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Phages Can Be More Effective and Specific Than Antibiotics in Combating Bacteria

Wu et al. | Feb 17, 2019

Phages Can Be More Effective and Specific Than Antibiotics in Combating Bacteria

Phage therapy has been suggested as an alternative to antibiotics because bacteria resistant to antibiotics may still be susceptible to phages. However, phages may have limited effectiveness in combating bacteria since bacteria possess several antiviral defense mechanisms and can quickly develop resistance to phages. In this study, Wu and Pinta compare the effectiveness and specificity of antibiotics and phages in combating bacteria. They found that T4 phages are more specific and effective in fighting or inhibiting both antibiotic-resistant and sensitive bacteria than antibiotics, suggesting that phage therapy can be developed as an efficient tool to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

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The Emergence of Tetracycline Resistance in Rumen Bacteria

Memili et al. | Sep 16, 2016

The Emergence of Tetracycline Resistance in Rumen Bacteria

The emergence of antibiotic-resistant pathogenic bacteria is a major concern for human health, rendering some antibiotics ineffective in treating diseases. The authors of this study tested the hypothesis that exposing rumen bacteria to tetracycline will gradually lead to the development of tetracycline-resistant bacteria, some of which will develop multidrug resistance.

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Assaying the formation of beneficial biofilms by lactic acid bacteria and the effect of ayurvedic plant extracts on their enhancement

Rajpal et al. | Oct 12, 2017

Assaying the formation of beneficial biofilms by lactic acid bacteria and the effect of ayurvedic plant extracts on their enhancement

This study aimed to obtain an optimal non-antibiotic method to suppress the growth of pathogenic bacteria within the body. The two-fold purpose of this project was to determine which combination of bacteria would result in the most biofilm formation and then to assess the effect of ayurvedic plant extracts on the biofilm. The results show that the addition of a plant extract can affect the biofilm growth of a bacteria combination. The applications of this study can be used to design probiotic supplements with added beneficial plant extracts.

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The Development of a Highly Sensitive Home Diagnosis Kit for Group A Streptococcus Bacteria (GAS)

Mai et al. | Dec 05, 2018

The Development of a Highly Sensitive Home Diagnosis Kit for Group A Streptococcus Bacteria (GAS)

In this article, Mai et al. have developed a do-it-yourself kit for the detection of Strep A bacterial infections. While Strep A infections require antibiotic administration, viral infections, which can present with similar symptoms, often resolve on their own. The problem with delayed antibiotic treatment is an increasing risk of complications. Currently an accurate diagnosis requires that patients make the trip to the hospital where sensitive tests can be performed. The method described here, bundled into a commercially available kit, could help speed up the identification of such bacterial infections. When presented with symptoms of a sore throat and fever, you could just buy the kit at your local pharmacy, perform the simple yet highly accurate and sensitive test, and know whether an urgent trip to the doctor's for an antibiotic prescription is necessary. How convenient!

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Investigating the role of biotic factors in host responses to rhizobia in the system Medicago truncatula

Rathod et al. | Jan 22, 2019

Investigating the role of biotic factors in host responses to rhizobia in the system Medicago truncatula

Nitrogen-fixing bacteria, such as the legume mutualist rhizobia, convert atmospheric nitrogen into a form that is usable by living organisms. Leguminous plants, like the model species Medicago truncatula, directly benefit from this process by forming a symbiotic relationship with rhizobia. Here, Rathod and Rowe investigate how M. truncatula responds to non-rhizobial bacterial partners.

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The Development and Maximization of a Novel Photosynthetic Microbial Fuel Cell Using Rhodospirillum rubrum

Gomez et al. | Mar 02, 2014

The Development and Maximization of a Novel Photosynthetic Microbial Fuel Cell Using <em>Rhodospirillum rubrum</em>

Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are bio-electrochemical systems that utilize bacteria and are promising forms of alternative energy. Similar to chemical fuel cells, MFCs employ both an anode (accepts electrons) and a cathode (donates electrons), but in these devices the live bacteria donate the electrons necessary for current. In this study, the authors assess the functionality of a photosynthetic MFC that utilizes a purple non-sulfur bacterium. The MFC prototype they constructed was found to function over a range of environmental conditions, suggesting its potential use in industrial models.

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Bacterial Richness of Soil Samples from Southern New Hampshire

Chalasani et al. | Sep 21, 2016

Bacterial Richness of Soil Samples from Southern New Hampshire

Advancement in DNA sequencing technology has greatly increased our understanding about the role of bacteria in soil. The authors of this study examine the microbial content of soil samples taken from three locations in southern New Hampshire with varying pH and plant composition.

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The Effects of Ultraviolet Light on Escherichia coli

Kodoth et al. | Sep 07, 2015

The Effects of Ultraviolet Light on <em>Escherichia coli</em>

In this study E. coli bacteria was exposed to small UV lights currently used in school laboratories to see the effect on colony growth. This project explores how UV radiation methods could be applied in common households to inhibit bacterial growth.

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The Inhibitory Effect of Probiotics on the Growth and Biofilm Formation of Salmonella Sp.

Lee et al. | Jan 26, 2019

The Inhibitory Effect of Probiotics on the Growth and Biofilm Formation of Salmonella Sp.

Salmonella is a genus of bacteria responsible for over 90 million cases of intestinal illnesses yearly. Like many bacteria, Salmonella can create a biofilm matrix, which confers stronger resistance against antibiotics. However, there has been relatively little research on the inhibition of Salmonella biofilm formation, which is a crucial factor in its widespread growth. In this study, Lee and Kim quantitatively measure the effectiveness of several common probiotics in inhibiting Salmonella bacterial growth. They found concentration-dependent antibacterial effects varied among the probiotics tested, indicating the possibility of probiotic species-specific mechanisms of Salmonella growth inhibition.

