Zinc..a starving agent for Streptococcus pneumoniae


New research sheds light on exactly how zinc can ‘starve’ Streptococcus pneumoniae by preventing its uptake of manganese.

Manganese is essential for S. pneumoniae to be able to invade and cause disease in humans. The researchers identified that the bacterial transporter that normally binds to manganese (PsaBCA) can also bind to zinc. However, the smaller size of zinc means that when it binds to the transporter, the mechanism closes too tightly. This causes the ‘spring-hammer’ mechanisms of PsaCA to unwind too far and jam shut, and it becomes unable to take up manganese.



Use of E.coli (bacteria) for killing pathogens



E. coli is best known for making people sick, but scientists have reprogrammed it to sense and kill off slimy groups of bacteria known as biofilms, which are responsible for hard-to-treat infections that occur in the lungs, bladder and on implanted medical devices.

Reference: http://bit.ly/1g4CQ3n

leukaemia treatment with HIV

Doctors have used an experimental treatment involving the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) to combat a six year old’s leukaemia.
The treatment involved using a disabled form of the virus to reprogram the child’s immune system to attack the cancer cells.
Seven months later, the little girl is in complete remission.


Emma Whitehead, with her mother, Kari. Last spring, Emma was near death from acute lymphoblastic leukemia but is now in remission after an experimental treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Reference: http://nyti.ms/UubeWY

Used contact lens solution hosts giant virus, ecosystem of parasites

In July of last year, researchers in France described a rather disturbing example of what could happen if you’re not careful about cleaning your contact lenses. A 17-year-old patient had been wearing monthly lenses well past their expiration date, and rinsing them with a cleaning solution she’d diluted with tap water. The end result was an eye infection. Luckily, a bit of care managed to clear it up.

Giant viruses being built inside an infected cell.



Cell phone bacteria

Your mobile phone can put you at a greater risk of various diseases as the device acts as dangerous breeding ground for bacteria, a new study has found.

Doctors have warned that the combination of a cellphone’s close proximity to your ears, nose and mouth with its bacteria—loving warmth, means people are exposing themselves to germs that are harmful to their health.

Tests have found that cellphones typically carry as many germs as the handle of a bathroom door. Common illnesses that can be caught include the flu, diarrhea and eye infections.

The study points to a lack of proper hygiene and adequate hand-washing by cellphone users.

The type of germs found on your cellphone can also be found on other everyday devices including computers, keys, pens and land line phones.

However, the risks are greater from cellphone usage because people are attached to them and take them everywhere including to bed, the treadmill at the gym and restaurants.

Mobile phones carry an abnormally high number of coliforms, a bacteria indicating fecal contamination.

In drinking water, the limit is less than one unit per 100 ml of water.

For some of the bacteria, you only need to ingest as few as 10 organisms to get sick.

Reference: www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/your-cellphone-breeding-ground-for-bacteria/article4031146.ece

Gold-loving bacteria show superman strength

A bacterium’s amazing ability to turn a toxic chemical compound into 24-karat gold has been discovered as part of an art/science collaboration. The researchers found that the metal-tolerant bacteria can grow on massive concentrations of gold chloride – a liquid found in nature – and within about a week turn the toxins into gold. This image from the project shows gold created by the bacteria colony.
Ahh i want these bacteria 😀