Plant-inspired alkaloids protect rice, kiwi and citrus from harmful bacteria — ScienceDaily

Plants get bacterial infections, just as humans do. When food crops and trees are infected, their yield and quality can suffer. Although some compounds have been developed to protect plants, few of them work on a wide variety of crops, and bacteria are developing resistance. Now, researchers reporting in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry have modified natural plant alkaloids into new compounds that kill bacteria responsible for diseases in rice, kiwi and citrus.

Currently, no effective prevention or treatment exists for some plant bacterial diseases, including rice leaf blight, kiwifruit canker and citrus canker, which result in substantial agricultural losses every year. Scientists are trying to find new compounds that attack bacteria in different ways, reducing the chances that the microbes will develop resistance. Plant compounds called tetrahydro-β-carboline (THC) alkaloids are known to have antitumor, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antioxidant and antiviral activities. So, Pei-Yi Wang, Song Yang and colleagues

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Researchers create a filter for masks that can deactivate SARS-CoV-2 and multi-resistant bacteria

Researchers create a filter for masks that can deactivate SARS-CoV-2 and multi-resistant bacteria
Credit: Asociación RUVID

Researchers from the Catholic University of Valencia (UCV), from the Biomaterials and Bioengineering group of the CITSAM (San Alberto Magno Centre for Translational Research), headed by Ángel Serrano, have developed a protective filter with commercial tissues for masks, manufactured with a biofunctional coating of benzalkonium chloride, that can deactivate SARS-CoV-2 a minute after coming into contact with the virus.

“Masks have been globally accepted as a useful tool for preventing the viral and bacterial spreading, but the commercial ones have filters manufactured with materials that are uncapable of deactivating SARS-CoV-2 and bacteria that are multi-resistant to drugs,” explains Serrano

This filter also deactivates bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis, which are resistant to the antibiotic methicillin, which worsen the pneumonia caused by the coronavirus, and which represent a threat for people’s lives. This fact makes the filter created by the UCV scientists the first to deactivate SARS-CoV-2

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The discovery can help cure bacterial infections without inducing resistance or causing harm to good bacteria — ScienceDaily

Researchers from the Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Interdisciplinary Research Group (IRG) at Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), MIT’s research enterprise in Singapore, have developed a method to produce customisable engineered lysins that can be used to selectively kill bacteria of interest while leaving others unharmed. The discovery presents a promising alternative to antibiotics for treating existing drug-resistant bacteria and bacterial infections without the risk of causing resistance.

Lysins are enzymes produced by bacteriophages to break open the bacteria cells while treating infections, and have demonstrated potential as a novel class of antimicrobials. A major advantage of lysins is that they allow fast and targeted killing against specific bacterium of choice without inducing resistance.

The emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteria has left even minor bacterial infections incurable by many existing antibiotics, with at least 700,000 deaths each year due to drug-resistant diseases according to the World Health Organisation.

In a paper

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False widow spiders bite can transmit harmful antibiotic-resistant bacteria — ScienceDaily

A team of zoologists and microbiologists from NUI Galway have published a new study showing that common house spiders carry bacteria susceptible to infect people, with the Noble False Widow spiders also carrying harmful strains resistant to common antibiotic treatments.

This new research, published in the international journal Scientific Reports, confirms a theory which has been debated among spider and healthcare specialists for many years, and explains a range of symptoms experienced by victims bitten by the invasive noble false widow spider in Ireland and Britain over the past decade.

Australian Black Widows or Funnel Web spiders are well known for their potentially deadly venom, but rare “skin-eating” conditions following seemingly harmless European and North American spider bites were thought to be the result of secondary infections caused by the victim scratching and probing the bite site with contaminated fingers. This new study shows that not only do spiders

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Detecting bacteria with fluorescent nanosensors: Luminous carbon nanotubes detect pathogens – and are quick and easy to use –

Researchers from Bochum, Göttingen, Duisburg and Cologne have developed a new method for detecting bacteria and infections. They use fluorescent nanosensors to track down pathogens faster and more easily than with established methods. A team headed by Professor Sebastian Kruß, formerly at Universität Göttingen, now at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB), describes the results in the journal Nature Communications, published online on 25 November 2020.

Traditional methods of detecting bacteria require tissue samples to be taken and analysed. Sebastian Kruß and his team hope to eliminate the need to take samples by using tiny optical sensors to visualise pathogens directly at the site of infection.

