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Sample records for microbial janitors tackle

  1. Even the Janitor Is White: Educating for Cultural Diversity in Small Colleges and Universities. Critical Education and Ethics. Volume 4

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hickey, M. Gail, Ed.; Lanahan, Brian K., Ed.

    2012-01-01

    "Even the Janitor Is White" addresses challenges faced by teacher educators who are committed to diversity education. The chapters in this volume invite readers to reflect on their own practice as teacher educators as well as consider ways in which that practice might be improved. More than forty percent of students in U.S. schools are of…

  2. India tackles lymphatic filariasis.

    PubMed

    Bagcchi, Sanjeet

    2015-04-01

    The Indian Government has instigated an ambitious plan to tackle this disabling disease with a combination of a high-profile campaign and mass drug administration. Sanjeet Bagcchi reports. PMID:25809895

  3. Tackling in Youth Football.

    PubMed

    2015-11-01

    American football remains one of the most popular sports for young athletes. The injuries sustained during football, especially those to the head and neck, have been a topic of intense interest recently in both the public media and medical literature. The recognition of these injuries and the potential for long-term sequelae have led some physicians to call for a reduction in the number of contact practices, a postponement of tackling until a certain age, and even a ban on high school football. This statement reviews the literature regarding injuries in football, particularly those of the head and neck, the relationship between tackling and football-related injuries, and the potential effects of limiting or delaying tackling on injury risk. PMID:26498638

  4. Tackling antibiotic resistance

    PubMed Central

    Bush, Karen; Courvalin, Patrice; Dantas, Gautam; Davies, Julian; Eisenstein, Barry; Huovinen, Pentti; Jacoby, George A.; Kishony, Roy; Kreiswirth, Barry N.; Kutter, Elizabeth; Lerner, Stephen A.; Levy, Stuart; Lewis, Kim; Lomovskaya, Olga; Miller, Jeffrey H.; Mobashery, Shahriar; Piddock, Laura J. V.; Projan, Steven; Thomas, Christopher M.; Tomasz, Alexander; Tulkens, Paul M.; Walsh, Timothy R.; Watson, James D.; Witkowski, Jan; Witte, Wolfgang; Wright, Gerry; Yeh, Pamela; Zgurskaya, Helen I.

    2014-01-01

    The development and spread of antibiotic resistance in bacteria is a universal threat to both humans and animals that is generally not preventable, but can nevertheless be controlled and must be tackled in the most effective ways possible. To explore how the problem of antibiotic resistance might best be addressed, a group of thirty scientists from academia and industry gathered at the Banbury Conference Centre in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, May 16-18, 2011. From these discussions emerged a priority list of steps that need to be taken to resolve this global crisis. PMID:22048738

  5. Health visitors tackle childhood obesity.

    PubMed

    Vassie, Athena

    One of Public Health England's priorities is to tackle obesity, particularly in children. Health visitors are ideally placed to identify and support families of children at risk from obesity, but research shows they lack the training and confidence to do so. This article describes a short-term local scheme that offered support by a specially trained health visitor to families in their own homes. The health visitor was trained using a family partnership model that teaches how to work with parents and carers to help them implement their own solutions. PMID:26548260

  6. 46 CFR 184.300 - Ground tackle and mooring lines.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 7 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Ground tackle and mooring lines. 184.300 Section 184.300... Ground tackle and mooring lines. A vessel must be fitted with ground tackle and mooring lines necessary for the vessel to be safely anchored or moored. The ground tackle and mooring lines provided must...

  7. 46 CFR 184.300 - Ground tackle and mooring lines.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 7 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Ground tackle and mooring lines. 184.300 Section 184.300... Ground tackle and mooring lines. A vessel must be fitted with ground tackle and mooring lines necessary for the vessel to be safely anchored or moored. The ground tackle and mooring lines provided must...

  8. 46 CFR 184.300 - Ground tackle and mooring lines.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 7 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Ground tackle and mooring lines. 184.300 Section 184.300... Ground tackle and mooring lines. A vessel must be fitted with ground tackle and mooring lines necessary for the vessel to be safely anchored or moored. The ground tackle and mooring lines provided must...

  9. 46 CFR 184.300 - Ground tackle and mooring lines.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Ground tackle and mooring lines. 184.300 Section 184.300... Ground tackle and mooring lines. A vessel must be fitted with ground tackle and mooring lines necessary for the vessel to be safely anchored or moored. The ground tackle and mooring lines provided must...

  10. 46 CFR 184.300 - Ground tackle and mooring lines.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 7 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Ground tackle and mooring lines. 184.300 Section 184.300... Ground tackle and mooring lines. A vessel must be fitted with ground tackle and mooring lines necessary for the vessel to be safely anchored or moored. The ground tackle and mooring lines provided must...

  11. The Principal's Playbook: Tackling School Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Protheroe, Nancy

    2010-01-01

    "The Principal's Playbook: Tackling School Improvement" brings together the best thinking on successful schools and classrooms to help school administrators engage their faculty in discussion about effective school improvement strategies. Designed to support both school improvement efforts and professional development, each chapter includes…

  12. Baltimore District Tackles High Suspension Rates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maxwell, Lesli A.

    2007-01-01

    This article reports on how the Baltimore District tackles its high suspension rates. Driven by an increasing belief that zero-tolerance disciplinary policies are ineffective, more educators are embracing strategies that do not exclude misbehaving students from school for offenses such as insubordination, disrespect, cutting class, tardiness, and…

  13. Tackling Noncommunicable Diseases in Africa: Caveat Lector

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mensah, George A.

    2016-01-01

    Noncommunicable disease (NCD), principally cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic lung disease, and diabetes, constitutes the major cause of death worldwide. Evidence of a continuing increase in the global burden of these diseases has generated recent urgent calls for global action to tackle and reduce related death and disability. Because the…

  14. 46 CFR 121.300 - Ground tackle and mooring lines.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Ground tackle and mooring lines. 121.300 Section 121.300... MISCELLANEOUS SYSTEMS AND EQUIPMENT Mooring and Towing Equipment § 121.300 Ground tackle and mooring lines. A vessel must be fitted with ground tackle and mooring lines necessary for the vessel to be safely...

  15. 46 CFR 121.300 - Ground tackle and mooring lines.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Ground tackle and mooring lines. 121.300 Section 121.300... MISCELLANEOUS SYSTEMS AND EQUIPMENT Mooring and Towing Equipment § 121.300 Ground tackle and mooring lines. A vessel must be fitted with ground tackle and mooring lines necessary for the vessel to be safely...

  16. 46 CFR 121.300 - Ground tackle and mooring lines.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Ground tackle and mooring lines. 121.300 Section 121.300... MISCELLANEOUS SYSTEMS AND EQUIPMENT Mooring and Towing Equipment § 121.300 Ground tackle and mooring lines. A vessel must be fitted with ground tackle and mooring lines necessary for the vessel to be safely...

  17. 46 CFR 121.300 - Ground tackle and mooring lines.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Ground tackle and mooring lines. 121.300 Section 121.300... MISCELLANEOUS SYSTEMS AND EQUIPMENT Mooring and Towing Equipment § 121.300 Ground tackle and mooring lines. A vessel must be fitted with ground tackle and mooring lines necessary for the vessel to be safely...

  18. 46 CFR 121.300 - Ground tackle and mooring lines.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Ground tackle and mooring lines. 121.300 Section 121.300... MISCELLANEOUS SYSTEMS AND EQUIPMENT Mooring and Towing Equipment § 121.300 Ground tackle and mooring lines. A vessel must be fitted with ground tackle and mooring lines necessary for the vessel to be safely...

  19. Tackling antibiotic resistance: the environmental framework.

    PubMed

    Berendonk, Thomas U; Manaia, Célia M; Merlin, Christophe; Fatta-Kassinos, Despo; Cytryn, Eddie; Walsh, Fiona; Bürgmann, Helmut; Sørum, Henning; Norström, Madelaine; Pons, Marie-Noëlle; Kreuzinger, Norbert; Huovinen, Pentti; Stefani, Stefania; Schwartz, Thomas; Kisand, Veljo; Baquero, Fernando; Martinez, José Luis

    2015-05-01

    Antibiotic resistance is a threat to human and animal health worldwide, and key measures are required to reduce the risks posed by antibiotic resistance genes that occur in the environment. These measures include the identification of critical points of control, the development of reliable surveillance and risk assessment procedures, and the implementation of technological solutions that can prevent environmental contamination with antibiotic resistant bacteria and genes. In this Opinion article, we discuss the main knowledge gaps, the future research needs and the policy and management options that should be prioritized to tackle antibiotic resistance in the environment. PMID:25817583

  20. Malaysia urges ASEAN to tackle AIDS crisis.

    PubMed

    2000-08-01

    Urgent action is needed to fight the alarming spread of HIV/AIDS that infected 1.3 million people in Southeast Asia last year alone, Malaysia's foreign minister said July 24, 2000. Syed Hamid said the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should tackle at regional and national level an epidemic that was taking its most drastic toll among the region's youth. "HIV/AIDS not only represents a major public health and social problem but is a serious challenge to development as well," Syed Hamid told the opening ceremony of ASEAN's 33rd annual foreign ministers' meeting. The crisis requires commitment at the "highest political level," he said, warning that HIV/AIDS could become a transnational problem within the 10-member group. Foreign ministers have recommended their leaders discuss the crisis later this year at an informal summit in Singapore and hold a summit on HIV/AIDS in conjunction with the 7th ASEAN Summit in Brunei next year. "I think people recognized the importance and the adverse impacts on our social development," Syed Hamid told reporters later. "I think it is a real issue that we cannot run away from." Among ASEAN members, Thailand, Cambodia, and Myanmar have some of the highest infection rates in Asia of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. PMID:12349742

  1. Tackling obesity requires efficient government policies.

    PubMed

    Cecchini, Michele; Sassi, Franco

    2012-01-01

    Changes in food supply and eating habits, combined with a dramatic fall in physical activity, have made obesity a global epidemic. Across OECD countries, one in two adults is currently overweight and one in six is obese. Children have not been spared, with up to one in three currently overweight. Obese people are more likely to develop diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, and have a shorter life expectancy than people of normal weight. A prevention strategy combining health promotion campaigns, government regulation, counseling of individuals at risk in primary care, and paying special attention to the most vulnerable, would enhance population health at an affordable cost, with likely beneficial effects on health inequalities. Failure to implement such a strategy would impose heavy burdens on future generations. The new IJHPR paper by Ginsberg and Rosenberg illustrates how particular countries can assess alternative strategies for tackling obesity in a rigorous fashion.This is a commentary on http://www.ijhpr.org/content/1/1/17/ PMID:22913833

  2. Tackling Structures of Long Noncoding RNAs

    PubMed Central

    Novikova, Irina V.; Hennelly, Scott P.; Sanbonmatsu, Karissa Y.

    2013-01-01

    RNAs are important catalytic machines and regulators at every level of gene expression. A new class of RNAs has emerged called long non-coding RNAs, providing new insights into evolution, development and disease. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) predominantly found in higher eukaryotes, have been implicated in the regulation of transcription factors, chromatin-remodeling, hormone receptors and many other processes. The structural versatility of RNA allows it to perform various functions, ranging from precise protein recognition to catalysis and metabolite sensing. While major housekeeping RNA molecules have long been the focus of structural studies, lncRNAs remain the least characterized class, both structurally and functionally. Here, we review common methodologies used to tackle RNA structure, emphasizing their potential application to lncRNAs. When considering the complexity of lncRNAs and lack of knowledge of their structure, chemical probing appears to be an indispensable tool, with few restrictions in terms of size, quantity and heterogeneity of the RNA molecule. Probing is not constrained to in vitro analysis and can be adapted to high-throughput sequencing platforms. Significant efforts have been applied to develop new in vivo chemical probing reagents, new library construction protocols for sequencing platforms and improved RNA prediction software based on the experimental evidence. PMID:24304541

  3. Tackling structures of long noncoding RNAs.

    PubMed

    Novikova, Irina V; Hennelly, Scott P; Sanbonmatsu, Karissa Y

    2013-01-01

    RNAs are important catalytic machines and regulators at every level of gene expression. A new class of RNAs has emerged called long non-coding RNAs, providing new insights into evolution, development and disease. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) predominantly found in higher eukaryotes, have been implicated in the regulation of transcription factors, chromatin-remodeling, hormone receptors and many other processes. The structural versatility of RNA allows it to perform various functions, ranging from precise protein recognition to catalysis and metabolite sensing. While major housekeeping RNA molecules have long been the focus of structural studies, lncRNAs remain the least characterized class, both structurally and functionally. Here, we review common methodologies used to tackle RNA structure, emphasizing their potential application to lncRNAs. When considering the complexity of lncRNAs and lack of knowledge of their structure, chemical probing appears to be an indispensable tool, with few restrictions in terms of size, quantity and heterogeneity of the RNA molecule. Probing is not constrained to in vitro analysis and can be adapted to high-throughput sequencing platforms. Significant efforts have been applied to develop new in vivo chemical probing reagents, new library construction protocols for sequencing platforms and improved RNA prediction software based on the experimental evidence. PMID:24304541

  4. Severe and Catastrophic Neck Injuries Resulting from Tackle Football

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Torg, Joseph S.; And Others

    1977-01-01

    Use of the spring-loaded blocking and tackling devices should be discontinued due to severe neck injuries resulting from their use; employment of the head and helmet as the primary assault weapon in blocking, tackling, and head butting should be condemned for the same reason. (MJB)

  5. 84. VIEW OF SOUTHWEST SIDE OF THE TACKLE BOX, LOOKING ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    84. VIEW OF SOUTHWEST SIDE OF THE TACKLE BOX, LOOKING NORTHEAST, WITH THE REFRIGERATOR ROOM IN FOREGROUND - Huntington Beach Municipal Pier, Pacific Coast Highway at Main Street, Huntington Beach, Orange County, CA

  6. 2. VIEW OF BLOCK AND TACKLE FOR MOVING CEDAR LOGS ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    2. VIEW OF BLOCK AND TACKLE FOR MOVING CEDAR LOGS FROM POND TO JACK LADDER--AN ENDLESS CHAIN CONVEYOR THAT MOVES LOGS INTO MILL - Lester Shingle Mill, 1602 North Eighteenth Street, Sweet Home, Linn County, OR

  7. New Biologic Drug Tackles Hard-To-Control Asthma

    MedlinePlus

    ... page: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_160833.html New Biologic Drug Tackles Hard-to-Control Asthma Benralizumab ... 2016 WEDNESDAY, Sept. 7, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A new injectable drug reduces flare-ups in patients with ...

  8. Design smartness for tackling unanticipated loads

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Badari Narayanan, V. T.; Natarajan, C.; Rajaraman, Arunachalam

    2003-10-01

    With present day scenario on enviornment and living, unanticipated loads from natural and man-made causes are on the rise, defying any rationality or scientific reasoning for anticipation. This aspect, coupled with the interest in creating slender and sleek structural systems, has assumed greater significance in designing structures with 'smartness' -- either in-built or externally activated or through evolution to a different configuration -- for tackling loads which do not get bracketed in conventional or limit state approaches. The definition of smartness under these circumstances can be termed as the ability to carry unanticipated loads over and above the designed one. Although the design methodology is confined within the boundaries of codal and functional requirements, a "buffer" needs to be built in the design so that an extra reserve is available over and above that prescribed by normal approach. This might seem misleading and here only the present day computing methods provide the turn-around by shifting the paradigm from "design-for-requirement" to "requirement-from-designs," an Object Oriented Approach. Thus the focus on present paper is on choosing from different designs to satisfy "buffer requirements" to bring in "smartness" in the design choice. Reinforced concrete section under bending is the emphasis to highlight this aspect, even though the concept is expandable. For a given span, and design/ultimate moment, sections are chosen to provide buffer and compared with conventional designs. Nonlinear behavior is modeled so that failure state is kept as the endpoint. From the studies it is observed that for a given span, moment -- either ultimate or design state -- and given strengths, number of "smart designs" with buffer indications can be generated to satisfy different criteria. This is illustrated with some examples for a typical span and given external moment, modeling either a bridge section or part of a frame member. It was also observed from the

  9. Tackling Work Related Stress in a National Health Service Trust

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vick, Donna; Whyatt, Hilary

    2004-01-01

    The challenge of tackling the problem of coping with work related stress in a National Health Service (NHS) Trust was undertaken. Ideas were developed within the context of two different action learning sets and led to actions resulting in a large therapy Taster Session event and the establishment of a centre offering alternative therapies and…

  10. Local Communities and Schools Tackling Sustainability and Climate Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flowers, Rick; Chodkiewicz, Andrew

    2009-01-01

    Local communities and their schools remain key sites for actions tackling issues of sustainability and climate change. A government-funded environmental education initiative, the Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative (AuSSI), working together with state based Sustainable Schools Programs (SSP), has the ability to support the development of…

  11. Using Invention to Change How Students Tackle Problems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, Jared L.; Smith, Karen M.; van Stolk, Adrian P.; Spiegelman, George B.

    2010-01-01

    Invention activities challenge students to tackle problems that superficially appear unrelated to the course material but illustrate underlying fundamental concepts that are fundamental to material that will be presented. During our invention activities in a first-year biology class, students were presented with problems that are parallel to those…

  12. Metagenomic Pyrosequencing and Microbial Identification

    PubMed Central

    Petrosino, Joseph F.; Highlander, Sarah; Luna, Ruth Ann; Gibbs, Richard A.; Versalovic, James

    2010-01-01

    Background The Human Microbiome Project has ushered in a new era for human metagenomics and high-throughput next generation sequencing strategies. Content This review will describe evolving strategies in metagenomics with a special emphasis on the core technology of DNA pyrosequencing. The challenges of microbial identification in the context of microbial populations are described. Summary Both 16S rDNA amplicon and whole genome sequencing approaches may be useful for human metagenomics, and numerous bio-informatics tools are being deployed to tackle such vast amounts of microbiological sequence diversity. Metagenomics or studies of microbial communities may ultimately contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of human health, disease susceptibilities, and the pathophysiology of infectious and immune-mediated diseases. PMID:19264858

  13. The Effects of Verbal Instruction and Shaping to Improve Tackling by High School Football Players

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harrison, Antonio M.; Pyles, David A.

    2013-01-01

    We evaluated verbal instruction and shaping using TAG (teaching with acoustical guidance) to improve tackling by 3 high school football players. Verbal instruction and shaping improved tackling for all 3 participants. In addition, performance was maintained as participants moved more quickly through the tackling procedure.

  14. Tackle and impact detection in elite Australian football using wearable microsensor technology.

    PubMed

    Gastin, Paul B; McLean, Owen C; Breed, Ray V P; Spittle, Michael

    2014-01-01

    The effectiveness of a wearable microsensor device (MinimaxX(TM) S4, Catapult Innovations, Melbourne, VIC, Australia) to automatically detect tackles and impact events in elite Australian football (AF) was assessed during four matches. Video observation was used as the criterion measure. A total of 352 tackles were observed, with 78% correctly detected as tackles by the manufacturer's software. Tackles against (i.e. tackled by an opponent) were more accurately detected than tackles made (90% v 66%). Of the 77 tackles that were not detected at all, the majority (74%) were categorised as low-intensity. In contrast, a total of 1510 "tackle" events were detected, with only 18% of these verified as tackles. A further 57% were from contested ball situations involving player contact. The remaining 25% were in general play where no contact was evident; these were significantly lower in peak Player Load™ than those involving player contact (P < 0.01). The tackle detection algorithm, developed primarily for rugby, was not suitable for tackle detection in AF. The underlying sensor data may have the potential to detect a range of events within contact sports such as AF, yet to do so is a complex task and requires sophisticated sport and event-specific algorithms. PMID:24499311

  15. [Family Health Strategies to tackle violence involving adolescents].

    PubMed

    Vieira Netto, Moysés Francisco; Deslandes, Suely Ferreira

    2016-05-01

    The Family Health Strategy (FHS) has an acknowledged potential for the promotion of health and the prevention of violence. This is an integrative bibliographic review with the aim of evaluating the performance of FHS professionals in tackling and preventing violence involving adolescents. It is an integrative review of dissertations and theses on healthcare published from 1994 to 2014. The collection of 17 dissertations and 2 doctoral theses reveals that these studies are recent. The FHS professionals acknowledge the vulnerability of adolescents to inflicting and being subject to violence, however the FHS proves ineffective in tackling and preventing such violence. The predominance of the medical technical care model, the deficiencies in Public Health education in professional training and the lack of institutional support are seen as the main obstacles. Many of these professionals are unaware of the files for notification of violence. The existence of family violence and criminal groups were the aspects most mentioned in the territories. The social representation of adolescents as being "problematic" and the lack of ESF actions that promote an increase youth leadership and empowerment were clearly detected. PMID:27166906

  16. School bullying and tackling strategies in Hong Kong.

    PubMed

    Wong, Dennis S W

    2004-10-01

    In view of the rising problem of school bullying in Hong Kong, scholars have endeavored to study the prevalence, causes, and tackling strategies of school bullying. This article highlights some typical incidences of school violence and reports research results of school bullying. It is noted unresolved school bullying problems are often a precursor of school violence and delinquency. Based on results from local studies of bullying, this article identifies risk and protective factors that contribute to the emergence and continuation of the bullyvictim problem in Hong Kong. The article argues that suppressive tactics, such as reprimanding bullies, calling parents to school, and suspension, are ineffective. Other than suppressive tactics, adopting a comprehensive antibullying strategy such as assisting students to develop adequate self-competency, strong social skills, and good relationships with parents and teachers seems to be a useful antiviolence strategy. PMID:15358929

  17. Tackling Drought Stress: RECEPTOR-LIKE KINASES Present New Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Marshall, Alex; Aalen, Reidunn B.; Audenaert, Dominique; Beeckman, Tom; Broadley, Martin R.; Butenko, Melinka A.; Caño-Delgado, Ana I.; de Vries, Sacco; Dresselhaus, Thomas; Felix, Georg; Graham, Neil S.; Foulkes, John; Granier, Christine; Greb, Thomas; Grossniklaus, Ueli; Hammond, John P.; Heidstra, Renze; Hodgman, Charlie; Hothorn, Michael; Inzé, Dirk; Østergaard, Lars; Russinova, Eugenia; Simon, Rüdiger; Skirycz, Aleksandra; Stahl, Yvonne; Zipfel, Cyril; De Smet, Ive

    2012-01-01

    Global climate change and a growing population require tackling the reduction in arable land and improving biomass production and seed yield per area under varying conditions. One of these conditions is suboptimal water availability. Here, we review some of the classical approaches to dealing with plant response to drought stress and we evaluate how research on RECEPTOR-LIKE KINASES (RLKs) can contribute to improving plant performance under drought stress. RLKs are considered as key regulators of plant architecture and growth behavior, but they also function in defense and stress responses. The available literature and analyses of available transcript profiling data indeed suggest that RLKs can play an important role in optimizing plant responses to drought stress. In addition, RLK pathways are ideal targets for nontransgenic approaches, such as synthetic molecules, providing a novel strategy to manipulate their activity and supporting translational studies from model species, such as Arabidopsis thaliana, to economically useful crops. PMID:22693282

  18. Tackling obesity: new therapeutic agents for assisted weight loss

    PubMed Central

    Karam, JG; McFarlane, SI

    2010-01-01

    The pandemic of overweight and obesity continues to rise in an alarming rate in western countries and around the globe representing a major public health challenge in desperate need for new strategies tackling obesity. In the United States nearly two thirds of the population is overweight or obese. Worldwide the number of persons who are overweight or obese exceeded 1.6 billion. These rising figures have been clearly associated with increased morbidity and mortality. For example, in the Framingham study, the risk of death increases with each additional pound of weight gain even in the relatively younger population between 30 and 42 years of age. Overweight and obesity are also associated with increased co-morbid conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease as well as certain types of cancer. In this review we discuss the epidemic of obesity, highlighting the pathophysiologic mechanisms of weight gain. We also provide an overview of the assessment of overweight and obese individuals discussing possible secondary causes of obesity. In a detailed section we discuss the currently approved therapeutic interventions for obesity highlighting their mechanisms of action and evidence of their efficacy and safety as provided in clinical trials. Finally, we discuss novel therapeutic interventions that are in various stages of development with a special section on the weight loss effects of anti-diabetic medications. These agents are particularly attractive options for our growing population of obese diabetic individuals. PMID:21437080

  19. Tackling Critical Catalytic Residues in Helicobacter pylori l-Asparaginase

    PubMed Central

    Maggi, Maristella; Chiarelli, Laurent R; Valentini, Giovanna; Scotti, Claudia

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial asparaginases (amidohydrolases, EC 3.5.1.1) are important enzymes in cancer therapy, especially for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. They are tetrameric enzymes able to catalyze the deamination of l-ASN and, to a variable extent, of l-GLN, on which leukemia cells are dependent for survival. In contrast to other known l-asparaginases, Helicobacter pylori CCUG 17874 type II enzyme (HpASNase) is cooperative and has a low affinity towards l-GLN. In this study, some critical amino acids forming the active site of HpASNase (T16, T95 and E289) have been tackled by rational engineering in the attempt to better define their role in catalysis and to achieve a deeper understanding of the peculiar cooperative behavior of this enzyme. Mutations T16E, T95D and T95H led to a complete loss of enzymatic activity. Mutation E289A dramatically reduced the catalytic activity of the enzyme, but increased its thermostability. Interestingly, E289 belongs to a loop that is very variable in l-asparaginases from the structure, sequence and length point of view, and which could be a main determinant of their different catalytic features. PMID:25826146

  20. Adaptive Online Sequential ELM for Concept Drift Tackling.

    PubMed

    Budiman, Arif; Fanany, Mohamad Ivan; Basaruddin, Chan

    2016-01-01

    A machine learning method needs to adapt to over time changes in the environment. Such changes are known as concept drift. In this paper, we propose concept drift tackling method as an enhancement of Online Sequential Extreme Learning Machine (OS-ELM) and Constructive Enhancement OS-ELM (CEOS-ELM) by adding adaptive capability for classification and regression problem. The scheme is named as adaptive OS-ELM (AOS-ELM). It is a single classifier scheme that works well to handle real drift, virtual drift, and hybrid drift. The AOS-ELM also works well for sudden drift and recurrent context change type. The scheme is a simple unified method implemented in simple lines of code. We evaluated AOS-ELM on regression and classification problem by using concept drift public data set (SEA and STAGGER) and other public data sets such as MNIST, USPS, and IDS. Experiments show that our method gives higher kappa value compared to the multiclassifier ELM ensemble. Even though AOS-ELM in practice does not need hidden nodes increase, we address some issues related to the increasing of the hidden nodes such as error condition and rank values. We propose taking the rank of the pseudoinverse matrix as an indicator parameter to detect "underfitting" condition. PMID:27594879

  1. Cognition of an expert tackling an unfamiliar conceptual physics problem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schuster, David; Undreiu, Adriana

    2009-11-01

    We have investigated and analyzed the cognition of an expert tackling a qualitative conceptual physics problem of an unfamiliar type. Our goal was to elucidate the detailed cognitive processes and knowledge elements involved, irrespective of final solution form, and consider implications for instruction. The basic but non-trivial problem was to find qualitatively the direction of acceleration of a pendulum bob at various stages of its motion, a problem originally studied by Reif and Allen. Methodology included interviews, introspection, retrospection and self-reported metacognition. Multiple facets of cognition were revealed, with different reasoning strategies used at different stages and for different points on the path. An account is given of the zigzag thinking paths and interplay of reasoning modes and schema elements involved. We interpret the cognitive processes in terms of theoretical concepts that emerged, namely: case-based, principle-based, experiential-intuitive and practical-heuristic reasoning; knowledge elements and schemata; activation; metacognition and epistemic framing. The complexity of cognition revealed in this case study contrasts with the tidy principle-based solutions we present to students. The pervasive role of schemata, case-based reasoning, practical heuristic strategies, and their interplay with physics principles is noteworthy, since these aspects of cognition are generally neither recognized nor taught. The schema/reasoning-mode perspective has direct application in science teaching, learning and problem-solving.

  2. Adaptive Online Sequential ELM for Concept Drift Tackling

    PubMed Central

    Basaruddin, Chan

    2016-01-01

    A machine learning method needs to adapt to over time changes in the environment. Such changes are known as concept drift. In this paper, we propose concept drift tackling method as an enhancement of Online Sequential Extreme Learning Machine (OS-ELM) and Constructive Enhancement OS-ELM (CEOS-ELM) by adding adaptive capability for classification and regression problem. The scheme is named as adaptive OS-ELM (AOS-ELM). It is a single classifier scheme that works well to handle real drift, virtual drift, and hybrid drift. The AOS-ELM also works well for sudden drift and recurrent context change type. The scheme is a simple unified method implemented in simple lines of code. We evaluated AOS-ELM on regression and classification problem by using concept drift public data set (SEA and STAGGER) and other public data sets such as MNIST, USPS, and IDS. Experiments show that our method gives higher kappa value compared to the multiclassifier ELM ensemble. Even though AOS-ELM in practice does not need hidden nodes increase, we address some issues related to the increasing of the hidden nodes such as error condition and rank values. We propose taking the rank of the pseudoinverse matrix as an indicator parameter to detect “underfitting” condition. PMID:27594879

  3. Lead fishing weights and other fishing tackle in selected waterbirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Franson, J.C.; Hansen, Scott P.; Creekmore, T.E.; Brand, C.J.; Evers, D.C.; Duerr, A.E.; DeStefano, S.

    2003-01-01

    From 1995 through 1999, 2,240 individuals of 28 species of waterbirds were examined in the United States for ingested lead fishing weights. A combination of radiography and visual examination of stomachs was used to search for lead weights and blood and liver samples from live birds and carcasses, respectively, were collected for lead analysis. Ingested lead weights were found most frequently in the Common Loon (Gavia immer) (11 of 313 = 3.5%) and Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) (10 of 365 = 2.7%), but also in one of 81 (1.2%) Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) and one of 11 (9.1%) Black-crowned Night Herons (Nycticorax nycticorax). Birds with ingested lead fishing weights (including split shot, jig heads, and egg, bell, and pyramid sinkers) were found in California, Florida, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. The size and mass of ingested lead weights ranged from split shot of 7 mm in the longest dimension, weighing less than 2 g, to a 22 ?? 39 mm pyramid sinker that weighed 78.2 g. Six ingested lead weights were more than 25.4 mm in the longest dimension. Lead concentrations in the blood and liver of birds with lead fishing weights in their stomachs ranged up to 13.9 ppm and 26.0 ppm (wet weight basis), respectively. During the study, we also noted the presence of ingested or entangled fishing tackle, with no associated lead weights, in eight species.

  4. Ecology, Microbial

    SciTech Connect

    Konopka, Allan

    2009-03-19

    Microbial ecology is a relatively young discipline within the field of microbiology. Its modern history spans just the past 60 years, and the field is defined by its emphasis on understanding the interactions of microbes with their environment, rather than their behavior under artificial laboratory conditions. Because microbes are ubiquitous, microbial ecologists study a broad diversity of habitats that range from aquatic to terrestrial to plant- or animal-associated. This has made it a challenge to identify unifying principles within the field. One approach is to recognize that although the activity of microbes in nature have effects at the macroscale, they interact with their physical, chemical and biological milieu at a scale of micrometers. At this scale, several different microbial ecosystems can be defined, based upon association with particles, the presence of environmental gradients and the continuous availability of water. Principles applicable to microbial ecology reflect not only their population ecology and physiological ecology, but also their broad versatility and quantitative importance in the biosphere as biogeochemical catalysts and capacity for rapid physiological and evolutionary responses.

  5. Ecology, Microbial

    SciTech Connect

    Konopka, Allan

    2009-05-15

    Microbial ecology is a relatively young discipline within the field of microbiology. Its modern history spans just the past 60 years, and the field is defined by its emphasis on understanding the interactions of microbes with their environment, rather than their behavior under artificial laboratory conditions. Because microbes are ubiquitous, microbial ecologists study a broad diversity of habitats that range from aquatic to terrestrial to plant- or animal-associated. This has made it a challenge to identify unifying principles within the field. One approach is to recognize that although the activity of microbes in nature have effects at the macroscale, they interact with their physical, chemical and biological milieu at a scale of micrometers. At this scale, several different microbial ecosystems can be defined, based upon association with particles, the presence of environmental gradients and the continuous availability of water. Principles applicable to microbial ecology reflect not only their population ecology and physiological ecology, but also their broad versatility and quantitative importance in the biosphere as biogeochemical catalysts and capacity for rapid physiological and evolutionary responses.

  6. Tackling the Triple-Threat Genome of Miscanthus x giganteus (2010 JGI User Meeting)

    ScienceCinema

    Moose, Steve

    2011-04-25

    Steve Moose from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Energy Biosciences Institute on "Tackling the Triple-Threat Genome of Miscanthus x giganteus" on March 25, 2010 at the 5th Annual DOE JGI User Meeting

  7. Tackling the Triple-Threat Genome of Miscanthus x giganteus (2010 JGI User Meeting)

    SciTech Connect

    Moose, Steve

    2010-03-25

    Steve Moose from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Energy Biosciences Institute on "Tackling the Triple-Threat Genome of Miscanthus x giganteus" on March 25, 2010 at the 5th Annual DOE JGI User Meeting

  8. 10. Transporter/erector with cables and block and tackle lowered ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    10. Transporter/erector with cables and block and tackle lowered - Ellsworth Air Force Base, Delta Flight, Launch Facility, On County Road T512, south of Exit 116 off I-90, Interior, Jackson County, SD

  9. Microbial interactions and community assembly at microscales.

    PubMed

    Cordero, Otto X; Datta, Manoshi S

    2016-06-01

    In most environments, microbial interactions take place within microscale cell aggregates. At the scale of these aggregates (∼100μm), interactions are likely to be the dominant driver of population structure and dynamics. In particular, organisms that exploit interspecific interactions to increase ecological performance often co-aggregate. Conversely, organisms that antagonize each other will tend to spatially segregate, creating distinct micro-communities and increased diversity at larger length scales. We argue that, in order to understand the role that biological interactions play in microbial community function, it is necessary to study microscale spatial organization with enough throughput to measure statistical associations between taxa and possible alternative community states. We conclude by proposing strategies to tackle this challenge. PMID:27232202

  10. Microbial Metabolomics

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Jane

    2011-01-01

    Microbial metabolomics constitutes an integrated component of systems biology. By studying the complete set of metabolites within a microorganism and monitoring the global outcome of interactions between its development processes and the environment, metabolomics can potentially provide a more accurate snap shot of the actual physiological state of the cell. Recent advancement of technologies and post-genomic developments enable the study and analysis of metabolome. This unique contribution resulted in many scientific disciplines incorporating metabolomics as one of their “omics” platforms. This review focuses on metabolomics in microorganisms and utilizes selected topics to illustrate its impact on the understanding of systems microbiology. PMID:22379393

  11. Microbial biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Demain, A L

    2000-01-01

    For thousands of years, microorganisms have been used to supply products such as bread, beer and wine. A second phase of traditional microbial biotechnology began during World War I and resulted in the development of the acetone-butanol and glycerol fermentations, followed by processes yielding, for example, citric acid, vitamins and antibiotics. In the early 1970s, traditional industrial microbiology was merged with molecular biology to yield more than 40 biopharmaceutical products, such as erythropoietin, human growth hormone and interferons. Today, microbiology is a major participant in global industry, especially in the pharmaceutical, food and chemical industries. PMID:10631778

  12. Towards an Evidence-Based Approach to Tackling Health Inequalities: The English Experience

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Killoran, Amanda; Kelly, Michael

    2004-01-01

    This short paper considers the development of an evidence-based approach to tackling health inequalities. Inequalities in health in England at the beginning of the 21st century have widened and are stark. Despite overall improvements in death rates, the growing gap between social groups means that now some parts of England have the same levels of…

  13. Tackling Behaviour in Your Primary School: A Practical Handbook for Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reid, Ken; Morgan, Nicola S.

    2012-01-01

    "Tackling Behaviour in the Primary School" provides ready-made advice and support for classroom professionals and can be used, read and adapted to suit the busy everyday lives of teachers working in primary schools today. This valuable text sets the scene for managing behaviour in the primary classroom in the context of the Children Act 2004…

  14. 77 FR 10451 - Fishing Tackle Containing Lead; Disposition of Petition Filed Pursuant to TSCA Section 21

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-02-22

    ..., including those made of brass (59 FR 11122, March 9, 1994). EPA received ] comments from many states or... withdraw the proposal (70 FR 27625, May 16, 2005). Given limited resources and competing priorities, EPA... to discourage the use of fishing tackle containing lead, to raise awareness of lead poisoning...

  15. Improving Psychosexual Knowledge in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Pilot of the Tackling Teenage Training Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dekker, Linda P.; van der Vegt, Esther J.; Visser, Kirsten; Tick, Nouchka; Boudesteijn, Frieda; Verhulst, Frank C.; Maras, Athanasios; Greaves-Lord, Kirstin

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that psychosexual functioning in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is hampered and emphasize the need for a specialized training program tailored to their needs. Therefore, an individual training program was developed; the Tackling Teenage Training (TTT) program. The current pilot study systematically…

  16. Beyond Individual Behaviour Change: The Role of Power, Knowledge and Strategy in Tackling Climate Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kenis, Anneleen; Mathijs, Erik

    2012-01-01

    Individual behaviour change is fast becoming a kind of "holy grail" to tackle climate change, in environmental policy, the environmental movement and academic literature. This is contested by those who claim that social structures are the main problem and who advocate collective social action. The objective of the research presented in this paper…

  17. Are Elementary School Teachers Prepared to Tackle Bullying? A Pilot Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oldenburg, Beau; Bosman, Rie; Veenstra, René

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this pilot study was to investigate to what extent elementary school teachers were prepared to tackle bullying. Interview data from 22 Dutch elementary school teachers (M[subscript age]?=?43.3, 18 classrooms in eight schools) were combined with survey data from 373 students of these teachers (M age?=?10.7, grades 3-6, ages 8- to…

  18. The Chennai Declaration: a roadmap to tackle the challenge of antimicrobial resistance.

    PubMed

    Ghafur, A; Mathai, D; Muruganathan, A; Jayalal, J A; Kant, R; Chaudhary, D; Prabhash, K; Abraham, O C; Gopalakrishnan, R; Ramasubramanian, V; Shah, S N; Pardeshi, R; Huilgol, A; Kapil, A; Gill, Jps; Singh, S; Rissam, H S; Todi, S; Hegde, B M; Parikh, P

    2013-01-01

    "A Roadmap to Tackle the Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance - A Joint meeting of Medical Societies in India" was organized as a pre-conference symposium of the 2 nd annual conference of the Clinical Infectious Disease Society (CIDSCON 2012) at Chennai on 24 th August. This was the first ever meeting of medical societies in India on issue of tackling resistance, with a plan to formulate a road map to tackle the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance from the Indian perspective. We had representatives from most medical societies in India, eminent policy makers from both central and state governments, representatives of World Health Organization, National Accreditation Board of Hospitals, Medical Council of India, Drug Controller General of India, and Indian Council of Medical Research along with well-known dignitaries in the Indian medical field. The meeting was attended by a large gathering of health care professionals. The meeting consisted of plenary and interactive discussion sessions designed to seek experience and views from a large range of health care professionals and included six international experts who shared action plans in their respective regions. The intention was to gain a broad consensus and range of opinions to guide formation of the road map. The ethos of the meeting was very much not to look back but rather to look forward and make joint efforts to tackle the menace of antibiotic resistance. The Chennai Declaration will be submitted to all stake holders. PMID:23713050

  19. Microbial responses to southward and northward Cambisol soil transplant

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Mengmeng; Liu, Shanshan; Wang, Feng; Sun, Bo; Zhou, Jizhong; Yang, Yunfeng

    2015-10-26

    We report that soil transplant serves as a proxy to simulate climate changes. Recently, we have shown that southward transplant of black soil and northward transplant of red soil altered soil microbial communities and biogeochemical variables. However, fundamental differences in soil types have prevented direct comparison between southward and northward transplants. To tackle it, herein we report an analysis of microbial communities of Cambisol soil in an agriculture field after 4 years of adaptation to southward and northward soil transplants over large transects. Analysis of bare fallow soils revealed concurrent increase in microbial functional diversity and coarse-scale taxonomic diversity at both transplanted sites, as detected by GeoChip 3.0 and DGGE, respectively. Furthermore, a correlation between microbial functional diversity and taxonomic diversity was detected, which was masked in maize cropped soils. Mean annual temperature, soil moisture, and nitrate (NO3¯-N) showed strong correlations with microbial communities. In addition, abundances of ammonium-oxidizing genes (amoA) and denitrification genes were correlated with nitrification capacity and NO3¯-N contents, suggesting that microbial responses to soil transplant could alter microbe-mediated biogeochemical cycle at the ecosystem level.

  20. Microbial responses to southward and northward Cambisol soil transplant

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Wang, Mengmeng; Liu, Shanshan; Wang, Feng; Sun, Bo; Zhou, Jizhong; Yang, Yunfeng

    2015-10-26

    We report that soil transplant serves as a proxy to simulate climate changes. Recently, we have shown that southward transplant of black soil and northward transplant of red soil altered soil microbial communities and biogeochemical variables. However, fundamental differences in soil types have prevented direct comparison between southward and northward transplants. To tackle it, herein we report an analysis of microbial communities of Cambisol soil in an agriculture field after 4 years of adaptation to southward and northward soil transplants over large transects. Analysis of bare fallow soils revealed concurrent increase in microbial functional diversity and coarse-scale taxonomic diversity atmore » both transplanted sites, as detected by GeoChip 3.0 and DGGE, respectively. Furthermore, a correlation between microbial functional diversity and taxonomic diversity was detected, which was masked in maize cropped soils. Mean annual temperature, soil moisture, and nitrate (NO3¯-N) showed strong correlations with microbial communities. In addition, abundances of ammonium-oxidizing genes (amoA) and denitrification genes were correlated with nitrification capacity and NO3¯-N contents, suggesting that microbial responses to soil transplant could alter microbe-mediated biogeochemical cycle at the ecosystem level.« less

  1. Microbial effects

    SciTech Connect

    Lamborg, M.R.; Hardy, R.W.F.; Paul, E.A.

    1983-01-01

    The postulated doubling of atmospheric CO/sub 2/ is not likely to have direct effect on soil microbial activity because during the growing season, the concentration of CO/sub 2/ in the soil atmosphere is already ten to fifty times higher than existing atmospheric CO/sub 2/. Based on all available experimental information, it is estimated that a doubling of atmospheric CO/sub 2/ will cause an increase in primary productivity of 10 to 40% depending on locale. The increase in biomass will, in turn, produce a limitation of available soil nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus. Increased organic carbon together with nitrogen and/or phosphorus limitation will result in a preferential increase in nitrogen fixation and mycorrhizal activities as the expedient means for supplying required nutrients to sustain the predicted increase in primary productivity. Therefore, increased emphasis should be placed on fundamental research related to soil microbiology with special reference to nitrogen-fixing, nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria, and to the mycorrhizal fungi. 111 references, 2 figures.

