General microbiology and science, August 14

A metabolic map of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, bacteria injections to cure cancer, a researcher smuggling live bacteria in a lunchbox,  and a scientist in trouble for posting a PhD thesis.

Metabolomics

Functional Metabolic Map of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, a Beneficial Human Gut Microbe – Almut Heinken – Journal of Bacteriology

“In this study, we present an integrated, iterative approach of computational modeling, in vitro experiments, metabolomics, and genomic analysis to accelerate the identification of metabolic capabilities for poorly characterized (anaerobic) microorganisms.”

Transcriptomics

Pervasive transcription: illuminating the dark matter of bacterial transcriptomes – Joseph T. Wade & David C. Grainger – Nature Reviews Microbiology

“In this Opinion article, we discuss our current understanding of pervasive transcription, its genetic origin and its regulation. “

More microbiology

Intratumoral injection of Clostridium novyi-NT spores induces antitumor responses
Nicholas J. Roberts – Science Translational Medicine

“On the basis of these encouraging results, we treated a human patient who had an advanced leiomyosarcoma with an intratumoral injection of C. novyi-NT spores. This treatment reduced the tumor within and surrounding the bone. “

Canadian ex-researcher pleads guilty in attempted bacteria-smuggling case – Lee-Anne Goodman

“With his wife in the passenger seat, they discovered in his suitcase 17 vials of live Brucella — contained in a block of ice and swathed in bubble wrap in a children’s lunch bag — and a substantial quantity of goat’s blood.”

Techniques

Preprint: Swabs to Genomes: A Comprehensive Workflow – David A Coil – PeerJ

“The objective of the present study was to design, test, troubleshoot, and publish a simple, comprehensive workflow from the collection of an environmental sample (a swab) to a published microbial genome”

Accuracy of Next Generation Sequencing Platforms – Edward J Fox – Next Generation: Sequencing & Applications

“The ability of these technologies to disentangle sequence heterogeneity, however, is limited by their relatively high error rates”

Uniting the classification of cultured and uncultured bacteria and archaea using 16S rRNA gene sequences — Pablo Yarza – Nature Reviews Microbiology

“Our analyses show that only nearly complete 16S rRNA sequences give accurate measures of taxonomic diversity. In addition, our analyses suggest that most of the 16S rRNA sequences of the high taxa will be discovered in environmental surveys by the end of the current decade.”

Science, Publishing, Career

Financial costs and personal consequences of research misconduct resulting in retracted publications – Andrew M Stern, Arturo Casadevall, R Grant Steen, Ferric C Fang – eLife

“We found that papers retracted due to misconduct accounted for approximately $58 million in direct funding by the NIH between 1992 and 2012, less than 1% of the NIH budget over this period. ”

Student may be jailed for posting scientist’s thesis on web – David Reay – Nature News Blog

“Colombian biology student is facing up to 8 years in jail and a fine for sharing a thesis by another scientist on a social network. Diego Gómez Hoyos posted the 2006 work, about amphibian taxonomy, on Scribd in 2011.

Study: Uncivil work environment pushing women out of the engineering field – Brigid Schulte – Washington Post

“a new National Science Foundation report released on Saturday about why so few women go into engineering, or stay in the field, highlights a key reason: a workplace culture of incivility toward women.”

Science of inclusion – Holly McDede – SFBG.com

“As Big Tech struggles with diversity, women find support and fellowship in the biotech industry.”

Bik’s Picks

Pour on the Salt? New Research Suggests More Is OK – Judy Silverman and Lisa Tolin – NBC News

“New research suggests that healthy people can eat about twice the amount of salt that’s currently recommended — or about as much as most people consume anyway. “

At Harvard, tiny robots ‘swarm’ into shape – Carolyn Y. Johnson – Boston Globe

When Harvard scientist Michael Rubenstein walks into the laboratory in the morning, he is greeted with a scene somewhere between a disco and the opening of a science fiction movie about a robot apocalypse. A constellation of LED lights blinks in the darkness — the electronic heartbeat of his 1,024-robot horde. They are ready to do his bidding.”

Newborns’ genetic code sends infection distress signal – Science Daily

“Babies suffering from life-threatening bacterial infections such as sepsis could benefit from improved treatment, thanks to a ground-breaking study. “

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