Fluorescence changes in the presence of bacterial molecules

The sensors are based on modified carbon nanotubes with a diameter of less than one nanometre. If they are irradiated with visible light, they emit light in the near-infrared range (wavelength of 1,000 nanometres and more), which is

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Experimental evolution reveals how bacteria gain drug resistance — ScienceDaily

A research team at the RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (BDR) in Japan has succeeded in experimentally evolving the common bacteria Escherichia coli under pressure from a large number of individual antibiotics. In doing so, they were able to identify the mechanisms and constraints underlying evolved drug resistance. Their findings, published in the scientific journal Nature Communications, can be used to help develop drug-treatment strategies that minimize the chance that bacteria will develop resistance.

Counteracting multidrug-resistant bacteria is becoming a critical global challenge. It seems that every time we develop new antibiotics, novel antibiotic-resistant bacteria emerge during clinical use. To win this cat-and-mouse game, we must understand how drug resistance evolves in bacteria. Naturally, this process is very complicated, involving numerous changes in genome sequences and cellular states. Therefore, a comprehensive study of resistance dynamics for large numbers of antibiotics has never been reported.

“Laboratory evolution combined with

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Potential treatment against antibiotic-resistant bacteria causing gonorrhea and meningitis — ScienceDaily

A team from the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) has demonstrated the effectiveness of an inexpensive molecule to fight antibiotic-resistant strains of the bacteria responsible for gonorrhea and meningococcal meningitis. These two infections affect millions of people worldwide. The results of this research, led by Professor Frédéric Veyrier and Professor Annie Castonguay, have just been published online in the Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy journal.

Antibiotic Resistance

In recent years, rising rates of antibiotic resistance have been of concern to the World Health Organization (WHO), who has celebrated the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, from November 18th to 24th 2020. This concern is particularly true in the case of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, for which some strains have developed resistance to all effective antibiotics. This bacterium is responsible for gonorrhea, an infection whose incidence has almost tripled in the last decade in Canada. Resistant strains of Neisseria meningitidis, which cause bacterial meningitis,

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CleanScreenShield, the Smartphone Case That Protects You up to 99.99% Against Germs and Bacteria

LUXEMBOURG–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CleanScreenShield antibacterial smartphone cases and films, already available for 20 iPhone and Samsung models, including the latest iPhone 12 and Samsung S20, can reduce 86% of bacteria in 15 minutes, 99.5% of bacteria in 2 hours and 99,99% of bacteria in 24 hours.

CleansScreenShield is offered in a pack comprising a front film protecting the touchscreen as well as a transparent antibacterial protective shell, which also protects smartphones from bumps.

The antibacterial properties of CleanScreenShield have been laboratory tested and validated by SGS Laboratory, a world leader in inspection, testing and certification.

“According to researchers, our cell phones are covered with 18 times more bacteria than a toilet flush!”

Cell phones have become nests for germs, researchers observed in a study of bacteria found on smartphones. It is further estimated that 80% of all infections and viruses are transmitted through the hands, and our smartphones have

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A molecule from gut bacteria reduces effect of diabetes medication — ScienceDaily

The action of metformin, the classic drug used to treat diabetes by stabilizing blood sugar, can be blocked by a molecule from the bacteria in our intestines, a University of Gothenburg study shows.

Metformin is the primary treatment option for type 2 diabetes, but there are major variations in how individuals respond to this drug. In some people it lowers blood glucose (sugar) and delays the course of the disease, while in others its effects are less favorable.

An article published in the journal Cell Metabolism now clarifies one underlying factor that explain why metformin action can be blocked. This blocking is preceded by processes in the gut bacteria — the intestinal microbiota — in which the molecule imidazole propionate is produced.

The change in gut microbiota associated with type 2 diabetes has been demonstrated in previous research under the leadership of Fredrik Backhed, Professor of Molecular Medicine at Sahlgrenska

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Genome resource expands known diversity of bacteria and archaea by 44% — ScienceDaily

Despite advances in sequencing technologies and computational methods in the past decade, researchers have uncovered genomes for just a small fraction of Earth’s microbial diversity. Because most microbes cannot be cultivated under laboratory conditions, their genomes can’t be sequenced using traditional approaches. Identifying and characterizing the planet’s microbial diversity is key to understanding the roles of microorganisms in regulating nutrient cycles, as well as gaining insights into potential applications they may have in a wide range of research fields.

A public repository of 52,515 microbial draft genomes generated from environmental samples around the world, expanding the known diversity of bacteria and archaea by 44%, is now available and described November 9, 2020 in Nature Biotechnology. Known as the GEM (Genomes from Earth’s Microbiomes) catalog, this work results from a collaboration involving more than 200 scientists, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI), a DOE Office

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