  2. Tackling Underperformance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mathews, Jay

    2006-01-01

    This article profiles Principal of the Year Mel Riddile, a former University of North Carolina football linebacker and principal of J. E. B. Stuart High school in Fairfax County, Virginia. Riddile was recently named the national high school principal of the year by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and MetLife.…

  3. Tackling Targets.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Further Education Unit, London (England).

    This document is designed to help British training and enterprise councils (TECs) and further education (FE) colleges develop and implement strategies for achieving the National Targets for Education and Training (NTET), which were developed by the Confederation of British Industry in 1992 and endorsed by the British government. The findings from…

  4. Augmentation of a Microbial Consortium for Enhanced Polylactide (PLA) Degradation.

    PubMed

    Nair, Nimisha R; Sekhar, Vini C; Nampoothiri, K Madhavan

    2016-03-01

    Bioplastics are eco-friendly and derived from renewable biomass sources. Innovation in recycling methods will tackle some of the critical issues facing the acceptance of bioplastics. Polylactic acid (PLA) is the commonly used and well-studied bioplastic that is presumed to be biodegradable. Considering their demand and use in near future, exploration for microbes capable of bioplastic degradation has high potential. Four PLA degrading strains were isolated and identified as Penicillium chrysogenum, Cladosporium sphaerospermum, Serratia marcescens and Rhodotorula mucilaginosa. A consortium of above strains degraded 44 % (w/w) PLA in 30 days time in laboratory conditions. Subsequently, the microbial consortium employed effectively for PLA composting. PMID:26843697

  5. Microbial mineral recovery

    SciTech Connect

    Ehrlich, H.L.; Brierly, C.L.

    1989-01-01

    This book presents the scientific basis for using microbial biomass to remove metals from solution. Reports on current and potential microbial technology, including bioleaching of ores, bio-benefication of ores and fossil fuels, metal recovery from solution, and microbial EOR. Examines how microorganisms used in these technologies might improve through genetic engineering.

  6. Role of Public-Private Partnerships in Tackling the Tobacco and Obesity Epidemics

    PubMed Central

    Scott, Alicia Richmond; McMahon, Catherine; Teel, Calvin

    2014-01-01

    In response to the illness and death caused by preventable chronic diseases, the US Department of Health and Human Services created Communities Putting Prevention to Work to support community efforts in tackling tobacco use and obesity through policy, systems, and environmental change. As part of this program, 10 national nonprofit organizations with prevention expertise were funded and matched with specific community objectives. Most tobacco and obesity-related matched objectives were successfully accomplished by communities. Public–private partnerships should be considered when addressing chronic disease prevention. PMID:24921902

  7. Microbial Properties Database Editor Tutorial

    EPA Science Inventory

    A Microbial Properties Database Editor (MPDBE) has been developed to help consolidate microbial-relevant data to populate a microbial database and support a database editor by which an authorized user can modify physico-microbial properties related to microbial indicators and pat...

  8. Why Microbial Communities?

    ScienceCinema

    Fredrickson, Jim (PNNL)

    2012-02-29

    The Microbial Communities Initiative is a 5-year investment by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory that integrates biological/ecological experimentation, analytical chemistry, and simulation modeling. The objective is to create transforming technologies, elucidate mechanistic forces, and develop theoretical frameworks for the analysis and predictive understanding of microbial communities. Dr. Fredrickson introduces the symposium by defining microbial communities and describing their scientific relevance as they relate to solving problems in energy, climate, and sustainability.

  9. Social and health policies or interventions to tackle health inequalities in European cities: a scoping review

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Health inequalities can be tackled with appropriate health and social policies, involving all community groups and governments, from local to global. The objective of this study was to carry out a scoping review on social and health policies or interventions to tackle health inequalities in European cities published in scientific journals. Methods Scoping review. The search was done in “PubMed” and the “Sociological Abstracts” database and was limited to articles published between 1995 and 2011. The inclusion criteria were: interventions had to take place in European cities and they had to state the reduction of health inequalities among their objectives. Results A total of 54 papers were included, of which 35.2% used an experimental design, and 74.1% were carried out in the United Kingdom. The whole city was the setting in 27.8% of them and 44.4% were based on promoting healthy behaviours. Adults and children were the most frequent target population and half of the interventions had a universal approach and the other half a selective one. Half of the interventions were evaluated and showed positive results. Conclusions Although health behaviours are not the main determinants of health inequalities, the majority of the selected documents were based on evaluations of interventions focusing on them. PMID:24564851

  10. Biofilms: A microbial home

    PubMed Central

    Chandki, Rita; Banthia, Priyank; Banthia, Ruchi

    2011-01-01

    Microbial biofilms are mainly implicated in etiopathogenesis of caries and periodontal disease. Owing to its properties, these pose great challenges. Continuous and regular disruption of these biofilms is imperative for prevention and management of oral diseases. This essay provides a detailed insight into properties, mechanisms of etiopathogenesis, detection and removal of these microbial biofilms. PMID:21976832

  11. Inflight microbial analysis technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pierson, Duane L.; Brown, Harlan D.

    1987-01-01

    This paper provides an assessment of functional characteristics needed in the microbial water analysis system being developed for Space Station. Available technology is reviewed with respect to performing microbial monitoring, isolation, or identification functions. An integrated system composed of three different technologies is presented.

  12. Microbial surface thermodynamics and applications.

    PubMed

    Strevett, Keith A; Chen, Gang

    2003-06-01

    Microbial surface thermodynamics is the reflection of microbial physicochemical and biological characteristics and it bridges micro-scale structures with macro-scale biological functions. Microbial surface thermodynamics is theoretically based on colloid surface thermodynamics using the classical theory of colloidal stability, Derjauin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek (DLVO) theory. An extended DLVO theory is applied to for the hydration forces not considered in the classical DLVO theory. Herein, a review of current application of microbial surface thermodynamic theory is presented. Microbial surface thermodynamic theory is the fundamental theory in interpreting microbial hydrophilicity or hydrophobicity, microbial attachment, and microbial biofilm development. PMID:12837508

  13. The hospital microbiome project: meeting report for the UK science and innovation network UK-USA workshop ‘beating the superbugs: hospital microbiome studies for tackling antimicrobial resistance’, October 14th 2013

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The UK Science and Innovation Network UK-USA workshop ‘Beating the Superbugs: Hospital Microbiome Studies for tackling Antimicrobial Resistance’ was held on October 14th 2013 at the UK Department of Health, London. The workshop was designed to promote US-UK collaboration on hospital microbiome studies to add a new facet to our collective understanding of antimicrobial resistance. The assembled researchers debated the importance of the hospital microbial community in transmission of disease and as a reservoir for antimicrobial resistance genes, and discussed methodologies, hypotheses, and priorities. A number of complementary approaches were explored, although the importance of the built environment microbiome in disease transmission was not universally accepted. Current whole genome epidemiological methods are being pioneered in the UK and the benefits of moving to community analysis are not necessarily obvious to the pioneers; however, rapid progress in other areas of microbiology suggest to some researchers that hospital microbiome studies will be exceptionally fruitful even in the short term. Collaborative studies will recombine different strengths to tackle the international problems of antimicrobial resistance and hospital and healthcare associated infections.

  14. Synthetic microbial communities☆

    PubMed Central

    Großkopf, Tobias; Soyer, Orkun S

    2014-01-01

    While natural microbial communities are composed of a mix of microbes with often unknown functions, the construction of synthetic microbial communities allows for the generation of defined systems with reduced complexity. Used in a top-down approach, synthetic communities serve as model systems to ask questions about the performance and stability of microbial communities. In a second, bottom-up approach, synthetic microbial communities are used to study which conditions are necessary to generate interaction patterns like symbiosis or competition, and how higher order community structure can emerge from these. Besides their obvious value as model systems to understand the structure, function and evolution of microbial communities as complex dynamical systems, synthetic communities can also open up new avenues for biotechnological applications. PMID:24632350

  15. Deliberative Mapping of options for tackling climate change: Citizens and specialists 'open up' appraisal of geoengineering.

    PubMed

    Bellamy, Rob; Chilvers, Jason; Vaughan, Naomi E

    2016-04-01

    Appraisals of deliberate, large-scale interventions in the earth's climate system, known collectively as 'geoengineering', have largely taken the form of narrowly framed and exclusive expert analyses that prematurely 'close down' upon particular proposals. Here, we present the findings from the first 'upstream' appraisal of geoengineering to deliberately 'open up' to a broader diversity of framings, knowledges and future pathways. We report on the citizen strand of an innovative analytic-deliberative participatory appraisal process called Deliberative Mapping. A select but diverse group of sociodemographically representative citizens from Norfolk (United Kingdom) were engaged in a deliberative multi-criteria appraisal of geoengineering proposals relative to other options for tackling climate change, in parallel to symmetrical appraisals by diverse experts and stakeholders. Despite seeking to map divergent perspectives, a remarkably consistent view of option performance emerged across both the citizens' and the specialists' deliberations, where geoengineering proposals were outperformed by mitigation alternatives. PMID:25224904

  16. Redesigning primary care to tackle the global epidemic of noncommunicable disease.

    PubMed

    Kruk, Margaret E; Nigenda, Gustavo; Knaul, Felicia M

    2015-03-01

    Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) have become the major contributors to death and disability worldwide. Nearly 80% of the deaths in 2010 occurred in low- and middle-income countries, which have experienced rapid population aging, urbanization, rise in smoking, and changes in diet and activity. Yet the health systems of low- and middle-income countries, historically oriented to infectious disease and often severely underfunded, are poorly prepared for the challenge of caring for people with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and chronic respiratory disease. We have discussed how primary care can be redesigned to tackle the challenge of NCDs in resource-constrained countries. We suggest that four changes will be required: integration of services, innovative service delivery, a focus on patients and communities, and adoption of new technologies for communication. PMID:25602898

  17. Emerging nutrition challenges: policies to tackle under-nutrition, obesity and chronic diseases.

    PubMed

    Coitinho, Denise Costa; Rivera, Juan A; Uauy, Ricardo; Ding, Zong-Yi; Ruel, Marie T; Svensson, Per-Gunnar

    2008-01-01

    On 19 May, 2008, Mexico's Secretary of Health, Dr José Angel Córdova Villalobos, hosted an event entitled Emerging Nutrition Challenges: Policies to Tackle Under-nutrition, Obesity and Chronic Diseases. Held in conjunction with the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, nearly 100 delegates from over 30 countries attended. The International Association of Infant Food Manufacturers and the International Hospital Federation supported Mexico in its sponsorship of this event. Dr Villalobos provided opening remarks including an overview of Mexico's public policies to prevent obesity and chronic diseases. Dr. Mauricio Hernández, Mexico's Undersecretary of Health, moderated as six experts from around the world spoke on issues relating to the nutrition "double burden" (i.e. malnourishment and obesity), successful interventions and policy opportunities for improving nutrition, preventing obesity and enhancing health outcomes. Following are abstracts from their presentations. PMID:19181025

  18. Quantitative nanoscopy: Tackling sampling limitations in (S)TEM imaging of polymers and composites.

    PubMed

    Gnanasekaran, Karthikeyan; Snel, Roderick; de With, Gijsbertus; Friedrich, Heiner

    2016-01-01

    Sampling limitations in electron microscopy questions whether the analysis of a bulk material is representative, especially while analyzing hierarchical morphologies that extend over multiple length scales. We tackled this problem by automatically acquiring a large series of partially overlapping (S)TEM images with sufficient resolution, subsequently stitched together to generate a large-area map using an in-house developed acquisition toolbox (TU/e Acquisition ToolBox) and stitching module (TU/e Stitcher). In addition, we show that quantitative image analysis of the large scale maps provides representative information that can be related to the synthesis and process conditions of hierarchical materials, which moves electron microscopy analysis towards becoming a bulk characterization tool. We demonstrate the power of such an analysis by examining two different multi-phase materials that are structured over multiple length scales. PMID:26492325

  19. Waste collection in developing countries - Tackling occupational safety and health hazards at their source

    SciTech Connect

    Bleck, Daniela; Wettberg, Wieland

    2012-11-15

    Waste management procedures in developing countries are associated with occupational safety and health risks. Gastro-intestinal infections, respiratory and skin diseases as well as muscular-skeletal problems and cutting injuries are commonly found among waste workers around the globe. In order to find efficient, sustainable solutions to reduce occupational risks of waste workers, a methodological risk assessment has to be performed and counteractive measures have to be developed according to an internationally acknowledged hierarchy. From a case study in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia suggestions for the transferral of collected household waste into roadside containers are given. With construction of ramps to dump collected household waste straight into roadside containers and an adaptation of pushcarts and collection procedures, the risk is tackled at the source.

  20. Tackling the x-ray cargo inspection challenge using machine learning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaccard, Nicolas; Rogers, Thomas W.; Morton, Edward J.; Griffin, Lewis D.

    2016-05-01

    The current infrastructure for non-intrusive inspection of cargo containers cannot accommodate exploding com-merce volumes and increasingly stringent regulations. There is a pressing need to develop methods to automate parts of the inspection workflow, enabling expert operators to focus on a manageable number of high-risk images. To tackle this challenge, we developed a modular framework for automated X-ray cargo image inspection. Employing state-of-the-art machine learning approaches, including deep learning, we demonstrate high performance for empty container verification and specific threat detection. This work constitutes a significant step towards the partial automation of X-ray cargo image inspection.

  1. Applying the emergency risk management process to tackle the crisis of antibiotic resistance

    PubMed Central

    Dominey-Howes, Dale; Bajorek, Beata; Michael, Carolyn A.; Betteridge, Brittany; Iredell, Jonathan; Labbate, Maurizio

    2015-01-01

    We advocate that antibiotic resistance be reframed as a disaster risk management problem. Antibiotic-resistant infections represent a risk to life as significant as other commonly occurring natural disasters (e.g., earthquakes). Despite efforts by global health authorities, antibiotic resistance continues to escalate. Therefore, new approaches and expertise are needed to manage the issue. In this perspective we: (1) make a call for the emergency management community to recognize the antibiotic resistance risk and join in addressing this problem; (2) suggest using the risk management process to help tackle antibiotic resistance; (3) show why this approach has value and why it is different to existing approaches; and (4) identify public perception of antibiotic resistance as an important issue that warrants exploration. PMID:26388864

  2. The persistent problem of lead poisoning in birds from ammunition and fishing tackle

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Haig, Susan M.; D'Elia, Jesse; Eagles-Smith, Collin; Fair, Jeanne M.; Gervais, Jennifer; Herring, Garth; Rivers, James W.; Schulz, John H.

    2014-01-01

    Lead (Pb) is a metabolic poison that can negatively influence biological processes, leading to illness and mortality across a large spectrum of North American avifauna (>120 species) and other organisms. Pb poisoning can result from numerous sources, including ingestion of bullet fragments and shot pellets left in animal carcasses, spent ammunition left in the field, lost fishing tackle, Pb-based paints, large-scale mining, and Pb smelting activities. Although Pb shot has been banned for waterfowl hunting in the United States (since 1991) and Canada (since 1999), Pb exposure remains a problem for many avian species. Despite a large body of scientific literature on exposure to Pb and its toxicological effects on birds, controversy still exists regarding its impacts at a population level. We explore these issues and highlight areas in need of investigation: (1) variation in sensitivity to Pb exposure among bird species; (2) spatial extent and sources of Pb contamination in habitats in relation to bird exposure in those same locations; and (3) interactions between avian Pb exposure and other landscape-level stressors that synergistically affect bird demography. We explore multiple paths taken to reduce Pb exposure in birds that (1) recognize common ground among a range of affected interests; (2) have been applied at local to national scales; and (3) engage governmental agencies, interest groups, and professional societies to communicate the impacts of Pb ammunition and fishing tackle, and to describe approaches for reducing their availability to birds. As they have in previous times, users of fish and wildlife will play a key role in resolving the Pb poisoning issue.

  3. Expansion of Microbial Forensics.

    PubMed

    Schmedes, Sarah E; Sajantila, Antti; Budowle, Bruce

    2016-08-01

    Microbial forensics has been defined as the discipline of applying scientific methods to the analysis of evidence related to bioterrorism, biocrimes, hoaxes, or the accidental release of a biological agent or toxin for attribution purposes. Over the past 15 years, technology, particularly massively parallel sequencing, and bioinformatics advances now allow the characterization of microorganisms for a variety of human forensic applications, such as human identification, body fluid characterization, postmortem interval estimation, and biocrimes involving tracking of infectious agents. Thus, microbial forensics should be more broadly described as the discipline of applying scientific methods to the analysis of microbial evidence in criminal and civil cases for investigative purposes. PMID:26912746

  4. Microbial Community Responses to Glycine Addition in Kansas Prairie Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bottos, E.; Roy Chowdhury, T.; White, R. A., III; Brislawn, C.; Fansler, S.; Kim, Y. M.; Metz, T. O.; McCue, L. A.; Jansson, J.

    2015-12-01

    Advances in sequencing technologies are rapidly expanding our abilities to unravel aspects of microbial community structure and function in complex systems like soil; however, characterizing the highly diverse communities is problematic, due primarily to challenges in data analysis. To tackle this problem, we aimed to constrain the microbial diversity in a soil by enriching for particular functional groups within a community through addition of "trigger substrates". Such trigger substrates, characterized by low molecular weight, readily soluble and diffusible in soil solution, representative of soil organic matter derivatives, would also be rapidly degradable. A relatively small energy investment to maintain the cell in a state of metabolic alertness for such substrates would be a better evolutionary strategy and presumably select for a cohort of microorganisms with the energetics and cellular machinery for utilization and growth. We chose glycine, a free amino acid (AA) known to have short turnover times (in the range of hours) in soil. As such, AAs are a good source of nitrogen and easily degradable, and can serve as building blocks for microbial proteins and other biomass components. We hypothesized that the addition of glycine as a trigger substrate will decrease microbial diversity and evenness, as taxa capable of metabolizing it are enriched in relation to those that are not. We tested this hypothesis by incubating three Kansas native prairie soils with glycine for 24 hours at 21 degree Celsius, and measured community level responses by 16S rRNA gene sequencing, metagenomics, and metatranscriptomics. Preliminary evaluation of 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed minor changes in bacterial community composition in response to glycine addition. We will also present data on functional gene abundance and expression. The results of these analyses will be useful in designing sequencing strategies aimed at dissecting and deciphering complex microbial communities.

  5. Control of microbial contamination.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcdade, J. J.

    1971-01-01

    Two specific applications are discussed of microbial contamination control in planetary quarantine. Under the first concept, using the clean room to control environmental microorganisms, the objective is to reduce the microbial species and keep the numbers of microorganisms within an enclosure at a low level. The clean room concept is aimed at obtaining a product that has a controlled and reduced level of microbial contamination. Under the second concept, using the microbiological barrier to control microbial contamination of a specific product, the barrier techniques are designed to prevent the entry of any microorganisms into a sterile work area. Thus the assembly of space flight hardware within the confines of a microbiological barrier is aimed at obtaining a sterile product. In theory and practice, both approaches are shown to be applicable to the planetary quarantine program.

  6. Microbial safety in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krooneman, Janneke; Harmsen, Hermie; Landini, Paolo; Zinn, Manfred; Munaut, Françoise; van der Meer, Walter; Beimfohr, Claudia; Reichert, Bas; Preuß, Andrea

    2005-10-01

    Microbial hygiene is important in our daily lives; preventing and combating microbial infections is increasingly important in society. In hospitals, strict monitoring and control is exercised for people and infrastructure alike. In modern buildings, air-conditioning system are screened for harmful bacteria such as Legionella. More recently, concerns about SARS (virus) and anthrax (bacteria) have added pressure on the scientific community to come up with adequate monitoring and control techniques to assure microbial hygiene. Additionally, the use of biotechnological recycling and cleaning processes for sustainability brings the need for reliable monitoring tools and preventive or riks-reducing strategies. In the manned space environment, similar problems need to be solved and efforts have already been made to study the behaviour of micro-organisms and microbial hygiene onboard space stations.

  7. Microbial dysbiosis in periodontitis

    PubMed Central

    Nath, Sameera G.; Raveendran, Ranjith

    2013-01-01

    Periodontitis is a biofilm-associated inflammatory disease of the periodontium. This disease appears to have multiple etiologies with microbial factor contributing to initiation of the disease and immunological factor of the host propagating the disease. This review is on the concept of “microbial dysbiosis” and molecular nature of periodontitis, and the scope of traditional and emerging technologies for treating this disease. PMID:24174742

  8. Ocean microbial metagenomics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerkhof, Lee J.; Goodman, Robert M.

    2009-09-01

    Technology for accessing the genomic DNA of microorganisms, directly from environmental samples without prior cultivation, has opened new vistas to understanding microbial diversity and functions. Especially as applied to soils and the oceans, environments on Earth where microbial diversity is vast, metagenomics and its emergent approaches have the power to transform rapidly our understanding of environmental microbiology. Here we explore select recent applications of the metagenomic suite to ocean microbiology.

  9. Systems-based approaches to unravel multi-species microbial community functioning

    PubMed Central

    Abram, Florence

    2014-01-01

    Some of the most transformative discoveries promising to enable the resolution of this century's grand societal challenges will most likely arise from environmental science and particularly environmental microbiology and biotechnology. Understanding how microbes interact in situ, and how microbial communities respond to environmental changes remains an enormous challenge for science. Systems biology offers a powerful experimental strategy to tackle the exciting task of deciphering microbial interactions. In this framework, entire microbial communities are considered as metaorganisms and each level of biological information (DNA, RNA, proteins and metabolites) is investigated along with in situ environmental characteristics. In this way, systems biology can help unravel the interactions between the different parts of an ecosystem ultimately responsible for its emergent properties. Indeed each level of biological information provides a different level of characterisation of the microbial communities. Metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, metaproteomics, metabolomics and SIP-omics can be employed to investigate collectively microbial community structure, potential, function, activity and interactions. Omics approaches are enabled by high-throughput 21st century technologies and this review will discuss how their implementation has revolutionised our understanding of microbial communities. PMID:25750697

  10. Project T.A.C.K.L.E. (Together, Addressing the Challenges of Knowledge and Literacy for Employees). Evaluation Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    General Motors Corp., Detroit, MI.

    Project TACKLE (Together, Addressing the Challenge of Knowledge and Literacy for Employees) was a cooperative project, jointly developed to address employees with the inadequate basic skills necessary to operate modernized, technical equipment and maintain job security. Approximately 500 current employees of General Motors, Flint, Michigan, used…

  11. Can Smoking Cessation Services Be Better Targeted to Tackle Health Inequalities? Evidence from a Cross-Sectional Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blackman, Tim

    2008-01-01

    Objective: To investigate how smoking cessation services could be more effectively targeted to tackle socioeconomic inequalities in health. Design: Secondary analysis of data from a household interview survey undertaken for Middlesbrough Council in north east England using the technique of Qualitative Comparative Analysis. Setting: Home-based…

  12. Transgressive Local Act: Tackling Domestic Violence with Forum and Popular Theatre in "Sisterhood Bound as Yuan Ze Flowers"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Wan-Jung

    2010-01-01

    This paper examines a community theatre project in Kaohsiung County, Taiwan that aimed to tackle domestic violence through a collaboration between local community female elders and the facilitator. The paper investigates how an outside facilitator could unfix the assumed community identities which tend to exclude outsiders or sub-groups, in this…

  13. Caught in the (Education) Act: Tackling Michael Gove's Education Revolution. Report on 19th November 2011 Conference

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    FORUM: for promoting 3-19 comprehensive education, 2012

    2012-01-01

    A number of significant campaigning organisations and education trades unions--the Anti-Academies Alliance, CASE, Comprehensive Future, Forum, ISCG and the Socialist Educational Association, along with ASCL, ATL, NASUWT and NUT--staged a conference in London on 19 November 2011, with the title 'Caught in the (Education) Act: tackling Michael…

  14. Microbial Fuel Cells and Microbial Electrolyzers

    SciTech Connect

    Borole, Abhijeet P

    2015-01-01

    Microbial Fuel Cells and microbial electrolyzers represent an upcoming technology for production of electricity and hydrogen using a hybrid electrocatalytic-biocatalytic approach. The combined catalytic efficiency of these processes has potential to make this technology highly efficient among the various renewable energy production alternatives. This field has attracted electrochemists, biologists and many other disciplines due to its potential to contribute to the energy, water and environment sectors. A brief introduction to the technology is provided followed by current research needs from a bioelectrochemical perspective. Insights into the operation and limitations of these systems achieved via cyclic voltammetry and impedance spectroscopy are discussed along with the power management needs to develop the application aspects. Besides energy production, other potential applications in bioenergy, bioelectronics, chemical production and remediation are also highlighted.

  15. Tackling the wider social determinants of health and health inequalities: evidence from systematic reviews

    PubMed Central

    Gibson, M; Sowden, A; Wright, K; Whitehead, M; Petticrew, M

    2010-01-01

    Background There is increasing pressure to tackle the wider social determinants of health through the implementation of appropriate interventions. However, turning these demands for better evidence about interventions around the social determinants of health into action requires identifying what we already know and highlighting areas for further development. Methods Systematic review methodology was used to identify systematic reviews (from 2000 to 2007, developed countries only) that described the health effects of any intervention based on the wider social determinants of health: water and sanitation, agriculture and food, access to health and social care services, unemployment and welfare, working conditions, housing and living environment, education, and transport. Results Thirty systematic reviews were identified. Generally, the effects of interventions on health inequalities were unclear. However, there is suggestive systematic review evidence that certain categories of intervention may impact positively on inequalities or on the health of specific disadvantaged groups, particularly interventions in the fields of housing and the work environment. Conclusion Intervention studies that address inequalities in health are a priority area for future public health research. PMID:19692738

  16. The relative merits of therapies being developed to tackle inappropriate ('self'-directed) complement activation.

    PubMed

    Antwi-Baffour, Samuel; Kyeremeh, Ransford; Adjei, Jonathan Kofi; Aryeh, Claudia; Kpentey, George

    2016-12-01

    The complement system is an enzyme cascade that helps defend against infection. Many complement proteins occur in serum as inactive enzyme precursors or reside on cell surfaces. Complement components have many biologic functions and their activation can eventually damage the plasma membranes of cells and some bacteria. Although a direct link between complement activation and autoimmune diseases has not been found, there is increasing evidence that complement activation significantly contributes to the pathogenesis of a large number of inflammatory diseases that may have autoimmune linkage. The inhibition of complement may therefore be very important in a variety of autoimmune diseases since their activation may be detrimental to the individual involved. However, a complete and long-term inhibition of complement may have some contra side effects such as increased susceptibility to infection. The site of complement activation will, however, determine the type of inhibitor to be used, its route of application and dosage level. Compared with conventional drugs, complement inhibitors may be the best option for treatment of autoimmune diseases. The review takes a critical look at the relative merits of therapies being developed to tackle inappropriate complement activation that are likely to result in sporadic autoimmune diseases or worsen already existing one. It covers the complement system, general aspects of complement inhibition therapy, therapeutic strategies and examples of complement inhibitors. It concludes by highlighting on the possibility that a better inhibitor of complement activation when found will help provide a formidable treatment for autoimmune diseases as well as preventing one. PMID:26935316

  17. Public health nutrition in the civil service (England): approaches to tackling obesity.

    PubMed

    Blackshaw, J R

    2016-08-01

    The seriousness and scale of the physical, psychological, economic and societal consequences relating to poor diets, inactivity and obesity is unprecedented. Consequently, the contextual factors underpinning the work of a nutritionist in the civil service are complex and significant; however, there are real opportunities to make a difference and help improve the health of the nation. The present paper describes the delivery of public health nutrition through two work programmes, namely action to support young people develop healthier lifestyle choices and more recently the investigation and deployment of local insights to develop action to tackle obesity. Combining the application of nutrition expertise along with broader skills and approaches has enabled the translation of research and evidence into programmes of work to better the public's health. It is evident that the appropriate evaluation of such approaches has helped to deliver engaging and practical learning opportunities for young people. Furthermore, efforts to build on local intelligence and seek collaborative development can help inform the evidence base and seek to deliver public health approaches, which resonate with how people live their lives. PMID:26947185

  18. Serious game development as a strategy for health promotion and tackling childhood obesity 1

    PubMed Central

    Dias, Jéssica David; Mekaro, Marcelo Shinyu; Cheng Lu, Jennifer Kaon; Otsuka, Joice Lee; Fonseca, Luciana Mara Monti; Zem-Mascarenhas, Silvia Helena

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Objectives: to develop and assess a serious game on healthy eating and physical activity to promote health and tackle childhood obesity. Method: a descriptive, applied and methodological study.For the development of the game, the following steps were taken: conceptualization, pre-production with the development of the game documentation, prototyping, production and assessment of thecomputer and health experts. Results: a prototype has been developed up to beta version. The game was positively assessed both in terms of gameplay and mechanics, and in relation to the content presented, standing out as a powerful strategy for health promotion. The information from the assessment phase contributed to the settings in the software in order to make it available in the future for the target population of this research. The greatest advantage of the proposed game is the fact that it is an open educational resource. Conclusions: the expert assessments showed that the game has great educational potential and it is considered suitable for future application to the target audience.The serious game can become a technological teaching resource available for use in schools and health facilities, and can also be reused for the production of other educational games by accessing its source code. PMID:27533268

  19. Tackling the urban health divide though enabling intersectoral action on malnutrition in Chile and Kenya.

    PubMed

    Pridmore, Pat; Carr-Hill, Roy; Amuyunzu-Nyamongo, Mary; Lang'o, Daniel; McCowan, Tristan; Charnes, Gabriela

    2015-04-01

    As momentum grows for a sustainable urbanisation goal in the post-2015 development agenda, this paper reports on an action research study that sought to tackle the urban health divide by enabling intersectoral action on social determinants at the local level. The study was located in the cities of Mombasa in Kenya and Valparaíso in Chile, and the impact of the intervention on child nutrition was evaluated using a controlled design. The findings showed that an action research process using the social educational process known as PLA could effectively build the capacity of multisectoral teams to take coordinated action which in turn built the capacity of communities to sustain them. The impact on child nutrition was inconclusive and needed to be interpreted within the context of economic collapse in the intervention area. Four factors were found to have been crucial for creating the enabling environment for effective intersectoral action (i) supportive government policy (ii) broad participation and capacity building (iii) involving policy makers as advisors and establishing the credibility of the research and (iii) strengthening community action. If lessons learned from this study can be adapted and applied in other contexts then they could have a significant economic and societal impact on health and nutrition equity in informal urban settlements. PMID:25758598

  20. On Tackling Flash Crowds with URL Shorteners and Examining User Behavior after Great East Japan Earthquake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inoue, Takeru; Minato, Shin-Ichi

    Several web sites providing disaster-related information failed repeatedly after the Great East Japan Earthquake, due to flash crowds caused by Twitter users. Twitter, which was intensively used for information sharing in the aftermath of the earthquake, relies on URL shorteners like bit.ly to offset its strict limit on message length. In order to mitigate the flash crowds, we examine the current Web usage and find that URL shorteners constitute a layer of indirection a significant part of Web traffic is guided by them. This implies that flash crowds can be controlled by URL shorteners. We developed a new URL shortener, named rcdn.info, just after the earthquake; rcdn.info redirects users to a replica created on a CoralCDN, if the original site is likely to become overloaded. This surprisingly simple solution worked very well in the emergency. We also conduct a thorough analysis of the request log and present several views that capture user behavior in the emergency from various aspects. Interestingly, the traffic significantly grew up at previously unpopular (i.e., small) sites during the disaster; this traffic shift could lead to the failure of several sites. Finally, we show that rcdn.info has great potential in mitigating such failures. We believe that our experience will help the research community tackle future disasters.

  1. Benchmarking progress in tackling the challenges of intellectual property, and access to medicines in developing countries.

    PubMed Central

    Musungu, Sisule F.

    2006-01-01

    The impact of intellectual property protection in the pharmaceutical sector on developing countries has been a central issue in the fierce debate during the past 10 years in a number of international fora, particularly the World Trade Organization (WTO) and WHO. The debate centres on whether the intellectual property system is: (1) providing sufficient incentives for research and development into medicines for diseases that disproportionately affect developing countries; and (2) restricting access to existing medicines for these countries. The Doha Declaration was adopted at WTO in 2001 and the Commission on Intellectual Property, Innovation and Public Health was established at WHO in 2004, but their respective contributions to tackling intellectual property-related challenges are disputed. Objective parameters are needed to measure whether a particular series of actions, events, decisions or processes contribute to progress in this area. This article proposes six possible benchmarks for intellectual property-related challenges with regard to the development of medicines and ensuring access to medicines in developing countries. PMID:16710545

  2. Engineering and control of biological systems: A new way to tackle complex diseases.

    PubMed

    Menolascina, Filippo; Siciliano, Velia; di Bernardo, Diego

    2012-07-16

    The ongoing merge between engineering and biology has contributed to the emerging field of synthetic biology. The defining features of this new discipline are abstraction and standardisation of biological parts, decoupling between parts to prevent undesired cross-talking, and the application of quantitative modelling of synthetic genetic circuits in order to guide their design. Most of the efforts in the field of synthetic biology in the last decade have been devoted to the design and development of functional gene circuits in prokaryotes and unicellular eukaryotes. Researchers have used synthetic biology not only to engineer new functions in the cell, but also to build simpler models of endogenous gene regulatory networks to gain knowledge of the "rules" governing their wiring diagram. However, the need for innovative approaches to study and modify complex signalling and regulatory networks in mammalian cells and multicellular organisms has prompted advances of synthetic biology also in these species, thus contributing to develop innovative ways to tackle human diseases. In this work, we will review the latest progress in synthetic biology and the most significant developments achieved so far, both in unicellular and multicellular organisms, with emphasis on human health. PMID:22580058

  3. Microbial indicators of soil quality

    SciTech Connect

    Turco, R.F.; Kennedy, A.C.; Jawson, M.

    1992-01-01

    Soil quality is an elusive term; however, the quality of a soil can greatly impact land use, sustainability, and productivity. Soil microbial processes are an integral part of soil quality and a better understanding of these processes and microbial community structure is needed. Microbial biomass, respiration, and labile nutrient pool size have generally been used as intrinsic parameters of a soil's microbial status. These analyses may not fully identify inherent differences in soil quality, especially if environmental conditions or manmade pertubations alter microbial community structure. Assessment of microbial community structure is necessary to determine the long-term effects of stress on soil quality. Measurement of microbial diversity should include nucleic acid and fatty acid phospholipid profiles as well as substrate utilization patterns. Microbial indicators will allow us to characterize the ecological status of the soil microbial community. For soil quality indicators to be successful, integration with other soil parameters is essential.

  4. Deep subsurface microbial processes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lovley, D.R.; Chapelle, F.H.

    1995-01-01

    Information on the microbiology of the deep subsurface is necessary in order to understand the factors controlling the rate and extent of the microbially catalyzed redox reactions that influence the geophysical properties of these environments. Furthermore, there is an increasing threat that deep aquifers, an important drinking water resource, may be contaminated by man's activities, and there is a need to predict the extent to which microbial activity may remediate such contamination. Metabolically active microorganisms can be recovered from a diversity of deep subsurface environments. The available evidence suggests that these microorganisms are responsible for catalyzing the oxidation of organic matter coupled to a variety of electron acceptors just as microorganisms do in surface sediments, but at much slower rates. The technical difficulties in aseptically sampling deep subsurface sediments and the fact that microbial processes in laboratory incubations of deep subsurface material often do not mimic in situ processes frequently necessitate that microbial activity in the deep subsurface be inferred through nonmicrobiological analyses of ground water. These approaches include measurements of dissolved H2, which can predict the predominant microbially catalyzed redox reactions in aquifers, as well as geochemical and groundwater flow modeling, which can be used to estimate the rates of microbial processes. Microorganisms recovered from the deep subsurface have the potential to affect the fate of toxic organics and inorganic contaminants in groundwater. Microbial activity also greatly influences 1 the chemistry of many pristine groundwaters and contributes to such phenomena as porosity development in carbonate aquifers, accumulation of undesirably high concentrations of dissolved iron, and production of methane and hydrogen sulfide. Although the last decade has seen a dramatic increase in interest in deep subsurface microbiology, in comparison with the study of

  5. Microbial bioinformatics 2020.

    PubMed

    Pallen, Mark J

    2016-09-01

    Microbial bioinformatics in 2020 will remain a vibrant, creative discipline, adding value to the ever-growing flood of new sequence data, while embracing novel technologies and fresh approaches. Databases and search strategies will struggle to cope and manual curation will not be sustainable during the scale-up to the million-microbial-genome era. Microbial taxonomy will have to adapt to a situation in which most microorganisms are discovered and characterised through the analysis of sequences. Genome sequencing will become a routine approach in clinical and research laboratories, with fresh demands for interpretable user-friendly outputs. The "internet of things" will penetrate healthcare systems, so that even a piece of hospital plumbing might have its own IP address that can be integrated with pathogen genome sequences. Microbiome mania will continue, but the tide will turn from molecular barcoding towards metagenomics. Crowd-sourced analyses will collide with cloud computing, but eternal vigilance will be the price of preventing the misinterpretation and overselling of microbial sequence data. Output from hand-held sequencers will be analysed on mobile devices. Open-source training materials will address the need for the development of a skilled labour force. As we boldly go into the third decade of the twenty-first century, microbial sequence space will remain the final frontier! PMID:27471065

  6. Microbial Scout Hypothesis and Microbial Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Buerger, S.; Spoering, A.; Gavrish, E.; Leslin, C.; Ling, L.

    2012-01-01

    In this study, we examine the temporal pattern of colony appearance during cultivation experiments, and whether this pattern could inform on optimizing the process of microbial discovery. In a series of long-term cultivation experiments, we observed an expected gradual increase over time of the total number of microbial isolates, culminating in a 700-fold colony count increase at 18 months. Conventional thought suggests that long-term incubations result in a culture collection enriched with species that are slow growing or rare, may be unavailable from short-term experiments, and likely are novel. However, after we examined the phylogenetic novelty of the isolates as a function of the time of their isolation, we found no correlation between the two. The probability of discovering either a new or rare species late in the incubation matched that of species isolated earlier. These outcomes are especially notable because of their generality: observations were essentially identical for marine and soil bacteria as well as for spore formers and non-spore formers. These findings are consistent with the idea of the stochastic awakening of dormant cells, thus lending support to the scout model. The process of microbial discovery is central to the study of environmental microorganisms and the human microbiome. While long-term incubation does not appear to increase the probability of discovering novel species, the technology enabling such incubations, i.e., single-cell cultivation, may still be the method of choice. While it does not necessarily allow more species to grow from a given inoculum, it minimizes the overall isolation effort and supplies needed. PMID:22367084

  7. The Microbial Olympics.

    PubMed

    Youle, Merry; Rohwer, Forest; Stacy, Apollo; Whiteley, Marvin; Steel, Bradley C; Delalez, Nicolas J; Nord, Ashley L; Berry, Richard M; Armitage, Judith P; Kamoun, Sophien; Hogenhout, Saskia; Diggle, Stephen P; Gurney, James; Pollitt, Eric J G; Boetius, Antje; Cary, S Craig

    2012-08-01

    Every four years, the Olympic Games plays host to competitors who have built on their natural talent by training for many years to become the best in their chosen discipline. Similar spirit and endeavour can be found throughout the microbial world, in which every day is a competition to survive and thrive. Microorganisms are trained through evolution to become the fittest and the best adapted to a particular environmental niche or lifestyle, and to innovate when the 'rules of the game' are changed by alterations to their natural habitats. In this Essay, we honour the best competitors in the microbial world by inviting them to take part in the inaugural Microbial Olympics. PMID:22796885

  8. Challenges in process marginality for advanced technology nodes and tackling its contributors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narayana Samy, Aravind; Schiwon, Roberto; Seltmann, Rolf; Kahlenberg, Frank; Katakamsetty, Ushasree

    2013-10-01

    Process margin is getting critical in the present node shrinkage scenario due to the physical limits reached (Rayleigh's criterion) using ArF lithography tools. K1 is used to its best for better resolution and to enhance the process margin (28nm metal patterning k1=0.31). In this paper, we would like to give an overview of various contributors in the advanced technology nodes which limit the process margins and how the challenges have been tackled in a modern foundry model. Advanced OPC algorithms are used to make the design content at the mask optimum for patterning. However, as we work at the physical limit, critical features (Hot-spots) are very susceptible to litho process variations. Furthermore, etch can have a significant impact as well. Pattern that still looks healthy at litho can fail due to etch interactions. This makes the traditional 2D contour output from ORC tools not able to predict accurately all defects and hence not able to fully correct it in the early mask tapeout phase. The above makes a huge difference in the fast ramp-up and high yield in a competitive foundry market. We will explain in this paper how the early introduction of 3D resist model based simulation of resist profiles (resist top-loss, bottom bridging, top-rounding, etc.,) helped in our prediction and correction of hot-spots in the early 28nm process development phase. The paper also discusses about the other overall process window reduction contributors due to mask 3D effects, wafer topography (focus shifts/variations) and how this has been addressed with different simulation efforts in a fast and timely manner.

  9. Tackling community integration in mental health home visit integration in Finland.

    PubMed

    Raitakari, Suvi; Haahtela, Riikka; Juhila, Kirsi

    2016-09-01

    Integration - and its synonym inclusion - is emphasised in the western welfare states and in the European Union in particular. Integration is also a central topic in the social sciences and in current mental health and homelessness research and practice. As mental healthcare has shifted from psychiatric hospitals to the community, it has inevitably become involved with housing and integration issues. This article explores how community integration is understood and tackled in mental health floating support services (FSSs) and, more precisely, in service user-practitioner home visit interaction. The aim, through shedding light on how the idea of integration is present and discussed in front-line mental health practices, is to offer a 'template' on how we might, in a systematic and reflective way, develop community integration research and practice. The analysis is based on ethnomethodological and micro-sociological interaction research. The research settings are two FSSs located in a large Finnish city. The data contain 24 audio-recorded and transcribed home visits conducted in 2011 and 2012 with 16 different service users. The study shows how the participants in service user-practitioner interaction give meaning to community integration and make decisions about how it should (or should not) be enhanced in each individual case. This activity is called community integration work in action. Community integration work in action is based on various dimensions of integration: getting out of the house, participating in group activities and getting along with those involved in one's life and working life. Additionally, the analysis demonstrates how community integration work is accomplished by discursive devices (resistance, positioning, excuses and justifications, delicacy and advice-giving). The article concludes that community integration is about interaction: it is not only service users' individual challenge but also a social challenge, our challenge. PMID:25950446

  10. Microbial Load Monitor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gibson, S. F.; Royer, E. R.

    1979-01-01

    The Microbial Load Monitor (MLM) is an automated and computerized system for detection and identification of microorganisms. Additionally, the system is designed to enumerate and provide antimicrobic susceptibility profiles for medically significant bacteria. The system is designed to accomplish these tasks in a time of 13 hours or less versus the traditional time of 24 hours for negatives and 72 hours or more for positives usually required for standard microbiological analysis. The MLM concept differs from other methods of microbial detection in that the system is designed to accept raw untreated clinical samples and to selectively identify each group or species that may be present in a polymicrobic sample.

