Mining the Microbial Dark Matter

The first time Robert Heinzen tried to get Coxiella burnetii to grow by itself, he failed miserably. The bacterium, which causes an influenza-like illness called Q fever, normally divides only inside the cells it infects — forcing researchers to grow it in mammalian tissue and hampering their efforts to investigate the microbe. When Heinzen tried to find […]

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Teaching life a new trick: Bacteria make boron-carbon bonds

In another feat of bioengineering, Caltech’s Frances Arnold, the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry, and her team have created bacteria that can, for the first time, make chemical compounds containing bonds between boron and carbon. Before now, such boron-carbon bonds came only from the laboratories of chemists and could not be produced by any known life form.

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How Bacteria Help Regulate Blood Pressure | Quanta Magazine

Kidneys sniff out signals from gut bacteria for cues to moderate blood pressure after meals. Our understanding of how symbiotic microbes affect health is

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Building Codes for Bacterial Cities | Quanta Magazine

Hydrodynamics and competition guide the architectural design of biofilm fortresses.

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IBM, Scientists Seek Public’s Help With Millions Of Virtual Experiments Mapping The Human Microbiome

The Microbiome Immunity Project aims to help scientists understand how the trillions of bacteria in our bodies impact human disease. IBM’s World Community Grid wants to harness the computing power donated by millions of volunteers from all over the world to do it.