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Bacteria Acquire Resistance From Competitors

The frequent and sometimes careless use of antibiotics leads to an increasingly rapid spread of resistance. Hospitals are a particular hot spot for this. Patients not only introduce a wide variety of pathogens, which may already be resistant but also, due to the use of antibiotics to combat infections, hospitals

Bacteria as Pacemaker for the Intestine

The triggers for the normal spontaneous contractions of the muscle tissue are so-called pacemaker cells of the nervous system. In a specific rhythm and without any external stimulation, they emit electrical impulses, that ultimately reach the smooth muscles of the intestinal wall, and cause them to contract. Although the impulses

Kill Switches for Engineered Microbes Gone Rogue

Past efforts at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering led by Core Faculty members Pamela Silver and James Collins have created "kill switches" in bacteria that cause them to commit suicide in laboratory conditions when they are not wanted anymore. "We needed to take our previous work further and

Nerves Control the Body’s Bacterial Community

An important breakthrough in deciphering these highly complex relationships has now been achieved by a research team from Kiel University's Zoological Institute. Using the freshwater polyp Hydra as a model organism, the Kiel-based researchers and their international colleagues investigated how the simple nervous system of these animals interacts with the

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