  11. Microbial Control News - November 2011

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This is the first of a column in the Society for Invertebrate Pathology Newsletter. Entitled "Microbial Control News" this article summarizes regulatory actions in the U.S. and Canada regarding microbial insect pest control agents....

  12. The Role of Labour Inspectorates in Tackling the Psychosocial Risks at Work in Europe: Problems and Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Toukas, Dimitrios; Delichas, Miltiadis; Toufekoula, Chryssoula; Spyrouli, Anastasia

    2015-01-01

    Significant changes in the past year have taken place in the world of work that are bringing new challenges with regard to employee safety and health. These changes have led to emerging psychosocial risks (PSRs) at work. The risks are primarily linked to how work is designed, organized, and managed, and to the economic and social frame of work. These factors have increased the level of work-related stress and can lead to serious deterioration in mental and physical health. In tackling PSRs, the European labor inspectorates can have an important role by enforcing preventive and/or corrective interventions in the content and context of work. However, to improve working conditions, unilateral interventions in the context and content of work are insufficient and require adopting a common strategy to tackle PSRs, based on a holistic approach. The implementation of a common strategy by the European Labor Inspectorate for tackling PSRs is restricted by the lack of a common legislative frame with regard to PSR evaluation and management, the different levels of labor inspectors' training, and the different levels of employees' and employers' health and safety culture. PMID:26929837

  13. The Role of Labour Inspectorates in Tackling the Psychosocial Risks at Work in Europe: Problems and Perspectives.

    PubMed

    Toukas, Dimitrios; Delichas, Miltiadis; Toufekoula, Chryssoula; Spyrouli, Anastasia

    2015-12-01

    Significant changes in the past year have taken place in the world of work that are bringing new challenges with regard to employee safety and health. These changes have led to emerging psychosocial risks (PSRs) at work. The risks are primarily linked to how work is designed, organized, and managed, and to the economic and social frame of work. These factors have increased the level of work-related stress and can lead to serious deterioration in mental and physical health. In tackling PSRs, the European labor inspectorates can have an important role by enforcing preventive and/or corrective interventions in the content and context of work. However, to improve working conditions, unilateral interventions in the context and content of work are insufficient and require adopting a common strategy to tackle PSRs, based on a holistic approach. The implementation of a common strategy by the European Labor Inspectorate for tackling PSRs is restricted by the lack of a common legislative frame with regard to PSR evaluation and management, the different levels of labor inspectors' training, and the different levels of employees' and employers' health and safety culture. PMID:26929837

  14. Microbial load monitor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caplin, R. S.; Royer, E. R.

    1977-01-01

    Design analysis of a microbial load monitor system flight engineering model was presented. Checkout of the card taper and media pump system was fabricated as well as the final two incubating reading heads, the sample receiving and card loading device assembly, related sterility testing, and software. Progress in these areas was summarized.

  15. Microbial Endophytes of Corn

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increasing recognition is being given to the impact of microbial population dynamics on the general health of biological systems. Building on previous mycological and bacteriological research on agricultural commodities, more advanced technology is expanding our understanding of the “endophytic habi...

  16. Indirect microbial detection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilkins, J. R. (Inventor)

    1981-01-01

    The growth of microorganisms in a sample is detected and monitored by culturing microorganisms in a growth medium and detecting a change in potential between two electrodes, separated from the microbial growth by a barrier which is permeable to charged paticles but microorganism impermeable.

  17. Pretreatment of microbial sludges

    DOEpatents

    Rivard, Christopher J.; Nagle, Nicholas J.

    1995-01-01

    Methods are described for pretreating microbial sludges to break cells and disrupt organic matter. One method involves the use of sonication, and another method involves the use of shear forces. The pretreatment of sludge enhances bioconversion of the organic fraction. This allows for efficient dewatering of the sludge and reduces the cost for final disposal of the waste.

  18. Microbial Weathering of Olivine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McKay, D. S.; Longazo, T. G.; Wentworth, S. J.; Southam, G.

    2002-01-01

    Controlled microbial weathering of olivine experiments displays a unique style of nanoetching caused by biofilm attachment to mineral surfaces. We are investigating whether the morphology of biotic nanoetching can be used as a biosignature. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  19. Introduction to Microbial Control

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many insect specific pathogens have been exploited as microbial control agents for the management of pest insects. Successes have been reported for a few insect pathogens as classical biological control agents, but they are mostly used as inundatively appled biopesticides. A number of them have be...

  20. SEAGRASS RHIZOSPHERE MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Devereux, Richard. 2005. Seagrass Rhizosphere Microbial Communities. In: Interactions Between Macro- and Microorganisms in Marine Sediments. E. Kristense, J.E. Kostka and R.H. Haese, Editors. American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC. p199-216. (ERL,GB 1213).

    Seagrasses ...

  1. Indirect microbial detection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilkins, J. R.

    1980-01-01

    Indirect method for detection of microbial growth utilizes flow of charged particles across barrier that physically separated growing cells from electrodes and measures resulting difference in potential between two platinum electrodes. Technique allows simplified noncontact monitoring of all growth in highly infectious cultures or in critical biochemical studies.

  2. Microbial solubilization of coal

    DOEpatents

    Strandberg, G.W.; Lewis, S.N.

    1988-01-21

    The present invention relates to a cell-free preparation and process for the microbial solubilization of coal into solubilized coal products. More specifically, the present invention relates to bacterial solubilization of coal into solubilized coal products and a cell-free bacterial byproduct useful for solubilizing coal. 5 tabs.

  3. Mapping Microbial Biodiversity

    SciTech Connect

    Stoner, Daphne Lisabet; Micah C. Geary; White, Luke James; Lee, Randy Dean; Brizzee, Julie Ann; Rodman, A. C.; Rope, Ronald C

    2001-09-01

    We report the development of a prototype database that "maps" microbial diversity in the context of the geochemical and geological environment and geographic location. When it is fully implemented, scientists will be able to conduct database searches, construct maps containing the information of interest, download files, and enter data over the Internet.

  4. Pretreatment of microbial sludges

    DOEpatents

    Rivard, C.J.; Nagle, N.J.

    1995-01-10

    Methods are described for pretreating microbial sludges to break cells and disrupt organic matter. One method involves the use of sonication, and another method involves the use of shear forces. The pretreatment of sludge enhances bioconversion of the organic fraction. This allows for efficient dewatering of the sludge and reduces the cost for final disposal of the waste.

  5. A Microbial Murder Mystery.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mitchell, Melissa A.; Mitchell, James K.

    2002-01-01

    Proposes a microbial mystery activity to test students' knowledge of human anatomy and their ability to identify microbes. Provides an opportunity for students to develop logical deductive reasoning. Includes national science education standards related to this activity, activity sheets with whole procedures, and Internet resources. (KHR)

  6. Tackling the threat of antimicrobial resistance: from policy to sustainable action.

    PubMed

    Shallcross, Laura J; Howard, Simon J; Fowler, Tom; Davies, Sally C

    2015-06-01

    Antibiotics underpin all of modern medicine, from routine major surgery through to caesarean sections and modern cancer therapies. These drugs have revolutionized how we practice medicine, but we are in a constant evolutionary battle to evade microbial resistance and this has become a major global public health problem. We have overused and misused these essential medicines both in the human and animal health sectors and this threatens the effectiveness of antimicrobials for future generations. We can only address the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) through international collaboration across human and animal health sectors integrating social, economic and behavioural factors. Our global organizations are rising to the challenge with the recent World Health Assembly resolution on AMR and development of the Global Action plan but we must act now to avoid a return to a pre-antibiotic era. PMID:25918440

  7. Tackling student neurophobia in neurosciences block with team-based learning

    PubMed Central

    Anwar, Khurshid; Shaikh, Abdul A.; Sajid, Muhammad R.; Cahusac, Peter; Alarifi, Norah A.; Al Shedoukhy, Ahlam

    2015-01-01

    improvement in communication and interpersonal skills. Conclusion We conclude that implementing TBL strategy increased students’ responsibility for their own learning and helped the students in bridging the gap in their cognitive knowledge to tackle ‘neurophobia’ in a difficult neurosciences block evidenced by their improved performance in the summative assessment. PMID:26232115

  8. Tackling rare diseases at European level: why do we need a harmonized framework?

    PubMed

    Taruscio, Domenica; Trama, Annalisa; Stefanov, Rumen

    2007-01-01

    Since 1999 the European Commission has gradually developed a proactive approach towards rare diseases (RD). Despite the progress made over the last years, a comprehensive and evidence based approach is still missing in many EU Member States (MS), leading to an incomplete and often inadequate framework to address rare diseases. Healthcare systems in EU MS differ to great extent among countries in respect to their organization and funding. In general, they are not ready to face the specific problems and needs of people with rare diseases for possible prevention, timely diagnosis, adequate treatment and rehabilitation. Access to new advanced treatment and approved orphan drugs by EMEA is also a big challenge for many MS. A public health approach is needed to properly tackle rare diseases. It is a while that the idea of a comprehensive approach addressing the different challenges of rare diseases is under discussion. In our opinion, the first step to build a comprehensive approach is to properly plan the activities to undertake accordingly to needs, gaps and resources available in a Country. It is therefore important to develop a strategic plan. Adopting a strategic planning approach to rare diseases implies taking advantage of ongoing actions and building on it to adjust, re-orient or expand the response. So far only France has developed a national strategic plan for rare diseases, Bulgaria is in the process of approving its national plan for RD and Spain is in the process of developing it. In this context, considering the importance of developing national plans for RD, it would be very useful to develop recommendations for RD national plan development in order to provide an instrument to support Countries in designing their national plans. The three MS initiatives presented in this paper confirmed the availability of great experiences and expertises among many EU MS and supported the idea that all these different experiences available at the EU level should form the

  9. Applications of Microbial Cell Sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shimomura-Shimizu, Mifumi; Karube, Isao

    Since the first microbial cell sensor was studied by Karube et al. in 1977, many types of microbial cell sensors have been developed as analytical tools. The microbial cell sensor utilizes microbes as a sensing element and a transducer. The characteristics of microbial cell sensors as sensing devices are a complete contrast to those of enzyme sensors or immunosensors, which are highly specific for the substrates of interest, although the specificity of the microbial cell sensor has been improved by genetic modification of the microbe used as the sensing element. Microbial cell sensors have the advantages of tolerance to measuring conditions, a long lifetime, and good cost performance, and have the disadvantage of a long response time. In this review, applications of microbial cell sensors are summarized.

  10. Microbial interaction networks in soil and in silico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vetsigian, Kalin

    2012-02-01

    Soil harbors a huge number of microbial species interacting through secretion of antibiotics and other chemicals. What patterns of species interactions allow for this astonishing biodiversity to be sustained, and how do these interactions evolve? I used a combined experimental-theoretical approach to tackle these questions. Focusing on bacteria from the genus Steptomyces, known for their diverse secondary metabolism, I isolated 64 natural strains from several individual grains of soil and systematically measured all pairwise interactions among them. Quantitative measurements on such scale were enabled by a novel experimental platform based on robotic handling, a custom scanner array and automatic image analysis. This unique platform allowed the simultaneous capturing of ˜15,000 time-lapse movies of growing colonies of each isolate on media conditioned by each of the other isolates. The data revealed a rich network of strong negative (inhibitory) and positive (stimulating) interactions. Analysis of this network and the phylogeny of the isolates, together with mathematical modeling of microbial communities, revealed that: 1) The network of interactions has three special properties: ``balance'', ``bi- modality'' and ``reciprocity''; 2) The interaction network is fast evolving; 3) Mathematical modeling explains how rapid evolution can give rise to the three special properties through an interplay between ecology and evolution. These properties are not a result of stable co-existence, but rather of continuous evolutionary turnover of strains with different production and resistance capabilities.

  11. Evolution of microbial markets

    PubMed Central

    Werner, Gijsbert D. A.; Strassmann, Joan E.; Ivens, Aniek B. F.; Engelmoer, Daniel J. P.; Verbruggen, Erik; Queller, David C.; Noë, Ronald; Johnson, Nancy Collins; Hammerstein, Peter; Kiers, E. Toby

    2014-01-01

    Biological market theory has been used successfully to explain cooperative behavior in many animal species. Microbes also engage in cooperative behaviors, both with hosts and other microbes, that can be described in economic terms. However, a market approach is not traditionally used to analyze these interactions. Here, we extend the biological market framework to ask whether this theory is of use to evolutionary biologists studying microbes. We consider six economic strategies used by microbes to optimize their success in markets. We argue that an economic market framework is a useful tool to generate specific and interesting predictions about microbial interactions, including the evolution of partner discrimination, hoarding strategies, specialized versus diversified mutualistic services, and the role of spatial structures, such as flocks and consortia. There is untapped potential for studying the evolutionary dynamics of microbial systems. Market theory can help structure this potential by characterizing strategic investment of microbes across a diversity of conditions. PMID:24474743

  12. Microbial Risk Assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ott, C. M.; Mena, K. D.; Nickerson, C.A.; Pierson, D. L.

    2009-01-01

    Historically, microbiological spaceflight requirements have been established in a subjective manner based upon expert opinion of both environmental and clinical monitoring results and the incidence of disease. The limited amount of data, especially from long-duration missions, has created very conservative requirements based primarily on the concentration of microorganisms. Periodic reevaluations of new data from later missions have allowed some relaxation of these stringent requirements. However, the requirements remain very conservative and subjective in nature, and the risk of crew illness due to infectious microorganisms is not well defined. The use of modeling techniques for microbial risk has been applied in the food and potable water industries and has exceptional potential for spaceflight applications. From a productivity standpoint, this type of modeling can (1) decrease unnecessary costs and resource usage and (2) prevent inadequate or inappropriate data for health assessment. In addition, a quantitative model has several advantages for risk management and communication. By identifying the variable components of the model and the knowledge associated with each component, this type of modeling can: (1) Systematically identify and close knowledge gaps, (2) Systematically identify acceptable and unacceptable risks, (3) Improve communication with stakeholders as to the reasons for resource use, and (4) Facilitate external scientific approval of the NASA requirements. The modeling of microbial risk involves the evaluation of several key factors including hazard identification, crew exposure assessment, dose-response assessment, and risk characterization. Many of these factors are similar to conditions found on Earth; however, the spaceflight environment is very specialized as the inhabitants live in a small, semi-closed environment that is often dependent on regenerative life support systems. To further complicate modeling efforts, microbial dose

  13. Microbial Genomes Multiply

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doolittle, Russell F.

    2002-01-01

    The publication of the first complete sequence of a bacterial genome in 1995 was a signal event, underscored by the fact that the article has been cited more than 2,100 times during the intervening seven years. It was a marvelous technical achievement, made possible by automatic DNA-sequencing machines. The feat is the more impressive in that complete genome sequencing has now been adopted in many different laboratories around the world. Four years ago in these columns I examined the situation after a dozen microbial genomes had been completed. Now, with upwards of 60 microbial genome sequences determined and twice that many in progress, it seems reasonable to assess just what is being learned. Are new concepts emerging about how cells work? Have there been practical benefits in the fields of medicine and agriculture? Is it feasible to determine the genomic sequence of every bacterial species on Earth? The answers to these questions maybe Yes, Perhaps, and No, respectively.

  14. Evolution of microbial markets.

    PubMed

    Werner, Gijsbert D A; Strassmann, Joan E; Ivens, Aniek B F; Engelmoer, Daniel J P; Verbruggen, Erik; Queller, David C; Noë, Ronald; Johnson, Nancy Collins; Hammerstein, Peter; Kiers, E Toby

    2014-01-28

    Biological market theory has been used successfully to explain cooperative behavior in many animal species. Microbes also engage in cooperative behaviors, both with hosts and other microbes, that can be described in economic terms. However, a market approach is not traditionally used to analyze these interactions. Here, we extend the biological market framework to ask whether this theory is of use to evolutionary biologists studying microbes. We consider six economic strategies used by microbes to optimize their success in markets. We argue that an economic market framework is a useful tool to generate specific and interesting predictions about microbial interactions, including the evolution of partner discrimination, hoarding strategies, specialized versus diversified mutualistic services, and the role of spatial structures, such as flocks and consortia. There is untapped potential for studying the evolutionary dynamics of microbial systems. Market theory can help structure this potential by characterizing strategic investment of microbes across a diversity of conditions. PMID:24474743

  15. Automated Microbial Metabolism Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    Development of the automated microbial metabolism laboratory (AMML) concept is reported. The focus of effort of AMML was on the advanced labeled release experiment. Labeled substrates, inhibitors, and temperatures were investigated to establish a comparative biochemical profile. Profiles at three time intervals on soil and pure cultures of bacteria isolated from soil were prepared to establish a complete library. The development of a strategy for the return of a soil sample from Mars is also reported.

  16. Pyrosequencing for microbial typing.

    PubMed

    Ronaghi, Mostafa; Elahi, Elahe

    2002-12-25

    Pyrosequencing is a real-time DNA sequencing technique generating short reads rapidly and inexpensively. This technology has the potential advantage of accuracy, ease-of-use, high flexibility and is now emerging as a popular platform for microbial typing. Here, we review the methodology and the use of this technique for viral typing, bacterial typing, and fungal typing. In addition, we describe how to use multiplexing for accurate and rapid typing. PMID:12457996

  17. Microbial production of epoxides

    DOEpatents

    Clark, Thomas R.; Roberto, Francisco F.

    2003-06-10

    A method for microbial production of epoxides and other oxygenated products is disclosed. The method uses a biocatalyst of methanotrophic bacteria cultured in a biphasic medium containing a major amount of a non-aqueous polar solvent. Regeneration of reducing equivalents is carried out by using endogenous hydrogenase activity together with supplied hydrogen gas. This method is especially effective with gaseous substrates and cofactors that result in liquid products.

  18. Microbial field pilot study

    SciTech Connect

    Knapp, R.M.; McInerney, M.J.; Menzie, D.E.; Chisholm, J.L.

    1992-03-01

    The objective of this project is to perform a microbial enhanced oil recovery field pilot in the Southeast Vassar Vertz Sand Unit (SEVVSU) in Payne County, Oklahoma. Indigenous, anaerobic, nitrate reducing bacteria will be stimulated to selectively plug flow paths which have been referentially swept by a prior waterflood. This will force future flood water to invade bypassed regions of the reservoir and increase sweep efficiency. This report covers progress made during the second year, January 1, 1990 to December 31, 1990, of the Microbial Field Pilot Study project. Information on reservoir ecology, surface facilities design, operation of the unit, core experiments, modeling of microbial processes, and reservoir characterization and simulation are presented in the report. To better understand the ecology of the target reservoir, additional analyses of the fluids which support bacteriological growth and the microbiology of the reservoir were performed. The results of the produced and injected water analysis show increasing sulfide concentrations with respect to time. In March of 1990 Mesa Limited Partnership sold their interest in the SEVVSU to Sullivan and Company. In April, Sullivan and Company assumed operation of the field. The facilities for the field operation of the pilot were refined and implementation was begun. Core flood experiments conducted during the last year were used to help define possible mechanisms involved in microbial enhanced oil recovery. The experiments were performed at SEVVSU temperature using fluids and inoculum from the unit. The model described in last year's report was further validated using results from a core flood experiment. The model was able to simulate the results of one of the core flood experiments with good quality.

  19. Microbial field pilot study

    SciTech Connect

    Knapp, R.M.; McInerney, M.J.; Menzie, D.E.; Chisholm, J.L.

    1992-03-01

    The objective of this project is to perform a microbial enhanced oil recovery field pilot in the Southeast Vassar Vertz Sand Unit (SEVVSU) in Payne County, Oklahoma. Indigenous, anaerobic, nitrate reducing bacteria will be stimulated to selectively plug flow paths which have been referentially swept by a prior waterflood. This will force future flood water to invade bypassed regions of the reservoir and increase sweep efficiency. This report covers progress made during the second year, January 1, 1990 to December 31, 1990, of the Microbial Field Pilot Study project. Information on reservoir ecology, surface facilities design, operation of the unit, core experiments, modeling of microbial processes, and reservoir characterization and simulation are presented in the report. To better understand the ecology of the target reservoir, additional analyses of the fluids which support bacteriological growth and the microbiology of the reservoir were performed. The results of the produced and injected water analysis show increasing sulfide concentrations with respect to time. In March of 1990 Mesa Limited Partnership sold their interest in the SEVVSU to Sullivan and Company. In April, Sullivan and Company assumed operation of the field. The facilities for the field operation of the pilot were refined and implementation was begun. Core flood experiments conducted during the last year were used to help define possible mechanisms involved in microbial enhanced oil recovery. The experiments were performed at SEVVSU temperature using fluids and inoculum from the unit. The model described in last year`s report was further validated using results from a core flood experiment. The model was able to simulate the results of one of the core flood experiments with good quality.

  20. The combined water system as approach for tackling water scarcity in Permilovo groundwater basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filimonova, Elena; Baldenkov, Mikhail

    2014-05-01

    groundwater basin (PGB) was developed to illustrate the application of CWS. PGB is located in northwest of the Northern Dvina Artesian Basin, Russia. The principle aquifer is in the Carboniferous fissured and karstified rocks. The aquifer has a good hydraulic connection to the stream. The basin was explored but not used due to impermissible stream depletion. The organization of CWS is offered as approach for tackling environmental problem. The major well is located on the bank of river Vaymuga and induces infiltration from the stream. The deficiency of the stream flow in dry seasons (from November to April) is compensated for by the pumping aquifer storage. The aquifer system under consideration belongs to the first hydraulic case (a), where distance between CW and the stream should be sufficient enough to prevent the groundwater drawdown levels from reaching the stream edge during the pumping period. The developed PGB model showed the efficiency of compensation pumping. Application of the combined water system in PGB allows of meet water demands during water-limited periods and of avoid the environmental problems.

  1. Nanoporous microscale microbial incubators.

    PubMed

    Ge, Zhifei; Girguis, Peter R; Buie, Cullen R

    2016-02-01

    Reconstruction of phylogenetic trees based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing reveals abundant microbial diversity that has not been cultured in the laboratory. Many attribute this so-called 'great plate count anomaly' to traditional microbial cultivation techniques, which largely facilitate the growth of a single species. Yet, it is widely recognized that bacteria in nature exist in complex communities. One technique to increase the pool of cultivated bacterial species is to co-culture multiple species in a simulated natural environment. Here, we present nanoporous microscale microbial incubators (NMMI) that enable high-throughput screening and real-time observation of multi-species co-culture. The key innovation in NMMI is that they facilitate inter-species communication while maintaining physical isolation between species, which is ideal for genomic analysis. Co-culture of a quorum sensing pair demonstrates that the NMMI can be used to culture multiple species in chemical communication while monitoring the growth dynamics of individual species. PMID:26584739

  2. Microbial reduction of iodate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Councell, T.B.; Landa, E.R.; Lovley, D.R.

    1997-01-01

    The different oxidation species of iodine have markedly different sorption properties. Hence, changes in iodine redox states can greatly affect the mobility of iodine in the environment. Although a major microbial role has been suggested in the past to account for these redox changes, little has been done to elucidate the responsible microorganisms or the mechanisms involved. In the work presented here, direct microbial reduction of iodate was demonstrated with anaerobic cell suspensions of the sulfate reducing bacterium Desulfovibrio desulfuricans which reduced 96% of an initial 100 ??M iodate to iodide at pH 7 in 30 mM NaHCO3 buffer, whereas anaerobic cell suspensions of the dissimilatory Fe(III)-reducing bacterium Shewanella putrefaciens were unable to reduce iodate in 30 mM NaHCO3 buffer (pH 7). Both D. desulfuricans and S. putrefaciens were able to reduce iodate at pH 7 in 10 mM HEPES buffer. Both soluble ferrous iron and sulfide, as well as iron monosulfide (FeS) were shown to abiologically reduce iodate to iodide. These results indicate that ferric iron and/or sulfate reducing bacteria are capable of mediating both direct, enzymatic, as well as abiotic reduction of iodate in natural anaerobic environments. These microbially mediated reactions may be important factors in the fate and transport of 129I in natural systems.

  3. Does a SLAP lesion affect shoulder muscle recruitment as measured by EMG activity during a rugby tackle?

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The study objective was to assess the influence of a SLAP lesion on onset of EMG activity in shoulder muscles during a front on rugby football tackle within professional rugby players. Methods Mixed cross-sectional study evaluating between and within group differences in EMG onset times. Testing was carried out within the physiotherapy department of a university sports medicine clinic. The test group consisted of 7 players with clinically diagnosed SLAP lesions, later verified on arthroscopy. The reference group consisted of 15 uninjured and full time professional rugby players from within the same playing squad. Controlled tackles were performed against a tackle dummy. Onset of EMG activity was assessed from surface EMG of Pectorialis Major, Biceps Brachii, Latissimus Dorsi, Serratus Anterior and Infraspinatus muscles relative to time of impact. Analysis of differences in activation timing between muscles and limbs (injured versus non-injured side and non injured side versus matched reference group). Results Serratus Anterior was activated prior to all other muscles in all (P = 0.001-0.03) subjects. In the SLAP injured shoulder Biceps was activated later than in the non-injured side. Onset times of all muscles of the non-injured shoulder in the injured player were consistently earlier compared with the reference group. Whereas, within the injured shoulder, all muscle activation timings were later than in the reference group. Conclusions This study shows that in shoulders with a SLAP lesion there is a trend towards delay in activation time of Biceps and other muscles with the exception of an associated earlier onset of activation of Serratus anterior, possibly due to a coping strategy to protect glenohumeral stability and thoraco-scapular stability. This trend was not statistically significant in all cases PMID:20184752

  4. Tackling U.S. energy challenges and opportunities: preliminary policy recommendations for enhancing energy innovation in the United States

    SciTech Connect

    Anadon, Laura Diaz; Gallagher, Kelly Sims; Bunn, Matthew; Jones, Charles

    2009-02-18

    The report offers preliminary recommendations for near-term actions to strengthen the U.S. effort to develop and deploy advanced energy technologies. The report comes as the Obama Administration and the 111th U.S. Congress face enormous challenges and opportunities in tackling the pressing security, economic, and environmental problems posed by the energy sector. Improving the technologies of energy supply and end-use is a prerequisite for surmounting these challenges in a timely and cost-effective way, and this report elaborates on how policy can support develop of these important energy technologies.

  5. Tackling the minority: sulfate-reducing bacteria in an archaea-dominated subsurface biofilm

    PubMed Central

    Probst, Alexander J; Holman, Hoi-Ying N; DeSantis, Todd Z; Andersen, Gary L; Birarda, Giovanni; Bechtel, Hans A; Piceno, Yvette M; Sonnleitner, Maria; Venkateswaran, Kasthuri; Moissl-Eichinger, Christine

    2013-01-01

    Archaea are usually minor components of a microbial community and dominated by a large and diverse bacterial population. In contrast, the SM1 Euryarchaeon dominates a sulfidic aquifer by forming subsurface biofilms that contain a very minor bacterial fraction (5%). These unique biofilms are delivered in high biomass to the spring outflow that provides an outstanding window to the subsurface. Despite previous attempts to understand its natural role, the metabolic capacities of the SM1 Euryarchaeon remain mysterious to date. In this study, we focused on the minor bacterial fraction in order to obtain insights into the ecological function of the biofilm. We link phylogenetic diversity information with the spatial distribution of chemical and metabolic compounds by combining three different state-of-the-art methods: PhyloChip G3 DNA microarray technology, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and synchrotron radiation-based Fourier transform infrared (SR-FTIR) spectromicroscopy. The results of PhyloChip and FISH technologies provide evidence for selective enrichment of sulfate-reducing bacteria, which was confirmed by the detection of bacterial dissimilatory sulfite reductase subunit B (dsrB) genes via quantitative PCR and sequence-based analyses. We further established a differentiation of archaeal and bacterial cells by SR-FTIR based on typical lipid and carbohydrate signatures, which demonstrated a co-localization of organic sulfate, carbonated mineral and bacterial signatures in the biofilm. All these results strongly indicate an involvement of the SM1 euryarchaeal biofilm in the global cycles of sulfur and carbon and support the hypothesis that sulfidic springs are important habitats for Earth's energy cycles. Moreover, these investigations of a bacterial minority in an Archaea-dominated environment are a remarkable example of the great power of combining highly sensitive microarrays with label-free infrared imaging. PMID:23178669

  6. Small flies to tackle big questions: assaying complex bacterial virulence mechanisms using Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Fauvarque, Marie-Odile

    2014-06-01

    A successful raid on a fortress requires ingenious strategies in addition to a large number of soldiers. When a microorganism faces a potential host many factors are important, including not only the capacity to proliferate but also the ability to hide, escape or subvert the defence arsenal of the infected organism. This ability confers microbial pathogenicity and relies on complex virulence mechanisms, which are tightly regulated during the course of the infection. The amazing versatility of some microbes that can infect a wide broad of hosts undoubtedly relies on virulence factors intent on fighting evolutionarily conserved innate immune mechanisms. This makes the use of alternative invertebrate models, which are of outstanding interest because they demand less ethical consideration and lower experimental costs, extremely relevant. These simpler organisms are used to analyse genes and mechanisms involved in resistance or tolerance to microorganisms. They can also be used to study bacterial virulence factors that allow proliferation or persistence in the host. In particular, the Drosophila fruit fly has a complex immune response (similar to the mammalian innate immune response) and is particularly appropriate for deciphering many events underlying bacterial pathogenicity from acute virulence to biofilm formation. As highlighted in this review, Drosophila has been notably extensively used to study virulence traits of the opportunistic bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa, such as proliferation or persistence, translocation through an epithelial barrier, subversion of the phagocytic machinery, in vivo biofilm formation and enhanced virulence provided by commensal flora or a polymicrobial community. Moreover, these small flies now appear to be a useful system for assaying chemicals with therapeutic potential. PMID:24628939

  7. Tackling NCD in LMIC: Achievements and Lessons Learned From the NHLBI-UnitedHealth Global Health Centers of Excellence Program.

    PubMed

    Engelgau, Michael M; Sampson, Uchechukwu K; Rabadan-Diehl, Cristina; Smith, Richard; Miranda, Jaime; Bloomfield, Gerald S; Belis, Deshiree; Narayan, K M Venkat

    2016-03-01

    Effectively tackling the growing noncommunicable disease (NCD) burden in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) is a major challenge. To address research needs in this setting for NCDs, in 2009, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and UnitedHealth Group (UHG) engaged in a public-private partnership that supported a network of 11 LMIC-based research centers and created the NHLBI-UnitedHealth Global Health Centers of Excellence (COE) Program. The Program's overall goal was to contribute to reducing the cardiovascular and lung disease burdens by catalyzing in-country research institutions to develop a global network of biomedical research centers. Key elements of the Program included team science and collaborative approaches, developing research and training platforms for future investigators, and creating a data commons. This Program embraced a strategic approach for tackling NCDs in LMICs and will provide capacity for locally driven research efforts that can identify and address priority health issues in specific countries' settings. PMID:27102018

  8. Tackling stigma associated with intellectual disability among the general public: a study of two indirect contact interventions.

    PubMed

    Walker, Jessica; Scior, Katrina

    2013-07-01

    Although evidence abounds that people with intellectual disabilities are exposed to stigma and discrimination, few interventions have attempted to tackle stigma among the general public. This study set out to assess the impact of two brief indirect contact interventions on lay people's inclusion attitudes, social distance and positive behavioral intentions, and to explore emotional reactions towards the two interventions. 925 participants completed the first online survey. Participants were randomized to watch either a 10 min film based on intergroup contact theory, or a film based on a protest message. In total, 403 participants completed the follow-up survey at one month. Both interventions were effective at changing inclusion attitudes and social distance in the short term and these effects were partially maintained at one month. The protest based intervention had a greater effect compared to the contact one on aspects of inclusion attitudes and evoked stronger emotional reactions. Despite small effect sizes, brief indirect contact interventions may have a potential role in tackling public stigma associated with intellectual disability but their effects on behavioral intentions are questionable. PMID:23644953

  9. Microbial field pilot study

    SciTech Connect

    Knapp, R.M.; McInerney, M.J.; Menzie, D.E.; Coates, J.D.; Chisholm, J.L.

    1993-05-01

    A multi-well microbially enhanced oil recovery field pilot has been performed in the Southeast Vassar Vertz Sand Unit in Payne County, Oklahoma. The primary emphasis of the experiment was preferential plugging of high permeability zones for the purpose of improving waterflood sweep efficiency. Studies were performed to determine reservoir chemistry, ecology, and indigenous bacteria populations. Growth experiments were used to select a nutrient system compatible with the reservoir that encouraged growth of a group of indigenous nitrate-using bacteria and inhibit growth of sulfate-reducing bacteria. A specific field pilot area behind an active line drive waterflood was selected. Surface facilities were designed and installed. Injection protocols of bulk nutrient materials were prepared to facilitate uniform distribution of nutrients within the pilot area. By the end of December, 1991, 82.5 tons (75.0 tonnes) of nutrients had been injected in the field. A tracer test identified significant heterogeneity in the SEVVSU and made it necessary to monitor additional production wells in the field. The tracer tests and changes in production behavior indicate the additional production wells monitored during the field trial were also affected. Eighty two and one half barrels (13.1 m[sup 3]) of tertiary oil have been recovered. Microbial activity has increased CO[sub 2] content as indicated by increased alkalinity. A temporary rise in sulfide concentration was experienced. These indicate an active microbial community was generated in the field by the nutrient injection. Pilot area interwell pressure interference test results showed that significant permeability reduction occurred. The interwell permeabilities in the pilot area between the injector and the three pilot production wells were made more uniform which indicates a successful preferential plugging enhanced oil recovery project.

  10. Microbial Bebop: Creating Music from Complex Dynamics in Microbial Ecology

    PubMed Central

    Larsen, Peter; Gilbert, Jack

    2013-01-01

    In order for society to make effective policy decisions on complex and far-reaching subjects, such as appropriate responses to global climate change, scientists must effectively communicate complex results to the non-scientifically specialized public. However, there are few ways however to transform highly complicated scientific data into formats that are engaging to the general community. Taking inspiration from patterns observed in nature and from some of the principles of jazz bebop improvisation, we have generated Microbial Bebop, a method by which microbial environmental data are transformed into music. Microbial Bebop uses meter, pitch, duration, and harmony to highlight the relationships between multiple data types in complex biological datasets. We use a comprehensive microbial ecology, time course dataset collected at the L4 marine monitoring station in the Western English Channel as an example of microbial ecological data that can be transformed into music. Four compositions were generated (www.bio.anl.gov/MicrobialBebop.htm.) from L4 Station data using Microbial Bebop. Each composition, though deriving from the same dataset, is created to highlight different relationships between environmental conditions and microbial community structure. The approach presented here can be applied to a wide variety of complex biological datasets. PMID:23483981

  11. Microbial bebop: creating music from complex dynamics in microbial ecology.

    PubMed

    Larsen, Peter; Gilbert, Jack

    2013-01-01

    In order for society to make effective policy decisions on complex and far-reaching subjects, such as appropriate responses to global climate change, scientists must effectively communicate complex results to the non-scientifically specialized public. However, there are few ways however to transform highly complicated scientific data into formats that are engaging to the general community. Taking inspiration from patterns observed in nature and from some of the principles of jazz bebop improvisation, we have generated Microbial Bebop, a method by which microbial environmental data are transformed into music. Microbial Bebop uses meter, pitch, duration, and harmony to highlight the relationships between multiple data types in complex biological datasets. We use a comprehensive microbial ecology, time course dataset collected at the L4 marine monitoring station in the Western English Channel as an example of microbial ecological data that can be transformed into music. Four compositions were generated (www.bio.anl.gov/MicrobialBebop.htm.) from L4 Station data using Microbial Bebop. Each composition, though deriving from the same dataset, is created to highlight different relationships between environmental conditions and microbial community structure. The approach presented here can be applied to a wide variety of complex biological datasets. PMID:23483981

  12. Microbial solubilization of phosphate

    DOEpatents

    Rogers, R.D.; Wolfram, J.H.

    1993-10-26

    A process is provided for solubilizing phosphate from phosphate containing ore by treatment with microorganisms which comprises forming an aqueous mixture of phosphate ore, microorganisms operable for solubilizing phosphate from the phosphate ore and maintaining the aqueous mixture for a period of time and under conditions operable to effect the microbial solubilization process. An aqueous solution containing soluble phosphorus can be separated from the reacted mixture by precipitation, solvent extraction, selective membrane, exchange resin or gravity methods to recover phosphate from the aqueous solution. 6 figures.

  13. Microbial metabolism of Tholin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stoker, C. R.; Mancinelli, R. L.; Boston, P. J.; Segal, W.; Khare, B. N.

    1990-01-01

    Tholin, a class of complex organic heteropolymers hypothesized to possess wide solar system distribution, is shown to furnish the carbon and energy requirements of a wide variety of common soil bacteria which encompasses aerobic, anaerobic, and facultatively anaerobic bacteria. Some of these bacteria are able to derive not merely their carbon but also their nitrogen requirements from tholin. The palatability of tholins to modern microbes is speculated to have implications for the early evolution of microbial life on earth; tholins may have formed the base of the food chain for an early heterotrophic biosphere, prior to the evolution of autotrophy on the early earth.

  14. Archean Microbial Mat Communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tice, Michael M.; Thornton, Daniel C. O.; Pope, Michael C.; Olszewski, Thomas D.; Gong, Jian

    2011-05-01

    Much of the Archean record of microbial communities consists of fossil mats and stromatolites. Critical physical emergent properties governing the evolution of large-scale (centimeters to meters) topographic relief on the mat landscape are (a) mat surface roughness relative to the laminar sublayer and (b) cohesion. These properties can be estimated for fossil samples under many circumstances. A preliminary analysis of Archean mat cohesion suggests that mats growing in shallow marine environments from throughout this time had cohesions similar to those of modern shallow marine mats. There may have been a significant increase in mat strength at the end of the Archean.

  15. Bayesian Integrated Microbial Forensics

    SciTech Connect

    Jarman, Kristin H.; Kreuzer-Martin, Helen W.; Wunschel, David S.; Valentine, Nancy B.; Cliff, John B.; Petersen, Catherine E.; Colburn, Heather A.; Wahl, Karen L.

    2008-06-01

    In the aftermath of the 2001 anthrax letters, researchers have been exploring ways to predict the production environment of unknown source microorganisms. Different mass spectral techniques are being developed to characterize components of a microbe’s culture medium including water, carbon and nitrogen sources, metal ions added, and the presence of agar. Individually, each technique has the potential to identify one or two ingredients in a culture medium recipe. However, by integrating data from multiple mass spectral techniques, a more complete characterization is possible. We present a Bayesian statistical approach to integrated microbial forensics and illustrate its application on spores grown in different culture media.

  16. Microbial solubilization of phosphate

    DOEpatents

    Rogers, Robert D.; Wolfram, James H.

    1993-01-01

    A process is provided for solubilizing phosphate from phosphate containing ore by treatment with microorganisms which comprises forming an aqueous mixture of phosphate ore, microorganisms operable for solubilizing phosphate from the phosphate ore and maintaining the aqueous mixture for a period of time and under conditions operable to effect the microbial solubilization process. An aqueous solution containing soluble phosphorous can be separated from the reacted mixture by precipitation, solvent extraction, selective membrane, exchange resin or gravity methods to recover phosphate from the aqueous solution.

  17. Tackling the Challenge of Deep Vadose Zone Remediation at the Hanford Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morse, J. G.; Wellman, D. M.; Gephart, R.

    2010-12-01

    The Central Plateau of the Hanford Site in Washington State contains some 800 waste disposal sites where 1.7 trillion liters of contaminated water was once discharged into the subsurface. Most of these sites received liquids from the chemical reprocessing of spent uranium fuel to recover plutonium. In addition, 67 single shell tanks have leaked or are suspected to have leaked 3.8 million liters of high alkali and aluminate rich cesium-contaminated liquids into the sediment. Today, this inventory of subsurface contamination contains an estimated 550,000 curies of radioactivity and 150 million kg (165,000 tons) of metals and hazardous chemicals. Radionuclides range from mobile 99Tc to more immobilized 137Cs, 241Am, uranium, and plutonium. A significant fraction of these contaminants likely remain within the deep vadose zone. Plumes of groundwater containing tritium, nitrate, 129I and other contaminants have migrated through the vadose zone and now extend outward from the Central Plateau to the Columbia River. During most of Hanford Site history, subsurface studies focused on groundwater monitoring and characterization to support waste management decisions. Deep vadose zone studies were not a priority because waste practices relied upon that zone to buffer contaminant releases into the underlying aquifer. Remediation of the deep vadose zone is now central to Hanford Site cleanup because these sediments can provide an ongoing source of contamination to the aquifer and therefore to the Columbia River. However, characterization and remediation of the deep vadose zone pose some unique challenges. These include sediment thickness; contaminant depth; coupled geohydrologic, geochemical, and microbial processes controlling contaminant spread; limited availability and effectiveness of traditional characterization tools and cleanup remedies; and predicting contaminant behavior and remediation performance over long time periods and across molecular to field scales. The U

  18. Microbial genomic taxonomy.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Cristiane C; Chimetto, Luciane; Edwards, Robert A; Swings, Jean; Stackebrandt, Erko; Thompson, Fabiano L

    2013-01-01

    A need for a genomic species definition is emerging from several independent studies worldwide. In this commentary paper, we discuss recent studies on the genomic taxonomy of diverse microbial groups and a unified species definition based on genomics. Accordingly, strains from the same microbial species share >95% Average Amino Acid Identity (AAI) and Average Nucleotide Identity (ANI), >95% identity based on multiple alignment genes, <10 in Karlin genomic signature, and > 70% in silico Genome-to-Genome Hybridization similarity (GGDH). Species of the same genus will form monophyletic groups on the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequences, Multilocus Sequence Analysis (MLSA) and supertree analysis. In addition to the established requirements for species descriptions, we propose that new taxa descriptions should also include at least a draft genome sequence of the type strain in order to obtain a clear outlook on the genomic landscape of the novel microbe. The application of the new genomic species definition put forward here will allow researchers to use genome sequences to define simultaneously coherent phenotypic and genomic groups. PMID:24365132

  19. Microbial response to triepthylphosphate

    SciTech Connect

    Hazen, T.C.; Santo Domingo, J.W.; Berry, C.J.

