General microbiology and science, July 18

Talking to bacteria to make them feel more comfortable (Bacteria whisperers!), probiotics, viruses vs. helminths, and women in Science.

Phages, viruses, helminths

Virus-helminth coinfection reveals a microbiota-independent mechanism of immunomodulation – Lisa C. Osborne – Science

“Helminth coinfection resulted in impaired antiviral immunity and was associated with changes in the microbiota and STAT6-dependent helminth-induced alternative activation of macrophages.”

Probiotics

Lactobacillus rhamnosus L34 and Lactobacillus casei L39 suppress Clostridium difficile-induced IL-8 production by colonic epithelial cells – Prapaporn Boonma – BMC Microbiology

“We screened Lactobacillus conditioned media from 34 infant fecal isolates for the ability to suppress C. difficile-induced IL-8 production from HT-29 cells. Factors produced by two vancomycin-resistant lactobacilli, L. rhamnosus L34 (LR-L34) and L.casei L39 (LC-L39), suppressed the secretion and transcription of IL-8 without inhibiting C. difficile viability or toxin production. “

Cross-talk between probiotic lactobacilli and host immune system – T.S. Kemgang – Journal of Applied Microbiology

“This review summarizes the interplay existing between the host immune system and probiotic lactobacilli, that is, with emphasis on lactobacilli as a prototype probiotic genus.”

General microbiology

Talking to bacteria? Towards light-mediated sensing of bacterial comfort – G. Zafrilla – Letters in Applied Microbiology

“The framework is to convert the human voice into electric pulses, these into light pulses exciting bacterial fluorescent proteins, and convert light-emission back into electric pulses, which will be finally transformed into synthetic voice messages.”

Bacteria in the news

More Forgotten Virus, Bacteria Vials Found at Federal Lab – Newsplex.com

“Food and Drug Administration officials said Wednesday the undocumented collection contained 327 carefully packaged vials, listing pathogens like dengue, influenza and rickettsia.”

1 weird tip to not die of smallpox – Beth Skwarecki – PLOS Blogs

Jenner then attempted to infect the child with smallpox twenty more times in his life. Fortunately for the kid, the vaccine had worked.”

Women in Science

Science Has a Gender Problem. Science Just Made It Worse – Katy Waldman – Slate

“Transgender sex workers should not be expected to thank Science for “raising awareness” of them as erotic objects, jokes, or disease vectors. “

Survey of Academic Field Experiences (SAFE): Trainees Report Harassment and Assault – Kathryn B. H. Clancy – PLOS ONE

“Little is known about the climate of the scientific fieldwork setting as it relates to gendered experiences, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. We conducted an internet-based survey of field scientists (N = 666) to characterize these experiences. “

Dr. Bik’s Picks

Long read: One of a kind: What do you do if your child has a condition that is new to science? – Seth Mnookin – The New Yorker

“At first, they said, he seemed to represent a challenging problem for each new specialist to solve. But, as one conjecture after another was proved wrong, the specialists lost interest; many then insisted that the cause of Bertrand’s illness lay in someone else’s area of expertise. “

Introduction to special issue: Slicing the wheat genome – Kellye Eversole – Science

“Together, these Research Articles explore multiple dimensions of the 17-gigabase wheat genome and pave the way toward achieving a full reference sequence to underpin wheat research and breeding”

 

Earth-like soils on Mars? Ancient fossilized soils potentially found deep inside impact crater suggest microbial life – Science Daily

“Soil deep in a crater dating to some 3.7 billion years ago contains evidence that Mars was once much warmer and wetter, says a geologist based on images and data captured by the rover Curiosity.”

How Colors Smell – Julie Beck – The Atlantic

“But what color is the smell of, say, soap? A new study published in PLOS One finds that some people say white, some say yellow, some say blue. “

Suspects in science museum’s dinosaur heist turn themselves in – Andrew Kenney – Charlotte Observer

“A man and woman, both 21, turned themselves over to N.C. State Capitol Police on Thursday in the case of the missing model dinosaur.”

 

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