More Microbiology and Science, June 5

Today we’ll learn why koalas hug trees, how to grow plants taller using blood and bacteria, and how to (not) get sick in a veterinary hospital.

Infection, host response, sepsis

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 8.35.13 PMGene Expression Profiles of Human Dendritic Cells Interacting with Aspergillus fumigatus in a Bilayer Model of the Alveolar Epithelium/Endothelium Interface – Charles Oliver Morton – PLOS ONE

“Two distinct sub-groups of dendritic cells (DC), monocyte-derived DC (moDC) and myeloid DC (mDC), were included in the model to examine immune responses to fungal infection at the alveolar surface”

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 8.52.36 PMDusp3 and Psme3 Are Associated with Murine Susceptibility to Staphylococcus aureus Infection and Human Sepsis – Qin Yan – PLOS Pathogens

“One QTL region on chromosome 11 containing 422 genes was found to be significantly associated with susceptibility to S. aureus infection. “

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 8.36.06 PMAn Individual-Based Model of Transmission of Resistant Bacteria in a Veterinary Teaching Hospital – Neeraj Suthar – PLOS ONE

“The model suggested that transmission resulting from contact with healthcare workers was common, and that certain transmission points (housing wards, diagnostics room, and the intensive care unit) presented higher risk for transmission than others (lobby and surgery). “

Dengue

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 8.36.42 PMInduction of Neutralizing Antibody Response against Four Dengue Viruses in Mice by Intramuscular Electroporation of Tetravalent DNA Vaccines – Eakachai Prompetchara – PLOS ONE

“This study evaluated neutralizing antibody (NAb) induction of a dengue tetravalent DNA (TDNA) vaccine candidate administered by intramuscular-electroporation (IM-EP) and the benefit of homologous TDNA boosting in mice.”

Circulating Levels of Soluble MICB in Infants with Symptomatic Primary Dengue Virus Infections – Daniel H. Libraty – PLOS ONE

“We found that serum levels of sMICB increased between pre-infection and acute illness among infants with symptomatic primary dengue virus infections”

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 8.37.27 PMImmature Dengue Virus Is Infectious in Human Immature Dendritic Cells via Interaction with the Receptor Molecule DC-SIGN – Mareike K. S. Richter – PLOS ONE

“We show that immature DENV is infectious in cells expressing DC-SIGN. Furthermore, we demonstrate that immature dendritic cells, in contrast to macrophage-like cells, do not support antibody-dependent enhancement of immature DENV.”

Viruses and Phages

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 8.39.02 PMThe distribution and impact of viral lineages in domains of life – Arshan Nasir

“the distribution of viral lineages follows an ancient, highly dynamic and ongoing process that impacts the evolution of organisms. New viral lineages often arise from existing ones and may cross species barriers to infect new hosts”

Alternative invention for shrimp bacterial pathogens wins patent – Times of India

“Dr Indrani Karunasagar, director, UNESCO Centre for marine Biotechnology and Associate Director of Research, has received the patent for “the process of preparing a consortium of bacteriophages for controlling luminous bacterial disease in shrimp larvae.” Like a virus, a lytic bacteriophage is a virus that infects and replicates within the bacteria and kills it. “

Microbial Ecology

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 8.53.35 PMThe microbial contribution to macroecology – Albert Barberán – Frontiers in Microbiology

“We highlight two idiosyncrasies of microorganisms that are fundamental to understanding macroecological patterns and their mechanistic drivers. First, high dispersal rates provide novel opportunities to test the relative importance of niche, stochastic, and historical processes in structuring biological communities. Second, high speciation rates potentially lead to the convergence of ecological and evolutionary time scales.”

More microbiology

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 8.40.05 PMInteractions between Bacillus anthracis and Plants May Promote Anthrax Transmission
Holly H. Ganz – PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases

“We found that B. anthracis increased the rate of establishment of a native grass (Enneapogon desvauxii) by 50% and that grass seeds exposed to blood reached heights that were 45% taller than controls.”

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 8.54.21 PMTo be or not to be associated: power study of four statistical modeling approaches to identify parasite associations in cross-sectional studies – Elise Vaumourin – Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology

“We applied these four approaches to detect associations within two populations of multi-infected hosts: (1) rodents infected with Bartonella sp., Babesia microti and Anaplasma phagocytophilum and (2) bovine population infected with Theileria sp. and Babesia sp”

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 8.47.24 PMPCR performance of a thermostable heterodimeric archaeal DNA polymerase – Tom Killelea – Frontiers in Microbiology, Evolutionary and Genomic Microbiology

“Here we looked at the PCR performances of the proof-reading D-type DNA polymerase from P. abyssi, Pab-polD. Fragments, 3 kilobases in length, were specifically PCR-amplified in its optimized reaction buffer. Pab-polD showed not only a greater resistance to high denaturation temperatures than Taq during cycling, but also a superior tolerance to the presence of potential inhibitors. “

Arsenic metabolism

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 8.50.18 PMArsenic and old toenails – University of British Columbia

“We successfully recruited 35,000 Atlantic Canadians whose health will be tracked over the next 25 years, and the project will be a major resource for cancer prevention research. More than 22,000 participants provided blood and toenail clippings, which ended up being an official Guinness World Record.”

Marine Mammals (and turtles)

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 8.51.14 PMSatellite Tracking of Sympatric Marine Megafauna Can Inform the Biological Basis for Species Co-Management – Christian Gredzens – PLOS ONE

“Fast-acquisition satellite telemetry was used to track eleven dugongs and ten green turtles at two geographically distinct foraging locations in Queensland, Australia to evaluate the inter- and intra-species spatial relationships and assess the efficacy of existing protection zones. “

Dr. Bik’s Picks

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 8.48.40 PMThe sheep genome illuminates biology of the rumen and lipid metabolism – Yu Jiang- Science

“We have developed and analyzed a high-quality reference sheep genome and transcriptomes from 40 different tissues. We identified highly expressed genes encoding keratin cross-linking proteins associated with rumen evolution.”

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 8.55.17 PMMapping the Global Distribution of Livestock – Timothy P. Robinson – PLOS ONE

“This paper describes the current approach in detail and presents new global distribution maps at 1 km resolution for cattle, pigs and chickens, and a partial distribution map for ducks. These digital layers are made publically available via the Livestock Geo-Wiki (http://www.livestock.geo-wiki.org), as will be the maps of other livestock types as they are produced.”

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 9.02.51 PMCatfish ‘See’ Their Next Meal with Acid-Sensing Whiskers – Charles Q. Choi – LiveScience

“Catfish have evolved sensors on their whiskers that can help the animals hunt in the dark by detecting slight changes in water acidity, the first time such sensors have been seen in fish, researchers say.”

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 8.56.34 PMWhy Koalas Hug Trees – Tia Ghose – LiveScience

“Now, scientists have figured out why the iconic Australian marsupials hug trees: The trunks help the koala bears keep cool, according to a new study.”

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