    1997-05-01

    The effect of triethylphosphate (TEP) on the activity of a landfill aquifer microbial community was evaluated using standard techniques and in situ hybridizations with phylogenetic probes. Benzene was used as an external carbon source to monitor degradation of an aromatic compound in TEP amended microcosms. Microscopical and viable counts were higher in TEP containing microcosms when compared to unamended controls. A significant increase in metabolic activity was also observed for TEP amended samples as determined by the number of cells hybridizing to an eubacterial probe. In addition, the number of beta and gamma Proteobacteria increased from undetectable levels prior to the study to 15-29% of the total bacteria in microcosms containing TEP and benzene. In these microcosms, nearly 40% of the benzene was degraded during the incubation period compared to less than 5% in unamended microcosms. While TEP has previously been used as an alternate phosphate source in the bioremediation of chlorinated aliphatics, this study shows that it can also stimulate the microbial degradation of aromatics in phosphate limited aquifers.

  20. Microelectrodes in microbial ecology

    SciTech Connect

    Boots, S.

    1989-03-15

    Understanding the microenvironment of bacteria has presented many challenges for the microbial ecologist. Simple intracellular capillary electrodes have been used in neurophysiology since the 1950s to measure action potentials in ion transport over biological membranes, and ion-selective electrodes were developed soon thereafter for the determination of H{sup +}, Na{sup +}, K{sup +}, and Ca{sup 2+}. However, these analytical techniques did not receive much attention until 1978, when Niels Peter Revsbech and Bo Barker Joergensen at the Institute of Ecology and Genetics, University of Aarhus, Denmark, began using oxygen microelectrodes in their studies of the ecology and biogeochemistry of marine sediments and other microbial environments. Today, Revsbech and Joergensen use five types of microelectrodes, two types of oxygen microelectrodes, a combined microelectrode for nitrous oxide and oxygen, a sulfide microelectrode, and a pH microelectrode. The first three microelectrodes have diameters of about 10 {mu}m and the last two of about 50 {mu}m. Some of the electrodes actually contain two or three cathodes plus a reference electrode, all situated behind a polymer membrane. In situ experiments have been done for several years at a water depth of several meters, where the micromanipulator is operated by a diver. Recently measurements were obtained in the deep sea with the microelectrodes mounted on a free-falling vehicle or operated from a submersible vessel.

  1. Compositions of constructed microbial mats

    DOEpatents

    Bender, Judith A.; Phillips, Peter C.

    1999-01-01

    Compositions and methods of use of constructed microbial mats, comprising cyanobacteria and purple autotrophic bacteria and an organic nutrient source, in a laminated structure, are described. The constructed microbial mat is used for bioremediation of different individual contaminants and for mixed or multiple contaminants, and for production of beneficial compositions and molecules.

  2. The Promise of Microbial Technology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    El Nawawy, Amin S.

    1982-01-01

    Prospects for microbial technology are discussed including: (1) possible transfer of nitrogen-fixing ability directly from bacteria to plant; (2) increasing food needs met through single-cell proteins and fermentation; (3) microbial production of antibiotics; and (4) increased biogas production. (Author/JN)

  3. Microbial safety of fresh produce

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The book entitled “Microbial Safety of Fresh Produce” with 23 chapters is divided into following six sections: Microbial contamination of fresh produce, Pre-harvest strategies, post-harvest interventions, Produce safety during processing and handling, Public, legal, and economic Perspectives, and Re...

  4. MICROBIAL INDICATORS OF SOIL QUALITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Soil quality is an elusive term; however, the quality of a soil can greatly impact land use, sustainability, and productivity. Soil microbial processes are an integral part of soil quality and a better understanding of these processes and microbial community structure is needed. ...

  5. Microbial interactions during carrion decomposition

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This addresses the microbial ecology of carrion decomposition in the age of metagenomics. It describes what is known about the microbial communities on carrion, including a brief synopsis about the communities on other organic matter sources. It provides a description of studies using state-of-the...

  6. Microbial "social networks"

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background It is well understood that distinct communities of bacteria are present at different sites of the body, and that changes in the structure of these communities have strong implications for human health. Yet, challenges remain in understanding the complex interconnections between the bacterial taxa within these microbial communities and how they change during the progression of diseases. Many recent studies attempt to analyze the human microbiome using traditional ecological measures and cataloging differences in bacterial community membership. In this paper, we show how to push metagenomic analyses beyond mundane questions related to the bacterial taxonomic profiles that differentiate one sample from another. Methods We develop tools and techniques that help us to investigate the nature of social interactions in microbial communities, and demonstrate ways of compactly capturing extensive information about these networks and visually conveying them in an effective manner. We define the concept of bacterial "social clubs", which are groups of taxa that tend to appear together in many samples. More importantly, we define the concept of "rival clubs", entire groups that tend to avoid occurring together in many samples. We show how to efficiently compute social clubs and rival clubs and demonstrate their utility with the help of examples including a smokers' dataset and a dataset from the Human Microbiome Project (HMP). Results The tools developed provide a framework for analyzing relationships between bacterial taxa modeled as bacterial co-occurrence networks. The computational techniques also provide a framework for identifying clubs and rival clubs and for studying differences in the microbiomes (and their interactions) of two or more collections of samples. Conclusions Microbial relationships are similar to those found in social networks. In this work, we assume that strong (positive or negative) tendencies to co-occur or co-infect is likely to have

  7. Microbial load monitor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caplin, R. S.; Royer, E. R.

    1978-01-01

    Attempts are made to provide a total design of a Microbial Load Monitor (MLM) system flight engineering model. Activities include assembly and testing of Sample Receiving and Card Loading Devices (SRCLDs), operator related software, and testing of biological samples in the MLM. Progress was made in assembling SRCLDs with minimal leaks and which operate reliably in the Sample Loading System. Seven operator commands are used to control various aspects of the MLM such as calibrating and reading the incubating reading head, setting the clock and reading time, and status of Card. Testing of the instrument, both in hardware and biologically, was performed. Hardware testing concentrated on SRCLDs. Biological testing covered 66 clinical and seeded samples. Tentative thresholds were set and media performance listed.

  8. Taking microbial roll call

    SciTech Connect

    Schaffner, I.R. Jr.; Wieck, J.M.; Lamb, S.R.

    1998-02-01

    Natural attenuation is an important process that can reduce contaminant mass both above and below the water table. Although this natural process is sometimes referred to as wink and walk, bioProcrastination, mental attenuation or other environmental euphemisms, demonstrating that it may be protective of human health and the environment is a rigorous scientific exercise that considers biological, physical and chemical mechanisms as well as hydrogeologic site constraints. Such investigations typically focus on intrinsic, or natural, bioremediation because biological mechanisms are more important than physical-chemical ones for attenuating contaminants such as petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs) in many hydrogeologic settings. One supplemental method for evaluating intrinsic bioremediation potential is microbial enumeration screening. This paper describes four case studies using this method.

  9. Microbial sensor cell arrays.

    PubMed

    Melamed, Sahar; Elad, Tal; Belkin, Shimshon

    2012-02-01

    Motivated by the advantages endowed by high-throughput analysis, researchers have succeeded in incorporating multiple reporter cells into a single platform; the technology now allows the simultaneous scrutiny of a large collection of sensor strains. We review current aspects in cell array technology with emphasis on microbial sensor arrays. We consider various techniques for patterning live cells on solid surfaces, describe different array-based applications and devices, and highlight recent efforts for live cell storage. We review mathematical approaches for deciphering the data emanating from bioreporter collections, and discuss the future of single cell arrays. Innovative technologies for cell patterning, preservation and interpretation are continuously being developed; when they all mature, cell arrays may become an efficient analytical tool, in a scope resembling that of DNA microarray biochips. PMID:22176747

  10. Microbial fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Nealson, Kenneth H; Pirbazari, Massoud; Hsu, Lewis

    2013-04-09

    A microbial fuel cell includes an anode compartment with an anode and an anode biocatalyst and a cathode compartment with a cathode and a cathode biocatalyst, with a membrane positioned between the anode compartment and the cathode compartment, and an electrical pathway between the anode and the cathode. The anode biocatalyst is capable of catalyzing oxidation of an organic substance, and the cathode biocatalyst is capable of catalyzing reduction of an inorganic substance. The reduced organic substance can form a precipitate, thereby removing the inorganic substance from solution. In some cases, the anode biocatalyst is capable of catalyzing oxidation of an inorganic substance, and the cathode biocatalyst is capable of catalyzing reduction of an organic or inorganic substance.

  11. Microbial enhanced oil recovery

    SciTech Connect

    Finnerty, W.R.; Singer, M.E.

    1983-06-01

    Microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) attempts to exploit the metabolic processes of microorganisms to increase oil production from reservoirs of marginal oil productivity. MEOR can be achieved by direct stimulation of existing microflora within the reservoir, introduction of specialized microroganisms, or above ground use of bioproducts as chemically enhanced oil recovery agents. Reservoir microbiology, the biotransformation of crude oil, and bioproducts applicable to EOR all need further study. Xanthan and polyacrylamine have been applied to EOR, but with some problems. Other selected polysaccharides for which reasonable data bases exist are listed. Some tests on injection of microorganisms, CEOR use, and use of biosurfactants (bacteria that reduces the viscosity of crude oil) are reviewed. The status of MEOR currently resides at a basic level of research and developement.

  12. New microbial growth factor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bok, S. H.; Casida, L. E., Jr.

    1977-01-01

    A screening procedure was used to isolate from soil a Penicillium sp., two bacterial isolates, and a Streptomyces sp. that produced a previously unknown microbial growth factor. This factor was an absolute growth requirement for three soil bacteria. The Penicillium sp. and one of the bacteria requiring the factor, an Arthrobacter sp., were selected for more extensive study concerning the production and characteristics of the growth factor. It did not seem to be related to the siderochromes. It was not present in soil extract, rumen fluid, or any other medium component tested. It appears to be a glycoprotein of high molecular weight and has high specific activity. When added to the diets for a meadow-vole mammalian test system, it caused an increased consumption of diet without a concurrent increase in rate of weight gain.

  13. Application of PRECEDE-PROCEED model to tackle problems identified with diarrhoea burden among under-5s in Botswana.

    PubMed

    Popoola, Tosin; Mchunu, Gugu

    2015-05-01

    Diarrhoea has been identified as the second leading cause of mortality among under-5s and also claims more life than HIV, measles and malaria combined together in the same category of population. This article is a combination of literature review and personal experience of lessons learnt from past diarrhoea outbreaks in Botswana that caused significant rate of mortality among under-5s. The paper used literature review to identify contributory factors to diarrhoea burden among under-5s in Botswana and applied a community health nursing framework (PRECEDE-PROCEED) to tackle the problems identified. The study revealed that Botswana mothers are lacking in knowledge related to exclusive breastfeeding, prevention and treatment of diarrhoea disease. The paper recommends that health-care workers in Botswana be sensitized on current diarrhoea management to tailor their health education methods appropriately. PMID:26125574

  14. Tackling the Use of Supari (Areca Nut) and Smokeless Tobacco Products in the South Asian Community in the United Kingdom.

    PubMed

    Chande, Milan; Suba, Krishna

    2016-06-01

    The use of supari (areca nut) and smokeless tobacco products are seen as a major risk factor for oral cancer. There are increasing rates of oral cancer across the United Kingdom, along with the increase of the use of these products. This article examines the uses of such products amongst the South Asian Community and explores sensitive issues associated with the cessation of their use. Evidence-based recommendations are provided on how to provide advice and treatment to patients that regularly use these products. A rethink is also suggested on the policy of taxation of such products. CPD/Clinical Relevance: With the rates of oral cancer increasing across the United Kingdom, it is important for us as dental professionals to tackle the use of areca nut and smokeless tobacco products. PMID:27529912

  15. An Ultrahydrophobic Fluorous Metal-Organic Framework Derived Recyclable Composite as a Promising Platform to Tackle Marine Oil Spills.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Soumya; Kansara, Ankit M; Saha, Debasis; Gonnade, Rajesh; Mullangi, Dinesh; Manna, Biplab; Desai, Aamod V; Thorat, Shridhar H; Singh, Puyam S; Mukherjee, Arnab; Ghosh, Sujit K

    2016-07-25

    Derived from a strategically chosen hexafluorinated dicarboxylate linker aimed at the designed synthesis of a superhydrophobic metal-organic framework (MOF), the fluorine-rich nanospace of a water-stable MOF (UHMOF-100) exhibits excellent water-repellent features. It registered the highest water contact angle (≈176°) in the MOF domain, marking the first example of an ultrahydrophobic MOF. Various experimental and theoretical studies reinforce its distinctive water-repellent characteristics, and the conjugation of superoleophilicity and unparalleled hydrophobicity of a MOF material has been coherently exploited to achieve real-time oil/water separation in recyclable membrane form, with significant absorption capacity performance. This is also the first report of an oil/water separating fluorinated ultrahydrophobic MOF-based membrane material, with potential promise for tackling marine oil spillages. PMID:27359254

  16. Microbially mediated phosphine emission.

    PubMed

    Roels, Joris; Huyghe, Gwen; Verstraete, Willy

    2005-02-15

    There is still a lot of controversy in literature concerning the question whether a biochemical system exists enabling micro-organisms to reduce phosphate to phosphine gas. The search for so-called 'de novo synthesised' phosphine is complicated by the fact that soils, slurries, sludges, etc., which are often used as inocula, usually contain matrix bound phosphine (MBP). Matrix bound phosphine is a general term used to indicate non-gaseous reduced phosphorus compounds that are transformed into phosphine gas upon reaction with bases or acids. A study was carried out to compare the different digestion methods, used to transform matrix bound phosphine into phosphine gas. It was demonstrated that caustic and acidic digestion methods should be used to measure the matrix bound phosphine of the inoculum prior to inoculation to avoid false positive results concerning de novo synthesis. This is especially true if anthropogenically influenced inocula possibly containing minute steel or aluminium particles are used. The comparative study on different digestion methods also revealed that the fraction of phosphorus in mild steel, converted to phosphine during acid corrosion depended on the temperature. Following these preliminary studies, anaerobic growth experiments were set up using different inocula and media to study the emission of phosphine gas. Phosphine was detected in the headspace gases and its quantity and timeframe of emission depended on the medium composition, suggesting microbially mediated formation of the gas. The amount of phosphine emitted during the growth experiments never exceeded the bound phosphine present in inocula, prior to inoculation. Hence, de novo synthesis of phosphine from phosphate could not be demonstrated. Yet, microbially mediated conversion to phosphine of hitherto unknown reduced phosphorus compounds in the inoculum was evidenced. PMID:15713333

  17. Microbial Field Pilot Study

    SciTech Connect

    Knapp, R.M.; McInerney, M.J.; Menzie, D.E.; Chisholm, J.L.

    1990-11-01

    This report covers progress made during the first year of the Microbial Field Pilot Study project. Information on reservoir ecology and characterization, facility and treatment design, core experiments, bacterial mobility, and mathematical modeling are addressed. To facilitate an understanding of the ecology of the target reservoir analyses of the fluids which support bacteriological growth and the microbiology of the reservoir were performed. A preliminary design of facilities for the operation of the field pilot test was prepared. In addition, procedures for facilities installation and for injection treatments are described. The Southeast Vassar Vertz Sand Unit (SEVVSU), the site of the proposed field pilot study, is described physically, historically, and geologically. The fields current status is presented and the ongoing reservoir simulation is discussed. Core flood experiments conducted during the last year were used to help define possible mechanisms involved in microbial enhanced oil recovery. Two possible mechanisms, relative permeability effects and changes in the capillary number, are discussed and related to four Berea core experiments' results. The experiments were conducted at reservoir temperature using SEVVSU oil, brine, and bacteria. The movement and activity of bacteria in porous media were investigated by monitoring the growth of bacteria in sandpack cores under no flow conditions. The rate of bacteria advancement through the cores was determined. A mathematical model of the MEOR process has been developed. The model is a three phase, seven species, one dimensional model. Finite difference methods are used for solution. Advection terms in balance equations are represented with a third- order upwind differencing scheme to reduce numerical dispersion and oscillations. The model is applied to a batch fermentation example. 52 refs., 26 figs., 21 tabs.

  18. Global microbialization of coral reefs.

    PubMed

    Haas, Andreas F; Fairoz, Mohamed F M; Kelly, Linda W; Nelson, Craig E; Dinsdale, Elizabeth A; Edwards, Robert A; Giles, Steve; Hatay, Mark; Hisakawa, Nao; Knowles, Ben; Lim, Yan Wei; Maughan, Heather; Pantos, Olga; Roach, Ty N F; Sanchez, Savannah E; Silveira, Cynthia B; Sandin, Stuart; Smith, Jennifer E; Rohwer, Forest

    2016-01-01

    Microbialization refers to the observed shift in ecosystem trophic structure towards higher microbial biomass and energy use. On coral reefs, the proximal causes of microbialization are overfishing and eutrophication, both of which facilitate enhanced growth of fleshy algae, conferring a competitive advantage over calcifying corals and coralline algae. The proposed mechanism for this competitive advantage is the DDAM positive feedback loop (dissolved organic carbon (DOC), disease, algae, microorganism), where DOC released by ungrazed fleshy algae supports copiotrophic, potentially pathogenic bacterial communities, ultimately harming corals and maintaining algal competitive dominance. Using an unprecedented data set of >400 samples from 60 coral reef sites, we show that the central DDAM predictions are consistent across three ocean basins. Reef algal cover is positively correlated with lower concentrations of DOC and higher microbial abundances. On turf and fleshy macroalgal-rich reefs, higher relative abundances of copiotrophic microbial taxa were identified. These microbial communities shift their metabolic potential for carbohydrate degradation from the more energy efficient Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas pathway on coral-dominated reefs to the less efficient Entner-Doudoroff and pentose phosphate pathways on algal-dominated reefs. This 'yield-to-power' switch by microorganism directly threatens reefs via increased hypoxia and greater CO2 release from the microbial respiration of DOC. PMID:27572833

  19. Microbial proteomics: the quiet revolution

    SciTech Connect

    Seraphin, Bertrand; Hettich, Robert {Bob} L

    2012-01-01

    Technological developments in DNA sequencing and their application to study thousands of microbial genomes or even microbial ecosystems still today often make the headlines of general newspapers and scientific journals. These revolutionary changes are hiding another revolution that is unfolding more quietly in the background: the development of microbial proteomics to study genome expression products. It is important to recognize that while DNA sequencing reveals extensive details about the genomic potential of an organism or community, proteomic measurements reveal the functional gene products that are present and operational under specific environmental conditions, and thus perhaps better characterize the critical biomolecules that execute the life processes (enzymes, signaling, structural factors, etc.).

  20. Tackle-related injury rates and nature of injuries in South African Youth Week tournament rugby union players (under-13 to under-18): an observational cohort study

    PubMed Central

    Burger, Nicholas; Lambert, Mike I; Viljoen, Wayne; Brown, James C; Readhead, Clint; Hendricks, Sharief

    2014-01-01

    Objectives The tackle situation is most often associated with the high injury rates in rugby union. Tackle injury epidemiology in rugby union has previously been focused on senior cohorts but less is known about younger cohorts. The aim of this study was to report on the nature and rates of tackle-related injuries in South African youth rugby union players representing their provinces at national tournaments. Design Observational cohort study. Setting Four South African Youth Week tournaments (under-13 Craven Week, under-16 Grant Khomo Week, under-18 Academy Week, under-18 Craven Week). Participants Injury data were collected from 3652 youth rugby union players (population at risk) in 2011 and 2012. Outcome measures Tackle-related injury severity (‘time-loss’ and ‘medical attention’), type and location, injury rate per 1000 h (including 95% CIs). Injury rate ratios (IRR) were calculated and modelled using a Poisson regression. A χ2 analysis was used to detect linear trends between injuries and increasing match quarters. Results The 2012 under-13 Craven Week had a significantly greater ‘time-loss’ injury rate when compared with the 2012 under-18 Academy Week (IRR=4.43; 95% CI 2.13 to 9.21, p<0.05) and under-18 Craven Week (IRR=3.52; 95% CI 1.54 to 8.00, p<0.05). The Poisson regression also revealed a higher probability of ‘overall’ (‘time-loss’ and ‘medical attention’ combined) and ‘time-loss’ tackle-related injuries occurring at the under-13 Craven Week. The proportion of ‘overall’ and ‘time-loss’ injuries increased significantly with each quarter of the match when all four tournaments were combined (p<0.05). Conclusions There was a difference in the tackle-related injury rate between the under-13 tournament and the two under-18 tournaments, and the tackle-related injury rate was higher in the final quarter of matches. Ongoing injury surveillance is required to better interpret these findings. Injury prevention strategies

  1. Microbial Cell Imaging

    SciTech Connect

    Doktycz, Mitchel John; Sullivan, Claretta; Mortensen, Ninell P; Allison, David P

    2011-01-01

    the maximum scan size (roughly 100 x 100 {mu}m) and the restricted movement of the cantilever in the Z (or height) direction. In most commercial AFMs, the Z range is restricted to roughly 10 {mu}m such that the height of cells to be imaged must be seriously considered. Nevertheless, AFM can provide structural-functional information at nanometer resolution and do so in physiologically relevant environments. Further, instrumentation for scanning probe microscopy continues to advance. Systems for high-speed imaging are becoming available, and techniques for looking inside the cells are being demonstrated. The ability to combine AFM with other imaging modalities is likely to have an even greater impact on microbiological studies. AFM studies of intact microbial cells started to appear in the literature in the 1990s. For example, AFM studies of Saccharomyces cerevisiae examined buddings cars after cell division and detailed changes related to cell growth processes. Also, the first AFM studies of bacterial biofilms appeared. In the late 1990s, AFM studies of intact fungal spores described clear changes in spore surfaces upon germination, and studies of individual bacterial cells were also described. These early bacterial imaging studies examined changes in bacterial morphology due to antimicrobial peptides exposure and bacterial adhesion properties. The majority of these early studies were carried out on dried samples and took advantage of the resolving power of AFM. The lack of cell mounting procedures presented an impediment for cell imaging studies. Subsequently, several approaches to mounting microbial cells have been developed, and these techniques are described later. Also highlighted are general considerations for microbial imaging and a description of some of the various applications of AFM to microbiology.

  2. Biochemical Analysis of Microbial Rhodopsins.

    PubMed

    Maresca, Julia A; Keffer, Jessica L; Miller, Kelsey J

    2016-01-01

    Ion-pumping rhodopsins transfer ions across the microbial cell membrane in a light-dependent fashion. As the rate of biochemical characterization of microbial rhodopsins begins to catch up to the rate of microbial rhodopsin identification in environmental and genomic sequence data sets, in vitro analysis of their light-absorbing properties and in vivo analysis of ion pumping will remain critical to characterizing these proteins. As we learn more about the variety of physiological roles performed by microbial rhodopsins in different cell types and environments, observing the localization patterns of the rhodopsins and/or quantifying the number of rhodopsin-bearing cells in natural environments will become more important. Here, we provide protocols for purification of rhodopsin-containing membranes, detection of ion pumping, and observation of functional rhodopsins in laboratory and environmental samples using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. © 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. PMID:27153387

  3. When microbial conversations get physical

    PubMed Central

    Reguera, Gemma

    2011-01-01

    It is widely accepted that microorganisms are social beings. Whereas communication via chemical signals (e.g. quorum sensing) has been the focus of most investigations, the use of physical signals for microbial cell-cell communication has received only limited attention. Here, I argue that physical modes of microbial communication could be widespread in nature. This is based on experimental evidence on the microbial emission and response to three physical signals: sound waves, electromagnetic radiation, and electric currents. These signals propagate rapidly and, even at very low intensities, they provide useful mechanisms when a rapid response is required. I also make some suggestions for promising future research avenues that could bring novel and unsuspected insights into the physical nature of microbial signaling networks. PMID:21239171

  4. Microbial Infection and Rheumatoid Arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Li, Song; Yu, Yangsheng; Yue, Yinshi; Zhang, Zhixin; Su, Kaihong

    2014-01-01

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a complex autoimmune disease affecting 1–2% of general worldwide population. The etiopathogenesis of RA involves the interplay of multiple genetic risk factors and environmental triggers. Microbial infections are believed to play an important role in the initiation and perpetuation of RA. Recent clinical studies have shown the association of microbial infections with RA. Accumulated studies using animal models have also found that microbial infections can induce and/or exaggerate the symptoms of experimental arthritis. In this review, we have identified the most common microbial infections associated with RA in the literature and summarized the current evidence supporting their pathogenic role in RA. We also discussed the potential mechanisms whereby infection may promote the development of RA, such as generation of neo-autoantigens, induction of loss of tolerance by molecular mimicry, and bystander activation of the immune system. PMID:25133066

  5. Teaching Microbial Growth by Simulation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruiz, A. Fernandez; And Others

    1989-01-01

    Presented is a simulation program for Apple II computer which assays the effects of a series of variables on bacterial growth and interactions between microbial populations. Results of evaluation of the program with students are summarized. (CW)

  6. Allopatric origins of microbial species

    PubMed Central

    Whitaker, Rachel J

    2006-01-01

    Although allopatric divergence is a well-accepted mechanism of speciation for eukaryotic macro-organisms, the importance of geographical barriers to divergence in microbial populations is a subject of great debate. Do geographically separated populations of micro-organisms diverge independently, or does their structure fit the often quoted Bass-Becking description ‘everything is everywhere; the environment selects’? Aided by high-resolution genetic and genomic tools, the search for ‘microbial marsupials’ has revealed that in fact both are true; some species of micro-organisms demonstrate allopatric divergence, while others do not. This discovery opens the door for comparative analyses, where questions about the differences in evolutionary and ecological mechanisms that drive divergence and speciation in different microbial species can begin to be explored. Investigating these differences in evolutionary mechanisms will greatly enhance interest in, and understanding of, the dynamic processes that create and maintain the vast diversity of the microbial world. PMID:17062415

  7. Microbial hydrogen production

    SciTech Connect

    Weaver, P.F.; Maness, P.C.; Martin, S.

    1995-09-01

    Photosynthetic bacteria inhabit an anaerobic or microaerophilic world where H{sub 2} is produced and consumed as a shared intermediary metabolite. Within a given bacterial isolate there are as many as 4 to 6 distinct enzymes that function to evolve or consume H{sub 2}. Three of the H{sub 2}-evolving physiologies involving three different enzymes from photosynthetic bacteria have been examined in detail for commercial viability. Nitrogenase-mediated H{sub 2} production completely dissimilates many soluble organic compounds to H{sub 2} and CO{sub 2} at rates up to 131 {mu}mol H{sub 2}{sm_bullet}min{sup -1}{sm_bullet}g cdw{sup -1} and can remain active for up to 20 days. This metabolism is very energy intensive, however, which limits solar conversion efficiencies. Fermentative hydrogenase can produce H{sub 2} at rates of 440 {mu}mol{sm_bullet}min{sup -1}{sm_bullet}g cdw{sup -1} at low levels of irradiation over indefinite periods. The equilibrium for this activity is low (<0.15 atmospheres), thereby requiring gas sparging, vacuuming, or microbial scavenging to retain prolonged activity. Microbial H{sub 2} production from the CO component of synthesis or producer gases maximally reaches activities of 1.5 mmol{sm_bullet}min{sup -1}{sm_bullet}g cdw{sup -1}. Mass transport of gaseous CO into an aqueous bacterial suspension is the rate-limiting step. Increased gas pressure strongly accelerates these rates. Immobilized bacteria on solid supports at ambient pressures also show enhanced shift activity when the bulk water is drained away. Scaled-up bioreactors with 100-200 cc bed volume have been constructed and tested. The near-term goal of this portion of the project is to engineer and economically evaluate a prototype system for the biological production of H{sub 2} from biomass. The CO shift enables a positive selection technique for O{sub 2}-resistant, H{sub 2}-evolving bacterial enzymes from nature.

  8. Microbially mediated mineral carbonation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Power, I. M.; Wilson, S. A.; Dipple, G. M.; Southam, G.

    2010-12-01

    Mineral carbonation involves silicate dissolution and carbonate precipitation, which are both natural processes that microorganisms are able to mediate in near surface environments (Ferris et al., 1994; Eq. 1). (Ca,Mg)SiO3 + 2H2CO3 + H2O → (Ca,Mg)CO3 + H2O + H4SiO4 + O2 (1) Cyanobacteria are photoautotrophs with cell surface characteristics and metabolic processes involving inorganic carbon that can induce carbonate precipitation. This occurs partly by concentrating cations within their net-negative cell envelope and through the alkalinization of their microenvironment (Thompson & Ferris, 1990). Regions with mafic and ultramafic bedrock, such as near Atlin, British Columbia, Canada, represent the best potential sources of feedstocks for mineral carbonation. The hydromagnesite playas near Atlin are a natural biogeochemical model for the carbonation of magnesium silicate minerals (Power et al., 2009). Field-based studies at Atlin and corroborating laboratory experiments demonstrate the ability of a microbial consortium dominated by filamentous cyanobacteria to induce the precipitation of carbonate minerals. Phototrophic microbes, such as cyanobacteria, have been proposed as a means for producing biodiesel and other value added products because of their efficiency as solar collectors and low requirement for valuable, cultivable land in comparison to crops (Dismukes et al., 2008). Carbonate precipitation and biomass production could be facilitated using specifically designed ponds to collect waters rich in dissolved cations (e.g., Mg2+ and Ca2+), which would allow for evapoconcentration and provide an appropriate environment for growth of cyanobacteria. Microbially mediated carbonate precipitation does not require large quantities of energy or chemicals needed for industrial systems that have been proposed for rapid carbon capture and storage via mineral carbonation (e.g., Lackner et al., 1995). Therefore, this biogeochemical approach may represent a readily

  9. Biogeochemical Processes in Microbial Ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DesMarais, David J.

    2001-01-01

    The hierarchical organization of microbial ecosystems determines process rates that shape Earth's environment, create the biomarker sedimentary and atmospheric signatures of life, and define the stage upon which major evolutionary events occurred. In order to understand how microorganisms have shaped the global environment of Earth and, potentially, other worlds, we must develop an experimental paradigm that links biogeochemical processes with ever-changing temporal and spatial distributions of microbial populations and their metabolic properties. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  10. Microbial origin of desert varnish.

    PubMed

    Dorn, R I; Oberlander, T M

    1981-09-11

    Scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive x-ray analyses of desert varnish reveal that microorganisms concentrate ambient manganese that becomes greatly enhanced in brown to black varnish. Specific characteristics of desert varnish and of varnish bacteria support a microbial origin for manganese-rich films. Varnish microbes can be cultured and produce laboratory manganese films. Accordingly, natural desert varnish and also manganese-rich rock varnishes in nondesert environments appear to be a product of microbial activity. PMID:17744757

  11. Microbial genomes: Blueprints for life

    SciTech Connect

    Relman, David A.; Strauss, Evelyn

    2000-12-31

    Complete microbial genome sequences hold the promise of profound new insights into microbial pathogenesis, evolution, diagnostics, and therapeutics. From these insights will come a new foundation for understanding the evolution of single-celled life, as well as the evolution of more complex life forms. This report is an in-depth analysis of scientific issues that provides recommendations and will be widely disseminated to the scientific community, federal agencies, industry and the public.

  12. Life Support Systems Microbial Challenges

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roman, Monserrate C.

    2009-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the current microbial challenges of environmental control and life support systems. The contents include: 1) Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) What is it?; 2) A Look Inside the International Space Station (ISS); 3) The Complexity of a Water Recycling System; 4) ISS Microbiology Acceptability Limits; 5) Overview of Current Microbial Challenges; 6) In a Perfect World What we Would like to Have; and 7) The Future.

  13. A stepwise-cluster microbial biomass inference model in food waste composting.

    PubMed

    Sun, Wei; Huang, Guo H; Zeng, Guangming; Qin, Xiaosheng; Sun, Xueling

    2009-12-01

    A stepwise-cluster microbial biomass inference (SMI) model was developed through introducing stepwise-cluster analysis (SCA) into composting process modeling to tackle the nonlinear relationships among state variables and microbial activities. The essence of SCA is to form a classification tree based on a series of cutting or mergence processes according to given statistical criteria. Eight runs of designed experiments in bench-scale reactors in a laboratory were constructed to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed method. The results indicated that SMI could help establish a statistical relationship between state variables and composting microbial characteristics, where discrete and nonlinear complexities exist. Significance levels of cutting/merging were provided such that the accuracies of the developed forecasting trees were controllable. Through an attempted definition of input effects on the output in SMI, the effects of the state variables on thermophilic bacteria were ranged in a descending order as: Time (day)>moisture content (%)>ash content (%, dry)>Lower Temperature ( degrees C)>pH>NH(4)(+)-N (mg/Kg, dry)>Total N (%, dry)>Total C (%, dry); the effects on mesophilic bacteria were ordered as: Time>Upper Temperature ( degrees C)>Total N>moisture content>NH(4)(+)-N>Total C>pH. This study made the first attempt in applying SCA to mapping the nonlinear and discrete relationships in composting processes. PMID:19620001

  14. Metabolomic Applications to Decipher Gut Microbial Metabolic Influence in Health and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Martin, François-Pierre J.; Collino, Sebastiano; Rezzi, Serge; Kochhar, Sunil

    2012-01-01

    Dietary preferences and nutrients composition have been shown to influence human and gut microbial metabolism, which ultimately has specific effects on health and diseases’ risk. Increasingly, results from molecular biology and microbiology demonstrate the key role of the gut microbiota metabolic interface to the overall mammalian host’s health status. There is therefore raising interest in nutrition research to characterize the molecular foundations of the gut microbial–mammalian cross talk at both physiological and biochemical pathway levels. Tackling these challenges can be achieved through systems biology approaches, such as metabolomics, to underpin the highly complex metabolic exchanges between diverse biological compartments, including organs, systemic biofluids, and microbial symbionts. By the development of specific biomarkers for prediction of health and disease, metabolomics is increasingly used in clinical applications as regard to disease etiology, diagnostic stratification, and potentially mechanism of action of therapeutical and nutraceutical solutions. Surprisingly, an increasing number of metabolomics investigations in pre-clinical and clinical studies based on proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) spectroscopy and mass spectrometry provided compelling evidence that system wide and organ-specific biochemical processes are under the influence of gut microbial metabolism. This review aims at describing recent applications of metabolomics in clinical fields where main objective is to discern the biochemical mechanisms under the influence of the gut microbiota, with insight into gastrointestinal health and diseases diagnostics and improvement of homeostasis metabolic regulation. PMID:22557976

  15. Enhancing metaproteomics-The value of models and defined environmental microbial systems

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Herbst, Florian-Alexander; Lünsmann, Vanessa; Kjeldal, Henrik; Jehmlich, Nico; Tholey, Andreas; von Bergen, Martin; Nielsen, Jeppe Lund; Hettich, Robert L.; Seifert, Jana; Nielsen, Per Halkjaer

    2016-01-21

    Metaproteomicsthe large-scale characterization of the entire protein complement of environmental microbiota at a given point in timehas provided new features to study complex microbial communities in order to unravel these black boxes. Some new technical challenges arose that were not an issue for classical proteome analytics before that could be tackled by the application of different model systems. Here, we review different current and future model systems for metaproteome analysis. We introduce model systems for clinical and biotechnological research questions including acid mine drainage, anaerobic digesters, and activated sludge, following a short introduction to microbial communities and metaproteomics. Model systemsmore » are useful to evaluate the challenges encountered within (but not limited to) metaproteomics, including species complexity and coverage, biomass availability, or reliable protein extraction. Moreover, the implementation of model systems can be considered as a step forward to better understand microbial community responses and ecological functions of single member organisms. In the future, improvements are necessary to fully explore complex environmental systems by metaproteomics.« less

  16. Population-reaction model and microbial experimental ecosystems for understanding hierarchical dynamics of ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Hosoda, Kazufumi; Tsuda, Soichiro; Kadowaki, Kohmei; Nakamura, Yutaka; Nakano, Tadashi; Ishii, Kojiro

    2016-02-01

    Understanding ecosystem dynamics is crucial as contemporary human societies face ecosystem degradation. One of the challenges that needs to be recognized is the complex hierarchical dynamics. Conventional dynamic models in ecology often represent only the population level and have yet to include the dynamics of the sub-organism level, which makes an ecosystem a complex adaptive system that shows characteristic behaviors such as resilience and regime shifts. The neglect of the sub-organism level in the conventional dynamic models would be because integrating multiple hierarchical levels makes the models unnecessarily complex unless supporting experimental data are present. Now that large amounts of molecular and ecological data are increasingly accessible in microbial experimental ecosystems, it is worthwhile to tackle the questions of their complex hierarchical dynamics. Here, we propose an approach that combines microbial experimental ecosystems and a hierarchical dynamic model named population-reaction model. We present a simple microbial experimental ecosystem as an example and show how the system can be analyzed by a population-reaction model. We also show that population-reaction models can be applied to various ecological concepts, such as predator-prey interactions, climate change, evolution, and stability of diversity. Our approach will reveal a path to the general understanding of various ecosystems and organisms. PMID:26747638

  17. A stepwise-cluster microbial biomass inference model in food waste composting

    SciTech Connect

    Sun Wei; Huang, Guo H.; Zeng Guangming; Qin Xiaosheng; Sun Xueling

    2009-12-15

    A stepwise-cluster microbial biomass inference (SMI) model was developed through introducing stepwise-cluster analysis (SCA) into composting process modeling to tackle the nonlinear relationships among state variables and microbial activities. The essence of SCA is to form a classification tree based on a series of cutting or mergence processes according to given statistical criteria. Eight runs of designed experiments in bench-scale reactors in a laboratory were constructed to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed method. The results indicated that SMI could help establish a statistical relationship between state variables and composting microbial characteristics, where discrete and nonlinear complexities exist. Significance levels of cutting/merging were provided such that the accuracies of the developed forecasting trees were controllable. Through an attempted definition of input effects on the output in SMI, the effects of the state variables on thermophilic bacteria were ranged in a descending order as: Time (day) > moisture content (%) > ash content (%, dry) > Lower Temperature (deg. C) > pH > NH{sub 4}{sup +}-N (mg/Kg, dry) > Total N (%, dry) > Total C (%, dry); the effects on mesophilic bacteria were ordered as: Time > Upper Temperature (deg. C) > Total N > moisture content > NH{sub 4}{sup +}-N > Total C > pH. This study made the first attempt in applying SCA to mapping the nonlinear and discrete relationships in composting processes.

  18. Enhancing metaproteomics-The value of models and defined environmental microbial systems.

    PubMed

    Herbst, Florian-Alexander; Lünsmann, Vanessa; Kjeldal, Henrik; Jehmlich, Nico; Tholey, Andreas; von Bergen, Martin; Nielsen, Jeppe Lund; Hettich, Robert L; Seifert, Jana; Nielsen, Per Halkjaer

    2016-03-01

    Metaproteomics-the large-scale characterization of the entire protein complement of environmental microbiota at a given point in time-has provided new features to study complex microbial communities in order to unravel these "black boxes." New technical challenges arose that were not an issue for classical proteome analytics before that could be tackled by the application of different model systems. Here, we review different current and future model systems for metaproteome analysis. Following a short introduction to microbial communities and metaproteomics, we introduce model systems for clinical and biotechnological research questions including acid mine drainage, anaerobic digesters, and activated sludge. Model systems are useful to evaluate the challenges encountered within (but not limited to) metaproteomics, including species complexity and coverage, biomass availability, or reliable protein extraction. The implementation of model systems can be considered as a step forward to better understand microbial community responses and ecological functions of single member organisms. In the future, improvements are necessary to fully explore complex environmental systems by metaproteomics. PMID:26621789

  19. In-Drift Microbial Communities

    SciTech Connect

    D. Jolley

    2000-11-09

    As directed by written work direction (CRWMS M and O 1999f), Performance Assessment (PA) developed a model for microbial communities in the engineered barrier system (EBS) as documented here. The purpose of this model is to assist Performance Assessment and its Engineered Barrier Performance Section in modeling the geochemical environment within a potential repository drift for TSPA-SR/LA, thus allowing PA to provide a more detailed and complete near-field geochemical model and to answer the key technical issues (KTI) raised in the NRC Issue Resolution Status Report (IRSR) for the Evolution of the Near Field Environment (NFE) Revision 2 (NRC 1999). This model and its predecessor (the in-drift microbial communities model as documented in Chapter 4 of the TSPA-VA Technical Basis Document, CRWMS M and O 1998a) was developed to respond to the applicable KTIs. Additionally, because of the previous development of the in-drift microbial communities model as documented in Chapter 4 of the TSPA-VA Technical Basis Document (CRWMS M and O 1998a), the M and O was effectively able to resolve a previous KTI concern regarding the effects of microbial processes on seepage and flow (NRC 1998). This document supercedes the in-drift microbial communities model as documented in Chapter 4 of the TSPA-VA Technical Basis Document (CRWMS M and O 1998a). This document provides the conceptual framework of the revised in-drift microbial communities model to be used in subsequent performance assessment (PA) analyses.

  20. Microbial diversity of marine sponges.

    PubMed

    Hentschel, U; Fieseler, L; Wehrl, M; Gernert, C; Steinert, M; Hacker, J; Horn, M

    2003-01-01

    The recent application of molecular microbial ecology tools to sponge-microbe associations has revealed a glimpse into the biodiversity of these microbial communities, that is considered just 'the tip of the iceberg'. This chapter provides an overview over these new findings with regard to identity, diversity and distribution patterns of sponge-associated microbial consortia. The sponges Aplysina aerophoba (Verongida), Rhopaloeides odorabile (Dicytoceratida) and Theonella swinhoei (Lithistida) were chosen as model systems for this review because they have been subject to both, cultivation-dependent and cultivation-independent approaches. A discussion of the microbial assemblages of Halichondriapanicea is presented in the accompanying chapter by Imhoff and Stöhr. Considering that a large fraction of sponge-associated microbes is not yet amenable to cultivation, an emphasis has been placed on the techniques centering around the 16S rRNA gene. A section has been included that covers the potential of sponge microbial communities for drug discovery. Finally, a 'sponge-microbe interaction model' is presented that summarizes our current understanding of the processes that might have shaped the community structure of the microbial assemblages within sponges. PMID:15825640

  1. Microbial Source Tracking: Current and Future Molecular Tools in Microbial Water Quality Forensics

    EPA Science Inventory

    Current regulations in the United States stipulate that the microbial quality of waters used for consumption and recreational activities should be determined regularly by measuring microbial indicators of fecal pollution. Hence, the microbial risk associated with these waters is...

