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Welcome to Mostly Microbes and Infectious Diseases. David Ojcius posts newspaper and journal articles in the broad field of microbiology.

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Plasmid, Virus or Other? DNA ‘Borgs’ Blur Boundaries.

Plasmid, Virus or Other? DNA #Borgs Blur Boundaries. Some #archaea seem to carry unusual DNA outside their chromosomes that straddles the familiar definitions for genomic structures. hen the microbiologist Jillian Banfield and her colleagues started combing through samples of mud from wetland environments three years ago, they had a specific goal in mind: to recover and analyze fragments of DNA from large bacteria-killing viruses. And they did. But they also found something u

The mysterious microbes that gave rise to complex life

#microbiology #evolution #Archaea are more than just oddball lifeforms that thrive in unusual places: they turn out to be quite widespread. Moreover, they might hold the key to understanding how complex life evolved on Earth. Enigmatic microbes called archaea are best known for living in extreme environments, such as deep-ocean vents and acid lakes. They might also hold the key to understanding how complex life evolved on Earth. Many scientists suspect that an ancient archaeo

Climate-friendly microbes recycle carbon without making methane.

#microbiology #environment #climate #archaea Researchers identify an entirely new phylum of archaea (which they named Brockarchaeota) in hot springs in China & deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the Gulf of California. Earth’s hot springs and hydrothermal vents are home to a previously unidentified group of archaea. And, unlike similar tiny, single-celled organisms that live deep in sediments and munch on decaying plant matter, these archaea don’t produce the climate-warming gas

Meconial Methanobrevibacter smithii suggests intrauterine methanogen colonization in preterm neonate

#methanogen #pregnancy #microbiome #archaea To understand the dynamics of methanogens in the human intestinal #microbiota, we investigated the presence of methanogens in meconium using a polyphasic approach including microscopy and PCR-sequencing in 33 meconium samples collected from 33 pre-term neonates, in accordance with current ethics regulation. In the presence of negative controls, 90.9% samples were real-time PCR-positive for methanogens and 69.7 % were PCR-sequencing

Expanding the phylogenetic diversity of Asgard archaea

Researchers from China and the US found evidence of multiple novel Asgard MAGs that expands the phylogenetic diversity of Asgard #archaea. The teamed proposed that the new phyla be named: Baldr-, Hod-, Kari, Hermod- & Boor-, named after Norse deities, & a mythological Chinese character, Wukongarchaeota. Eukaryotes are organisms that have DNA in the form of chromosomes in a nucleus—they include all known living things except eubactearia and archaea. Archaea are single-celled o

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