Citrus greening disease — caused by a bacteria spread by psyllid insects — is threatening to wipe out Florida's citrus crop. Researchers have identified a small protein found in a second bacteria living in the insects that helps bacteria causing citrus greening disease survive and spread. They believe the discovery could result in a spray that could potentially help save the trees from the bacterial invasion.
On the airplane, in the middle of cold and flu season, your seatmate is spewing, despite the clutch of tissues in their lap. Your proximity to an infectious person probably leaves you daydreaming (or is it a nightmare?) of pandemics and estimating how likely it is that this seatmate's viral or bacterial effusions will circulate throughout the plane and infect everyone on board.
One thousand feet under the ground, extremophile microbes that have not seen the light of day for four million years are giving up some fascinating facts to scientists who go the distance.
Six people have died from fungal infections in Pittsburgh hospitals since 2014—that fact is indisputable. The rest of the situation is much vaguer. A lawsuit has been filed against the hospitals on behalf of some of the deceased patients, alleging that moldy hospital linens are to blame. While the lawyers argue over who's at fault, let's look at how this could have happened.
That soil under your feet is not just dirt. It is teeming with life that may not change as fast as we would like when challenged by global warming.
News: Melting Ice Sheets Are Releasing Toxins in Our Water — Bacteria Could Take Some of That Out of Play
Windborne microbes shifting in the snows of the great ice sheet of Greenland may be able to neutralize some of the industrial contaminants oozing out of the melting ice.
Termite poop and biofuels — what's the connection? New research into termites' intestinal comings and goings describes a process that may speed the development and lower the cost of fuels made from plant matter.
Plants all around us capture sunlight every day and convert it to energy, making them a model of solar energy production. And while the energy they make may serve the needs of a plant, the process isn't efficient enough to generate power on a larger scale. So, scientists from the University of California found a way to treat bacteria with chemicals that turned them into photosynthesis machines, capable of generating products we can convert into food, fuels, and plastics.
Peach trees and other related plants are susceptible to the devastation caused by fire blight, a contagious bacterial disease. Once contracted, infected trees have to be burned to contain the disease and prevent spread to nearby trees. Increasing resistance to antibiotic treatment has sent scientists in search of alternative ways to deal with the bacteria and prevent its catastrophic damage.
Add breathing in your house as another possible danger to your health. If your home is sick, it's possible you could get sick too.
Everything from disposed of drugs to hormones and disease-causing bacteria — anything that is rinsed or flushed down the drain — can contaminate wastewater.
Water makes up about 60% of your body weight. Whether you like it plain, flavored, bubbly, or in beverages or food, we all need water daily to avoid dehydration and stay healthy. For communities in need of clean drinking water, new research using bacteria may offer a simplified, lower-cost method for boosting potable water supplies.
Growing populations and higher temperatures put pressure on world food supplies. Naturally occurring soil bacteria may save crops in drought-stressed areas, put more land into crop production, and produce more food.
In the perpetual search for a renewable and convenient energy source, our bacterial friends have once again stolen the limelight.
News: Bacteria Turned into Factories, Supplying Critical Enzymes to Make Cancer Drugs Cheaper & Save Endangered Yew Trees
Cytochrome P450 (P450s) are proteins found in nearly all living organisms, which play roles that range from producing essential compounds and hormones to metabolizing drugs and toxins. We use some of the compounds synthesized by P450 in plants as medical treatments, but the slow growth and limited supply of these plants have put the drugs' availability in jeopardy and jacked up prices.
News: Sexually Confused Fish Are the Canary in the Coal Mine of Water Pollution—But Bacteria Could Come to the Rescue
Exposed to hormones, pharmaceuticals, and other chemicals, the beautiful wild fish in Canada's Grand River have taken on some pretty odd characteristics—they're turning into females. A long-term study suggests using bacteria to manage polluted water could turn the tide for feminized fish.
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill that began on April 20, 2010, was the largest maritime oil spill in history. Killing 11 people and discharging 4.1 million barrels of oil and natural gas into the Gulf of Mexico, the event was an unparalleled personal, environmental, and business disaster. It was also the first major oil spill to take place in the deep ocean.
The beauty of southern Europe won't protect it from invasions of disease-carrying ticks and mosquitoes—in fact, the Mediterranean climate and landscape may be part of the reason the bloodsuckers are expanding there, bringing unique and terrifying diseases in their wake.
News: Say Goodbye to Almonds—Common Pesticide Additive in Orchards Linked to Honey Bee Colony Collapse
The search for the causative agent of colony collapse—the mass die off of honey bees throughout the US and Europe—has escalated with increasing confusion lately. Everything from pesticides and stress to viruses and mites have been implicated, and some researchers think that many of these environmental factors work together to take down hives.
Using mathematical modeling, researchers suggest weather and warming created the "perfect storm" that drove the Zika outbreak in 2016.