  2. Biogeochemistry of Microbial Mats

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DesMarais, David J.; DeVincenizi, D. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The hierarchical organization of microbial ecosystems determines the rates of processes that shape Earth's environment, define the stage upon which major evolutionary events occurred, and create biosignatures in sediments and atmospheres. In cyanobacterial mats, oxygenic photosynthesis provides energy, organic substrates and oxygen to the ecosystem. Incident light changes with depth in the mat, both in intensity and spectral composition, and counteracting gradients of oxygen and sulfide shape the chemical microenvironment. A combination of benefits and hazards of light, oxygen and sulfide promotes the allocation of the various essential mat processes between light and dark periods and to various depths in the mat. Microliters produce hydrogen, small organic acids, nitrogen and sulfur species. Such compounds fuel a flow of energy and electrons in these ecosystems and thus shape interactions between groups of microorganisms. Coordinated observations of population distribution, abundance, and activity for an entire community are making fundamental questions in ecology accessible. These questions address those factors that sustain the remarkable diversity of microorganisms that are now being revealed by molecular techniques. These questions also target the processes that shape the various kinds of biosignatures that we will seek, both in ancient rocks from Earth and Mars, and in atmospheres of distant planets beyond our Solar System.

  3. Automated Microbial Metabolism Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    The Automated Microbial Metabolism Laboratory (AMML) 1971-1972 program involved the investigation of three separate life detection schemes. The first was a continued further development of the labeled release experiment. The possibility of chamber reuse without inbetween sterilization, to provide comparative biochemical information was tested. Findings show that individual substrates or concentrations of antimetabolites may be sequentially added to a single test chamber. The second detection system which was investigated for possible inclusion in the AMML package of assays, was nitrogen fixation as detected by acetylene reduction. Thirdly, a series of preliminary steps were taken to investigate the feasibility of detecting biopolymers in soil. A strategy for the safe return to Earth of a Mars sample prior to manned landings on Mars is outlined. The program assumes that the probability of indigenous life on Mars is unity and then broadly presents the procedures for acquisition and analysis of the Mars sample in a manner to satisfy the scientific community and the public that adequate safeguards are being taken.

  4. Chaos and microbial systems

    SciTech Connect

    Kot, M.

    1990-07-01

    A recurrent theme of much recent research is that seemingly random fluctuations often occur as the result of simple deterministic mechanisms. Hence, much of the recent work in nonlinear dynamics has centered on new techniques for identifying order in seemingly chaotic systems. To determine the robustness of these techniques, chaos must, to some extent, be brought into the laboratory. Preliminary investigations of the forced double-Monod equations, a model for a predator and a prey in a chemostat with periodic variation in inflowing substrate concentration, suggest that simple microbial systems may provide the perfect framework for determining the efficacy and relevance of the new nonlinear dynamics in dealing with complex population dynamics. This research has two main goals, that is the mathematical analysis and computer simulation of the periodically forced double-Monod equations and of related models; and experimental (chemostat) population studies that evaluate the accuracy and generality of the models, and that judge the usefulness of various new techniques of nonlinear dynamics to the study of populations.

  5. Microbial conversion of coal

    SciTech Connect

    Bean, R.M. )

    1989-10-01

    The objectives of this project were to describe in detail the degradation of coals by fungi and microbes, to expand the range of applicability of the process to include new microbes and other coal types, to identify the means by which biosolubilization of coal is accomplished, and to explore means to enhance the rates and extent of coal bioconversion. The project was initiated in a response to the discovery by Dr. Martin Cohen at the University of Hartford, of a fungal strain of Coriolus versicolor that would render a solid coal substance, leonardite, into a liquid product. The project has identified the principal agent of leonardite solubilization as a powerful metal chelator, most likely a fungal-produced siderophore. Another nonlaccase enzyme has also been identified as a unique biosolubilizing agent produced by C. versicolor. Assays were developed for the quantitative determination of biological coal conversion, and for the determination of potency of biosolubilizing agent. Screening studies uncovered several microbial organisms capable of coal biodegradation, and led to the discovery that prolonged heating in air at the moderate temperature of 150{degree}C allowed the biodegradation of Illinois {number sign}6 coal to material soluble in dilute base. Chemical studies showed that leonardite biosolubilization was accompanied by relatively small change in composition, while solubilization of Illinois {number sign}6 coal involves considerable oxidation of the coal. 24 refs., 32 figs., 27 tabs.

  6. Microbial solubilization of coals

    SciTech Connect

    Campbell, J.A.; Fredrickson, J.K.; Stewart, D.L.; Thomas, B.L.; McCulloch, M.; Wilson, B.W.; Bean, R.M.

    1988-11-01

    Microbial solubilization of coal may serve as a first step in a process to convert low-rank coals or coal-derived products to other fuels or products. For solubilization of coal to be an economically viable technology, a mechanistic understanding of the process is essential. Leonardite, a highly oxidized, low-rank coal, has been solubilized by the intact microorganism, cell-free filtrate, and cell-free enzyme of /ital Coriolus versicolor/. A spectrophotometric conversion assay was developed to quantify the amount of biosolubilized coal. In addition, a bituminous coal, Illinois No. 6, was solubilized by a species of /ital Penicillium/, but only after the coal had been preoxidized in air. Model compounds containing coal-related functionalities have been incubated with the leonardite-degrading fungus, its cell-free filtrate, and purified enzyme. The amount of degradation was determined by gas chromatography and the degradation products were identified by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. We have also separated the cell-free filtrate of /ital C. versicolor/ into a <10,000 MW and >10,000 MW fraction by ultrafiltration techniques. Most of the coal biosolubilization activity is contained in the <10,000 MW fraction while the model compound degradation occurs in the >10,000 MW fraction. The >10,000 MW fraction appears to contain an enzyme with laccase-like activity. 10 refs., 8 figs., 5 tabs.

  7. Microbial production of propanol.

    PubMed

    Walther, Thomas; François, Jean Marie

    2016-01-01

    Both, n-propanol and isopropanol are industrially attractive value-added molecules that can be produced by microbes from renewable resources. The development of cost-effective fermentation processes may allow using these alcohols as a biofuel component, or as a precursor for the chemical synthesis of propylene. This review reports and discusses the recent progress which has been made in the biochemical production of propanol. Several synthetic propanol-producing pathways were developed that vary with respect to stoichiometry and metabolic entry point. These pathways were expressed in different host organisms and enabled propanol production from various renewable feedstocks. Furthermore, it was shown that the optimization of fermentation conditions greatly improved process performance, in particular, when continuous product removal prevented accumulation of toxic propanol levels. Although these advanced metabolic engineering and fermentation strategies have facilitated significant progress in the biochemical production of propanol, the currently achieved propanol yields and productivities appear to be insufficient to compete with chemical propanol synthesis. The development of biosynthetic pathways with improved propanol yields, the breeding or identification of microorganisms with higher propanol tolerance, and the engineering of propanol producer strains that efficiently utilize low-cost feedstocks are the major challenges on the way to industrially relevant microbial propanol production processes. PMID:27262999

  8. Which Women Were Executed for Witchcraft? And Which Pupils Cared? Low-Attaining Year 8 Use Fiction to Tackle Three Demons: Extended Reading, Diversity and Causation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Worth, Paula

    2011-01-01

    Paula Worth was concerned that her low-attaining set were only going through the motions when tackling causal explanation. Identifying, prioritising and weighing causes seemed an empty routine rather than a fascinating puzzle engaging intellect and imagination. She was also concerned that her usual efforts to solve this problem had been misplaced.…

  9. Tackling the STEM Crisis: Five Steps Your State Can Take to Improve the Quality and Quantity of its K-12 Math and Science Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Council on Teacher Quality, 2009

    2009-01-01

    State laws and regulations can either help or hinder the ability of school districts to hire effective teachers for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects. State officials wanting to tackle this critical problem need to begin with a thorough review of relevant policies, asking themselves: "Are we part of the problem, and…

  10. Biotechnological Aspects of Microbial Extracellular Electron Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Kato, Souichiro

    2015-01-01

    Extracellular electron transfer (EET) is a type of microbial respiration that enables electron transfer between microbial cells and extracellular solid materials, including naturally-occurring metal compounds and artificial electrodes. Microorganisms harboring EET abilities have received considerable attention for their various biotechnological applications, in addition to their contribution to global energy and material cycles. In this review, current knowledge on microbial EET and its application to diverse biotechnologies, including the bioremediation of toxic metals, recovery of useful metals, biocorrosion, and microbial electrochemical systems (microbial fuel cells and microbial electrosynthesis), were introduced. Two potential biotechnologies based on microbial EET, namely the electrochemical control of microbial metabolism and electrochemical stimulation of microbial symbiotic reactions (electric syntrophy), were also discussed. PMID:26004795

  11. Reconstructing each cell's genome within complex microbial communities-dream or reality?

    PubMed

    Clingenpeel, Scott; Clum, Alicia; Schwientek, Patrick; Rinke, Christian; Woyke, Tanja

    2014-01-01

    As the vast majority of microorganisms have yet to be cultivated in a laboratory setting, access to their genetic makeup has largely been limited to cultivation-independent methods. These methods, namely metagenomics and more recently single-cell genomics, have become cornerstones for microbial ecology and environmental microbiology. One ultimate goal is the recovery of genome sequences from each cell within an environment to move toward a better understanding of community metabolic potential and to provide substrate for experimental work. As single-cell sequencing has the ability to decipher all sequence information contained in an individual cell, this method holds great promise in tackling such challenge. Methodological limitations and inherent biases however do exist, which will be discussed here based on environmental and benchmark data, to assess how far we are from reaching this goal. PMID:25620966

  12. Microbial Diagnostic Microarrays for the Detection and Typing of Food- and Water-Borne (Bacterial) Pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Kostić, Tanja; Sessitsch, Angela

    2011-01-01

    Reliable and sensitive pathogen detection in clinical and environmental (including food and water) samples is of greatest importance for public health. Standard microbiological methods have several limitations and improved alternatives are needed. Most important requirements for reliable analysis include: (i) specificity; (ii) sensitivity; (iii) multiplexing potential; (iv) robustness; (v) speed; (vi) automation potential; and (vii) low cost. Microarray technology can, through its very nature, fulfill many of these requirements directly and the remaining challenges have been tackled. In this review, we attempt to compare performance characteristics of the microbial diagnostic microarrays developed for the detection and typing of food and water pathogens, and discuss limitations, points still to be addressed and issues specific for the analysis of food, water and environmental samples.

  13. Microbial Production of Isoprene

    SciTech Connect

    Ray Fall

    2007-07-29

    Isoprene is a volatile hydrocarbon of unknown function, produced by certain bacteria, plants and animals, sometimes in huge amounts—the Earth’s forests are estimated to emit >500 x 106 tons of isoprene per year. With funding from this program we explored the biochemistry and regulation of isoprene formation in the model bacterial system, Bacillus subtilis, with the goals of explaining the biological rationale for isoprene biogenesis and constructing an isoprene-overproducing microbial system. Although the role for isoprene formation in B. subtilis is still uncertain, our current model for regulation of this hydrocarbon’s synthesis is that isoprene production in B. subtilis is controlled by a combination of i) rapid regulation of isoprene synthase activity and ii) supply of the substrate for isoprene synthase, dimethyallyl diphosphate (DMAPP). This model parallels our current thinking about the control of isoprene formation in plant chloroplasts. In this reporting period we have been working to test part ii) of this model; this work has produced new results using genetic and analytical approaches. For examples, we have developed an analytical method to resolve DMAPP and its isomer, isopentenyl diphosphate, from each other in bacteria and plants. We have also shown that the IPP isomerase (type 2) of B. subtilis is not the source of “isoprene synthase” activity, and discovered that B. subtilis releases C5 isoprenoid alcohols to the medium, suggesting that isoprene plus other C5 isoprenoids may be common by-products of metabolism. In addition, we have continued to work on our discovery that wild type B. subtilis strains form prolific biofilms, are normal components of plant root microflora, and are testing the idea that B. subtilis growing in biofilms uses isoprene to induce plant root exudation.

  14. Deliberative Mapping of options for tackling climate change: Citizens and specialists ‘open up’ appraisal of geoengineering

    PubMed Central

    Bellamy, Rob; Chilvers, Jason; Vaughan, Naomi E.

    2014-01-01

    Appraisals of deliberate, large-scale interventions in the earth’s climate system, known collectively as ‘geoengineering’, have largely taken the form of narrowly framed and exclusive expert analyses that prematurely ‘close down’ upon particular proposals. Here, we present the findings from the first ‘upstream’ appraisal of geoengineering to deliberately ‘open up’ to a broader diversity of framings, knowledges and future pathways. We report on the citizen strand of an innovative analytic–deliberative participatory appraisal process called Deliberative Mapping. A select but diverse group of sociodemographically representative citizens from Norfolk (United Kingdom) were engaged in a deliberative multi-criteria appraisal of geoengineering proposals relative to other options for tackling climate change, in parallel to symmetrical appraisals by diverse experts and stakeholders. Despite seeking to map divergent perspectives, a remarkably consistent view of option performance emerged across both the citizens’ and the specialists’ deliberations, where geoengineering proposals were outperformed by mitigation alternatives. PMID:25224904

  15. Recovery strategies for tackling the impact of phenolic compounds in a UASB reactor treating coal gasification wastewater.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wei; Han, Hongjun

    2012-01-01

    The impact of phenolic compounds (around 3.2 g/L) resulted in a completely failed performance in a mesophilic UASB reactor treating coal gasification wastewater. The recovery strategies, including extension of HRT, dilution, oxygen-limited aeration, and addition of powdered activated carbon were evaluated in batch tests, in order to obtain the most appropriate way for the quick recovery of the failed reactor performance. Results indicated that addition of powdered activated carbon and oxygen-limited aeration were the best recovery strategies in the batch tests. In the UASB reactor, addition of powdered activated carbon of 1 g/L shortened the recovery time from 25 to 9 days and oxygen-limited aeration of 0-0.5 mgO2/L reduced the recovery time to 17 days. Reduction of bioavailable concentration of phenolic compounds and recovery of sludge activity were the decisive factors for the recovery strategies to tackle the impact of phenolic compounds in anaerobic treatment of coal gasification wastewater. PMID:22033369

  16. Histone deacetylase inhibitor pracinostat in doublet therapy: a unique strategy to improve therapeutic efficacy and to tackle herculean cancer chemoresistance.

    PubMed

    Ganai, Shabir Ahmad

    2016-09-01

    Context Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) have shown promising results in neurodegeneration and cancer. Hydroxamate HDACi, including vorinostat, have shown encouraging results in haematological malignancies, but the poor pharmacokinetic of these inhibitors leads to insufficient tumour concentration limiting their application against solid malignancies. Objective This article deals with novel HDAC inhibitor pracinostat (SB939) and delineates its therapeutic role in solid and haematological malignancies. The article provides rigorous details about the underlying molecular mechanisms modulated by pracinostat to exert cytotoxic effect. The article further highlights the doublet therapy that may be used to tackle monotonous cancer chemoresistance. Methods Both old and the latest literature on pracinostat was retrieved from diverse sources, such as PubMed, Science Direct, Springer Link, general Google search using both pracinostat and SB939 keywords in various ways: after thorough evaluation the topic which can fulfil the current gap was chosen. Results Pracinostat shows potent anticancer activity against both solid and haematological malignancies compared to the FDA-approved drug vorinostat. This marvellous inhibitor has better physicochemical, pharmaceutical and pharmacokinetic properties than the defined inhibitor vorinostat. Pracinostat has  >100-fold more affinity towards HDACs compared to other zinc-dependent metalloenzymes and shows maximum efficacy when used in doublet therapy. Conclusion Pracinostat shows potent anticancer activity even against therapeutically challenging cancers when used in doublet therapy. However, the triplet combination studies of the defined inhibitor that may prove even more beneficial are still undone, emphasizing the desperate need of further research in the defined gap. PMID:26853619

  17. [Stocking with bluegill sunfish, Lepomis macrochirus, by fisheries experimental stations, fishing tackle makers, and anglers in Japan, 1960-1975].

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Hiroyuki

    2014-07-01

    This paper discusses some facts that were pivotal in the process of the introduction of Bluegill Sunfish, Lepomis macrochirus, into various places in Japan, however have not been considered in the existing literature. This paper points out that L. macrochirus escaped, and also was stocked, to the open water in Osaka as a result of experiments by a fisheries experimental station in the 1960s and early 1970s. In Shiga Prefecture too, the fish escaped into Lake Biwa as a result of experiments by a fisheries experimental station in about 1969. Neither Osaka nor Shiga are mentioned, by previous studies based on questionnaire research, as the prefectures in which L. macrochirus inhabited in the years between 1960, when the fish was first introduced into Japan, and 1979. In addition, anglers, who considered L. macrochirus an ideal game fish, stocked ponds and lakes in some prefectures with L. macrochirus in around 1970 on purpose to multiply the species. During this process, a network among not only local governments, fisheries experimental stations, and fish farmers, but also industries targeting anglers, such as fishing tackle makers and a magazine for anglers, was being formed, which however did not get established after all. These findings will contribute to enrich the basis of today's genetic research on the distribution of L. macrochirus in Japan. PMID:25296515

  18. Modeling microbial growth and dynamics.

    PubMed

    Esser, Daniel S; Leveau, Johan H J; Meyer, Katrin M

    2015-11-01

    Modeling has become an important tool for widening our understanding of microbial growth in the context of applied microbiology and related to such processes as safe food production, wastewater treatment, bioremediation, or microbe-mediated mining. Various modeling techniques, such as primary, secondary and tertiary mathematical models, phenomenological models, mechanistic or kinetic models, reactive transport models, Bayesian network models, artificial neural networks, as well as agent-, individual-, and particle-based models have been applied to model microbial growth and activity in many applied fields. In this mini-review, we summarize the basic concepts of these models using examples and applications from food safety and wastewater treatment systems. We further review recent developments in other applied fields focusing on models that explicitly include spatial relationships. Using these examples, we point out the conceptual similarities across fields of application and encourage the combined use of different modeling techniques in hybrid models as well as their cross-disciplinary exchange. For instance, pattern-oriented modeling has its origin in ecology but may be employed to parameterize microbial growth models when experimental data are scarce. Models could also be used as virtual laboratories to optimize experimental design analogous to the virtual ecologist approach. Future microbial growth models will likely become more complex to benefit from the rich toolbox that is now available to microbial growth modelers. PMID:26298697

  19. Microbial Genomics Data from the DOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI)

    DOE Data Explorer

    The JGI makes high-quality genome sequencing data freely available to the greater scientific community through its web portal. Having played a significant role in the federally funded Human Genome Project -- generating the complete sequences of Chromosomes 5, 16, and 19--the JGI has now moved on to contributing in other critical areas of genomics research. While NIH-funded genome sequencing activities continue to emphasize human biomedical targets and applications, the JGI has since shifted its focus to the non-human components of the biosphere, particularly those relevant to the science mission of the Department of Energy. With efficiencies of scale established at the PGF, and capacity now exceeding three billion bases generated on a monthly basis, the JGI has tackled scores of additional genomes. These include more than 60 microbial genomes and many important multicellular organisms and communities of microbes. In partnership with other federal institutions and universities, the JGI is in the process of sequencing a frog (Xenopus tropicalis), a green alga (Chlamydomonas reinhardtii), a diatom (Thalassiosira pseudonana) , the cottonwood tree (Populus trichocarpa), and a host of agriculturally important plants and plant pathogens. Microorganisms, for example those that thrive under extreme conditions such as high acidity, radiation, and metal contamination, are of particular interest to the DOE and JGI. Investigations by JGI and its partners are shedding light on the cellular machinery of microbes and how they can be harnessed to clean up contaminated soil or water, capture carbon from the atmosphere, and produce potentially important sources of energy such as hydrogen and methane. [Excerpt from the JGI page "Who We Are" at http://www.jgi.doe.gov/whoweare/whoweare.html] From the JGI webportal users can view a photo grid of organisims, check assemblies for status, access the Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG) system to do comparative analysis of publicly available

  20. Microbial metabolism of tholin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoker, C. R.; Boston, P. J.; Mancinelli, R. L.; Segal, W.; Khare, B. N.; Sagan, C.

    1990-05-01

    In this paper, we show that a wide variety of common soil bacteria are able to obtain their carbon and energy needs from tholin (a class of complex organic heteropolymers thought to be widely distributed through the solar system; in this case tholin was produced by passage of electrical discharge through a mixture of methane, ammonia, and water vapor). We have isolated aerobic, anaerobic, and facultatively anaerobic bacteria which are able to use tholin as a sole carbon source. Organisms which metabolize tholin represent a variety of bacterial genera including Clostridium, Pseudomonas, Bacillus, Acinetobacter, Paracoccus, Alcaligenes, Micrococcus, Cornebacterium, Aerobacter, Arthrobacter, Flavobacterium,and Actinomyces. Aerobic tholin-using bacteria were firrst isolated from soils containing unusual or sparse carbon sources. Some of these organisms were found to be facultatively anaerobic. Strictly anaerobic tholin-using bacteria were isolated from both carbon-rich and carbon-poor anaerobic lake muds. In addition, both aerobic and anaerobic tholin-using bacteria were isolated from common soil collected outside the laboratory building. Some, but not all, of the strains that were able to obtain carbon from tholin were also able to obtain their nitrogen requirements from tholin. Bacteria isolated from common soils were tested for their ability to obtain carbon from the water-soluble fraction, the ethanol-soluble fraction, and the water/ethanol-insoluble fraction of the tholin. Of the 3.5 × 10 7 bacteria isolated per gram of common soils, 1.7 0.5, and 0.2%, respectively, were able to obtaib their carbon requirements from the water-soluble fraction, the ethanol-soluble fraction and the water/ethanol-insoluble fraction of the tholin. The palatability of tholins to modern microbes may have implications for the early evolution of microbial life on Earth. Tholins may have formed the base of the food chain for an early heterotrophic biosphere before the evolution of

  1. The phenomenon of microbial uncultivability.

    PubMed

    Epstein, S S

    2013-10-01

    Most of the microbial diversity on our planet cannot be cultivated, and remains inaccessible. To bring the missing species into culture, microbiologists have introduced over the past decade a number of innovations aiming to meet the demands of new microbes and better mimic their natural conditions. This resulted in a significant increase in microbial recovery yet the real reasons why so many microbes do not grow on artificial media remain largely unknown. The recently proposed scout model of microbial life cycle may provide a partial explanation for the phenomenon. It postulates that transition from dormancy to activity is a stochastic process originating in noise-driven bistability. The model helps explain several otherwise perplexing observations, and informs the future cultivation efforts. PMID:24011825

  2. Microbial Identification in Pharmaceutical Compounding.

    PubMed

    Hyde, Tiffany; Anstead, James; Schade, Lisa; Zellner, James

    2016-01-01

    Compounding pharmacies and contract testing laboratories can readily utilize critical information that microbial identification methods provide. Rapidly identifying the genus and species of environmental isolates and sample contaminates provides pharmacies and laboratories the opportunity to determine the possible source and implement corrective actions to improve compounding and testing processes. The microbial identification data collected from a compounding environment is critical. It is important to have accurate and specific microbial information to guide environmental collection practices, validation studies, and troubleshooting initiatives. The different technologies available provide varying levels of identification. They range from phenotypic assays to more accurate molecular-based techniques, including macromolecular methods and whole genome sequencing. Selecting the appropriate identification methodology requires evaluating multiple factors including the level of information required (genus only, genus and species, etc.) and the pharmacy's tolerance for unidentified or incorrectly identified isolates. PMID:27125052

  3. Microbial keratitis after penetrating keratoplasty.

    PubMed

    Bates, A K; Kirkness, C M; Ficker, L A; Steele, A D; Rice, N S

    1990-01-01

    Thirty cases of microbial keratitis after penetrating keratoplasty were reviewed to examine the associated risk factors, the spectrum of pathogens and the prognosis for graft survival and visual outcome. The indications for keratoplasty in this group differed markedly from those for all corneal grafts performed with a much higher incidence of previous microbial keratitis and of herpes simplex keratitis. A positive culture was obtained in 93% of cases and in contrast to microbial keratitis overall, Gram positive organisms predominated particularly streptococcus pneumoniae and staphylococcus aureus. Risk factors identified were loose or broken sutures, graft decompensation and a poor ocular surface environment. There was a poor prognosis for graft survival with only 23% of cases retaining a clear graft. Overall 53% of cases were regrafted. PMID:2323481

  4. Microbial enhancement of oil recovery

    SciTech Connect

    Finnerty, W.R.; Singer, M.E.

    1983-03-01

    The purpose of this article is to present an overview of a supplementary biotechnology that will potentially aid in obtaining greater oil production and processing capabilities. This supplementary technology involves the application of microbiological processes to specific and well-defined problems in enhanced oil recovery (EOR). The discussion outlines scenarios for various microbiological processes that have been identified as promising areas for research and development, many of which are currently being addressed within the petroleum industry and by the Department of Energy. Microorganisms and microbial products can be used to recover oil from reservoirs. To be successful, the complexity of oil and the physical constraints in the reservoir must be taken into account. The three general approaches are: stimulation of the endogenous microbial population; injection of microorganisms with proven ability to perform well in situ; and the use of microbial products, such as xanthan gum, produced by Xanthomonas campestris.

  5. Microbial Metagenomics: Beyond the Genome

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilbert, Jack A.; Dupont, Christopher L.

    2011-01-01

    Metagenomics literally means “beyond the genome.” Marine microbial metagenomic databases presently comprise ˜400 billion base pairs of DNA, only ˜3% of that found in 1 ml of seawater. Very soon a trillion-base-pair sequence run will be feasible, so it is time to reflect on what we have learned from metagenomics. We review the impact of metagenomics on our understanding of marine microbial communities. We consider the studies facilitated by data generated through the Global Ocean Sampling expedition, as well as the revolution wrought at the individual laboratory level through next generation sequencing technologies. We review recent studies and discoveries since 2008, provide a discussion of bioinformatic analyses, including conceptual pipelines and sequence annotation and predict the future of metagenomics, with suggestions of collaborative community studies tailored toward answering some of the fundamental questions in marine microbial ecology.

  6. Tackling a Recurrent Pinealoblastoma

    PubMed Central

    Palled, Siddanna; Kalavagunta, Sruthi; Beerappa Gowda, Jaipal; Umesh, Kavita; Aal, Mahalaxmi; Abdul Razack, Tanvir pasha Chitraduraga; Gowda, Veerabhadre; Viswanath, Lokesh

    2014-01-01

    Pineoblastomas are rare, malignant, pineal region lesions that account for <0.1% of all intracranial tumors and can metastasize along the neuroaxis. Pineoblastomas are more common in children than in adults and adults account for <10% of patients. The management of pinealoblastoma is multimodality approach, surgery followed with radiation and chemotherapy. In view of aggressive nature few centres use high dose chemotherapy with autologus stem cell transplant in newly diagnosed cases but in recurrent setting the literature is very sparse. The present case represents the management of pinealoblastoma in the recurrent setting with reirradiation and adjuvant carmustine chemotherapy wherein the management guidelines are not definitive. PMID:25210636

  7. Districts Tackling Meal Debt

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shah, Nirvi

    2012-01-01

    School districts have resorted to hiring debt collectors, employing constables, and swapping out standard meals for scaled-back versions to try to coerce parents to pay off school lunch debt that, in recent years, appears to have surged as the result of a faltering economy and better record-keeping. While the average school lunch costs just about…

  8. Chevron tackles urban drilling

    SciTech Connect

    Moore, S.

    1984-01-01

    Chevron USA transformed a landfill in Pacioma, Calif., into an urban drill site for a field expected to produce 2,400 b/d of oil and 24 MMcfd of natural gas within 3 years. Chevron's foremost challenges in developing the Paxton drill site were to drill and produce oil and gas within a limited, 2.7-acre spacing and with minimum impact to the immediate environment. To meet these goals, Chevron: Used offshore technology for the well cellar layout and rig design and construction. Performed extensive research in soil mechanics, noise abatement, and safety. Employed state-of-the-art computer technology for monitoring and controlling different operating systems. Concealed the drilling derrick in a 10-story tower that resembles a Spanish mission. Hid other structures, including offices, a computerized control room, and gas processing facilities, behind a 12-ft fence. The Paxton site, located a few miles north of Los Angeles, is Chevron's fifth compressed urban drill site. The other sites, all in the Los Angeles area, are San Vicente, Packard, Broadway, and Garey. Chevron's experience in drilling 173 wells at these four facilities was beneficial, since the same engineering and technology were applied to the Paxton site.

  9. Tackling science's distress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simarski, Lynn Teo

    If arguments for limiting support for science continue to dominate the public discourse about science, “we will be talking our way into scientific decline,” said Frank Press, president of the National Academy of Sciences, to the academy's annual meeting on April 30. Press is the latest in a number of prominent figures on the Washington science scene, from George E. Brown, Jr. (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Science Committee, to Mary L. Good, head of the National Science Board, to take stock of the U.S. science enterprise.Press lauded President Bush's current budget request for science, calling it the best one in recent years. The new federal budget caps, however, provide a counterweight by creating a “fixed pie” for spending. Added to this, the university science community is in severe distress, Press said, suffering from outmoded laboratories, rising costs, budget cuts, and new and expensive government regulations, among other burdens. The budget caps also force federally funded laboratories and universities to compete with each other for support.

  10. Tackling a Local Problem.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cook, Martin

    1995-01-01

    Students studying water as a class project were concerned by levels of pollution at a nearby river and the local beach. They identified three environmental problems for research including sewage discharge, beach litter, and quality of swimming water. Research consisted of field trips which allowed for opportunities to improve skills in collecting…

  11. Time to tackle obesity.

    PubMed

    Savill, Peter

    2011-12-01

    Obesity has been described by the WHO as a global epidemic. Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) > or = 30 kg/m2 and it is estimated that almost a quarter of the population of England are obese. Lighten Up was a randomised controlled trial that studied 740 obese or overweight men and women identified from GP records in a primary care trust in Birmingham. The study compared a range of commercial or primary care led weight reduction programmes with minimal intervention control for weight loss in obesity. The commercial weight management programmes were more effective and cheaper than the primary care based services studied. The authors calculated that patients lost an average of 1.3 kg/m2 with the most effective intervention which if maintained gives a crude cost per life year saved of 77 pound sterling. This would indicate that providing commercial weight loss programmes as an NHS funded service is a potentially cost-effective intervention. PMID:22272525

  12. Smith Tackles Oakland Unified

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mellon, Ericka

    2011-01-01

    As a 20-something, Anthony "Tony" Smith had fulfilled one dream: playing professional football for the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers. Next up, he thought, was law school, but a former mentor reminded him that he is a teacher. Smith never became a classroom teacher, but his background in sports--where he learned the power of…

  13. Tackling Human Rights

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McLester, Susan

    2005-01-01

    In 2003, four high school students from the Tashkent International School in the capital city confronted the issue of their nation's human rights problems head on by researching the topic and publishing their findings on the Web. The site, "Uzbekistan: Opaque Reality," was created as an entry for the non-profit Global SchoolNet's Doors to…

  14. Tackling the Sixth State

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kolm, Henry H.

    1975-01-01

    Describes the process of high gradient magnetic separation which gives promise as a method of large scale removal of colloidal impurities including bacteria and viruses. Examples and diagrams are included. (GH)

  15. Universality of human microbial dynamics.

    PubMed

    Bashan, Amir; Gibson, Travis E; Friedman, Jonathan; Carey, Vincent J; Weiss, Scott T; Hohmann, Elizabeth L; Liu, Yang-Yu

    2016-06-01

    Human-associated microbial communities have a crucial role in determining our health and well-being, and this has led to the continuing development of microbiome-based therapies such as faecal microbiota transplantation. These microbial communities are very complex, dynamic and highly personalized ecosystems, exhibiting a high degree of inter-individual variability in both species assemblages and abundance profiles. It is not known whether the underlying ecological dynamics of these communities, which can be parameterized by growth rates, and intra- and inter-species interactions in population dynamics models, are largely host-independent (that is, universal) or host-specific. If the inter-individual variability reflects host-specific dynamics due to differences in host lifestyle, physiology or genetics, then generic microbiome manipulations may have unintended consequences, rendering them ineffective or even detrimental. Alternatively, microbial ecosystems of different subjects may exhibit universal dynamics, with the inter-individual variability mainly originating from differences in the sets of colonizing species. Here we develop a new computational method to characterize human microbial dynamics. By applying this method to cross-sectional data from two large-scale metagenomic studies--the Human Microbiome Project and the Student Microbiome Project--we show that gut and mouth microbiomes display pronounced universal dynamics, whereas communities associated with certain skin sites are probably shaped by differences in the host environment. Notably, the universality of gut microbial dynamics is not observed in subjects with recurrent Clostridium difficile infection but is observed in the same set of subjects after faecal microbiota transplantation. These results fundamentally improve our understanding of the processes that shape human microbial ecosystems, and pave the way to designing general microbiome-based therapies. PMID:27279224

  16. Universality of human microbial dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bashan, Amir; Gibson, Travis E.; Friedman, Jonathan; Carey, Vincent J.; Weiss, Scott T.; Hohmann, Elizabeth L.; Liu, Yang-Yu

    2016-06-01

    Human-associated microbial communities have a crucial role in determining our health and well-being, and this has led to the continuing development of microbiome-based therapies such as faecal microbiota transplantation. These microbial communities are very complex, dynamic and highly personalized ecosystems, exhibiting a high degree of inter-individual variability in both species assemblages and abundance profiles. It is not known whether the underlying ecological dynamics of these communities, which can be parameterized by growth rates, and intra- and inter-species interactions in population dynamics models, are largely host-independent (that is, universal) or host-specific. If the inter-individual variability reflects host-specific dynamics due to differences in host lifestyle, physiology or genetics, then generic microbiome manipulations may have unintended consequences, rendering them ineffective or even detrimental. Alternatively, microbial ecosystems of different subjects may exhibit universal dynamics, with the inter-individual variability mainly originating from differences in the sets of colonizing species. Here we develop a new computational method to characterize human microbial dynamics. By applying this method to cross-sectional data from two large-scale metagenomic studies—the Human Microbiome Project and the Student Microbiome Project—we show that gut and mouth microbiomes display pronounced universal dynamics, whereas communities associated with certain skin sites are probably shaped by differences in the host environment. Notably, the universality of gut microbial dynamics is not observed in subjects with recurrent Clostridium difficile infection but is observed in the same set of subjects after faecal microbiota transplantation. These results fundamentally improve our understanding of the processes that shape human microbial ecosystems, and pave the way to designing general microbiome-based therapies.

  17. Synthetic networks in microbial communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suel, Gurol

    2015-03-01

    While bacteria are single celled organisms, they predominantly reside in structured communities known as biofilms. Cells in biofilms are encapsulated and protected by the extracellular matrix (ECM), which also confines cells in space. During biofilm development, microbial cells are organized in space and over time. Little is known regarding the processes that drive the spatio-temporal organization of microbial communities. Here I will present our latest efforts that utilize synthetic biology approaches to uncover the organizational principles that drive biofilm development. I will also discuss the possible implications of our recent findings in terms of the cost and benefit to biofilm cells.

  18. Systems biology of Microbial Communities

    SciTech Connect

    Navid, A; Ghim, C; Fenley, A; Yoon, S; Lee, S; Almaas, E

    2008-04-11

    Microbes exist naturally in a wide range of environments, spanning the extremes of high acidity and high temperature to soil and the ocean, in communities where their interactions are significant. We present a practical discussion of three different approaches for modeling microbial communities: rate equations, individual-based modeling, and population dynamics. We illustrate the approaches with detailed examples. Each approach is best fit to different levels of system representation, and they have different needs for detailed biological input. Thus, this set of approaches is able to address the operation and function of microbial communities on a wide range of organizational levels.

  19. Integrated Environmental Modeling: Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    The presentation discusses the need for microbial assessments and presents a road map associated with quantitative microbial risk assessments, through an integrated environmental modeling approach. A brief introduction and the strengths of the current knowledge are illustrated. W...

  20. Recreating Microbial Ecosystems of the Late Archean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Juarez Rivera, M.; Sumner, D. Y.

    2016-05-01

    Microbialites are important deposits for studying early microbial life. Cuspate and plumose microbialites of the Gamohaan Formation provide evidence for multiple microbial communities that grew contemporaneously with different growth rates.

  1. THE FUTURE OF MICROBIAL SOURCE TRACKING STUDIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Microbial source tracking (MST) is differentiated from traditional microbial water quality efforts by the need to identify the host species from which the bacteria originate, rather than necessarily identifying an individual point source. Despite recent advances in the developmen...

  2. Microbially induced and microbially catalysed precipitation: two different carbonate factories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meister, Patrick

    2016-04-01

    The landmark paper by Schlager (2003) has revealed three types of benthic carbonate production referred to as "carbonate factories", operative at different locations at different times in Earth history. The tropical or T-factory comprises the classical platforms and fringing reefs and is dominated by carbonate precipitation by autotrophic calcifying metazoans ("biotically controlled" precipitation). The cool or C-factory is also biotically controlled but via heterotrophic, calcifying metazoans in cold and deep waters at the continental margins. A further type is the mud-mound or M-factory, where carbonate precipitation is supported by microorganisms but not controlled by a specific enzymatic pathway ("biotically induced" precipitation). How exactly the microbes influence precipitation is still poorly understood. Based on recent experimental and field studies, the microbial influence on modern mud mound and microbialite growth includes two fundamentally different processes: (1) Metabolic activity of microbes may increase the saturation state with respect to a particular mineral phase, thereby indirectly driving the precipitation of the mineral phase: microbially induced precipitation. (2) In a situation, where a solution is already supersaturated but precipitation of the mineral is inhibited by a kinetic barrier, microbes may act as a catalyser, i.e. they lower the kinetic barrier: microbially catalysed precipitation. Such a catalytic effect can occur e.g. via secreted polymeric substances or specific chemical groups on the cell surface, at which the minerals nucleate or which facilitate mechanistically the bonding of new ions to the mineral surface. Based on these latest developments in microbialite formation, I propose to extend the scheme of benthic carbonate factories of Schlager et al. (2003) by introducing an additional branch distinguishing microbially induced from microbially catalysed precipitation. Although both mechanisms could be operative in a M

  3. What visual illusions tell us about underlying neural mechanisms and observer strategies for tackling the inverse problem of achromatic perception

    PubMed Central

    Blakeslee, Barbara; McCourt, Mark E.

    2015-01-01

    Research in lightness perception centers on understanding the prior assumptions and processing strategies the visual system uses to parse the retinal intensity distribution (the proximal stimulus) into the surface reflectance and illumination components of the scene (the distal stimulus—ground truth). It is agreed that the visual system must compare different regions of the visual image to solve this inverse problem; however, the nature of the comparisons and the mechanisms underlying them are topics of intense debate. Perceptual illusions are of value because they reveal important information about these visual processing mechanisms. We propose a framework for lightness research that resolves confusions and paradoxes in the literature, and provides insight into the mechanisms the visual system employs to tackle the inverse problem. The main idea is that much of the debate and confusion in the literature stems from the fact that lightness, defined as apparent reflectance, is underspecified and refers to three different types of judgments that are not comparable. Under stimulus conditions containing a visible illumination component, such as a shadow boundary, observers can distinguish and match three independent dimensions of achromatic experience: apparent intensity (brightness), apparent local intensity ratio (brightness-contrast), and apparent reflectance (lightness). In the absence of a visible illumination boundary, however, achromatic vision reduces to two dimensions and, depending on stimulus conditions and observer instructions, judgments of lightness are identical to judgments of brightness or brightness-contrast. Furthermore, because lightness judgments are based on different information under different conditions, they can differ greatly in their degree of difficulty and in their accuracy. This may, in part, explain the large variability in lightness constancy across studies. PMID:25954181

  4. Tackling reproducibility in microcantilever biosensors: a statistical approach for sensitive and specific end-point detection of immunoreactions.

    PubMed

    Kosaka, Priscila M; Tamayo, Javier; Ruz, José J; Puertas, Sara; Polo, Ester; Grazu, Valeria; de la Fuente, Jesús M; Calleja, Montserrat

    2013-02-21

    In the last decade, microcantilever biosensors have shown enormous potential for highly sensitive label-free detection of nucleic acid and proteins. Despite the enormous advances, the promise of applications of this technology in the biomedical field has been frustrated because of its low reproducibility. Here we tackle the reproducibility issue in microcantilever biosensors and provide the guidelines to minimize the deviations in the biosensor response between different assays. We use as a model system the label-free end-point detection of horseradish peroxidase. We choose the end-point detection mode because of its suitability for implementation in the clinical field that requires simplicity and point-of-care capability. Our study comprises the analysis of 1012 cantilevers with different antibody surface densities, two blocking strategies based on polyethylene-glycol (PEG) and bovine serum albumin (BSA) and stringent controls. The study reveals that the performance of the assay critically depends on both antibody surface density and blocking strategies. We find that the optimal conditions involve antibody surface densities near but below saturation and blocking with PEG. We find that the surface stress induced by the antibody-antigen binding is significantly correlated with the surface stress generated during the antibody attachment and blocking steps. The statistical correlation is harnessed to identify immobilization failure or success, and thus enhancing the specificity and sensitivity of the assay. This procedure enables achieving rates of true positives and true negatives of 90% and 91% respectively. The detection limit is of 10 ng mL(-1) (250 pM) that is similar to the detection limit obtained in our enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and at least two orders of magnitude smaller than that achieved with well-established label-free biosensors such as a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensor. PMID:23223515

  5. Modeling microbial communities: current, developing, and future technologies for predicting microbial community interaction.

    PubMed

    Larsen, Peter; Hamada, Yuki; Gilbert, Jack

    2012-07-31

    Never has there been a greater opportunity for investigating microbial communities. Not only are the profound effects of microbial ecology on every aspect of Earth's geochemical cycles beginning to be understood, but also the analytical and computational tools for investigating microbial Earth are undergoing a rapid revolution. This environmental microbial interactome, the system of interactions between the microbiome and the environment, has shaped the planet's past and will undoubtedly continue to do so in the future. We review recent approaches for modeling microbial community structures and the interactions of microbial populations with their environments. Different modeling approaches consider the environmental microbial interactome from different aspects, and each provides insights to different facets of microbial ecology. We discuss the challenges and opportunities for the future of microbial modeling and describe recent advances in microbial community modeling that are extending current descriptive technologies into a predictive science. PMID:22465599

  6. In situ microbial filter used for bioremediation

    DOEpatents

    Carman, M. Leslie; Taylor, Robert T.

    2000-01-01

    An improved method for in situ microbial filter bioremediation having increasingly operational longevity of an in situ microbial filter emplaced into an aquifer. A method for generating a microbial filter of sufficient catalytic density and thickness, which has increased replenishment interval, improved bacteria attachment and detachment characteristics and the endogenous stability under in situ conditions. A system for in situ field water remediation.

  7. Foodborne illness and microbial agents

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Foodborne illnesses result from the consumption of food containing microbial agents such as bacteria, viruses, parasites or food contaminated by poisonous chemicals or bio-toxins. Pathogen proliferation is due to nutrient composition of foods, which are capable of supporting the growth of microorgan...

