Monday, February 12, 2018

BacterioFiles 328 - Focused Phages Fight Films

Bacteriophages
By Sherwood Casjens,Elaine Lenk
CC BY-SA 3.0
This episode: Phages bound to magnetic nanoparticles can be guided and pulled toward their target, penetrating biofilms to kill harmful microbes!

Download Episode (9.6 MB, 10.4 minutes)

Show notes:
Microbe of the episode: Veillonella alcalescens

News item

Journal Paper:
Li L-L, Yu P, Wang X, Yu S-S, Mathieu J, Yu H-Q, Alvarez PJJ. 2017. Enhanced biofilm penetration for microbial control by polyvalent phages conjugated with magnetic colloidal nanoparticle clusters (CNCs). Environ Sci Nano 4:1817–1826.

Other interesting stories:
  • Social group membership affects lemur gut microbes
  • Viruses can transfer genes between kingdoms
  • Trace gases in atmosphere enough to support microbes in Antarctica
  • Magnetic bacteria can swim even against the current
  • Engineered bacteria produce internal scaffolds for better biotech productions

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

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    Episode outline:

    Monday, February 5, 2018

    BacterioFiles 327 - Microbe Metabolite Meliorates Malaise

    Influenza virus particles
    This episode: Gut microbes in mice break down plant foods and produce molecules that stimulate the immune system to resist influenza!

    Thanks to Drs. Ashley Steed and Thaddeus Stappenbeck for their contributions!
    Download Episode (9 MB, 9.8 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Microbe of the episode: Bougainvillea chlorotic vein banding virus

    News item

    Journal Paper:
    Steed AL, Christophi GP, Kaiko GE, Sun L, Goodwin VM, Jain U, Esaulova E, Artyomov MN, Morales DJ, Holtzman MJ, Boon ACM, Lenschow DJ, Stappenbeck TS. 2017. The microbial metabolite desaminotyrosine protects from influenza through type I interferon. Science 357:498–502.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Nanobots with propellers modeled after bacterial flagella
  • Embedding useful bacteria into "ink" used to print 3D structures
  • Controlling behavior of individual bacteria using a computer
  • Exercise alone can affect microbiota
  • Microbes in ISS are similar to microbes in Earth homes

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

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    Episode outline:

    Monday, January 29, 2018

    BacterioFiles 326 - Ciliate Symbionts Selected Separately

    Euplotes ciliates
    This episode: Learning about endosymbionts by comparing bacteria living inside eukaryotes to their free-living cousins!

    Thanks to Dr. Vittorio Boscaro for his contribution!
    Download Episode (9.7 MB, 10.6 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Microbe of the episode: Ancalochloris perfilievii

    Journal Paper:
    Boscaro V, Kolisko M, Felletti M, Vannini C, Lynn DH, Keeling PJ. 2017. Parallel genome reduction in symbionts descended from closely related free-living bacteria. Nat Ecol Evol 1:1160.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Wolbachia naturally found in mosquitoes inhibits malaria transmission (paper)
  • Group of 5 microbes help regulate Hydra's body contractions
  • In mice, fungi can function somewhat in place of gut bacteria (paper)
  • Bacteriophages get carried all over the body
  • Bacteria engineered to make boron-carbon bonds

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

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    Episode outline:

    Monday, January 22, 2018

    BacterioFiles 325 - Moisture Mobilizes Mycelium Multiples

    Mushroom spore print
    This episode: Figuring out how mushrooms launch their spores out using a trick of water surface tension!

    Download Episode (6.7 MB, 7.3 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Microbe of the episode: Carrot torradovirus 1

    News item

    Video of artificial "spore" launching

    Journal Paper:
    Liu F, Chavez RL, Patek SN, Pringle A, Feng JJ, Chen C-H. 2017. Asymmetric drop coalescence launches fungal ballistospores with directionality. J R Soc Interface 14:20170083.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Bacteriophage also inhibits fungal pathogen (paper)
  • Virus infects both plant and fungus (paper)
  • Gut interactions between bacteria and salt - also this
  • Bacteria can transform toxic metals into less harmful forms (paper)
  • Microbes generating electricity from swine wastewater

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

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    Episode outline:

    Monday, January 15, 2018

    BacterioFiles 324 - Prokaryote Prefers Poorer Power

    Green Dragon Spring, Yellowstone
    Credit: National Park Service
    This episode: Hot spring archaea prefer to use elements that give them less energy even when more energetic options are available!

    Download Episode (8.1 MB, 8.8 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Microbe of the episode: Vitreoscilla beggiatoides

    News item

    Journal Paper:
    Amenabar MJ, Shock EL, Roden EE, Peters JW, Boyd ES. 2017. Microbial substrate preference dictated by energy demand rather than supply. Nat Geosci 10:577–581.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Developing good methods for using skin microbiome for forensics (paper)
  • Microbe discovered that consumes groundwater contaminant dioxane
  • Mucus-eating gut microbes can produce beneficial nutrients and vitamins (paper)
  • Making new beer and wine flavors with different yeast
  • Providing leaf microbiota to help endangered plants survive in wild

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

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    Episode outline:

    Monday, January 8, 2018

    BacterioFiles 323 - Clostridium Capturing Carbon with Walter Sandoval

    Walter Sandoval in lab
    This episode: I talk with Dr. Walter Sandoval-Espinola, a researcher from Paraguay, now a postdoc at Harvard, about his discovery that biofuel-producing bacteria Clostridium beijerinckii can also transform CO2 and carbon monoxide into biofuels!

    Download Episode (37 MB, 40.4 minutes)

    Show notes:
    News item en español

    Find Walter on Twitter or LinkedIn

    Journal Paper:
    Sandoval-Espinola WJ, Chinn MS, Thon MR, Bruno-Bárcena JM. 2017. Evidence of mixotrophic carbon-capture by n-butanol-producer Clostridium beijerinckii. Sci Rep 7:12759.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Even microbes can help mix up lake water
  • Using drones to sample whale microbiome
  • Prebiotics could affect gut even without microbe involvement (paper)
  • Bacteria do better in changing environments when they cooperate
  • Newly discovered bacterial defense against phages (paper)

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

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    Monday, January 1, 2018

    BacterioFiles 322 - Parents' Partners Protect Plants

    Cacao tree with fruit pods
    By Luisovalles
    Own work, CC BY 3.0
    Happy New Year! This episode: Fungal endophytes transferred from healthy adult plant leaf litter help baby cacao plants resist disease!

    Thanks to Dr. Natalie Christian for her contribution!

    Download Episode (10.3 MB, 11.25 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Microbe of the episode: Lactobacillus virus Lb338-1

    News item
    Hear a CBC interview with Dr. Christian about this research

    Journal Paper:
    Christian N, Herre EA, Mejia LC, Clay K. 2017. Exposure to the leaf litter microbiome of healthy adults protects seedlings from pathogen damage. Proc R Soc B 284:20170641.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Using bacteria to clean up radioactive strontium from water (paper)
  • Ocean bacteria make themselves slippery instead of sticky to avoid predators (paper)
  • Which plants grow in tropics depends on how fungi interact with their seeds
  • Using an antibiotic-sensing protein to control antibiotic production in bacteria
  • Symbiotic fungi can help plants tolerate stresses better

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

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    Episode outline: