Monday, August 14, 2017

BacterioFiles 306 - Microbes Moderate Metabolic Maladjustment

This episode: Microbes from obese mice seemed helpful in protecting other mice somewhat from an unhealthy lifestyle.

Download Episode (8.5 MB, 9.25 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Streptomyces thermoviolaceus

News item

Journal Paper:
Nicolas S, Blasco‐Baque V, Fournel A, Gilleron J, Klopp P, Waget A, Ceppo F, Marlin A, Padmanabhan R, Iacovoni JS, Tercé F, Cani PD, Tanti J-F, Burcelin R, Knauf C, Cormont M, Serino M. 2017. Transfer of dysbiotic gut microbiota has beneficial effects on host liver metabolism. Mol Syst Biol 13:921.

Other interesting stories:
  • Global warming could harm reptiles by disrupting their gut bacteria
  • Insect microbes that start causing disease but then stop when their numbers get higher
  • Microbes in sea spray affect the atmosphere and climate
  • How breastmilk bacteria affect infant's gut community
  • Sea sponge bacteria can produce toxic flame retardant chemicals

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

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    Monday, August 7, 2017

    BacterioFiles 305 - Defensive Disordered Desiccation

    Tardigrade
    Credit: Bob Goldstein
    and Vicky Madden,
    CC BY-SA 3.0
    This episode: Tardigrades have an interesting way of surviving complete drying out: by producing proteins lacking a stable structure!

    Download Episode (11.8 MB, 13 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Microbe of the episode: Chandipura vesiculovirus

    News item

    Journal Paper:
    Boothby TC, Tapia H, Brozena AH, Piszkiewicz S, Smith AE, Giovannini I, Rebecchi L, Pielak GJ, Koshland D, Goldstein B. 2017. Tardigrades Use Intrinsically Disordered Proteins to Survive Desiccation. Mol Cell 65:975–984.e5.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Gut microbes are important for many bee bodily functions (paper)
  • Bacterium helps defend insects but makes plants sick
  • Bacteria can mutate faster or slower to adapt to their environment
  • Cyanobacteria respond to different colors of light in different ways (paper)(commentary)
  • Intense prolonged exercise could negatively impact the gut community

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

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    Monday, July 31, 2017

    BacterioFiles 304 - Phages Facilitate Photosynthesis

    Prochlorococcus marinus
    This episode: Viruses infecting cyanobacteria can produce proteins that actually help their host capture light better!

    Download Episode (6.6 MB, 7.25 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Microbe of the episode: Pseudomonas asplenii

    News item

    Journal Paper:
    Gasper R, Schwach J, Hartmann J, Holtkamp A, Wiethaus J, Riedel N, Hofmann E, Frankenberg-Dinkel N. 2017. Distinct Features of Cyanophage-encoded T-type Phycobiliprotein Lyase ΦCpeT: The Role of Auxiliary Metabolic Genes. J Biol Chem 292:3089–3098.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Many new antibiotics could be discovered in fungi
  • Finding bacteria to degrade triclosan in the environment
  • Microbes could affect gut chemotherapy treatment
  • Carbon nanotubes help bacteria produce more methane (paper)
  • Fecal transplant could be helpful for treating ulcerative colitis also

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

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    Monday, July 24, 2017

    BacterioFiles 303 - Sticky Skin Sows Cells

    Caenorhabditis elegans
    By Bob Goldstein, CC BY-SA 3.0
    This episode: Roundworms in soil can carry with them bacteria they eat to grow new food, like farmers!

    Download Episode (11.1 MB, 12.15 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Microbe of the episode: Equid alphaherpesvirus 1

    News item

    Journal Paper:
    Thutupalli S, Uppaluri S, Constable GWA, Levin SA, Stone HA, Tarnita CE, Brangwynne CP. 2017. Farming and public goods production in Caenorhabditis elegans populations. Proc Natl Acad Sci 114:2289–2294.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Using modified CRISPR for quick detection of infections
  • Modifying cyanobacterium cell length to make extracting biofuels easier (paper)
  • Fusing phage proteins with antibodies to better target pathogens
  • Some amoebas can penetrate biofilms to feed on dangerous bacteria (paper)
  • Phages have some advantages over antibiotics

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

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    Monday, July 17, 2017

    BacterioFiles 302 - Message Moderates Microbe Mortality

    Bacillus subtilis
    By Y tambe, CCBY-SA 3.0
    This episode: Even organisms as simple as viruses can communicate with each other!

    Download Episode (12.7 MB, 13.9 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Microbe of the episode: Sweet potato virus C

    Commentary (paywall)
    Great talk about bacterial communication by Dr. Bonnie Bassler

    Journal Paper:
    Erez Z, Steinberger-Levy I, Shamir M, Doron S, Stokar-Avihail A, Peleg Y, Melamed S, Leavitt A, Savidor A, Albeck S, Amitai G, Sorek R. 2017. Communication between viruses guides lysis–lysogeny decisions. Nature 541:488–493.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Engineering gut bacteria to detect and report gut inflammation
  • Plants give fat to their root fungi in exchange for other nutrients
  • Gut microbe metabolite linked with lower risk of diabetes
  • Making bioelectrodes by embedding bacteria in glass (paper)
  • Using CRISPR to discover new drug-producing bacterial genes

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

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    Monday, July 10, 2017

    BacterioFiles 301 - Cells Simulate City Structures

    This episode: Ancient microbes built underwater structures that look like sunken, ancient cities!

    Download Episode (10.6 MB, 11.7 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Microbe of the episode: Actinomadura luteofluorescens

    News item 1/News item 2

    Journal Paper:
    Andrews JE, Stamatakis MG, Marca-Bell A, Stewart C, Millar IL. 2016. Exhumed hydrocarbon-seep authigenic carbonates from Zakynthos Island (Greece): Concretions not archaeological remains. Marine and Petroleum Geology 76:16–25.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Insecticide-resistant insects have insecticide-degrading gut bacteria (paper)
  • Microbe spores that can survive in space
  • Fungus-gardening ants are choosy about how much CO2 they want in their gardens (paper)
  • Biochar helps microbes transfer electrons around in soil
  • Exposure of infants to furry pets affects microbiota

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

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    Monday, July 3, 2017

    BacterioFiles 300 - Hyphae Help Horizontal (Gene Transfer)

    Oyster mushroom mycelium
    By Tobi Kellner, CC BY-SA 3.0
    This episode: Filament-forming organisms help bacteria swim through soil and exchange genes with each other! Also, new feature: microbe of the episode!

    Download Episode (13.2 MB, 14.4 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Microbe of the episode: Azotobacter vinelandii

    News item

    Video of bacteria swimming along mycelium:


    Full statement from Tom Berthold

    Journal Paper:
    Berthold T, Centler F, Hübschmann T, Remer R, Thullner M, Harms H, Wick LY. 2016. Mycelia as a focal point for horizontal gene transfer among soil bacteria. Sci Rep 6:36390.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Bacterial DNA reduces mouse airway allergies
  • Changes in microbiomes of people in 500-day space simulation (paper)
  • Using advanced electron microscopy to visualize giant virus
  • Bacterial predators find prey by both being trapped by their own whirlpools
  • Many unusual viruses are moving around in the fluids of the rocky ocean floor

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

    Subscribe: iTunes, RSS, Google Play. Support the show at Patreon, or check out the show at Twitter or Facebook.