  8. Towards a microbial thermoelectric cell.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Barreiro, Raúl; Abendroth, Christian; Vilanova, Cristina; Moya, Andrés; Porcar, Manuel

    2013-01-01

    Microbial growth is an exothermic process. Biotechnological industries produce large amounts of heat, usually considered an undesirable by-product. In this work, we report the construction and characterization of the first microbial thermoelectric cell (MTC), in which the metabolic heat produced by a thermally insulated microbial culture is partially converted into electricity through a thermoelectric device optimized for low ΔT values. A temperature of 41°C and net electric voltage of around 250-600 mV was achieved with 1.7 L baker's yeast culture. This is the first time microbial metabolic energy has been converted into electricity with an ad hoc thermoelectric device. These results might contribute towards developing a novel strategy to harvest excess heat in the biotechnology industry, in processes such as ethanol fermentation, auto thermal aerobic digestion (ATAD) or bioremediation, which could be coupled with MTCs in a single unit to produce electricity as a valuable by-product of the primary biotechnological product. Additionally, we propose that small portable MTCs could be conceived and inoculated with suitable thermophilic of hyperthermophilic starter cultures and used for powering small electric devices. PMID:23468862

  9. Ion-pumping microbial rhodopsins

    PubMed Central

    Kandori, Hideki

    2015-01-01

    Rhodopsins are light-sensing proteins used in optogenetics. The word “rhodopsin” originates from the Greek words “rhodo” and “opsis,” indicating rose and sight, respectively. Although the classical meaning of rhodopsin is the red-colored pigment in our eyes, the modern meaning of rhodopsin encompasses photoactive proteins containing a retinal chromophore in animals and microbes. Animal and microbial rhodopsins possess 11-cis and all-trans retinal, respectively, to capture light in seven transmembrane α-helices, and photoisomerizations into all-trans and 13-cis forms, respectively, initiate each function. Ion-transporting proteins can be found in microbial rhodopsins, such as light-gated channels and light-driven pumps, which are the main tools in optogenetics. Light-driven pumps, such as archaeal H+ pump bacteriorhodopsin (BR) and Cl− pump halorhodopsin (HR), were discovered in the 1970s, and their mechanism has been extensively studied. On the other hand, different kinds of H+ and Cl− pumps have been found in marine bacteria, such as proteorhodopsin (PR) and Fulvimarina pelagi rhodopsin (FR), respectively. In addition, a light-driven Na+ pump was found, Krokinobacter eikastus rhodopsin 2 (KR2). These light-driven ion-pumping microbial rhodopsins are classified as DTD, TSA, DTE, NTQ, and NDQ rhodopsins for BR, HR, PR, FR, and KR2, respectively. Recent understanding of ion-pumping microbial rhodopsins is reviewed in this paper. PMID:26442282

  10. Biogeochemical Processes in Microbial Ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DesMarais, David J.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The hierarchical organization of microbial ecosystems determines process rates that shape Earth's environment, create the biomarker sedimentary and atmospheric signatures of life and define the stage upon which major evolutionary events occurred. In order to understand how microorganisms have shaped the global environment of Earth and potentially, other worlds, we must develop an experimental paradigm that links biogeochemical processes with ever-changing temporal and spatial distributions of microbial population, and their metabolic properties. Photosynthetic microbial mats offer an opportunity to define holistic functionality at the millimeter scale. At the same time, their Biogeochemistry contributes to environmental processes on a planetary scale. These mats are possibly direct descendents of the most ancient biological communities; communities in which oxygenic photosynthesis might have been invented. Mats provide one of the best natural systems to study how microbial populations associate to control dynamic biogeochemical gradients. These are self-sustaining, complete ecosystems in which light energy absorbed over a diel (24 hour) cycle drives the synthesis of spatially-organized, diverse biomass. Tightly-coupled microorganisms in the mat have specialized metabolisms that catalyze transformations of carbon, nitrogen. sulfur, and a host of other elements.

  11. Hypersaline Microbial Mat Lipid Biomarkers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jahnke, Linda L.; Embaye, Tsegereda; Turk, Kendra A.; Summons, Roger E.

    2002-01-01

    Lipid biomarkers and compound specific isotopic abundances are powerful tools for studies of contemporary microbial ecosystems. Knowledge of the relationship of biomarkers to microbial physiology and community structure creates important links for understanding the nature of early organisms and paleoenvironments. Our recent work has focused on the hypersaline microbial mats in evaporation ponds at Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Specific biomarkers for diatoms, cyanobacteria, archaea, green nonsulfur (GNS), sulfate reducing, sulfur oxidizing and methanotrophic bacteria have been identified. Analyses of the ester-bound fatty acids indicate a highly diverse microbial community, dominated by photosynthetic organisms at the surface. The delta C-13 of cyanobacterial biomarkers such as the monomethylalkanes and hopanoids are consistent with the delta C-13 measured for bulk mat (-10%o), while a GNS biomarker, wax esters (WXE), suggests a more depleted delta C-13 for GNS biomass (-16%o). This isotopic relationship is different than that observed in mats at Octopus Spring, Yellowstone National Park (YSNP) where GNS appear to grow photoheterotrophic ally. WXE abundance, while relatively low, is most pronounced in an anaerobic zone just below the cyanobacterial layer. The WXE isotope composition at GN suggests that these bacteria utilize photoautotrophy incorporating dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) via the 3-hydroxypropionate pathway using H2S or H2.

  12. Simplifying microbial electrosynthesis reactor design

    PubMed Central

    Giddings, Cloelle G. S.; Nevin, Kelly P.; Woodward, Trevor; Lovley, Derek R.; Butler, Caitlyn S.

    2015-01-01

    Microbial electrosynthesis, an artificial form of photosynthesis, can efficiently convert carbon dioxide into organic commodities; however, this process has only previously been demonstrated in reactors that have features likely to be a barrier to scale-up. Therefore, the possibility of simplifying reactor design by both eliminating potentiostatic control of the cathode and removing the membrane separating the anode and cathode was investigated with biofilms of Sporomusa ovata. S. ovata reduces carbon dioxide to acetate and acts as the microbial catalyst for plain graphite stick cathodes as the electron donor. In traditional ‘H-cell’ reactors, where the anode and cathode chambers were separated with a proton-selective membrane, the rates and columbic efficiencies of microbial electrosynthesis remained high when electron delivery at the cathode was powered with a direct current power source rather than with a potentiostat-poised cathode utilized in previous studies. A membrane-less reactor with a direct-current power source with the cathode and anode positioned to avoid oxygen exposure at the cathode, retained high rates of acetate production as well as high columbic and energetic efficiencies. The finding that microbial electrosynthesis is feasible without a membrane separating the anode from the cathode, coupled with a direct current power source supplying the energy for electron delivery, is expected to greatly simplify future reactor design and lower construction costs. PMID:26029199

  13. MICROBIAL IMPACTS OF ENGINEERED NANOPARTICLES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Reactivity at the nanometric scale is intimately linked to nanoparticle mobility and microbial sensitivity. Thus, first-order factors increasing nanoparticle reactivity should increase the rate of redox reactions with second-order effects on particle mobility and ecot...

  14. Simplifying microbial electrosynthesis reactor design.

    PubMed

    Giddings, Cloelle G S; Nevin, Kelly P; Woodward, Trevor; Lovley, Derek R; Butler, Caitlyn S

    2015-01-01

    Microbial electrosynthesis, an artificial form of photosynthesis, can efficiently convert carbon dioxide into organic commodities; however, this process has only previously been demonstrated in reactors that have features likely to be a barrier to scale-up. Therefore, the possibility of simplifying reactor design by both eliminating potentiostatic control of the cathode and removing the membrane separating the anode and cathode was investigated with biofilms of Sporomusa ovata. S. ovata reduces carbon dioxide to acetate and acts as the microbial catalyst for plain graphite stick cathodes as the electron donor. In traditional 'H-cell' reactors, where the anode and cathode chambers were separated with a proton-selective membrane, the rates and columbic efficiencies of microbial electrosynthesis remained high when electron delivery at the cathode was powered with a direct current power source rather than with a potentiostat-poised cathode utilized in previous studies. A membrane-less reactor with a direct-current power source with the cathode and anode positioned to avoid oxygen exposure at the cathode, retained high rates of acetate production as well as high columbic and energetic efficiencies. The finding that microbial electrosynthesis is feasible without a membrane separating the anode from the cathode, coupled with a direct current power source supplying the energy for electron delivery, is expected to greatly simplify future reactor design and lower construction costs. PMID:26029199

  15. Life Support Systems Microbial Challenges

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roman, Monsi C.

    2010-01-01

    Many microbiological studies were performed during the development of the Space Station Water Recovery and Management System from1990-2009. Studies include assessments of: (1) bulk phase (planktonic) microbial population (2) biofilms, (3) microbially influenced corrosion (4) biofouling treatments. This slide presentation summarizes the studies performed to assess the bulk phase microbial community during the Space Station Water Recovery Tests (WRT) from 1990 to 1998. This report provides an overview of some of the microbiological analyses performed during the Space Station WRT program. These tests not only integrated several technologies with the goal of producing water that met NASA s potable water specifications, but also integrated humans, and therefore human flora into the protocols. At the time these tests were performed, not much was known (or published) about the microbial composition of these types of wastewater. It is important to note that design changes to the WRS have been implemented over the years and results discussed in this report might be directly related to test configurations that were not chosen for the final flight configuration. Results microbiological analyses performed Conclusion from the during the WRT showed that it was possible to recycle water from different sources, including urine, and produce water that can exceed the quality of municipally produced water.

  16. MICROBIAL DEGRADATION OF PETROLEUM HYDROCARBONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The responses to Prudhoe Bay oil of the microbial populations present in water column, beach and sediment samples representative of the diverse marine shoreline environments found in the northern Puget Sound and Juan de Fuca areas were investigated under laboratory conditions. Al...

  17. Microbial ecology of watery kimchi

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The biochemistry and microbial ecology of 2 similar types of watery (mul) kimchi, containing sliced and unsliced radish and vegetables (nabak and dongchimi, respectively), were investigated. Samples from kimchi were fermented at 4, 10, and 20 °C were analyzed by plating on differential and selective...

  18. Microbial Habitat on Kilimanjaro's Glaciers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ponce, A.; Beaty, S. M.; Lee, C.; Lee, C.; Noell, A. C.; Stam, C. N.; Connon, S. A.

    2011-03-01

    Kilimanjaro glaciers captured a history of microbial diversity and abundance of supraglacial habitats. We show that a majority of bacterial clones, as determined by bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequencing, are most closely related to those isolated from cold-water environments.

  19. Towards a Microbial Thermoelectric Cell

    PubMed Central

    Rodríguez-Barreiro, Raúl; Abendroth, Christian; Vilanova, Cristina; Moya, Andrés; Porcar, Manuel

    2013-01-01

    Microbial growth is an exothermic process. Biotechnological industries produce large amounts of heat, usually considered an undesirable by-product. In this work, we report the construction and characterization of the first microbial thermoelectric cell (MTC), in which the metabolic heat produced by a thermally insulated microbial culture is partially converted into electricity through a thermoelectric device optimized for low ΔT values. A temperature of 41°C and net electric voltage of around 250–600 mV was achieved with 1.7 L baker’s yeast culture. This is the first time microbial metabolic energy has been converted into electricity with an ad hoc thermoelectric device. These results might contribute towards developing a novel strategy to harvest excess heat in the biotechnology industry, in processes such as ethanol fermentation, auto thermal aerobic digestion (ATAD) or bioremediation, which could be coupled with MTCs in a single unit to produce electricity as a valuable by-product of the primary biotechnological product. Additionally, we propose that small portable MTCs could be conceived and inoculated with suitable thermophilic of hyperthermophilic starter cultures and used for powering small electric devices. PMID:23468862

  20. Microbial astronauts: assembling microbial communities for advanced life support systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roberts, M. S.; Garland, J. L.; Mills, A. L.

    2004-01-01

    Extension of human habitation into space requires that humans carry with them many of the microorganisms with which they coexist on Earth. The ubiquity of microorganisms in close association with all living things and biogeochemical processes on Earth predicates that they must also play a critical role in maintaining the viability of human life in space. Even though bacterial populations exist as locally adapted ecotypes, the abundance of individuals in microbial species is so large that dispersal is unlikely to be limited by geographical barriers on Earth (i.e., for most environments "everything is everywhere" given enough time). This will not be true for microbial communities in space where local species richness will be relatively low because of sterilization protocols prior to launch and physical barriers between Earth and spacecraft after launch. Although community diversity will be sufficient to sustain ecosystem function at the onset, richness and evenness may decline over time such that biological systems either lose functional potential (e.g., bioreactors may fail to reduce BOD or nitrogen load) or become susceptible to invasion by human-associated microorganisms (pathogens) over time. Research at the John F. Kennedy Space Center has evaluated fundamental properties of microbial diversity and community assembly in prototype bioregenerative systems for NASA Advanced Life Support. Successional trends related to increased niche specialization, including an apparent increase in the proportion of nonculturable types of organisms, have been consistently observed. In addition, the stability of the microbial communities, as defined by their resistance to invasion by human-associated microorganisms, has been correlated to their diversity. Overall, these results reflect the significant challenges ahead for the assembly of stable, functional communities using gnotobiotic approaches, and the need to better define the basic biological principles that define ecosystem

  1. Microbial astronauts: assembling microbial communities for advanced life support systems.

    PubMed

    Roberts, M S; Garland, J L; Mills, A L

    2004-02-01

    Extension of human habitation into space requires that humans carry with them many of the microorganisms with which they coexist on Earth. The ubiquity of microorganisms in close association with all living things and biogeochemical processes on Earth predicates that they must also play a critical role in maintaining the viability of human life in space. Even though bacterial populations exist as locally adapted ecotypes, the abundance of individuals in microbial species is so large that dispersal is unlikely to be limited by geographical barriers on Earth (i.e., for most environments "everything is everywhere" given enough time). This will not be true for microbial communities in space where local species richness will be relatively low because of sterilization protocols prior to launch and physical barriers between Earth and spacecraft after launch. Although community diversity will be sufficient to sustain ecosystem function at the onset, richness and evenness may decline over time such that biological systems either lose functional potential (e.g., bioreactors may fail to reduce BOD or nitrogen load) or become susceptible to invasion by human-associated microorganisms (pathogens) over time. Research at the John F. Kennedy Space Center has evaluated fundamental properties of microbial diversity and community assembly in prototype bioregenerative systems for NASA Advanced Life Support. Successional trends related to increased niche specialization, including an apparent increase in the proportion of nonculturable types of organisms, have been consistently observed. In addition, the stability of the microbial communities, as defined by their resistance to invasion by human-associated microorganisms, has been correlated to their diversity. Overall, these results reflect the significant challenges ahead for the assembly of stable, functional communities using gnotobiotic approaches, and the need to better define the basic biological principles that define ecosystem

  2. Key Concepts in Microbial Oceanography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruno, B. C.; Achilles, K.; Walker, G.; Weersing, K.; Team, A

    2008-12-01

    The Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education (C-MORE) is a multi-institution Science and Technology Center, established by the National Science Foundation in 2006. C-MORE's research mission is to facilitate a more comprehensive understanding of the diverse assemblages of microorganisms in the sea, ranging from the genetic basis of marine microbial biogeochemistry including the metabolic regulation and environmental controls of gene expression, to the processes that underpin the fluxes of carbon, related bioelements, and energy in the marine environment. The C-MORE education and outreach program is focused on increasing scientific literacy in microbial oceanography among students, educators, and the general public. A first step toward this goal is defining the key concepts that constitute microbial oceanography. After lengthy discussions with scientists and educators, both within and outside C-MORE, we have arrived at six key concepts: 1) Marine microbes are very small and have been around for a long time; 2) Life on Earth could not exist without microbes; 3) Most marine microbes are beneficial; 4) Microbes are everywhere: they are extremely abundant and diverse; 5) Microbes significantly impact our global climate; and 6) There are new discoveries every day in the field of microbial oceanography. A C-MORE-produced brochure on these six key concepts will be distributed at the meeting. Advanced copies may be requested by email or downloaded from the C-MORE web site(http://cmore.soest.hawaii.edu/downloads/MO_key_concepts_hi-res.pdf). This brochure also includes information on career pathways in microbial oceanography, with the aim of broadening participation in the field. C-MORE is eager to work in partnership to incorporate these key concepts into other science literacy publications, particularly those involving ocean and climate literacy. We thank the following contributors and reviewers: P Chisholm, A Dolberry, and A Thompson (MIT); N Lawrence

  3. Microbial Metabolism in Serpentinite Fluids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crespo-Medina, M.; Brazelton, W. J.; Twing, K. I.; Kubo, M.; Hoehler, T. M.; Schrenk, M. O.

    2013-12-01

    Serpentinization is the process in which ultramafic rocks, characteristic of the upper mantle, react with water liberating mantle carbon and reducing power to potenially support chemosynthetic microbial communities. These communities may be important mediators of carbon and energy exchange between the deep Earth and the surface biosphere. Our work focuses on the Coast Range Ophiolite Microbial Observatory (CROMO) in Northern California where subsurface fluids are accessible through a series of wells. Preliminary analyses indicate that the highly basic fluids (pH 9-12) have low microbial diversity, but there is limited knowledge about the metabolic capabilities of these communties. Metagenomic data from similar serpentine environments [1] have identified Betaproteobacteria belonging to the order Burkholderiales and Gram-positive bacteria from the order Clostridiales as key components of the serpentine microbiome. In an effort to better characterize the microbial community, metabolism, and geochemistry at CROMO, fluids from two representative wells (N08B and CSWold) were sampled during recent field campaigns. Geochemical characterization of the fluids includes measurements of dissolved gases (H2, CO, CH4), dissolved inorganic and organic carbon, volatile fatty acids, and nutrients. The wells selected can be differentiated in that N08B had higher pH (10-11), lower dissolved oxygen, and cell counts ranging from 105-106 cells mL-1 of fluid, with an abundance of the betaproteobacterium Hydrogenophaga. In contrast, fluids from CSWold have slightly lower pH (9-9.5), DO, and conductivity, as well as higher TDN and TDP. CSWold fluid is also characterized for having lower cell counts (~103 cells mL-1) and an abundance of Dethiobacter, a taxon within the phylum Clostridiales. Microcosm experiments were conducted with the purpose of monitoring carbon fixation, methanotrophy and metabolism of small organic compounds, such as acetate and formate, while tracing changes in fluid

  4. GIS-based analysis of drinking-water supply structures: a module for microbial risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Kistemann, T; Herbst, S; Dangendorf, F; Exner, M

    2001-05-01

    Water-related infections constitute an important health impact world-wide. A set of tools serving for Microbial Risk Assessment (MRA) of waterborne diseases should comprise the entire drinking-water management system and take into account the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) concept which provides specific Critical Control Points (CCPs) reflecting each step of drinking-water provision. A Geographical Information System (GIS) study concerning water-supply structure (WSS) was conducted in the Rhein-Berg District (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany). As a result, suitability of the existing water databases HYGRIS (hydrological basis geo-information system) and TEIS (drinking-water recording and information system) for the development of a WSS-GIS module could be demonstrated. Spatial patterns within the integrated raw and drinking-water data can easily be uncovered by GIS-specific options. The application of WSS-GIS allows a rapid visualization and analysis of drinking-water supply structure and offers huge advantages concerning microbial monitoring of raw and drinking water as well as recognition and investigation of incidents and outbreaks. Increasing requests regarding health protection and health reporting, demands for a better outbreak management and water-related health impacts of global climate change are major challenges of future water management to be tackled with methods including spatial analysis. GIS is assumed to be a very useful tool to meet these requirements. PMID:11434210

  5. Microbial production of lactic acid.

    PubMed

    Eiteman, Mark A; Ramalingam, Subramanian

    2015-05-01

    Lactic acid is an important commodity chemical having a wide range of applications. Microbial production effectively competes with chemical synthesis methods because biochemical synthesis permits the generation of either one of the two enantiomers with high optical purity at high yield and titer, a result which is particularly beneficial for the production of poly(lactic acid) polymers having specific properties. The commercial viability of microbial lactic acid production relies on utilization of inexpensive carbon substrates derived from agricultural or waste resources. Therefore, optimal lactic acid formation requires an understanding and engineering of both the competing pathways involved in carbohydrate metabolism, as well as pathways leading to potential by-products which both affect product yield. Recent research leverages those biochemical pathways, while researchers also continue to seek strains with improved tolerance and ability to perform under desirable industrial conditions, for example, of pH and temperature. PMID:25604523

  6. Microbial Flocculant for Nature Soda

    SciTech Connect

    Qin, Peiyong; Zhang, Tong; Chen, Cuixian

    2004-03-31

    Microbial flocculant for nature soda has been studied. Lactobacillus TRJ21, which was able to produce an excellent biopolymer flocculant for nature soda, was obtained in our lab. The microbial flocculant was mainly produced when the bacteria laid in stationary growth phase. Fructose or glucose, as carbon sources, were more favorable for the bacterial growth and flocculant production. The bacteria was able to use ammonium sulfate or Urea as nitrogen to produce flocculant, but was not able to use peptone effectively. High C/N ratio was more favorable to Lactobacillus TRJ21 growth and flocculant production than low C/N ratio. The biopolymer flocculant was mainly composed of polysaccharide and protein with a molecular weight 1.38x106 by gel permeation chromatography. It was able to be easily purified from the culture medium by acetone. Protein in the flocculant was tested for the flocculating activity ingredient by heating the flocculant.

  7. Microbial methods of reducing technetium

    DOEpatents

    Wildung, Raymond E [Richland, WA; Garland, Thomas R [Greybull, WY; Gorby, Yuri A [Richland, WA; Hess, Nancy J [Benton City, WA; Li, Shu-Mei W [Richland, WA; Plymale, Andrew E [Richland, WA

    2001-01-01

    The present invention is directed toward a method for microbial reduction of a technetium compound to form other compounds of value in medical imaging. The technetium compound is combined in a mixture with non-growing microbial cells which contain a technetium-reducing enzyme system, a stabilizing agent and an electron donor in a saline solution under anaerobic conditions. The mixture is substantially free of an inorganic technetium reducing agent and its reduction products. The resulting product is Tc of lower oxidation states, the form of which can be partially controlled by the stabilizing agent. It has been discovered that the microorganisms Shewanella alga, strain Bry and Shewanelia putrifacians, strain CN-32 contain the necessary enzyme systems for technetium reduction and can form both mono nuclear and polynuclear reduced Tc species depending on the stabilizing agent.

  8. Microbial activity at Yucca Mountain

    SciTech Connect

    Horn, J.M.; Meike, A.

    1995-09-25

    The U.S. Department of Energy is engaged in a suitability study for a potential geological repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the containment and storage of commercially generated spent fuel and defense high-level nuclear waste. There is growing recognition of the role that biotic factors could play in this repository, either directly through microbially induced corrosion (MIC), or indirectly by altering the chemical environment or contributing to the transport of radionuclides. As a first step toward describing and predicting these processes, a workshop was held on April 10-12, 1995, in Lafayette, California. The immediate aims of the workshop were: (1) To identify microbially related processes relevant to the design of a radioactive waste repository under conditions similar to those at Yucca Mountain. (2) To determine parameters that are critical to the evaluation of a disturbed subterranean environment. (3) To define the most effective means of investigating the factors thus identified.

  9. [Microbial corrosion of dental alloy].

    PubMed

    Li, Lele; Liu, Li

    2004-10-01

    There is a very complicated electrolytical environment in oral cavity with plenty of microorganisms existing there. Various forms of corrosion would develop when metallic prosthesis functions in mouth. One important corrosive form is microbial corrosion. The metabolic products, including organic acid and inorganic acid, will affect the pH of the surface or interface of metallic prosthesis and make a change in composition of the medium, thus influencing the electron-chemical reaction and promoting the development of corrosion. The problem of develpoment of microbial corrosion on dental alloy in the oral environment lies in the primary condition that the bacteria adhere to the surface of alloy and form a relatively independent environment that promotes corrosion. PMID:15553877

  10. Subsurface microbial habitats on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boston, P. J.; Mckay, C. P.

    1991-01-01

    We developed scenarios for shallow and deep subsurface cryptic niches for microbial life on Mars. Such habitats could have considerably prolonged the persistence of life on Mars as surface conditions became increasingly inhospitable. The scenarios rely on geothermal hot spots existing below the near or deep subsurface of Mars. Recent advances in the comparatively new field of deep subsurface microbiology have revealed previously unsuspected rich aerobic and anaerobic microbal communities far below the surface of the Earth. Such habitats, protected from the grim surface conditions on Mars, could receive warmth from below and maintain water in its liquid state. In addition, geothermally or volcanically reduced gases percolating from below through a microbiologically active zone could provide the reducing power needed for a closed or semi-closed microbial ecosystem to thrive.

  11. Toward Engineering Synthetic Microbial Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    McArthur, George H.; Fong, Stephen S.

    2010-01-01

    The generation of well-characterized parts and the formulation of biological design principles in synthetic biology are laying the foundation for more complex and advanced microbial metabolic engineering. Improvements in de novo DNA synthesis and codon-optimization alone are already contributing to the manufacturing of pathway enzymes with improved or novel function. Further development of analytical and computer-aided design tools should accelerate the forward engineering of precisely regulated synthetic pathways by providing a standard framework for the predictable design of biological systems from well-characterized parts. In this review we discuss the current state of synthetic biology within a four-stage framework (design, modeling, synthesis, analysis) and highlight areas requiring further advancement to facilitate true engineering of synthetic microbial metabolism. PMID:20037734

  12. Microbial prevalence in domestic humidifiers.

    PubMed Central

    Burge, H A; Solomon, W R; Boise, J R

    1980-01-01

    The prevalence of viable thermophilic bacteria and actinomycetes and mesophilic fungi was examined in 145 samples from 110 domestic humidifiers. A total of 72 and 43% of furnace and console humidifier samples, respectively, contained viable thermophilic bacteria, whereas 60 and 72% of these samples produced mesophilic fungal growth. Thermophilic actinomycetes were recovered from seven humidifier samples. Efforts to detect thermophilic actinomycete antigens in 15 humidifier fluid samples were not successful. Antifoulants added to humidifier fluid reservoirs had no apparent effect on microbial frequency. Airborne microbial recoveries did not reflect patterns of humidifier contamination with respect to either kinds or numbers of microorganisms in 20 homes in which volumetric air samples were obtained during humidifier operation. PMID:7377779

  13. Microbial exchange experiment AR-002

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, G. R.; Kropp, K. D.; Henney, M. R.; Ekblad, S. S.; Groves, T. O.; Molina, T. C.; Decelle, J. G.; Carmichael, C. F.; Gehring, N. J.; Young, E. L.

    1976-01-01

    Operational aspects associated with the experiment and the activities of medically important microorganisms recovered from the Apollo crewmen are evaluated. A variety of potential pathogens was recovered from each of the prime and backup crew members before and after flight. However, no disease events were reported. Candida albicans and Staphylococcus aureus were shown to be transferred from one crewmember to another during the flight. No other medically significant changes in the microbial population were observed.

  14. Evaluation of microbial release probabilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    Work undertaken to improve the estimation of the probability of release of microorganisms from unmanned Martian landing spacecraft is summarized. An analytical model is described for the development of numerical values for release parameters and release mechanisms applicable to flight missions are defined. Laboratory test data are used to evolve parameter values for use by flight projects in estimating numerical values for release probabilities. The analysis treats microbial burden located on spacecraft surfaces, between mated surfaces, and encapsulated within materials.

  15. Modeling the microbial food web.

    PubMed

    Ducklow, H W

    1994-09-01

    Models of the microbial food web have their origin in the debate over the importance of bacteria as an energetic subsidy for higher trophic levels leading to harvestable fisheries. Conceptualization of the microbial food web preceded numerical models by 10-15 years. Pomeroy's work was central to both efforts. Elements necessary for informative and comprehensive models of microbial loops in plankton communities include coupled carbon and nitrogen flows utilizing a size-based approach to structuring and parameterizing the food web. Realistic formulation of nitrogen flows requires recognition that both nitrogenous and nonnitrogenous organic matter are important substrates for bacteria. Nitrogen regeneration driven by simple mass-specific excretion constants seems to overestimate the role of bacteria in the regeneration process. Quantitative assessment of the link-sink question, in which the original loop models are grounded, requires sophisticated analysis of size-based trophic structures. The effects of recycling complicate calculation of the link between bacteria or dissolved organic matter and mesozooplankton, and indirect effects show that the link might be much stronger than simple analyses have suggested. Examples drawn from a series of oceanic mixed layer plankton models are used to illustrate some of these points. Single-size class models related to traditional P-Z-N approaches are incapable of simulating bacterial biomass cycles in some locations (e.g., Bermuda) but appear to be adequate for more strongly seasonal regimes at higher latitudes. PMID:24186459

  16. Sulfide-Driven Microbial Electrosynthesis

    SciTech Connect

    Gong, YM; Ebrahim, A; Feist, AM; Embree, M; Zhang, T; Lovley, D; Zengler, K

    2013-01-01

    Microbial electrosynthesis, the conversion of carbon dioxide to organic molecules using electricity, has recently been demonstrated for acetogenic microorganisms, such as Sporomusa ovata. The energy for reduction of carbon dioxide originates from the hydrolysis of water on the anode, requiring a sufficiently low potential. Here we evaluate the use of sulfide as an electron source for microbial electrosynthesis. Abiotically oxidation of sulfide on the anode yields two electrons. The oxidation product, elemental sulfur, can be further oxidized to sulfate by Desulfobulbus propionicus, generating six additional electrons in the process. The eight electrons generated from the combined abiotic and biotic steps were used to reduce carbon dioxide to acetate on a graphite cathode by Sporomusa ovata at a rate of 24.8 mmol/day.m(2). Using a strain of Desulfuromonas as biocatalyst on the anode resulted in an acetate production rate of 49.9 mmol/day.m(2), with a Coulombic efficiency of over 90%. These results demonstrate that sulfide can serve effectively as an alternative electron donor for microbial electrosynthesis.

  17. In-Flight Microbial Monitor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zeitlin, Nancy; Mullenix, Pamela; Wheeler, Raymond M.; Ruby, Anna Maria

    2015-01-01

    Previous research has shown that potential human pathogens have been detected on the International Space Station (ISS). New microorganisms are introduced with every exchange of crew and cargo. Microorganisms introduced to the ISS are readily transferred between crew and subsystems (i.e., ECLSS, environmental control and life support systems). Current microbial characterization methods require a culture-based enrichment of microorganisms and at least a 48-hour incubation time. This increases the microbial load while detecting only a limited number of microorganisms. The culture-based method detects approximately 1-10% of the total organisms present and provides no identification. To identify and enumerate ISS samples requires that the microbes be returned to Earth for complete analysis. Therefore, a more expedient, low-cost, inflight method of microbial detection, identification, and enumeration is needed. The RAZOR EX, a ruggedized, commercial off the shelf, real-time PCR field instrument was tested for its ability to detect microorganisms at low concentrations within one hour. Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica Typhimurium, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were detected at low levels using real-time DNA amplification. Total heterotrophic counts could also be detected using a 16S gene marker that can identify up to 98% of all bacteria. To reflect viable cells found in the samples, RNA was also detectable using a modified, single-step reverse transcription reaction.

  18. Microbial Engineering for Aldehyde Synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Kunjapur, Aditya M.

    2015-01-01

    Aldehydes are a class of chemicals with many industrial uses. Several aldehydes are responsible for flavors and fragrances present in plants, but aldehydes are not known to accumulate in most natural microorganisms. In many cases, microbial production of aldehydes presents an attractive alternative to extraction from plants or chemical synthesis. During the past 2 decades, a variety of aldehyde biosynthetic enzymes have undergone detailed characterization. Although metabolic pathways that result in alcohol synthesis via aldehyde intermediates were long known, only recent investigations in model microbes such as Escherichia coli have succeeded in minimizing the rapid endogenous conversion of aldehydes into their corresponding alcohols. Such efforts have provided a foundation for microbial aldehyde synthesis and broader utilization of aldehydes as intermediates for other synthetically challenging biochemical classes. However, aldehyde toxicity imposes a practical limit on achievable aldehyde titers and remains an issue of academic and commercial interest. In this minireview, we summarize published efforts of microbial engineering for aldehyde synthesis, with an emphasis on de novo synthesis, engineered aldehyde accumulation in E. coli, and the challenge of aldehyde toxicity. PMID:25576610

  19. Microbial Regulation in Gorgonian Corals

    PubMed Central

    Hunt, Laura R.; Smith, Stephanie M.; Downum, Kelsey R.; Mydlarz, Laura D.

    2012-01-01

    Gorgonian corals possess many novel natural products that could potentially mediate coral-bacterial interactions. Since many bacteria use quorum sensing (QS) signals to facilitate colonization of host organisms, regulation of prokaryotic cell-to-cell communication may represent an important bacterial control mechanism. In the present study, we examined extracts of twelve species of Caribbean gorgonian corals, for mechanisms that regulate microbial colonization, such as antibacterial activity and QS regulatory activity. Ethanol extracts of gorgonians collected from Puerto Rico and the Florida Keys showed a range of both antibacterial and QS activities using a specific Pseudomonas aeruginosa QS reporter, sensitive to long chain AHLs and a short chain N-acylhomoserine lactones (AHL) biosensor, Chromobacterium violaceium. Overall, the gorgonian corals had higher antimicrobial activity against non-marine strains when compared to marine strains. Pseudopterogorgia americana, Pseusopterogorgia acerosa, and Pseudoplexuara flexuosa had the highest QS inhibitory effect. Interestingly, Pseudoplexuara porosa extracts stimulated QS activity with a striking 17-fold increase in signal. The stimulation of QS by P. porosa or other elements of the holobiont may encourage colonization or recruitment of specific microbial species. Overall, these results suggest the presence of novel stimulatory QS, inhibitory QS and bactericidal compounds in gorgonian corals. A better understanding of these compounds may reveal insight into coral-microbial ecology and whether a therapeutic potential exists. PMID:22822369

  20. Genomics and marine microbial ecology.

    PubMed

    Pedrós-Alió, Carlos

    2006-09-01

    Genomics has brought about a revolution in all fields of biology. Before the development of microbial ecology in the 1970s, microbes were not even considered in marine ecological studies. Today we know that half of the total primary production of the planet must be credited to microorganisms. This and other discoveries have changed dramatically the perspective and the focus of marine microbial ecology. The application of genomics-based approaches has provided new challenges and has allowed the discovery of novel functions, an appreciation of the great diversity of microorganisms, and the introduction of controversial ideas regarding the concepts of species, genome, and niche. Nevertheless, thorough knowledge of the traditional disciplines of biology is necessary to explore the possibilities arising from these new insights. This work reviews the different genomic techniques that can be applied to marine microbial ecology, including both sequencing of the complete genomes of microorganisms and metagenomics, which, in turn, can be complemented with the study of mRNAs (transcriptomics) and proteins (proteomics). The example of proteorhodopsin illustrates the type of information that can be gained from these approaches. A genomics perspective constitutes a map that will allow microbiologists to focus their research on potentially more productive aspects. PMID:17061209

  1. Common themes in microbial pathogenicity.

    PubMed Central

    Finlay, B B; Falkow, S

    1989-01-01

    A bacterial pathogen is a highly adapted microorganism which has the capacity to cause disease. The mechanisms used by pathogenic bacteria to cause infection and disease usually include an interactive group of virulence determinants, sometimes coregulated, which are suited for the interaction of a particular microorganism with a specific host. Because pathogens must overcome similar host barriers, common themes in microbial pathogenesis have evolved. However, these mechanisms are diverse between species and not necessarily conserved; instead, convergent evolution has developed several different mechanisms to overcome host barriers. The success of a bacterial pathogen can be measured by the degree with which it replicates after entering the host and reaching its specific niche. Successful microbial infection reflects persistence within a host and avoidance or neutralization of the specific and nonspecific defense mechanisms of the host. The degree of success of a pathogen is dependent upon the status of the host. As pathogens pass through a host, they are exposed to new environments. Highly adapted pathogenic organisms have developed biochemical sensors exquisitely designed to measure and respond to such environmental stimuli and accordingly to regulate a cascade of virulence determinants essential for life within the host. The pathogenic state is the product of dynamic selective pressures on microbial populations. PMID:2569162

  2. Microbial Endocrinology: An Ongoing Personal Journey.

    PubMed

    Lyte, Mark

    2016-01-01

    The development of microbial endocrinology is covered from a decidedly personal perspective. Specific focus is given to the role of microbial endocrinology in the evolutionary symbiosis between man and microbe as it relates to both health and disease. Since the first edition of this book series 5 years ago, the role of microbial endocrinology in the microbiota-gut-brain axis is additionally discussed. Future avenues of research are suggested. PMID:26589212

  3. A microbial perspective of human developmental biology.

    PubMed

    Charbonneau, Mark R; Blanton, Laura V; DiGiulio, Daniel B; Relman, David A; Lebrilla, Carlito B; Mills, David A; Gordon, Jeffrey I

    2016-07-01

    When most people think of human development, they tend to consider only human cells and organs. Yet there is another facet that involves human-associated microbial communities. A microbial perspective of human development provides opportunities to refine our definitions of healthy prenatal and postnatal growth and to develop innovative strategies for disease prevention and treatment. Given the dramatic changes in lifestyles and disease patterns that are occurring with globalization, we issue a call for the establishment of 'human microbial observatories' designed to examine microbial community development in birth cohorts representing populations with diverse anthropological characteristics, including those undergoing rapid change. PMID:27383979

  4. Chip-SIP: Stable Isotope Probing of RNA combining phylogenetic microarrays and Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (NanoSIMS) to link structure and function in microbial systems (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayali, X.; Weber, P. K.; Mabery, S.; Dekas, A.; Pett-Ridge, J.

    2013-12-01

    A primary goal of microbial ecology is to understand the biogeochemical role of individual microbial taxa in the environment. Our approach to tackle this challenge (Chip-SIP) involves the combination of high-density phylogenetic microarrays ('chips') and Stable Isotope Probing (SIP) to directly link identity and function. Microbial communities are incubated in the presence of substrate(s) enriched in 13C or 15N, RNA is extracted and hybridized onto a microarray synthesized on a conductive surface, and the array is analyzed with a NanoSIMS imaging mass spectrometer to quantify isotopic enrichment of individual probes. After testing the method with mixtures of stable isotope labeled laboratory isolates, we have investigated organic and inorganic carbon and nitrogen incorporation by microbial taxa in various ecosystems including San Francisco Bay, the coastal Pacific Ocean, California soils, and the hindguts of wood-eating beetles. We will summarize the methodology, describe the types of questions it has allowed us to investigate, and discuss some testable hypotheses about biogeochemical cycling in various environments that can benefit from this approach.

  5. Estimating and comparing microbial diversity in the presence of sequencing errors

    PubMed Central

    Chiu, Chun-Huo

    2016-01-01

    Estimating and comparing microbial diversity are statistically challenging due to limited sampling and possible sequencing errors for low-frequency counts, producing spurious singletons. The inflated singleton count seriously affects statistical analysis and inferences about microbial diversity. Previous statistical approaches to tackle the sequencing errors generally require different parametric assumptions about the sampling model or about the functional form of frequency counts. Different parametric assumptions may lead to drastically different diversity estimates. We focus on nonparametric methods which are universally valid for all parametric assumptions and can be used to compare diversity across communities. We develop here a nonparametric estimator of the true singleton count to replace the spurious singleton count in all methods/approaches. Our estimator of the true singleton count is in terms of the frequency counts of doubletons, tripletons and quadrupletons, provided these three frequency counts are reliable. To quantify microbial alpha diversity for an individual community, we adopt the measure of Hill numbers (effective number of taxa) under a nonparametric framework. Hill numbers, parameterized by an order q that determines the measures’ emphasis on rare or common species, include taxa richness (q = 0), Shannon diversity (q = 1, the exponential of Shannon entropy), and Simpson diversity (q = 2, the inverse of Simpson index). A diversity profile which depicts the Hill number as a function of order q conveys all information contained in a taxa abundance distribution. Based on the estimated singleton count and the original non-singleton frequency counts, two statistical approaches (non-asymptotic and asymptotic) are developed to compare microbial diversity for multiple communities. (1) A non-asymptotic approach refers to the comparison of estimated diversities of standardized samples with a common finite sample size or sample completeness. This

  6. Estimating and comparing microbial diversity in the presence of sequencing errors.

    PubMed

    Chiu, Chun-Huo; Chao, Anne

    2016-01-01

    Estimating and comparing microbial diversity are statistically challenging due to limited sampling and possible sequencing errors for low-frequency counts, producing spurious singletons. The inflated singleton count seriously affects statistical analysis and inferences about microbial diversity. Previous statistical approaches to tackle the sequencing errors generally require different parametric assumptions about the sampling model or about the functional form of frequency counts. Different parametric assumptions may lead to drastically different diversity estimates. We focus on nonparametric methods which are universally valid for all parametric assumptions and can be used to compare diversity across communities. We develop here a nonparametric estimator of the true singleton count to replace the spurious singleton count in all methods/approaches. Our estimator of the true singleton count is in terms of the frequency counts of doubletons, tripletons and quadrupletons, provided these three frequency counts are reliable. To quantify microbial alpha diversity for an individual community, we adopt the measure of Hill numbers (effective number of taxa) under a nonparametric framework. Hill numbers, parameterized by an order q that determines the measures' emphasis on rare or common species, include taxa richness (q = 0), Shannon diversity (q = 1, the exponential of Shannon entropy), and Simpson diversity (q = 2, the inverse of Simpson index). A diversity profile which depicts the Hill number as a function of order q conveys all information contained in a taxa abundance distribution. Based on the estimated singleton count and the original non-singleton frequency counts, two statistical approaches (non-asymptotic and asymptotic) are developed to compare microbial diversity for multiple communities. (1) A non-asymptotic approach refers to the comparison of estimated diversities of standardized samples with a common finite sample size or sample completeness. This approach

  7. Designing the Microbial Research Commons

    SciTech Connect

    Uhlir, Paul F

    2011-10-01

    Recent decades have witnessed an ever-increasing range and volume of digital data. All elements of the pillars of science--whether observation, experiment, or theory and modeling--are being transformed by the continuous cycle of generation, dissemination, and use of factual information. This is even more so in terms of the re-using and re-purposing of digital scientific data beyond the original intent of the data collectors, often with dramatic results. We all know about the potential benefits and impacts of digital data, but we are also aware of the barriers, the challenges in maximizing the access, and use of such data. There is thus a need to think about how a data infrastructure can enhance capabilities for finding, using, and integrating information to accelerate discovery and innovation. How can we best implement an accessible, interoperable digital environment so that the data can be repeatedly used by a wide variety of users in different settings and with different applications? With this objective: to use the microbial communities and microbial data, literature, and the research materials themselves as a test case, the Board on Research Data and Information held an International Symposium on Designing the Microbial Research Commons at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC on 8-9 October 2009. The symposium addressed topics such as models to lower the transaction costs and support access to and use of microbiological materials and digital resources from the perspective of publicly funded research, public-private interactions, and developing country concerns. The overall goal of the symposium was to stimulate more research and implementation of improved legal and institutional models for publicly funded research in microbiology.

