Cause of antibiotic resistance identified

Scientists have confirmed for the first time that bacteria can change form to avoid being detected by antibiotics in the human body.

Micromotors are powered by bacteria, controlled by light

(Phys.org)—When researchers deposit a drop of fluid containing thousands of free-swimming, genetically engineered E. coli onto an array of micromotors, within minutes the micromotors begin rotating. Some of the individual ...

Unknown virus discovered in humans

An international team based in Austria has unearthed a previously unknown type of virus in samples of human bodily fluids. The researchers were looking for viruses that infect bacteria, known as bacteriophages, with an emphasis ...

Self-ventilating workout suit keeps athletes cool and dry

A team of MIT researchers has designed a breathable workout suit with ventilating flaps that open and close in response to an athlete's body heat and sweat. These flaps, which range from thumbnail- to finger-sized, are lined ...

Coral found to prefer eating microplastic to natural food

A team of researchers from Boston University, Roger Williams University, the New England Aquarium, Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School and UMass Boston, reports that one type of coral prefers to eat microplastics ...

Breath! Respiring microbes generate more energy

How do cells generate and use energy? This question might seem simple, but the answer is far from simple. Furthermore, knowing how microbial cell factories consume energy and how proteins are allocated to do so is crucial ...

Dragonfly-inspired nano coating kills bacteria upon contact

Studies have shown that the wings of dragonflies and cicadas prevent bacterial growth due to their natural structure. The surfaces of their wings are covered in nanopillars making them look like a bed of nails. When bacteria ...

What happens when you put evolution on replay?

A team of scientists from the University of Arizona have engineered an instant replay switch for evolution. The technique, known as ancestral gene resurrection, inserts ancient genes into modern E. coli bacteria. It gives ...

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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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