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The Effects of Altered Microbiome on Caenorhabditis elegans Egg Laying Behavior

Gohari et al. | Aug 12, 2019

The Effects of Altered Microbiome on Caenorhabditis elegans Egg Laying Behavior

Since the discovery that thousands of different bacteria colonize our gut, many of which are important for human well-being, understanding the significance of balancing the different species on the human body has been intensely researched. Untangling the complexity of the gut microbiome and establishing the effect of the various strains on human health is a challenge in many circumstances, and the need for simpler systems to improve our basic understanding of microbe-host interactions seems necessary. C. elegans are a well-established laboratory animal that feed on bacteria and can thus serve as a less complex system for studying microbe-host interactions. Here the authors investigate how the choice of bacterial diet affects worm fertility. The same approach could be applied to many different outcomes, and facilitate our understanding of how the microbes colonizing our guts affect various bodily functions.

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Talinum paniculatum root exhibits synergistic antimicrobial activity with Tetracycline, Erythromycin, and Streptomycin against S. aureus but has no observed effect on antibiotic efficacy against E. coli

Patel et al. | Jan 09, 2018

Talinum paniculatum root exhibits synergistic antimicrobial activity with Tetracycline, Erythromycin, and Streptomycin against S. aureus but has no observed effect on antibiotic efficacy against E. coli

Patel et al. explore whether T. paniculatum plant extract can work with modern antibiotics to increase antibiotic efficacy against common disease-causing bacteria. The plant extract in conjunction with the antibiotic shows promise in battling S. aureus. The authors present a cost-effective method to increase antibiotic efficacy in a time where antibiotic resistant bacteria is becoming a growing problem.

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Improving wound healing by breaking down biofilm formation and reducing nosocomial infections

DiStefano et al. | Jul 09, 2019

Improving wound healing by breaking down biofilm formation and reducing nosocomial infections

In a 10-year period in the early 2000’s, hospital-based (nosocomial) infections increased by 123%, and this number is increasing as time goes on. The purpose of this experiment was to use hyaluronic acid, silver nanoparticles, and a bacteriophage cocktail to create a hydrogel that promotes wound healing by increasing cell proliferation while simultaneously disrupting biofilm formation and breaking down Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which are two strains of bacteria that attribute to nosocomial infections and are increasing in antibiotic resistance.

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Isolation of microbes from common household surfaces

Gajanan et al. | Jan 27, 2013

Isolation of microbes from common household surfaces

Microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi live everywhere in the world around us. The authors here demonstrate that these predominantly harmless microbes can be isolated from many household locations that appear "clean." Further, they test the cleaning power of 70% ethanol and suggest that many "clean" surfaces are not in fact "sterile."

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Antibiotic Residues Detected in Commercial Cow’s Milk

Memili et al. | Mar 18, 2015

Antibiotic Residues Detected in Commercial Cow’s Milk

Antibiotics are oftentimes used to treat mastitis (infection of the mammary gland) in dairy cows. Regulations require that milk from these cows be discarded until the infection has cleared and antibiotic residues are no longer detectable in the cow's milk. These regulations are in place to protect consumers and to help prevent the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria. In this study, the authors test milk samples from 10 milk suppliers in the Greensboro, NC to see if they contain detectable levels of antibiotic residues.

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Effect of Manuka Honey and Licorice Root Extract on the Growth of Porphyromonas gingivalis: an In Vitro Study

Chandran et al. | Apr 11, 2018

Effect of Manuka Honey and Licorice Root Extract on the Growth of Porphyromonas gingivalis: an In Vitro Study

Chronic bad breath, or halitosis, is a problem faced by nearly 50% of the general poluation, but existing treatments such as liquid mouthwash or sugar-free gum are imperfect and temporary solutions. In this study, the authors investigate potential alternative treatments using natural ingredients such as Manuka Honey and Licorice root extract. They found that Manuka honey is almost as effective as commercial mouthwashes in reducing the growth of P gingivalis (one of the main bacteria that causes bad breath), while Licorice root extract was largely ineffective. The authors' results suggest that Manuka honey is a promising candidate in the search for new and improved halitosis treatments.

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Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron Growth Numbers are Unchanged in the Presence of Yogurt

Phan et al. | Dec 29, 2016

<i>Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron</i> Growth Numbers are Unchanged in the Presence of Yogurt

Disruptions to the microbiome, specifically the imbalance in the two major phyla, the Firmicutes and the Bacteroidetes, have been linked to the development of obesity. This study explored whether or not Fage plain total 0% Greek yogurt, which contains live and active bacterial cultures belonging to the Firmicute phylum, could decrease the numbers of Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, an organism found in the human gut that belongs to the Bacteroidetes phylum.

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Green Tea Extract as an Environmentally Friendly Antibacterial Agent Against Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato on Plants

Lo et al. | Oct 27, 2015

Green Tea Extract as an Environmentally Friendly Antibacterial Agent Against <i>Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato </i>on Plants

Plant pathogens can cause significant crop loss each year, but controlling them with bactericides or antibiotics can be costly and may be harmful to the environment. Green tea naturally contains polyphenols, which have been shown to have some antimicrobial properties. In this study, the authors show that green tea extract can inhibit growth of the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato and may be useful as an alternative bactericide for crops.

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