  8. Far and Wide - Microbial Bebop

    SciTech Connect

    Peter Larsen

    2012-10-01

    This musical composition was created from data of microbes (bacteria, algae and other microorganisms) sampled in the English Channel. Argonne National Laboratory biologist Peter Larsen created the songs as a unique way to present and comprehend large datasets. Microbial species of the Order Rickettsiales, such as the highly abundant, free-living planktonic species Pelagibacter ubique, are typical highly abundant taxa in L4 Station data. Its relative abundance in the microbial community at L4 Station follows a distinctive seasonal pattern. In this composition, there are two chords per measure, generated from photosynthetically active radiation measurements and temperature. The melody of each measure is six notes that describe the relative abundance of the Order Rickettsiales. The first note of each measure is from the relative abundance at a time point. The next five notes of a measure follow one of the following patterns: a continuous rise in pitch, a continuous drop in pitch, a rise then drop in pitch, or a drop then rise in pitch. These patterns are matched to the relative abundance of Rickettsiales at the given time point, relative to the previous and subsequent time points. The pattern of notes in a measure is mapped to the relative abundance of Rickettsiales with fewer rests per measure indicating higher abundance. For time points at which Rickettsiales was the most abundant microbial taxa, the corresponding measure is highlighted with a cymbal crash. More information at http://www.anl.gov/articles/songs-key... Image: Diatoms under a microscope: These tiny phytoplankton are encased within a silicate cell wall. Credit: Prof. Gordon T. Taylor, Stony Brook University

  9. Flat laminated microbial mat communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franks, Jonathan; Stolz, John F.

    2009-10-01

    Flat laminated microbial mats are complex microbial ecosystems that inhabit a wide range of environments (e.g., caves, iron springs, thermal springs and pools, salt marshes, hypersaline ponds and lagoons, methane and petroleum seeps, sea mounts, deep sea vents, arctic dry valleys). Their community structure is defined by physical (e.g., light quantity and quality, temperature, density and pressure) and chemical (e.g., oxygen, oxidation/reduction potential, salinity, pH, available electron acceptors and donors, chemical species) parameters as well as species interactions. The main primary producers may be photoautotrophs (e.g., cyanobacteria, purple phototrophs, green phototrophs) or chemolithoautophs (e.g., colorless sulfur oxidizing bacteria). Anaerobic phototrophy may predominate in organic rich environments that support high rates of respiration. These communities are dynamic systems exhibiting both spatial and temporal heterogeneity. They are characterized by steep gradients with microenvironments on the submillimeter scale. Diel oscillations in the physical-chemical profile (e.g., oxygen, hydrogen sulfide, pH) and species distribution are typical for phototroph-dominated communities. Flat laminated microbial mats are often sites of robust biogeochemical cycling. In addition to well-established modes of metabolism for phototrophy (oxygenic and non-oxygenic), respiration (both aerobic and anaerobic), and fermentation, novel energetic pathways have been discovered (e.g., nitrate reduction couple to the oxidation of ammonia, sulfur, or arsenite). The application of culture-independent techniques (e.g., 16S rRNA clonal libraries, metagenomics), continue to expand our understanding of species composition and metabolic functions of these complex ecosystems.

  10. Microbial Cretaceous park: biodiversity of microbial fossils entrapped in amber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martín-González, Ana; Wierzchos, Jacek; Gutiérrez, Juan C.; Alonso, Jesús; Ascaso, Carmen

    2009-05-01

    Microorganisms are the most ancient cells on this planet and they include key phyla for understanding cell evolution and Earth history, but, unfortunately, their microbial records are scarce. Here, we present a critical review of fossilized prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms entrapped in Cretaceous ambers (but not exclusively from this geological period) obtained from deposits worldwide. Microbiota in ambers are rather diverse and include bacteria, fungi, and protists. We comment on the most important microbial records from the last 25 years, although it is not an exhaustive bibliographic compilation. The most frequently reported eukaryotic microfossils are shells of amoebae and protists with a cell wall or a complex cortex. Likewise, diverse dormant stages (palmeloid forms, resting cysts, spores, etc.) are abundant in ambers. Besides, viral and protist pathogens have been identified inside insects entrapped in amber. The situation regarding filamentous bacteria and fungi is quite confusing because in some cases, the same record was identified consecutively as a member of these phylogenetically distant groups. To avoid these identification errors in the future, we propose to apply a more resolute microscopic and analytical method in amber studies. Also, we discuss the most recent findings about ancient DNA repair and bacterial survival in remote substrates, which support the real possibility of ancient DNA amplification and bacterial resuscitation from Cretaceous resins.

  11. Microbial activity at gigapascal pressures.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Anurag; Scott, James H; Cody, George D; Fogel, Marilyn L; Hazen, Robert M; Hemley, Russell J; Huntress, Wesley T

    2002-02-22

    We observed physiological and metabolic activity of Shewanella oneidensis strain MR1 and Escherichia coli strain MG1655 at pressures of 68 to 1680 megapascals (MPa) in diamond anvil cells. We measured biological formate oxidation at high pressures (68 to 1060 MPa). At pressures of 1200 to 1600 MPa, living bacteria resided in fluid inclusions in ice-VI crystals and continued to be viable upon subsequent release to ambient pressures (0.1 MPa). Evidence of microbial viability and activity at these extreme pressures expands by an order of magnitude the range of conditions representing the habitable zone in the solar system. PMID:11859192

  12. Microbial production of primary metabolites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demain, Arnold L.

    1980-12-01

    Microbial production of primary metabolites contributes significantly to the quality of life. Through fermentation, microorganisms growing on inexpensive carbon sources can produce valuable products such as amino acids, nucleotides, organic acids, and vitamins which can be added to food to enhance its flavor or increase its nutritive value. The contribution of microorganisms will go well beyond the food industry with the renewed interest in solvent fermentations. Microorganisms have the potential to provide many petroleum-derived products as well as the ethanol necessary for liquid fuel. The role of primary metabolites and the microbes which produce them will certainly increase in importance.

  13. Microbial profile modification with spores

    SciTech Connect

    Bae, J.H.; Chambers, K.T.; Lee, H.O.

    1996-08-01

    To overcome the shortcomings of conventional, near-wellbore profile modification methods, a microbial profile modification (MPM) method with spores was investigated. A halotolerant, spore-forming mesophile was isolated and characterized. These biopolymer-producing spores propagate easily in Berea cores with permeabilities more than about 500 md. With a specifically formulated nutrient package, they are readily germinated and produce biofilm, which reduces the permeability of the rock. The depth of penetration and the degree of permeability reduction can be controlled by varying injection schemes.

  14. Hydrogen production from microbial strains

    DOEpatents

    Harwood, Caroline S; Rey, Federico E

    2012-09-18

    The present invention is directed to a method of screening microbe strains capable of generating hydrogen. This method involves inoculating one or more microbes in a sample containing cell culture medium to form an inoculated culture medium. The inoculated culture medium is then incubated under hydrogen producing conditions. Once incubating causes the inoculated culture medium to produce hydrogen, microbes in the culture medium are identified as candidate microbe strains capable of generating hydrogen. Methods of producing hydrogen using one or more of the microbial strains identified as well as the hydrogen producing strains themselves are also disclosed.

  15. Microbial Forensics: A Scientific Assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Keim, Paul

    2003-02-17

    Microorganisms have been used as weapons in criminal acts, most recently highlighted by the terrorist attack using anthrax in the fall of 2001. Although such ''biocrimes'' are few compared with other crimes, these acts raise questions about the ability to provide forensic evidence for criminal prosecution that can be used to identify the source of the microorganisms used as a weapon and, more importantly, the perpetrator of the crime. Microbiologists traditionally investigate the sources of microorganisms in epidemiological investigations, but rarely have been asked to assist in criminal investigations. A colloquium was convened by the American Academy of Microbiology in Burlington, Vermont, on June 7-9, 2002, in which 25 interdisciplinary, expert scientists representing evolutionary microbiology, ecology, genomics, genetics, bioinformatics, forensics, chemistry, and clinical microbiology, deliberated on issues in microbial forensics. The colloquium's purpose was to consider issues relating to microbial forensics, which included a detailed identification of a microorganism used in a bioattack and analysis of such a microorganism and related materials to identify its forensically meaningful source--the perpetrators of the bioattack. The colloquium examined the application of microbial forensics to assist in resolving biocrimes with a focus on what research and education are needed to facilitate the use of microbial forensics in criminal investigations and the subsequent prosecution of biocrimes, including acts of bioterrorism. First responders must consider forensic issues, such as proper collection of samples to allow for optimal laboratory testing, along with maintaining a chain of custody that will support eventual prosecution. Because a biocrime may not be immediately apparent, a linkage must be made between routine diagnosis, epidemiological investigation, and criminal investigation. There is a need for establishing standard operating procedures and training to

  16. Method for analyzing microbial communities

    DOEpatents

    Zhou, Jizhong [Oak Ridge, TN; Wu, Liyou [Oak Ridge, TN

    2010-07-20

    The present invention provides a method for quantitatively analyzing microbial genes, species, or strains in a sample that contains at least two species or strains of microorganisms. The method involves using an isothermal DNA polymerase to randomly and representatively amplify genomic DNA of the microorganisms in the sample, hybridizing the resultant polynucleotide amplification product to a polynucleotide microarray that can differentiate different genes, species, or strains of microorganisms of interest, and measuring hybridization signals on the microarray to quantify the genes, species, or strains of interest.

  17. Raman Spectroscopy of Microbial Pigments

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Howell G. M.; Oren, Aharon

    2014-01-01

    Raman spectroscopy is a rapid nondestructive technique providing spectroscopic and structural information on both organic and inorganic molecular compounds. Extensive applications for the method in the characterization of pigments have been found. Due to the high sensitivity of Raman spectroscopy for the detection of chlorophylls, carotenoids, scytonemin, and a range of other pigments found in the microbial world, it is an excellent technique to monitor the presence of such pigments, both in pure cultures and in environmental samples. Miniaturized portable handheld instruments are available; these instruments can be used to detect pigments in microbiological samples of different types and origins under field conditions. PMID:24682303

  18. Injury risk and a tackle ban in youth Rugby Union: reviewing the evidence and searching for targeted, effective interventions. A critical review.

    PubMed

    Tucker, Ross; Raftery, Martin; Verhagen, Evert

    2016-08-01

    It has recently been proposed that the tackle, an integral part of Rugby Union, be banned in school rugby, as a means to reduce the risk of injury. This proposal held that harmful contact should be removed in response to what was termed an unacceptably high-injury risk. Such a ban would represent a significant intervention that could change the nature of Rugby Union. As such, the basis and rationale for such a ban is worthy of critical evaluation. This review aims to describe the research on which such a ban is proposed. It does so through an assessment (identification), estimation (understanding of the magnitude and occurrence) and evaluation (determining acceptability) of the risk before decisions can be made about implementing any risk mitigation strategies. The body of literature describing injury risk, particularly among youths, is indeed thin and fraught with methodological differences that makes definitive conclusions impossible. We describe these, and their implications, arguing that the complete ban on the tackle may be unnecessary in young children, in whom injury risk may not be as high as is often argued, but also that it may have detrimental consequences. Finally, we propose alternative strategies and research questions which must be pursued to effectively reduce risk without creating unintended consequences or changing the nature of the sport. PMID:27324873

  19. Microbial Senses and Ion Channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kung, Ching; Zhou, Xin-Liang; Su, Zhen-Wei; Haynes, W. John; Loukin, Sephan H.; Saimi, Yoshiro

    The complexity of animals and plants is due largely to cellular arrangement. The structures and activities of macromolecules had, however, evolved in early microbes long before the appearance of this complexity. Among such molecules are those that sense light, heat, force, water, and ligands. Though historically and didactically associated with the nervous system, ion channels also have deep evolutionary roots. For example, force sensing with channels, which likely began as water sensing through membrane stretch generated by osmotic pressure, must be ancient and is universal in extant species. Extant microbial species, such as the model bacterium Escherichia coli and yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, are equipped with stretch-activated channels. The ion channel proteins MscL and MscS show clearly that these bacterial channels receive stretch forces from the lipid bilayer. TRPY1, the mechanosensitive channel in yeast, is being developed towards a similar basic understanding of channels of the TRP (transientreceptor- potential) superfamily. TRPY1 resides in the vacuolar membrane and releases Ca2+ from the vacuole to the cytoplasm upon hyperosmotic shock. Unlike in most TRP preparations from animals, the mechanosensitivity of TRPY1 can be examined directly under patch clamp in either whole-vacuole mode or excised patch mode. The combination of direct biophysical examination in vitro with powerful microbial genetics in vivo should complement the study of mechanosensations of complex animals and plants.

  20. Microbial extremophiles in evolutionary aspect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pikuta, Elena V.; Hoover, Richard B.

    2007-09-01

    The microflora of the cryosphere of planet Earth provides the best analogs for life forms that might be found in the permafrost or polar ice caps of Mars, near the surface of the cometary nuclei, or in the liquid water beneath the ice crusts of icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn. For astrobiology the focus on the study alkaliphilic microorganisms was enhanced by the findings of abundant carbonates and carbonate globules rimmed with possibly biogenic magnetites in association with the putative microfossils in the ALH84001 meteorite. Although the ALH84001 "nanofossils" were too small and simple to be unambiguously recognized as biogenic, they stimulated Astrobiology research and studies of microbial extremophiles and biomarkers in ancient rocks and meteorites. Recent studies of CI and CM carbonaceous meteorites have resulted in the detection of the well-preserved mineralized remains of coccoidal and filamentous microorganisms in cyanobacterial mats. Energy Dispersive X-ray Analysis has shown anomalous biogenic element ratios clearly indicating they are not recent biological contaminants. This paper reviews microbial extremophiles in context of their significance to Astrobiology and the evolution of life. Extremophilic microorganisms on Earth are models for life that might endure high radiation environments in the ice near the surface of comets or on the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn and in the seafloor deep beneath the icy crusts of Europa and Enceladus.

  1. Microbial ecology of watery kimchi.

    PubMed

    Kyung, Kyu Hang; Medina Pradas, Eduardo; Kim, Song Gun; Lee, Yong Jae; Kim, Kyong Ho; Choi, Jin Joo; Cho, Joo Hyong; Chung, Chang Ho; Barrangou, Rodolphe; Breidt, Frederick

    2015-05-01

    The biochemistry and microbial ecology of 2 similar types of watery (mul) kimchi, containing sliced and unsliced radish and vegetables (nabak and dongchimi, respectively), were investigated. Samples from kimchi were fermented at 4, 10, and 20 °C were analyzed by plating on differential and selective media, high-performance liquid chromatography, and high-throughput DNA sequencing of 16S rDNA. Nabak kimchi showed similar trends as dongchimi, with increasing lactic and acetic acids and decreasing pH for each temperature, but differences in microbiota were apparent. Interestingly, bacteria from the Proteobacterium phylum, including Enterobacteriaceae, decreased more rapidly during fermentation at 4 °C in nabak cabbage fermentations compared with dongchimi. Although changes for Proteobacterium and Enterobacteriaceae populations were similar during fermentation at 10 and 20 °C, the homolactic stage of fermentation did not develop for the 4 and 10 °C samples of both nabak and dongchimi during the experiment. These data show the differences in biochemistry and microbial ecology that can result from preparation method and fermentation conditions of the kimchi, which may impact safety (Enterobacteriaceae populations may include pathogenic bacteria) and quality (homolactic fermentation can be undesirable, if too much acid is produced) of the product. In addition, the data also illustrate the need for improved methods for identifying and differentiating closely related lactic acid bacteria species using high-throughput sequencing methods. PMID:25847522

  2. Circulating microbial RNA and health

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Ross Ka-Kit; Wu, Ying-Kit

    2015-01-01

    Measurement of health indicators in the blood is a commonly performed diagnostic procedure. Two blood studies one involving extended observations on the health of an individual by integrative Personal Omics Profiling (iPOP), and the other tracking the impact of Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) placement on nine heart failure patients were examined for the association of change in health status with change in microbial RNA species. Decrease in RNA expression ratios of human to bacteria and viruses accompanying deteriorated conditions was evident in both studies. Despite large between-subject variations in bacterial composition before LVAD implantation among all the patients, on day 180 after the implantation they manifested apparent between-subject bacterial similarity. In the iPOP study three periods, namely, pre-respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection with normal blood glucose level, RSV infection with normal blood glucose level, and post-RSV infection with high blood glucose level could be defined. The upsurge of Enterobacteria phage PhiX 174 sensu lato and Escherichia coli gene expression, in which membrane transporters, membrane receptors for environment signalling, carbohydrate catabolic genes and carbohydrate-active enzymes were enriched only throughout the second period, which suggests a potentially overlooked microbial response to or modulation of the host blood glucose level. PMID:26576508

  3. Blues for Elle - Microbial Bebop

    SciTech Connect

    Peter Larsen

    2012-10-01

    This musical composition was created from data of microbes - bacteria, algae and other microorganisms - sampled in the English Channel. (Above, the USS Winston S. Churchill traverses the English Channel.) Argonne National Laboratory biologist Peter Larsen created the songs as a unique way to present and comprehend large datasets. Some marine microbial taxa are most often present in the L4 Station community at very low abundance, but occasionally become highly dominant community members. To link these microbial blooms to relevant physical parameters, the chords in this composition are derived from changes in chlorophyll A concentrations and salinity. The melody for each measure is derived from the relative abundances of typically rare taxa that were observed to occasionally bloom to higher abundance in the following order: Cyanobacteria, Vibrionales, Opitulates, Pseudomondales, Rhizobiales, Bacillales, Oceanospirallales, and Sphingomonadales. More information at http://www.anl.gov/articles/songs-key... Photo: USS Winston S. Churchill and Royal Navy HMS Cumberland transit the English Channel, courtesy U.S. Navy (http://www.flickr.com/photos/usnavy/5...)

  4. Microbial inhibitors of cysteine proteases.

    PubMed

    Kędzior, Mateusz; Seredyński, Rafał; Gutowicz, Jan

    2016-08-01

    Cysteine proteases are one of the major classes of proteolytic enzymes involved in a number of physiological and pathological processes in plants, animals and microorganisms. When their synthesis, activity and localization in mammalian cells are altered, they may contribute to the development of many diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and cancer. Therefore, cysteine proteases have become promising drug targets for the medical treatment of these disorders. Inhibitors of cysteine proteases are also produced by almost every group of living organisms, being responsible for the control of intracellular proteolytic activity. Microorganisms synthesize cysteine protease inhibitors not only to regulate the activity of endogenous, often virulent enzymes, but also to hinder the host's proteolytic defense system and evade its immune responses against infections. Present work describes known to date microbial inhibitors of cysteine proteases in terms of their structure, enzyme binding mechanism, specificity and pathophysiological roles. The overview of both proteinaceous and small-molecule inhibitors produced by all groups of microorganisms (bacteria, archaea, fungi, protists) and viruses is provided. Subsequently, possible applications of microbial inhibitors in science, medicine and biotechnology are also highlighted. PMID:27048482

  5. Microbial production of fatty alcohols.

    PubMed

    Fillet, Sandy; Adrio, José L

    2016-09-01

    Fatty alcohols have numerous commercial applications, including their use as lubricants, surfactants, solvents, emulsifiers, plasticizers, emollients, thickeners, and even fuels. Fatty alcohols are currently produced by catalytic hydrogenation of fatty acids from plant oils or animal fats. Microbial production of fatty alcohols may be a more direct and environmentally-friendly strategy since production is carried out by heterologous enzymes, called fatty acyl-CoA reductases, able to reduce different acyl-CoA molecules to their corresponding primary alcohols. Successful examples of metabolic engineering have been reported in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Escherichia coli in which the production of fatty alcohols ranged from 1.2 to 1.9 g/L, respectively. Due to their metabolic advantages, oleaginous yeasts are considered the best hosts for production of fatty acid-derived chemicals. Some of these species can naturally produce, under specific growth conditions, lipids at high titers (>50 g/L) and therefore provide large amounts of fatty acyl-CoAs or fatty acids as precursors. Very recently, taking advantage of such features, over 8 g/L of C16-C18 fatty alcohols have been produced in Rhodosporidium toruloides. In this review we summarize the different metabolic engineering strategies, hosts and cultivation conditions used to date. We also point out some future trends and challenges for the microbial production of fatty alcohols. PMID:27465852

  6. Manipulation of Biofilm Microbial Ecology

    SciTech Connect

    White, D.C.; Palmer, R.J., Jr.; Zinn, M.; Smith, C.A.; Burkhalter, R.; Macnaughton, S.J.; Whitaker, K.W.; Kirkegaard, R.D.

    1998-08-15

    The biofilm mode of growth provides such significant advantages to the members of the consortium that most organisms in important habitats are found in biofilms. The study of factors that allow manipulation of biofilm microbes in the biofilm growth state requires that reproducible biofilms be generated. The most effective monitoring of biofilm formation, succession and desaturation is with on-line monitoring of microbial biofilms with flowcell for direct observation. The biofilm growth state incorporates a second important factor, the heterogeneity in distribution in time and space of the component members of the biofilm consortium. This heterogeneity is reflected not only in the cellular distribution but in the metabolic activity within a population of cells. Activity and cellular distribution can be mapped in four dimensions with confocal microscopy, and function can be ascertained by genetically manipulated reporter functions for specific genes or by vital stains. The methodology for understanding the microbial ecology of biofilms is now much more readily available and the capacity to manipulate biofilms is becoming an important feature of biotechnology.

  7. Manipulatiaon of Biofilm Microbial Ecology

    SciTech Connect

    Burkhalter, R.; Macnaughton, S.J.; Palmer, R.J.; Smith, C.A.; Whitaker, K.W.; White, D.C.; Zinn, M.; kirkegaard, R.

    1998-08-09

    The Biofilm mode of growth provides such significant advantages to the members of the consortium that most organisms in important habitats are found in biofilms. The study of factors that allow manipulation of biofilm microbes in the biofilm growth state requires that reproducible biofilms by generated. The most effective monitoring of biofilm formation, succession and desquamation is with on-line monitoring of microbial biofilms with flowcell for direct observation. The biofilm growth state incorporates a second important factor, the heterogeneity in the distribution in time and space of the component members of the biofilm consortium. This heterogeneity is reflected not only in the cellular distribution but in the metabolic activity within a population of cells. Activity and cellular distribution can be mapped in four dimensions with confocal microscopy, and function can be ascertained by genetically manipulated reporter functions for specific genes or by vital stains. The methodology for understanding the microbial ecology of biofilms is now much more readily available and the capacity to manipulate biofilms is becoming an important feature of biotechnology.

  8. Microbial Extremophiles in Evolutionary Aspect

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pikuta, Elena V.; Hoover, Richard B.

    2007-01-01

    The microflora of the cryosphere of planet Earth provides the best analogs for life forms that might be found in the permafrost or polar ice caps of Mars, near the surface of the cometary nuclei, or in the liquid water beneath the ice crusts of icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn. For astrobiology the focus on the study alkaliphilic microorganisms was enhanced by the findings of abundant carbonates and carbonate globules rimmed with possibly biogenic magnetites in association with the putative microfossils in the ALH84001 meteorite. Although the ALH84001 "nanofossils" were to small and simple to be unambiguously recognized as biogenic, they stimulated Astrobiology research and studies of microbial extremophiles and biomarkers in ancient rocks and meteorites. Recent studies of CI and CM carbonaceous meteorites have resulted in the detection of the well-preserved mineralized remains of coccoidal and" filamentous microorganisms in cyanobacterial mats. Energy Dispersive X-ray Analysis has shown anomalous biogenic element ratios clearly indicating they are not recent biological contaminants. This paper reviews microbial extremophiles in context of their significance to Astrobiology and the evolution of life. Extremophilic microorganisms on Earth are models for life that might endure high radiation environments in the ice near the surface of comets or on the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn and in the seafloor deep beneath the icy crusts of Europa and Enceladus.

  9. Method Analysis of Microbial Resistant Gypsum Products

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract: Several commercially available gypsum products are marketed as microbial-resistant. During previous test method research on a microbial resistant gypsum wallboard study, a common theme from both stakeholders and product vendors was the need for a unified and accepted m...

  10. Molecular Survey of Concrete Biofilm Microbial Communities

    EPA Science Inventory

    Although several studies have shown that bacteria can deteriorate concrete structures, there is very little information on the composition of concrete microbial communities. To this end, we studied different microbial communities associated with concrete biofilms using 16S rRNA g...

  11. Uses of antimicrobial genes from microbial genome

    DOEpatents

    Sorek, Rotem; Rubin, Edward M.

    2013-08-20

    We describe a method for mining microbial genomes to discover antimicrobial genes and proteins having broad spectrum of activity. Also described are antimicrobial genes and their expression products from various microbial genomes that were found using this method. The products of such genes can be used as antimicrobial agents or as tools for molecular biology.

  12. Inactivation of Microbial Contaminants in Fresh Produce

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    With the microbial safety of fresh produce of increasing concern, conventional sanitizing treatments need to be supplemented with effective new interventions to inactivate human pathogens. Our research group has shown that inoculation with suppressive microbial communities inhibits the growth of Sal...

  13. Production Methods for Microbial Biocontrol Agents

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A critical constraint to the commercial use of microbial biopesticides is the development of an economic production process. The production process must be cost-effective and yield a microbial propagule that is stable and efficacious under field conditions. Currently, the commercial production of ...

  14. Microbial Biosensors for Selective Detection of Disaccharides

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Seven microbial strains were screened for their ability to detect disaccharides as components of Clark-type oxygen biosensors. Sensors responded to varying degrees to maltose, cellobiose, sucrose, and melibiose, but none responded strongly to lactose. Although microbial sensors are relatively nons...

  15. Microbial synthetic biology for human therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Jain, Aastha; Bhatia, Pooja; Chugh, Archana

    2012-06-01

    The emerging field of synthetic biology holds tremendous potential for developing novel drugs to treat various human conditions. The current study discusses the scope of synthetic biology for human therapeutics via microbial approach. In this context, synthetic biology aims at designing, engineering and building new microbial synthetic cells that do not pre-exist in nature as well as re-engineer existing microbes for synthesis of therapeutic products. It is expected that the construction of novel microbial genetic circuitry for human therapeutics will greatly benefit from the data generated by 'omics' approaches and multidisciplinary nature of synthetic biology. Development of novel antimicrobial drugs and vaccines by engineering microbial systems are a promising area of research in the field of synthetic biology for human theragnostics. Expression of plant based medicinal compounds in the microbial system using synthetic biology tools is another avenue dealt in the present study. Additionally, the study suggest that the traditional medicinal knowledge can do value addition for developing novel drugs in the microbial systems using synthetic biology tools. The presented work envisions the success of synthetic biology for human therapeutics via microbial approach in a holistic manner. Keeping this in view, various legal and socio-ethical concerns emerging from the use of synthetic biology via microbial approach such as patenting, biosafety and biosecurity issues have been touched upon in the later sections. PMID:23730360

  16. Fundamentals of Microbial Community Resistance and Resilience

    PubMed Central

    Shade, Ashley; Peter, Hannes; Allison, Steven D.; Baho, Didier L.; Berga, Mercè; Bürgmann, Helmut; Huber, David H.; Langenheder, Silke; Lennon, Jay T.; Martiny, Jennifer B. H.; Matulich, Kristin L.; Schmidt, Thomas M.; Handelsman, Jo

    2012-01-01

    Microbial communities are at the heart of all ecosystems, and yet microbial community behavior in disturbed environments remains difficult to measure and predict. Understanding the drivers of microbial community stability, including resistance (insensitivity to disturbance) and resilience (the rate of recovery after disturbance) is important for predicting community response to disturbance. Here, we provide an overview of the concepts of stability that are relevant for microbial communities. First, we highlight insights from ecology that are useful for defining and measuring stability. To determine whether general disturbance responses exist for microbial communities, we next examine representative studies from the literature that investigated community responses to press (long-term) and pulse (short-term) disturbances in a variety of habitats. Then we discuss the biological features of individual microorganisms, of microbial populations, and of microbial communities that may govern overall community stability. We conclude with thoughts about the unique insights that systems perspectives – informed by meta-omics data – may provide about microbial community stability. PMID:23267351

  17. Formulating microbial agents for pest control applications

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Microbial biological control is the use of beneficial microbes to control pests and pathogens. The development of biological control products for use in pest management requires technology to produce, handle, store, and disperse large amounts of microbial propagules. Production can be accomplished...

  18. Seasonal variation of postmortem microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Carter, David O; Metcalf, Jessica L; Bibat, Alexander; Knight, Rob

    2015-06-01

    Body-associated microbes were recently shown to change significantly during decomposition, undergoing an ecological succession in experimental conditions using rodent and swine models. We investigated microbial succession in soils associated with swine carcasses under experimental field conditions in summer and winter. We demonstrate that these postmortem microbial communities change in a specific, reproducible fashion, and that soil microbes represent a significant component of the postmortem microbial community, contrary to widespread belief in forensic science. However, the effects of decomposition on soil microbial communities were different in summer and winter. We suggest that the microbial ecological succession will be useful in medicolegal death investigation; however, observations in winter might not be applicable to summer, which indicates a need for a greater understanding of the seasonality of decomposition. PMID:25737335

  19. Microbial diversity drives multifunctionality in terrestrial ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Maestre, Fernando T.; Reich, Peter B.; Jeffries, Thomas C.; Gaitan, Juan J.; Encinar, Daniel; Berdugo, Miguel; Campbell, Colin D.; Singh, Brajesh K.

    2016-01-01

    Despite the importance of microbial communities for ecosystem services and human welfare, the relationship between microbial diversity and multiple ecosystem functions and services (that is, multifunctionality) at the global scale has yet to be evaluated. Here we use two independent, large-scale databases with contrasting geographic coverage (from 78 global drylands and from 179 locations across Scotland, respectively), and report that soil microbial diversity positively relates to multifunctionality in terrestrial ecosystems. The direct positive effects of microbial diversity were maintained even when accounting simultaneously for multiple multifunctionality drivers (climate, soil abiotic factors and spatial predictors). Our findings provide empirical evidence that any loss in microbial diversity will likely reduce multifunctionality, negatively impacting the provision of services such as climate regulation, soil fertility and food and fibre production by terrestrial ecosystems. PMID:26817514

  20. Microbial diversity drives multifunctionality in terrestrial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Maestre, Fernando T; Reich, Peter B; Jeffries, Thomas C; Gaitan, Juan J; Encinar, Daniel; Berdugo, Miguel; Campbell, Colin D; Singh, Brajesh K

    2016-01-01

    Despite the importance of microbial communities for ecosystem services and human welfare, the relationship between microbial diversity and multiple ecosystem functions and services (that is, multifunctionality) at the global scale has yet to be evaluated. Here we use two independent, large-scale databases with contrasting geographic coverage (from 78 global drylands and from 179 locations across Scotland, respectively), and report that soil microbial diversity positively relates to multifunctionality in terrestrial ecosystems. The direct positive effects of microbial diversity were maintained even when accounting simultaneously for multiple multifunctionality drivers (climate, soil abiotic factors and spatial predictors). Our findings provide empirical evidence that any loss in microbial diversity will likely reduce multifunctionality, negatively impacting the provision of services such as climate regulation, soil fertility and food and fibre production by terrestrial ecosystems. PMID:26817514

  1. Microbial Burden Approach : New Monitoring Approach for Measuring Microbial Burden

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Venkateswaran, Kasthuri; Vaishampayan, Parag; Barmatz, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Advantages of new approach for differentiating live cells/ spores from dead cells/spores. Four examples of Salmonella outbreaks leading to costly destruction of dairy products. List of possible collaboration activities between JPL and other industries (for future discussion). Limitations of traditional microbial monitoring approaches. Introduction to new approach for rapid measurement of viable (live) bacterial cells/spores and its areas of application. Detailed example for determining live spores using new approach (similar procedure for determining live cells). JPL has developed a patented approach for measuring amount of live and dead cells/spores. This novel "molecular" method takes less than 5 to 7 hrs. compared to the seven days required using conventional techniques. Conventional "molecular" techniques can not discriminate live cells/spores among dead cells/spores. The JPL-developed novel method eliminates false positive results obtained from conventional "molecular" techniques that lead to unnecessary delay in the processing and to unnecessary destruction of food products.

  2. Microbial populations in contaminant plumes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haack, Sheridan K.; Bekins, Barbara A.

    Efficient biodegradation of subsurface contaminants requires two elements: (1) microbial populations with the necessary degradative capabilities, and (2) favorable subsurface geochemical and hydrological conditions. Practical constraints on experimental design and interpretation in both the hydrogeological and microbiological sciences have resulted in limited knowledge of the interaction between hydrogeological and microbiological features of subsurface environments. These practical constraints include: (1) inconsistencies between the scales of investigation in the hydrogeological and microbiological sciences, and (2) practical limitations on the ability to accurately define microbial populations in environmental samples. However, advances in application of small-scale sampling methods and interdisciplinary approaches to site investigations are beginning to significantly improve understanding of hydrogeological and microbiological interactions. Likewise, culture-based and molecular analyses of microbial populations in subsurface contaminant plumes have revealed significant adaptation of microbial populations to plume environmental conditions. Results of recent studies suggest that variability in subsurface geochemical and hydrological conditions significantly influences subsurface microbial-community structure. Combined investigations of site conditions and microbial-community structure provide the knowledge needed to understand interactions between subsurface microbial populations, plume geochemistry, and contaminant biodegradation. La biodégradation efficace des polluants souterrains requiert deux éléments: des populations microbiennes possédant les aptitudes nécessaires à la dégradation, et des conditions géochimiques et hydrologiques souterraines favorables. Des contraintes pratiques sur la conception et l'interprétation des expériences à la fois en microbiologie et en hydrogéologie ont conduit à une connaissance limitée des interactions entre les

  3. Resolution in forensic microbial genotyping

    SciTech Connect

    Velsko, S P

    2005-08-30

    Resolution is a key parameter for differentiating among the large number of strain typing methods that could be applied to pathogens involved in bioterror events or biocrimes. In this report we develop a first-principles analysis of strain typing resolution using a simple mathematical model to provide a basis for the rational design of microbial typing systems for forensic applications. We derive two figures of merit that describe the resolving power and phylogenetic depth of a strain typing system. Rough estimates of these figures-of-merit for MLVA, MLST, IS element, AFLP, hybridization microarrays, and other bacterial typing methods are derived from mutation rate data reported in the literature. We also discuss the general problem of how to construct a ''universal'' practical typing system that has the highest possible resolution short of whole-genome sequencing, and that is applicable with minimal modification to a wide range of pathogens.

  4. Microbial Check Valve for Shuttle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colombo, G. V.; Putnam, D. F.; Sauer, R. L.

    1978-01-01

    The Microbial Check Valve (MCV) is a device developed for the Space Shuttle that prevents the transfer of viable microorganisms within water systems. The device is essentially a bed of resin material, impregnated with iodine, that kills microorganisms on contact. It prevents the cross-contamination of microorganisms from a nonpotable system into the potable water system when these systems are interconnected. In this regard, the function of the device is similar to that of the 'air gap' found in conventional one-gravity systems. Basic design data are presented including pressure drop, scaling factors, sizing criteria, and the results of challenging the device with suspensions of seven microorganisms including aerobes, anaerobes and spore formers.

  5. Microbial processes in frozen food

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geiges, O.

    Deep freezing of food and storage at -19 degC is a standard conservation procedure in food technology. The lower limit of growth of bacteria in food is from about -5 degC to about -8 degC, whereas the reproduction limit of yeasts is 2 to 3 degC lower. Storage temperatures above -10 degC should therefore not be used. At -18 degC, a commonly used storage temperature, no growth of microorganisms will occur. The microorganisms mainly found at the lower growth limit are Pseudomonas sp. and basidiomycete yeasts. The reduction in the number of microorganisms due to freezing, storage, and thawing is not of practical importance. Microbial enzymes, in particular lipases and proteases, are still active at -18 degC. Therefore, the quality of raw products and good hygiene at the production site are most important.

  6. Biofilms: Microbial Life on Surfaces

    PubMed Central

    2002-01-01

    Microorganisms attach to surfaces and develop biofilms. Biofilm-associated cells can be differentiated from their suspended counterparts by generation of an extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) matrix, reduced growth rates, and the up- and down- regulation of specific genes. Attachment is a complex process regulated by diverse characteristics of the growth medium, substratum, and cell surface. An established biofilm structure comprises microbial cells and EPS, has a defined architecture, and provides an optimal environment for the exchange of genetic material between cells. Cells may also communicate via quorum sensing, which may in turn affect biofilm processes such as detachment. Biofilms have great importance for public health because of their role in certain infectious diseases and importance in a variety of device-related infections. A greater understanding of biofilm processes should lead to novel, effective control strategies for biofilm control and a resulting improvement in patient management. PMID:12194761

  7. Conditioning biomass for microbial growth

    SciTech Connect

    Bodie, Elizabeth A; England, George

    2015-03-31

    The present invention relates to methods for improving the yield of microbial processes that use lignocellulose biomass as a nutrient source. The methods comprise conditioning a composition comprising lignocellulose biomass with an enzyme composition that comprises a phenol oxidizing enzyme. The conditioned composition can support a higher rate of growth of microorganisms in a process. In one embodiment, a laccase composition is used to condition lignocellulose biomass derived from non-woody plants, such as corn and sugar cane. The invention also encompasses methods for culturing microorganisms that are sensitive to inhibitory compounds in lignocellulose biomass. The invention further provides methods of making a product by culturing the production microorganisms in conditioned lignocellulose biomass.

  8. Analysis of Illumina Microbial Assemblies

    SciTech Connect

    Clum, Alicia; Foster, Brian; Froula, Jeff; LaButti, Kurt; Sczyrba, Alex; Lapidus, Alla; Woyke, Tanja

    2010-05-28

    Since the emerging of second generation sequencing technologies, the evaluation of different sequencing approaches and their assembly strategies for different types of genomes has become an important undertaken. Next generation sequencing technologies dramatically increase sequence throughput while decreasing cost, making them an attractive tool for whole genome shotgun sequencing. To compare different approaches for de-novo whole genome assembly, appropriate tools and a solid understanding of both quantity and quality of the underlying sequence data are crucial. Here, we performed an in-depth analysis of short-read Illumina sequence assembly strategies for bacterial and archaeal genomes. Different types of Illumina libraries as well as different trim parameters and assemblers were evaluated. Results of the comparative analysis and sequencing platforms will be presented. The goal of this analysis is to develop a cost-effective approach for the increased throughput of the generation of high quality microbial genomes.

  9. Microbial lipases: production and applications.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, P K; Saxena, R K; Gupta, R; Yadav, R P; Davidson, S

    1996-01-01

    Lipases occupy a prominent place among biocatalysts and have a wide spectrum of biotechnological applications. Lipases are unique as they hydrolyse fats into fatty acids and glycerol at the water-lipid interface and can reverse the reaction in non-aqueous media. The stability of these enzymes in organic solvents have pushed them into the frontier areas of organic synthesis leading to the designing of novel drugs, surfactants, bioactive compounds and oleochemicals. In addition, lipase-catalysed trans-esterification and inter-esterification reactions have been exploited in the fat industry. Looking into the wide scenario of lipase applications, commercialization of lipase production is a prime area of interest for microbiologists, process engineers and biochemists. Research carried out in this field has revealed that microbes, especially fungi and bacteria, are the tools of choice for commercial production. Recently, the structure determination of a few microbial lipases has widened our knowledge about the unique mechanism of catalysis of this enzyme. PMID:8828407

  10. Microbial reduction of iron ore

    DOEpatents

    Hoffmann, M.R.; Arnold, R.G.; Stephanopoulos, G.

    1989-11-14

    A process is provided for reducing iron ore by treatment with microorganisms which comprises forming an aqueous mixture of iron ore, microorganisms operable for reducing the ferric iron of the iron ore to ferrous iron, and a substrate operable as an energy source for the microbial reduction; and maintaining the aqueous mixture for a period of time and under conditions operable to effect the reduction of the ore. Preferably the microorganism is Pseudomonas sp. 200 and the reduction conducted anaerobically with a domestic wastewater as the substrate. An aqueous solution containing soluble ferrous iron can be separated from the reacted mixture, treated with a base to precipitate ferrous hydroxide which can then be recovered as a concentrated slurry. 11 figs.

  11. Microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR).

    PubMed

    Brown, Lewis R

    2010-06-01

    Two-thirds of the oil ever found is still in the ground even after primary and secondary production. Microbial enhanced oil recovery (MEOR) is one of the tertiary methods purported to increase oil recovery. Since 1946 more than 400 patents on MEOR have been issued, but none has gained acceptance by the oil industry. Most of the literature on MEOR is from laboratory experiments or from field trials of insufficient duration or that lack convincing proof of the process. Several authors have made recommendations required to establish MEOR as a viable method to enhance oil recovery, and until these tests are performed, MEOR will remain an unproven concept rather than a highly desirable reality. PMID:20149719

  12. Well having inhibited microbial growth

    DOEpatents

    Lee, Brady D.; Dooley, Kirk J.

    2006-08-15

    The invention includes methods of inhibiting microbial growth in a well. A packing material containing a mixture of a first material and an antimicrobial agent is provided to at least partially fill a well bore. One or more access tubes are provided in an annular space around a casing within the well bore. The access tubes have a first terminal opening located at or above a ground surface and have a length that extends from the first terminal opening at least part of the depth of the well bore. The access tubes have a second terminal opening located within the well bore. An antimicrobial material is supplied into the well bore through the first terminal opening of the access tubes. The invention also includes well constructs.

  13. Microbial reduction of iron ore

    DOEpatents

    Hoffmann, Michael R.; Arnold, Robert G.; Stephanopoulos, Gregory

    1989-01-01

    A process is provided for reducing iron ore by treatment with microorganisms which comprises forming an aqueous mixture of iron ore, microorganisms operable for reducing the ferric iron of the iron ore to ferrous iron, and a substrate operable as an energy source for the microbial reduction; and maintaining the aqueous mixture for a period of time and under conditions operable to effect the reduction of the ore. Preferably the microorganism is Pseudomonas sp. 200 and the reduction conducted anaerobically with a domestic wastewater as the substrate. An aqueous solution containing soluble ferrous iron can be separated from the reacted mixture, treated with a base to precipitate ferrous hydroxide which can then be recovered as a concentrated slurry.

