Archives for posts with tag: bacteria

Tooth decay is caused by bacteria, and babies could pick these up from their parents. So – keeping your teeth clean could help your baby’s future teeth too.

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Eggs from the pig whipworm Trichuris suis (TSO) reduce the symptoms of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, which are both inflammatory bowel diseases – but why? At the moment, no-one is quite clear, but researchers at NYU School of Medicine are starting a clinical trial to try to find out – if you are in the US and want to join, the details about the trial are here. It may be that the parasites change the quantity and type of bacteria that are attached to the intestinal wall.

Hookworms seem to cure allergies – this could be down to the hygiene hypothesis, where life is now so ‘clean’ that the immune system doesn’t have enough to do and attacks the body.

Some of the Olympic venue sites have been cleaned up using bioremediation as part of one of the world’s largest brownfield regeneration projects. Brownfield sites are previous industrial sites and include the Aquatic Centre, where the ground was contaminated with lubricating oil. The process used indigenous microbes to aerobically biodegrade the oil, supported with REGENESIS’ Advanced Oxygen Release Compound, which released oxygen over 12 months.

Olympic Games 27 July – 12 August

Children brought up with animals, and youngest children in families, are often the least likely to get asthma,  and this may be down to the microbiome (all the bacteria) in the home’s house dust. Mice fed house dust from homes with dogs were more likely to be immune to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) than mice fed with dust from non-dog homes. RSV is a common childhood infection, and children exposed to it are more likely to get asthma.The microbes in their gut were also different.

The hygiene hypothesis suggests that we get more allergies now because our immune systems don’t have enough to do. Hookworms might be able to cure allergies – but a dog is much more fun to take for a walk!

Bacteria, fungi and primitive organisms (archaea) living on rocky soils on volcanoes in South America seem to convert energy from gases such as carbon monoxide and dimethyl sulfide rather than using known processes like photosynthesis.

Read the abstract in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Biogeosciences.

The aquatic bacterium Magnetospirilllum magneticum takes in iron and produces magnetite, a natural magnet. Researchers have taken this over to create very small magnets and wires that could be used to make nanoscale microchips that are also compatible with the human body (biocompatible).

In the Mesozoic era, dinosaurs breaking wind (produced by bacteria in their guts) may have put 520 million tonnes of methane gas into the atmosphere every year. Methane is a greenhouse gas – this could explain why the temperature 150 million years ago was around 10 degrees C higher than it is now.

Read the abstract in Current Biology.

Breastfeeding helps to colonise babies’ guts with healthy bacteria, and this changes how they express the genes for immunity, improving their immune systems. Read the paper in Genome Biology.

black & white picture of  a baby's feet

Honey kills bacteria, and it works in lots of ways -it is high in sugar, it contains hydrogen peroxide and antimicrobial compounds, and it is acidic.  The ancient Egyptians used honey on wounds.

Honey bees in a hiveJust a reminder – don’t give honey to babies. In rare cases, it can cause botulism.

The oldest fossils found so far are cell- or bacteria-like microfossils found in Australia that date back 3.4 billion years.

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