Directed evolution opens door to new antibiotics

In the ongoing arms race with humans and their antibiotics on one side, and bacteria with their ability to evolve defenses to antibiotics on the other, humans have enlisted a new ally—other bacteria.

Scientists identify a novel target for corn straw utilization

Plant cell walls, as repositories of fixed carbon, are an important source of biomass, which is mainly composed of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. However, the complex lignin structure makes it a rather inefficient ...

How bugs overcome host defenses

Bacterial pathogens must acquire nutrient metals from the host to survive and cause disease. To counter infection, hosts attempt to starve bacteria by hiding metals away in a process called "nutritional immunity." Bacteria ...

Researchers advance in the development of 'papaya sugarcane'

When the papaya (Carica papaya) is ripening, its cell walls separate, making the tissue softer and more digestible. The cell contents become accessible and the sucrose in the fruit is more easily extracted. Sugarcane roots ...

Research identifies potential target for strep A vaccine

Most people think of "strep throat" as a relatively benign infection cured by a round of antibiotics and a few days of rest. But the bacterium that causes strep throat—Group A Streptococcus—is also responsible for a number ...

Engineered microbe may be key to producing plastic from plants

With a few genetic tweaks, a type of soil bacteria with an appetite for hydrocarbons shows promise as a biological factory for converting a renewable—but frustratingly untapped—bounty into a replacement for ubiquitous ...

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