Understanding E. coli's stealthy secret could help render it harmless

Pathogenic E. coli usually waits until it gets to the large intestine before taking hold, but ...

The human immune system is pretty good at wiping out dangerous invaders – which is why some of these invaders have developed ways to avoid detection until they're ready. Now, researchers from the University of Virginia (UVA) may have found a way to prevent infections by making sure that these bugs are never ready. The team has uncovered how pathogenic E. coli senses its environment to stay stealthy until it reaches the right spot to kickstart an infection.

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Landmark chlamydia vaccine passes first stage of human trials

Chlamydia infection strikes well over 100 million people every year, but a new vaccine offers hope ...

The results from a Phase 1 trial into the safety of a landmark chlamydia vaccine have just been published demonstrating promising signs the treatment is safe, and potentially effective in preventing the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection in the world.

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Harvard hydrogel made by bacteria helps heal internal wounds

A microscopic image of a new bacterial hydrogel sticking to the wall of the intestines

Slapping on a Band-Aid is the easiest way to help a cut on your skin heal, but things aren't so simple for internal wounds. For one, it's obviously much harder to reach that surface to put a dressing on it, but even when its open, say during surgery, the slippery mucus lining prevents bandages sticking. Now, researchers from Harvard have developed spray-on hydrogels, produced by bacteria, that can help heal these internal wounds.

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Selective antibiotics target specific bacteria to spare the microbiome

Researchers have developed antibiotics that target only specific strains of bacteria

Antibiotics are one of the most important medical marvels of the modern age, letting us easily treat infections that would have once been lethal. The problem is they aren't picky, blasting good and bad bacteria alike and messing up the delicate balance of the gut microbiome. But now researchers have developed a more targeted approach, with drugs that are able to zero in on specific species of bacteria.

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Self-healing antibacterial gel is made of viruses

One milliliter of the gel contains about 300 trillion bacteriophages

The most numerous of organisms on Earth, bacteriophages are viruses that infect and kill bacteria. Now, scientists have grown enough of them to create a self-healing hydrogel that's made almost entirely of the things. It could have important applications in medicine, and in other fields.

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Bacteria self-defense mechanisms uncovered, opening new drug targets

Researchers have found a potential new way to fight gram-negative bacteria, such as Helicobacter pylori

Evolution has obviously helped humans get to where we are today – but now it's working against us. Bacteria are rapidly developing resistance to our best drugs, hurtling us towards a future where antibiotics simply don't work anymore. Now a team of researchers has uncovered a potentially exploitable chink in the armor of a particularly troublesome group of bacteria.

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Bacteria recruited to produce graphene on the cheap

Bacteria have been enlisted to produce graphene faster and more cheaply than traditional chemical methods

Incredibly thin, flexible, strong and electrically conductive, graphene has the potential to revolutionize electronics and materials. One of the main hurdles though is that it's tricky to manufacture on large scales. Now researchers at the University of Rochester have recruited bacteria to make the stuff, which is cheaper and faster than current methods and doesn't require harsh chemicals.

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Category: Materials

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