Detecting bacteria such as E. coli in minutes

A discovery by researchers at the School of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick offers a new technology for detecting bacteria in minutes by 'zapping' the bacteria with electricity.

A novel antibiotic idea: Preventing bacterial stickiness

Researchers within the Dirk Linke group in the Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo, are proposing a new method to fight the bacterium Yersinia enterocolitica, which causes severe diarrhea in an estimated 10 million ...

New genes out of nothing

One key question in evolutionary biology is how novel genes arise and develop. Swedish researchers now show how new genes and functions that are advantageous to bacteria can be selected from random DNA sequences. The results ...

The extraordinary powers of bacteria visualized in real time

The global spread of antibiotic resistance is a major public health issue and a priority for international microbiology research. In a paper to be published in the journal Science, a team led by Christian Lesterlin, Inserm ...

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Antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance is the ability of a microorganism to withstand the effects of antibiotics. It is a specific type of drug resistance. Antibiotic resistance evolves via natural selection acting upon random mutation, but it can also be engineered by applying an evolutionary stress on a population. Once such a gene is generated, bacteria can then transfer the genetic information in a horizontal fashion (between individuals) by plasmid exchange. If a bacterium carries several resistance genes, it is called multiresistant or, informally, a superbug. The term antimicrobial resistance is sometimes used to explicitly encompass organisms other than bacteria.

Antibiotic resistance can also be introduced artificially into a microorganism through transformation protocols. This can aid in implanting artificial genes into the microorganism. If the resistance gene is linked with the gene to be implanted, the antibiotic can be used to kill off organisms that lack the new gene.

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