Chlamydia's covert reproduction

UF researchers have resolved a two-decade old mystery centered upon how the bacteria chlamydia divide and reproduce. Newly published results from the lab of Anthony Maurelli, a microbiologist in UF's College of Public Health ...

Giving good bacteria an edge in making cheese

When unpasteurized milk is used to make cheese, the result is a product with more complex flavors, meaning many consumers seek out cheese made from "raw" milk. However, if the milk was contaminated, the cheese it's used for ...

Scientists zero in on endgame for nasty bacteria

Medications were once discovered by finding active ingredients in traditional remedies or by serendipitous discovery. A relatively new approach is to understand how disease and infection are controlled at the molecular level, ...

Escherichia coli

Escherichia coli (commonly E. coli; pronounced /ˌɛʃɪˈrɪkiə ˈkoʊlaɪ/, /iː ~/, and named for its discoverer), is a Gram negative bacterium that is commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms (endotherms). Most E. coli strains are harmless, but some, such as serotype O157:H7, can cause serious food poisoning in humans, and are occasionally responsible for costly product recalls. The harmless strains are part of the normal flora of the gut, and can benefit their hosts by producing vitamin K2, or by preventing the establishment of pathogenic bacteria within the intestine.

E. coli are not always confined to the intestine, and their ability to survive for brief periods outside the body makes them an ideal indicator organism to test environmental samples for fecal contamination. The bacteria can also be grown easily and its genetics are comparatively simple and easily-manipulated or duplicated through a process of metagenics, making it one of the best-studied prokaryotic model organisms, and an important species in biotechnology and microbiology.

E. coli was discovered by German pediatrician and bacteriologist Theodor Escherich in 1885, and is now classified as part of the Enterobacteriaceae family of gamma-proteobacteria.

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