherst/Yao and Lovley labs

New Images of Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 Now Available

High-res / Flickr download

Credit: 

NIAID-RML

Via: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

😥 RIP Margarita Salas, great scientist and mother of the most profitable patent in Spanish Science (the use of the Φ29 virus in DNA amplification techniques).

I remember very well, at the end of the eighties, seeing her often in my campus, with the 1959 Nobel Prize winner Severo Ochoa, while the two struggled to re-found the Molecular Biology Center.

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An army of microrobots can wipe out dental plaque

Via Tech Xplore

Caption:

With a precise, controlled movement, microrobots cleared a glass plate of a biofilm, as shown in this time-lapse image.

Credit: Geelsu Hwang and Edward Steager

Paper: Science Robotics (2019). DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.aaw2388

Interesting essay :

Caption: Classical representations of cell division. A – Walther Flemming’s 1888 drawings of eukaryotic mitosis (Image credit: adapted from Walther Flemming, CC0). B – Confocal fluorescent microscopy images of newt lung cells during mitosis in culture (Image credit: Alexey Khodjakov, CC BY 4.0). C – A diagram of the stages of cell division (Image credit: Ali Zifan, CC BY-SA 4.0).

“[…] Moreover, advances in imaging have resulted in a change in the role of the researcher: whereas cell biologists once used drawing to synthesise what they had seen in thousands of microscope images of cells, the power of imaging technology means that they now focus on measuring what they see. While this has had many advantages, we would argue that one downside of the decline of drawing is that it has eliminated a degree of exploratory imagination – and, therefore, a source of new ideas and hypotheses – from the scientific process.“

Microscopic image of a single cell artificially colored, laying on billions of nanoholes.

Credit: 2018 EPFL

EPFL researchers have developed an innovative label-free method for studying the behavior of single cells continuously and in real time. By placing a cell in a small chamber containing nanosensors and observing it over many hours, it is possible to identify the cell’s unique personality and understand how it communicates. This powerful new technology could be used to select the most aggressive cells to combat an enemy. Potential applications include treatments for cancer and autoimmune diseases.

h/t Phys.org: Cell chat: Attacking disease by learning the language of cells

These guys are Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, the first monkey clones created by somatic cell nuclear transfer (same as Dolly the sheep), schematically this:

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More in Phys.org

Paper at CellCloning of Macaque Monkeys by Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (PDF)

Also see this lovely video:

Seeing the Beautiful Intelligence of Microbes

Bacterial biofilms and slime molds are more than crude patches of goo. Detailed time-lapse microscopy reveals how they sense and explore their surroundings, communicate with their neighbors and adaptively reshape themselves.

Via Quanta Magazine