Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

Microbes

Discovery of life in solid rock deep beneath sea may inspire new search for life on Mars

(University of Tokyo) Newly discovered single-celled creatures living deep beneath the seafloor have provided clues about how to find life on Mars. These bacteria were discovered living in tiny cracks inside volcanic rocks after researchers perfected a new method cutting rocks into ultrathin slices to study under a microscope. Researchers estimate that the rock cracks are home to a community of bacteria as dense as that of the human gut, about 10 billion bacterial cells per cubic centimeter.

How to model a pandemic

Behind every government announcement, there is an army of epidemiologists predicting how the virus will spread, and how to beat it. Note that this story doesn’t deal specifically with the University of Washington models released yesterday, projecting U.S. infections and deaths from COVID-19 in the coming months. But it does provide insights into how scientists create models.

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Scientists identify microbe that could help degrade polyurethane-based plastics

One of the most widely used oil-based plastics, polyurethane, is particularly hard to recycle or destroy safely. It also releases toxic chemicals into landfills. However, some microorganisms are capable of metabolizing these compounds and degrading the plastic waste in the process. Scientists have identified one such bacterium that could be used to help break down polyurethane-based plastics for future bio-recycling.

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Commonly used mouthwash could make saliva significantly more acidic, change microbes

The first study looking at the effect of chlorhexidine mouthwash on the entire oral microbiome has found its use significantly increases the abundance of lactate-producing bacteria that lower saliva pH, and may increase the risk of tooth damage. “In the face of the recent COVID-19 outbreak many dentists are now using chlorhexidine as a pre-rinse before doing dental procedures. We urgently need more information on how it works on viruses,” said one of the researchers.

Panda poo, ants and slugs could be key to the green fuel of tomorrow

(Aarhus University) Researchers from Aarhus University, Denmark, have found bacterial colonies in panda poo that can readily break down lignocellulosic biomass into ethanol, lactate and hydrogen. Combining engineering and biology the researchers aim to exploit the microbial culture and create green, sustainable bioethanol in a new biomimicry research project, that will also take a closer look at slug intestines and leafcutter ants.

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Metabolic fossils from the origin of life

Since the origin of life, metabolic networks provide cells with nutrition and energy. Modern networks require thousands of enzymes that perform catalysis. Such networks must have arisen from simpler precursors. Investigating the metabolism of modern cells, Xavier et al. have identified ancient and conserved autocatalytic networks at the core of microbial metabolism that require only co-factors and metals as catalysts.

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Metabolic fossils from the origin of life

Since the origin of life, metabolic networks provide cells with nutrition and energy. Modern networks require thousands of enzymes that perform catalysis. Such networks must have arisen from simpler precursors. Investigating the metabolism of modern cells, Xavier et al. have identified ancient and conserved autocatalytic networks at the core of microbial metabolism that require only co-factors and metals as catalysts.

Uncategorized

Metabolic fossils from the origin of life

Since the origin of life, metabolic networks provide cells with nutrition and energy. Modern networks require thousands of enzymes that perform catalysis. Such networks must have arisen from simpler precursors. Investigating the metabolism of modern cells, Xavier et al. have identified ancient and conserved autocatalytic networks at the core of microbial metabolism that require only co-factors and metals as catalysts.