  14. Microbial biodiversity of the atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klein, Ann Maureen

    Microorganisms are critical to the functioning of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and may also play a role in the functioning of the atmosphere. However, little is known about the diversity and function of microorganisms in the atmosphere. To investigate the forces driving the assembly of bacterial microbial communities in the atmosphere, I measured temporal variation in bacterial diversity and composition over diurnal and inter-day time scales. Results suggest that bacterial communities in the atmosphere markedly vary over diurnal time scales and are likely structured by inputs from both local terrestrial and long-distance sources. To assess the potential functions of bacteria and fungi in the atmosphere, I characterized total and potentially active communities using both RNA- and DNA-based data. Results suggest there are metabolically active microorganisms in the atmosphere that may affect atmospheric functions including precipitation development and carbon cycling. This dissertation includes previously published and unpublished co-authored material.

  15. Mechanism divergence in microbial rhodopsins.

    PubMed

    Spudich, John L; Sineshchekov, Oleg A; Govorunova, Elena G

    2014-05-01

    A fundamental design principle of microbial rhodopsins is that they share the same basic light-induced conversion between two conformers. Alternate access of the Schiff base to the outside and to the cytoplasm in the outwardly open "E" conformer and cytoplasmically open "C" conformer, respectively, combined with appropriate timing of pKa changes controlling Schiff base proton release and uptake make the proton path through the pumps vectorial. Phototaxis receptors in prokaryotes, sensory rhodopsins I and II, have evolved new chemical processes not found in their proton pump ancestors, to alter the consequences of the conformational change or modify the change itself. Like proton pumps, sensory rhodopsin II undergoes a photoinduced E→C transition, with the C conformer a transient intermediate in the photocycle. In contrast, one light-sensor (sensory rhodopsin I bound to its transducer HtrI) exists in the dark as the C conformer and undergoes a light-induced C→E transition, with the E conformer a transient photocycle intermediate. Current results indicate that algal phototaxis receptors channelrhodopsins undergo redirected Schiff base proton transfers and a modified E→C transition which, contrary to the proton pumps and other sensory rhodopsins, is not accompanied by the closure of the external half-channel. The article will review our current understanding of how the shared basic structure and chemistry of microbial rhodopsins have been modified during evolution to create diverse molecular functions: light-driven ion transport and photosensory signaling by protein-protein interaction and light-gated ion channel activity. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Retinal Proteins - You can teach an old dog new tricks. PMID:23831552

  16. Microbial stress priming: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Andrade-Linares, Diana R; Lehmann, Anika; Rillig, Matthias C

    2016-04-01

    Microbes have to cope with complex and dynamic environments, making it likely that anticipatory responses provide fitness benefits. Mild, previous stressors can prepare microbes (stress priming) to further and potentially damaging stressors (triggering). We here quantitatively summarize the findings from over 250 trials of 34 studies including bacteria and fungi, demonstrating that priming to stress has a beneficial impact on microbial survival. In fact, survival of primed microbes was about 10-fold higher compared with that in non-primed microbes. Categorical moderators related to microbial taxonomy and the kind of stress applied as priming or as triggering revealed significant differences of priming effect size among 14 different microbial species, 6 stress categories and stressor combination. We found that priming by osmotic, physiological and temperature stress had the highest positive effect sizes on microbial response. Cross-protection was evident for physiological, temperature and pH stresses. Microbes are better prepared against triggering by oxidative, temperature and osmotic stress. Our finding of an overall positive mean effect of priming regardless of the microbial system and particular stressor provides unprecedentedly strong evidence of the broad ecological significance of microbial stress priming. These results further suggest that stress priming may be an important factor in shaping microbial communities. PMID:26768991

  17. Interspecies Interactions within Oral Microbial Communities

    PubMed Central

    Kuramitsu, Howard K.; He, Xuesong; Lux, Renate; Anderson, Maxwell H.; Shi, Wenyuan

    2007-01-01

    Summary: While reductionism has greatly advanced microbiology in the past 400 years, assembly of smaller pieces just could not explain the whole! Modern microbiologists are learning “system thinking” and “holism.” Such an approach is changing our understanding of microbial physiology and our ability to diagnose/treat microbial infections. This review uses oral microbial communities as a focal point to describe this new trend. With the common name “dental plaque,” oral microbial communities are some of the most complex microbial floras in the human body, consisting of more than 700 different bacterial species. For a very long time, oral microbiologists endeavored to use reductionism to identify the key genes or key pathogens responsible for oral microbial pathogenesis. The limitations of reductionism forced scientists to begin adopting new strategies using emerging concepts such as interspecies interaction, microbial community, biofilms, polymicrobial disease, etc. These new research directions indicate that the whole is much more than the simple sum of its parts, since the interactions between different parts resulted in many new physiological functions which cannot be observed with individual components. This review describes some of these interesting interspecies-interaction scenarios. PMID:18063722

  18. Microbial monitoring of spacecraft and associated environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    La Duc, M. T.; Kern, R.; Venkateswaran, K.

    2004-01-01

    Rapid microbial monitoring technologies are invaluable in assessing contamination of spacecraft and associated environments. Universal and widespread elements of microbial structure and chemistry are logical targets for assessing microbial burden. Several biomarkers such as ATP, LPS, and DNA (ribosomal or spore-specific), were targeted to quantify either total bioburden or specific types of microbial contamination. The findings of these assays were compared with conventional, culture-dependent methods. This review evaluates the applicability and efficacy of some of these methods in monitoring the microbial burden of spacecraft and associated environments. Samples were collected from the surfaces of spacecraft, from surfaces of assembly facilities, and from drinking water reservoirs aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Culture-dependent techniques found species of Bacillus to be dominant on these surfaces. In contrast, rapid, culture-independent techniques revealed the presence of many Gram-positive and Gram-negative microorganisms, as well as actinomycetes and fungi. These included both cultivable and noncultivable microbes, findings further confirmed by DNA-based microbial detection techniques. Although the ISS drinking water was devoid of cultivable microbes, molecular-based techniques retrieved DNA sequences of numerous opportunistic pathogens. Each of the methods tested in this study has its advantages, and by coupling two or more of these techniques even more reliable information as to microbial burden is rapidly obtained. Copyright 2004 Springer-Verlag.

  19. Patterns and Processes of Microbial Community Assembly

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Steven K.; Fukami, Tadashi; O'Neill, Sean P.; Bilinski, Teresa M.; Stanish, Lee F.; Knelman, Joseph E.; Darcy, John L.; Lynch, Ryan C.; Wickey, Phillip; Ferrenberg, Scott

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Recent research has expanded our understanding of microbial community assembly. However, the field of community ecology is inaccessible to many microbial ecologists because of inconsistent and often confusing terminology as well as unnecessarily polarizing debates. Thus, we review recent literature on microbial community assembly, using the framework of Vellend (Q. Rev. Biol. 85:183–206, 2010) in an effort to synthesize and unify these contributions. We begin by discussing patterns in microbial biogeography and then describe four basic processes (diversification, dispersal, selection, and drift) that contribute to community assembly. We also discuss different combinations of these processes and where and when they may be most important for shaping microbial communities. The spatial and temporal scales of microbial community assembly are also discussed in relation to assembly processes. Throughout this review paper, we highlight differences between microbes and macroorganisms and generate hypotheses describing how these differences may be important for community assembly. We end by discussing the implications of microbial assembly processes for ecosystem function and biodiversity. PMID:24006468

  20. Microbial community modeling using reliability theory.

    PubMed

    Zilles, Julie L; Rodríguez, Luis F; Bartolerio, Nicholas A; Kent, Angela D

    2016-08-01

    Linking microbial community composition with the corresponding ecosystem functions remains challenging. Because microbial communities can differ in their functional responses, this knowledge gap limits ecosystem assessment, design and management. To develop models that explicitly incorporate microbial populations and guide efforts to characterize their functional differences, we propose a novel approach derived from reliability engineering. This reliability modeling approach is illustrated here using a microbial ecology dataset from denitrifying bioreactors. Reliability modeling is well-suited for analyzing the stability of complex networks composed of many microbial populations. It could also be applied to evaluate the redundancy within a particular biochemical pathway in a microbial community. Reliability modeling allows characterization of the system's resilience and identification of failure-prone functional groups or biochemical steps, which can then be targeted for monitoring or enhancement. The reliability engineering approach provides a new perspective for unraveling the interactions between microbial community diversity, functional redundancy and ecosystem services, as well as practical tools for the design and management of engineered ecosystems. PMID:26882268

  1. Resistance, resilience, and redundancy in microbial communities

    PubMed Central

    Allison, Steven D.; Martiny, Jennifer B. H.

    2008-01-01

    Although it is generally accepted that plant community composition is key for predicting rates of ecosystem processes in the face of global change, microbial community composition is often ignored in ecosystem modeling. To address this issue, we review recent experiments and assess whether microbial community composition is resistant, resilient, or functionally redundant in response to four different disturbances. We find that the composition of most microbial groups is sensitive and not immediately resilient to disturbance, regardless of taxonomic breadth of the group or the type of disturbance. Other studies demonstrate that changes in composition are often associated with changes in ecosystem process rates. Thus, changes in microbial communities due to disturbance may directly affect ecosystem processes. Based on these relationships, we propose a simple framework to incorporate microbial community composition into ecosystem process models. We conclude that this effort would benefit from more empirical data on the links among microbial phylogeny, physiological traits, and disturbance responses. These relationships will determine how readily microbial community composition can be used to predict the responses of ecosystem processes to global change. PMID:18695234

  2. Microbial monitoring of spacecraft and associated environments.

    PubMed

    La Duc, M T; Kern, R; Venkateswaran, K

    2004-02-01

    Rapid microbial monitoring technologies are invaluable in assessing contamination of spacecraft and associated environments. Universal and widespread elements of microbial structure and chemistry are logical targets for assessing microbial burden. Several biomarkers such as ATP, LPS, and DNA (ribosomal or spore-specific), were targeted to quantify either total bioburden or specific types of microbial contamination. The findings of these assays were compared with conventional, culture-dependent methods. This review evaluates the applicability and efficacy of some of these methods in monitoring the microbial burden of spacecraft and associated environments. Samples were collected from the surfaces of spacecraft, from surfaces of assembly facilities, and from drinking water reservoirs aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Culture-dependent techniques found species of Bacillus to be dominant on these surfaces. In contrast, rapid, culture-independent techniques revealed the presence of many Gram-positive and Gram-negative microorganisms, as well as actinomycetes and fungi. These included both cultivable and noncultivable microbes, findings further confirmed by DNA-based microbial detection techniques. Although the ISS drinking water was devoid of cultivable microbes, molecular-based techniques retrieved DNA sequences of numerous opportunistic pathogens. Each of the methods tested in this study has its advantages, and by coupling two or more of these techniques even more reliable information as to microbial burden is rapidly obtained. PMID:14749906

  3. Historical Contingencies in Microbial Responses to Drought

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hawkes, C.; Waring, B.; Rocca, J.; Kivlin, S.; Giauque, H.; Averill, C.

    2014-12-01

    Although water is a primary controller of microbial function and we expect climate change to alter water availability in the future, our understanding of how microbial communities respond to a change in moisture and what that means for soil carbon cycling remain poorly understood. In part, this uncertainty arises from a lack of understanding of microbial response mechanisms and how those lead to aggregate soil function. Environmental tracking would be facilitated if microbial communities respond to new climatic conditions via rapid physiological acclimatization, shifts in community composition, or adaptation. In contrast, historical contingencies could be created by dispersal limitation or local adaptation to previous conditions. To address environmental tracking vs. legacies, we examined how soil microbial communities were affected by precipitation at multiple scales and asked whether rainfall was a primary driver of the observed responses. We leveraged a local steep rainfall gradient with field surveys, lab incubations, reciprocal transplants, and rainfall manipulations to approach this problem. Across a steep rainfall gradient, we found that soil microbial communities were strongly associated with historical rainfall, with two-thirds of the variation in community composition explained by mean annual precipitation. In 12-month experimental lab manipulations of soil moisture, soil functional responses were constrained by historical rainfall, with greater activity in soils subjected to their original moisture condition. The constraints of historical rainfall held even after 18 months in reciprocal transplant common gardens along the rainfall gradient and with manipulated dispersal of regional microbial communities. Yet, when water was manipulated at a single site over 4 years, legacies did not develop. Overall, these findings are consistent with long-term rainfall acting as a strong habitat filter and resulting in a legacy of both microbial community composition

  4. EVA Suit Microbial Leakage Investigation Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Falker, Jay; Baker, Christopher; Clayton, Ronald; Rucker, Michelle

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this project is to collect microbial samples from various EVA suits to determine how much microbial contamination is typically released during simulated planetary exploration activities. Data will be released to the planetary protection and science communities, and advanced EVA system designers. In the best case scenario, we will discover that very little microbial contamination leaks from our current or prototype suit designs, in the worst case scenario, we will identify leak paths, learn more about what affects leakage--and we'll have a new, flight-certified swab tool for our EVA toolbox.

  5. Pollutant effects on the microbial ecosystem.

    PubMed Central

    Ford, T

    1994-01-01

    Genetic diversity of a microbial community will inevitably be affected by environmental stress. However, our understanding of the implications of these effects is limited. Genetic exchange between natural microbial communities appears to be a common phenomenon, mediated by a number of microbial processes (conjugation, transformation, and transduction). These mechanisms of change are presumably adaptations to natural environmental perturbation, e.g., the low levels of antibiotics produced by other organisms. However, anthropogenic influences on the environment may be accelerating genetic change within microbiologic ecosystems, beyond these natural adaptation rates. This article highlights some of the perceived risks to ecosystem health and research questions that need to be addressed. PMID:7713033

  6. Improved microbial-check-valve resins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colombo, G. V.; Putnam, D. F.

    1980-01-01

    Improved microbial-check-valve resins have been tested for their microbicidal effectiveness and long-term stability. Resins give more-stable iodine concentrations than previous preparations and do not impart objectionable odor or taste to treated water. Microbial check valve is small cylindrical device, packed with iodide-saturated resin, that is installed in water line where contamination by micro-organisms is to be prevented. Prototype microbial check valve was tested for stability and performance under harsh environmental conditions. Effectiveness was 100 percent at 35 deg, 70 deg, and 160 deg F (2 deg, 21 deg, and 71 deg C).

  7. Microbial Cell Factories for Diol Production.

    PubMed

    Sabra, W; Groeger, C; Zeng, An-Ping

    2016-01-01

    Diols are compounds with two hydroxyl groups and have a wide range of appealing applications as chemicals and fuels. In particular, five low molecular diol compounds, namely 1,3-propanediol (1,3-PDO), 1,2-propanediol (1,2-PDO), 2,3-butanediol (2,3-BDO), 1,3-butanediol (1,3-BDO), and 1,4-butanediol (1,4-BDO), can be biotechnologically produced by direct microbial bioconversion of renewable materials. In this review, we summarize recent developments in the microbial production of diols, especially regarding the engineering of typical microbial strains as cell factory and the development of corresponding bioconversion processes. PMID:26475465

  8. The four faces of microbial forensics.

    PubMed

    Tucker, Jonathan B; Koblentz, Gregory D

    2009-12-01

    The emerging field of microbial forensics played a major role in the investigation of the 2001 anthrax mailings and has been closely associated with the process of attribution, or identifying the perpetrator of a biological attack for purposes of criminal prosecution or military retaliation. Nevertheless, microbial forensics has other potential applications in intelligence, nonproliferation, and verification. This article describes the relevance of microbial forensics for a variety of law enforcement and national security missions, examines the obstacles to its broader use, and concludes with some policy recommendations. PMID:20028247

  9. Pollutant effects on the microbial ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Ford, T

    1994-12-01

    Genetic diversity of a microbial community will inevitably be affected by environmental stress. However, our understanding of the implications of these effects is limited. Genetic exchange between natural microbial communities appears to be a common phenomenon, mediated by a number of microbial processes (conjugation, transformation, and transduction). These mechanisms of change are presumably adaptations to natural environmental perturbation, e.g., the low levels of antibiotics produced by other organisms. However, anthropogenic influences on the environment may be accelerating genetic change within microbiologic ecosystems, beyond these natural adaptation rates. This article highlights some of the perceived risks to ecosystem health and research questions that need to be addressed. PMID:7713033

  10. A 2D domain decomposition, a customized immersed boundary method and a zest of numerical dissipation: a successful cocktail to tackle turbulence on HPC systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laizet, Sylvain; Lamballais, Eric; Vassilicos, J. Christos

    2015-11-01

    Incompact3d is a high-order flow solver dedicated to Direct and Large Eddy Simulations (DNS/LES) using High Performance Computing (HPC) systems which isdevoted to turbulent flows at the interface between academic research and upstream industrial R&D. It is originating from the University of Poitiers (France) and was developed there as well as, more recently, in the Turbulence, Mixing and Flow Control Group at Imperial College London (UK). This high-order flow solver can reconcile accuracy, efficiency, versatility and scalability using a simple Cartesian mesh and up to one million computational cores. The three key ingredients of this successful cocktail to tackle turbulence on HPC systemswill be given in this talkfollowed by various applications such as fractal-generated turbulence, gravity currents in an open basin, impinging jets on a heated plate and a micro-jet device to control a turbulent jet.

  11. 40 CFR 158.2100 - Microbial pesticides definition and applicability.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Microbial pesticides definition and...) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2100 Microbial pesticides definition and applicability. (a) This subpart applies to all living or dead microbial pesticides...

  12. 40 CFR 158.2100 - Microbial pesticides definition and applicability.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Microbial pesticides definition and...) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2100 Microbial pesticides definition and applicability. (a) This subpart applies to all living or dead microbial pesticides...

  13. Modern Microbial Fossilization Processes as Signatures for Interpreting Ancient Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Microbial Forms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, Penny A.; Wentworth, Susan J.; Nelman, Mayra; Byrne, Monica; Longazo, Teresa; Galindo, Charles; McKay, David S.; Sams, Clarence

    2003-01-01

    Terrestrial biotas from microbially dominated hypersaline environments will help us understand microbial fossilization processes. Hypersaline tolerant biota from Storr's Lake, San Salvador Island (Bahamas), Mono Lake (California), and the Dead Sea (Israel) represent marine and nonmarine sites for comparative studies of potential analogs for interpreting some Mars meteorites and Mars sample return rocks [1,2,3,4,5,6]. The purpose of this study is to compare microbial fossilization processes, the dominant associated minerals, and potential diagenic implications.

  14. Microbial Fuel Cells and Microbial Ecology: Applications in Ruminant Health and Production Research

    PubMed Central

    Osterstock, Jason B.; Pinchak, William E.; Ishii, Shun’ichi; Nelson, Karen E.

    2009-01-01

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) systems employ the catalytic activity of microbes to produce electricity from the oxidation of organic, and in some cases inorganic, substrates. MFC systems have been primarily explored for their use in bioremediation and bioenergy applications; however, these systems also offer a unique strategy for the cultivation of synergistic microbial communities. It has been hypothesized that the mechanism(s) of microbial electron transfer that enable electricity production in MFCs may be a cooperative strategy within mixed microbial consortia that is associated with, or is an alternative to, interspecies hydrogen (H2) transfer. Microbial fermentation processes and methanogenesis in ruminant animals are highly dependent on the consumption and production of H2in the rumen. Given the crucial role that H2 plays in ruminant digestion, it is desirable to understand the microbial relationships that control H2 partial pressures within the rumen; MFCs may serve as unique tools for studying this complex ecological system. Further, MFC systems offer a novel approach to studying biofilms that form under different redox conditions and may be applied to achieve a greater understanding of how microbial biofilms impact animal health. Here, we present a brief summary of the efforts made towards understanding rumen microbial ecology, microbial biofilms related to animal health, and how MFCs may be further applied in ruminant research. PMID:20024685

  15. Response of microbial community structure to microbial plugging in a mesothermic petroleum reservoir in China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Fan; She, Yue Hui; Ma, Sha Sha; Hu, Ji Ming; Banat, Ibrahim M; Hou, Du Jie

    2010-12-01

    Microbial plugging, a microbial enhancement of oil recovery (MEOR) technique, has been applied in a candidate oil reservoir of Daqing Oil Field (China). The goal of this study is to monitor the survival of injected bacteria and reveal the response of microbial communities in field trial of microbial plugging through injection of selected microbial culture broth and nutrients. Culture-dependent enrichment and culture-independent 16S rDNA clone library methods were used. The results show that it was easy to activate targeted biopolymer-producing bacteria in a laboratory environment, and it was difficult for injected exogenous bacteria to survive. In addition, microbial communities in the oil reservoir also changed before and after the field trial. However, microbial communities, activated by fermentative medium for biopolymer-producing bacteria, appeared to show greater differences in the laboratory than in the natural reservoir. It was concluded that microbial populations monitoring was important to MEOR; results of response of microbial communities could provide a guide for the future field trials. PMID:20803140

  16. Microbial respiration per unit microbial biomass depends on litter layer carbon-to-nitrogen ratio

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spohn, M.

    2015-02-01

    Soil microbial respiration is a central process in the terrestrial carbon (C) cycle. In this study, I tested the effect of the carbon-to-nitrogen (C:N) ratio of soil litter layers on microbial respiration in absolute terms and per unit microbial biomass C. For this purpose, a global data set on microbial respiration per unit microbial biomass C - termed the metabolic quotient (qCO2) - was compiled from literature data. It was found that qCO2 in the soil litter layers was positively correlated with the litter C:N ratio and was negatively correlated with the litter nitrogen (N) concentration. The positive relation between qCO2 and the litter C:N ratio resulted from an increase in respiration with the C:N ratio in combination with no significant effect of the litter C:N ratio on the soil microbial biomass C concentration. The results suggest that soil microorganisms respire more C both in absolute terms and per unit microbial biomass C when decomposing N-poor substrate. The reasons for the observed relationship between qCO2 and the litter layer C:N ratio could be microbial N mining, overflow respiration or the inhibition of oxidative enzymes at high N concentrations. In conclusion, the results show that qCO2 increases with the litter layer C:N ratio. Thus, the findings indicate that atmospheric N deposition, leading to decreased litter C:N ratios, might decrease microbial respiration in soils.

  17. Surface reflectance degradation by microbial communities

    SciTech Connect

    Cheng, Meng -Dawn; Allman, Steve L.; Graham, David E.; Cheng, Karen R.; Pfiffner, Susan Marie; Vishnivetskaya, Tatiana A.; Desjarlais, Andre Omer

    2015-11-05

    Building envelope, such as a roof, is the interface between a building structure and the environment. Understanding of the physics of microbial interactions with the building envelope is limited. In addition to the natural weathering, microorganisms and airborne particulate matter that attach to a cool roof tend to reduce the roof reflectance over time, compromising the energy efficiency advantages of the reflective coating designs. We applied microbial ecology analysis to identify the natural communities present on the exposed coatings and investigated the reduction kinetics of the surface reflectance upon the introduction of a defined mixture of both photoautotrophic and heterotrophic microorganisms representing the natural communities. The result are (1) reflectance degradation by microbial communities follows a first-order kinetic relationship and (2) more than 50% of degradation from the initial reflectance value can be caused by microbial species alone in much less time than 3 years required by the current standard ENERGY STAR® test methods.

  18. Microfabricated devices in microbial bioenergy sciences.

    PubMed

    Han, Arum; Hou, Huijie; Li, Lei; Kim, Hyun Soo; de Figueiredo, Paul

    2013-04-01

    Microbes provide a platform for the synthesis of clean energy from renewable resources. Significant investments in discovering new microbial systems and capabilities, discerning the molecular mechanisms that mediate microbial bioenergy production, and optimizing existing microbial bioenergy systems have been made. However, further development is needed to achieve the economically feasible large-scale production of value-added energy products. Microfabricated lab-on-a-chip systems provide cost- and time-efficient opportunities for analyzing microbe-mediated bioenergy synthesis. Here, we review developments in the application of lab-on-a-chip systems to the bioenergy sciences. We focus on systems that support the analysis of microbial generation of bioelectricity, biogas, and liquid transportation fuels. We conclude by suggesting possible future directions. PMID:23453527

  19. Enabling technologies to advance microbial isoprenoid production.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yun; Zhou, Yongjin J; Siewers, Verena; Nielsen, Jens

    2015-01-01

    Microbial production of isoprenoids provides an attractive alternative to biomass extraction and chemical synthesis. Although widespread research aims for isoprenoid biosynthesis, it is still in its infancy in terms of delivering commercial products. Large barriers remain in realizing a cost-competitive process, for example, developing an optimal microbial cell factory. Here, we summarize the many tools and methods that have been developed in the metabolic engineering of isoprenoid production, with the advent of systems biology and synthetic biology, and discuss how these technologies advance to accelerate the design-build-test engineering cycle to obtain optimum microbial systems. It is anticipated that innovative combinations of new and existing technologies will continue to emerge, which will enable further development of microbial cell factories for commercial isoprenoid production. PMID:25549781

  20. MICROBIAL BIOFILMS AS INDICATORS OF ESTUARINE CONDITION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Microbial biofilms are complex communities of bacteria, protozoa, microalgae, and micrometazoa which exist in a polymer matrix on submerged surfaces. Their development is integrative of environmental conditions and is affected by local biodiversity, the availability of organic ma...

  1. Microbial Fossils Detected in Desert Varnish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flood, B. E.; Allen, C.; Longazo, T.

    2003-03-01

    Desert varnish, a mixture of clays, Mn-oxides, and Fe-oxides, is a potential terrestrial analogue to Martian hematite. A scanning electron microscopic examination of samples from Pilbara, Australia revealed evidence of microbial fossilization.

  2. Surface reflectance degradation by microbial communities

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Cheng, Meng -Dawn; Allman, Steve L.; Graham, David E.; Cheng, Karen R.; Pfiffner, Susan Marie; Vishnivetskaya, Tatiana A.; Desjarlais, Andre Omer

    2015-11-05

    Building envelope, such as a roof, is the interface between a building structure and the environment. Understanding of the physics of microbial interactions with the building envelope is limited. In addition to the natural weathering, microorganisms and airborne particulate matter that attach to a cool roof tend to reduce the roof reflectance over time, compromising the energy efficiency advantages of the reflective coating designs. We applied microbial ecology analysis to identify the natural communities present on the exposed coatings and investigated the reduction kinetics of the surface reflectance upon the introduction of a defined mixture of both photoautotrophic and heterotrophicmore » microorganisms representing the natural communities. The result are (1) reflectance degradation by microbial communities follows a first-order kinetic relationship and (2) more than 50% of degradation from the initial reflectance value can be caused by microbial species alone in much less time than 3 years required by the current standard ENERGY STAR® test methods.« less

  3. Microbial interactions in building of communities

    PubMed Central

    Wright, Christopher J.; Burns, Logan H.; Jack, Alison A.; Back, Catherine R.; Dutton, Lindsay C.; Nobbs, Angela H.; Lamont, Richard J.; Jenkinson, Howard F.

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Establishment of a community is considered to be essential for microbial growth and survival in the human oral cavity. Biofilm communities have increased resilience to physical forces, antimicrobial agents, and nutritional variations. Specific cell-to-cell adherence processes, mediated by adhesin-receptor pairings on respective microbial surfaces, are able to direct community development. These interactions co-localize species in mutually beneficial relationships, such as streptococci, veillonellae, Porphyromonas gingivalis and Candida albicans. In transition from the planktonic mode of growth to a biofilm community, microorganisms undergo major transcriptional and proteomic changes. These occur in response to sensing of diffusible signals, such as autoinducer molecules, and to contact with host tissues or other microbial cells. Underpinning many of these processes are intracellular phosphorylation events that regulate a large number of microbial interactions relevant to community formation and development. PMID:23253299

  4. Procedures For Microbial-Ecology Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huff, Timothy L.

    1993-01-01

    Microbial Ecology Laboratory Procedures Manual provides concise and well-defined instructions on routine technical procedures to be followed in microbiological laboratory to ensure safety, analytical control, and validity of results.

  5. Microbial contributions to the Precambrian Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Margulis, L.; Bermudes, D.; Obar, R.

    1986-01-01

    Life has existed on Earth for approximately 3.5 billion years. For most of this time, prokaryotic communities provided the major biological forces changing the Earth. Many changes in atmospheric gas composition occurred during the Archean and Proterozoic eons as a result of microbial activity. Extant microbial communities were used to help understand the dynamics which contributed to these atmospheric changes. The microbial mat communities were characterized according to the organismic constituents. Symbiosis in microbial communities is recognized as a major force in cell evolution. Among the evolutinary enigmas investigated is the problem of the origin of the undulipodia. Undulipodial microtubules are still deployed for major cellular processes such as mitosis and meiosis. Several prokaryotes were tested for the presence of the S1-type protein, so far only spirochetes were found to possess it. The S1-type protein is being sought in cyanobacteria reported to contain microtubules.

  6. Monitoring microbial population dynamics at low densities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Julou, Thomas; Desprat, Nicolas; Bensimon, David; Croquette, Vincent

    2012-07-01

    We propose a new and simple method for the measurement of microbial concentrations in highly diluted cultures. This method is based on an analysis of the intensity fluctuations of light scattered by microbial cells under laser illumination. Two possible measurement strategies are identified and compared using simulations and measurements of the concentration of gold nanoparticles. Based on this comparison, we show that the concentration of Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae cultures can be easily measured in situ across a concentration range that spans five orders of magnitude. The lowest measurable concentration is three orders of magnitude (1000×) smaller than in current optical density measurements. We show further that this method can also be used to measure the concentration of fluorescent microbial cells. In practice, this new method is well suited to monitor the dynamics of population growth at early colonization of a liquid culture medium. The dynamic data thus obtained are particularly relevant for microbial ecology studies.

  7. A thermodynamic theory of microbial growth.

    PubMed

    Desmond-Le Quéméner, Elie; Bouchez, Théodore

    2014-08-01

    Our ability to model the growth of microbes only relies on empirical laws, fundamentally restricting our understanding and predictive capacity in many environmental systems. In particular, the link between energy balances and growth dynamics is still not understood. Here we demonstrate a microbial growth equation relying on an explicit theoretical ground sustained by Boltzmann statistics, thus establishing a relationship between microbial growth rate and available energy. The validity of our equation was then questioned by analyzing the microbial isotopic fractionation phenomenon, which can be viewed as a kinetic consequence of the differences in energy contents of isotopic isomers used for growth. We illustrate how the associated theoretical predictions are actually consistent with recent experimental evidences. Our work links microbial population dynamics to the thermodynamic driving forces of the ecosystem, which opens the door to many biotechnological and ecological developments. PMID:24522260

  8. Paleobiological Perspectives on Early Microbial Evolution.

    PubMed

    Knoll, Andrew H

    2015-07-01

    Microfossils, stromatolites, and chemical biosignatures indicate that Earth became a biological planet more than 3.5 billion years ago, making most of life's history microbial. Proterozoic rocks preserve a rich record of cyanobacteria, including derived forms that differentiate multiple cell types. Stromatolites, in turn, show that microbial communities covered the seafloor from tidal flats to the base of the photic zone. The Archean record is more challenging to interpret, particularly on the question of cyanobacterial antiquity, which remains to be resolved. In the late Neoproterozoic Era, increasing oxygen and radiating eukaryotes altered the biosphere, with planktonic algae gaining ecological prominence in the water column, whereas seaweeds and, eventually, animals spread across shallow seafloors. From a microbial perspective, however, animals, algae, and, later, plants simply provided new opportunities for diversification, and, to this day, microbial metabolisms remain the only essential components of biogeochemical cycles. PMID:26134315

  9. Sensing Microbial RNA in the Cytosol

    PubMed Central

    Vabret, Nicolas; Blander, J. Magarian

    2013-01-01

    The innate immune system faces the difficult task of keeping a fine balance between sensitive detection of microbial presence and avoidance of autoimmunity. To this aim, key mechanisms of innate responses rely on isolation of pathogens in specialized subcellular compartments, or sensing of specific microbial patterns absent from the host. Efficient detection of foreign RNA in the cytosol requires an additional layer of complexity from the immune system. In this particular case, innate sensors should be able to distinguish self and non-self molecules that share several similar properties. In this review, we discuss this interplay between cytosolic pattern recognition receptors and the microbial RNA they detect. We describe how microbial RNAs gain access to the cytosol, which receptors they activate and counter-strategies developed by microorganisms to avoid this response. PMID:24400006

  10. Ins and Outs of Microbial Adhesion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Virji, Mumtaz

    Microbial adhesion is generally a complex process, involving multiple adhesins on a single microbe and their respective target receptors on host cells. In some situations, various adhesins of a microbe may co-operate in an apparently hierarchical and sequential manner whereby the first adhesive event triggers the target cell to express receptors for additional microbial adhesins. In other instances, adhesins may act in concert leading to high avidity interactions, often a prelude to cellular invasion and tissue penetration. Mechanisms used to target the host include both lectin-like interactions and protein-protein interactions; the latter are often highly specific for the host or a tissue within the host. This reflective chapter aims to offer a point of view on microbial adhesion by presenting some experiences and thoughts especially related to respiratory pathogens and explore if there can be any future hope of controlling bacterial infections via preventing adhesion or invasion stages of microbial pathogenesis.

  11. Microbe Wars: A Demonstration of Microbial Antagonism.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fox, Marty

    1997-01-01

    Describes an exercise ideal for use in an introductory biology or microbiology course. Requires no special equipment, little expertise in microbiology, and provides a colorful demonstration of microbial interaction. (DDR)

  12. Microbial biotransformation of bioactive flavonoids.

    PubMed

    Cao, Hui; Chen, Xiaoqing; Jassbi, Amir Reza; Xiao, Jianbo

    2015-01-01

    The bioactive flavonoids are considered as the most important phytochemicals in food, which exert a wide range of biological benefits for human being. Microbial biotransformation strategies for production of flavonoids have attracted considerable interest because they allow yielding novel flavonoids, which do not exist in nature. In this review, we summarize the existing knowledge on the production and biotransformation of flavonoids by various microbes. The main reactions during microbial biotransformation are hydroxylation, dehydroxylation, O-methylation, O-demethylation, glycosylation, deglycosylation, dehydrogenation, hydrogenation, C ring cleavage of the benzo-γ-pyrone system, cyclization, and carbonyl reduction. Cunninghamella, Penicillium, and Aspergillus strains are very popular to biotransform flavonoids and they can perform almost all the reactions with excellent yields. Aspergillus niger is one of the most applied microorganisms in the flavonoids' biotransformation; for example, A. niger can transfer flavanone to flavan-4-ol, 2'-hydroxydihydrochalcone, flavone, 3-hydroxyflavone, 6-hydroxyflavanone, and 4'-hydroxyflavanone. The hydroxylation of flavones by microbes usually happens on the ortho position of hydroxyl group on the A ring and C-4' position of the B ring and microbes commonly hydroxylate flavonols at the C-8 position. The microorganisms tend to hydroxylate flavanones at the C-5, 6, and 4' positions; however, for prenylated flavanones, dihydroxylation often takes place on the C4α=C5α double bond on the prenyl group (the side chain of A ring). Isoflavones are usually hydroxylated at the C-3' position of the B ring by microorganisms. The microbes convert flavonoids to their 7-O-glycosides and 3-O-glycosides (when flavonoids have a hydroxyl moiety at the C-3 position). The demethylation of multimethoxyl flavonoids by microbes tends to happen at the C-3' and C-4' positions of the B ring. Multimethoxyl flavanones and isoflavone are demethylated at

  13. Microbial biofilms on building stone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoppert, M.; Kemmling, A.; Kämper, M.

    2003-04-01

    Microbial biofilms are ubiquitous in aquatic and terrestric ecosystems as well as on man-made material. The organisms take part in biogenic weathering on natural rocks as well as on building stone [1]. Though the presence of biofilms on stone monuments exposed to the outdoor environment is obvious, thin films also occur on monuments under controllable indoor environment conditions. Numerous biofilm organisms produce large volumes of extracellular polymer (EP), mainly polysaccharides. Hydrated, gel-like EP acts as glue between the organisms and the material surface and forms a protected environment for the microbial cells. The contact zone between EP and the material surface is the crucial reactive interface of the bio-organic cover and the underlying building material. At this interface, all hazardous compounds (e.g. organic acids), after diffusion transfer via EP, react with the material surface. Upon dehydration, volume of EP greatly decreases. The thin, varnish-like EP layer still protects the dormant cells from irreversible inactivation. Periodic shrinking and swelling of the EP induces mechanical stress on the stone surface, epecially when the polymer penetrates small pores and cavities in the underlying material surface. Thus, monitoring and structure/functional analysis of EP and EP production by organisms is important to understand biogenic weathering phenomena and building stone deterioration. The study presented here describes biofilms on the surfaces of building material in outdoor and indoor environments. The application of marker techniques and visualization of samples with light and electron microscopy illustrates the role of EP at microscale. EP forms the matrix that encloses microorganisms, dust particles and mineral grains in a rigid film. EP penetrates small pore spaces of the underlying substratum and may also facilitate subsequent penetration of the microorganisms into the material. EP seals the material surface and cements the superficial layer

  14. Relating nanomaterial properties and microbial toxicity

    SciTech Connect

    Suresh, Anil K; Pelletier, Dale A; Doktycz, Mitchel John

    2013-01-01

    Nanomaterials are meeting diverse needs in consumer and industrial products. Metal and metal oxide nanoparticles are among the most commonly used materials and their potential for adversely affecting environmental systems raises concern. Complex microbial consortia underlie environmental processes, and the potential toxicity of nanoparticles to microbial systems, and the consequent impacts on trophic balances, is particularly worrisome. The diverse array of metal and metal oxides, the different sizes and shapes that can be prepared and the variety of possible surface coatings complicate toxicity assessments. Further complicating toxicity interpretations are the diversity of microbial systems and their metabolic capabilities. Here, we review various studies focused on nanoparticle-microbial interactions in an effort to correlate the physical-chemical properties of engineered metal and metal oxide nanoparticles to their biological response. Gaining a predictive understanding of nanoparticle toxicity, based on the physical-chemical properties of the material, will be key to the design and responsible use of nanotechnologies. General conclusions regarding the parent material of the nanoparticle and nanoparticle s size and shape on potential toxicity can be made. However, the surface coating of the material, which can be altered significantly by environmental conditions, can ameliorate or promote microbial toxicity. Understanding nanoparticle transformations and how the nanoparticle surface can be designed to control toxicity represents a key area for further study. Additionally, the vast array of microbial species and their intrinsic metabolic capabilities complicates extrapolations of nanoparticle toxicity. A molecular-based understanding of the various microbial responses to nanoparticle-induced stress is needed. Ultimately, to interpret the effect and eventual fate of engineered materials in the environment, an understanding of the relationship between nanoparticle

  15. Public Good Diffusion Limits Microbial Mutualism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menon, Rajita; Korolev, Kirill S.

    2015-04-01

    Standard game theory cannot describe microbial interactions mediated by diffusible molecules. Nevertheless, we show that one can still model microbial dynamics using game theory with parameters renormalized by diffusion. Contrary to expectations, greater sharing of metabolites reduces the strength of cooperation and leads to species extinction via a nonequilibrium phase transition. We report analytic results for the critical diffusivity and the length scale of species intermixing. Species producing slower public good is favored by selection when fitness saturates with nutrient concentration.

  16. An Economic Framework of Microbial Trade

    PubMed Central

    Mee, Michael T.

    2015-01-01

    A large fraction of microbial life on earth exists in complex communities where metabolic exchange is vital. Microbes trade essential resources to promote their own growth in an analogous way to countries that exchange goods in modern economic markets. Inspired by these similarities, we developed a framework based on general equilibrium theory (GET) from economics to predict the population dynamics of trading microbial communities. Our biotic GET (BGET) model provides an a priori theory of the growth benefits of microbial trade, yielding several novel insights relevant to understanding microbial ecology and engineering synthetic communities. We find that the economic concept of comparative advantage is a necessary condition for mutualistic trade. Our model suggests that microbial communities can grow faster when species are unable to produce essential resources that are obtained through trade, thereby promoting metabolic specialization and increased intercellular exchange. Furthermore, we find that species engaged in trade exhibit a fundamental tradeoff between growth rate and relative population abundance, and that different environments that put greater pressure on group selection versus individual selection will promote varying strategies along this growth-abundance spectrum. We experimentally tested this tradeoff using a synthetic consortium of Escherichia coli cells and found the results match the predictions of the model. This framework provides a foundation to study natural and engineered microbial communities through a new lens based on economic theories developed over the past century. PMID:26222307

  17. Microbial Changes during Pregnancy, Birth, and Infancy.

    PubMed

    Nuriel-Ohayon, Meital; Neuman, Hadar; Koren, Omry

    2016-01-01

    Several healthy developmental processes such as pregnancy, fetal development, and infant development include a multitude of physiological changes: weight gain, hormonal, and metabolic changes, as well as immune changes. In this review, we present an additional important factor which both influences and is affected by these physiological processes-the microbiome. We summarize the known changes in microbiota composition at a variety of body sites including gut, vagina, oral cavity, and placenta, throughout pregnancy, fetal development, and early childhood. There is still a lot to be discovered; yet several pieces of research point to the healthy desired microbial changes. Future research is likely to unravel precise roles and mechanisms of the microbiota in gestation; perhaps linking the metabolic, hormonal, and immune changes together. Although some research has started to link microbial dysbiosis and specific microbial populations with unhealthy pregnancy complications, it is important to first understand the context of the natural healthy microbial changes occurring. Until recently the placenta and developing fetus were considered to be germ free, containing no apparent microbiome. We present multiple study results showing distinct microbiota compositions in the placenta and meconium, alluding to early microbial colonization. These results may change dogmas and our overall understanding of the importance and roles of microbiota from the beginning of life. We further review the main factors shaping the infant microbiome-modes of delivery, feeding, weaning, and exposure to antibiotics. Taken together, we are starting to build a broader understanding of healthy vs. abnormal microbial alterations throughout major developmental time-points. PMID:27471494

  18. Cheese Microbial Risk Assessments — A Review

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Kyoung-Hee; Lee, Heeyoung; Lee, Soomin; Kim, Sejeong; Yoon, Yohan

    2016-01-01

    Cheese is generally considered a safe and nutritious food, but foodborne illnesses linked to cheese consumption have occurred in many countries. Several microbial risk assessments related to Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli infections, causing cheese-related foodborne illnesses, have been conducted. Although the assessments of microbial risk in soft and low moisture cheeses such as semi-hard and hard cheeses have been accomplished, it has been more focused on the correlations between pathogenic bacteria and soft cheese, because cheese-associated foodborne illnesses have been attributed to the consumption of soft cheeses. As a part of this microbial risk assessment, predictive models have been developed to describe the relationship between several factors (pH, Aw, starter culture, and time) and the fates of foodborne pathogens in cheese. Predictions from these studies have been used for microbial risk assessment as a part of exposure assessment. These microbial risk assessments have identified that risk increased in cheese with high moisture content, especially for raw milk cheese, but the risk can be reduced by preharvest and postharvest preventions. For accurate quantitative microbial risk assessment, more data including interventions such as curd cooking conditions (temperature and time) and ripening period should be available for predictive models developed with cheese, cheese consumption amounts and cheese intake frequency data as well as more dose-response models. PMID:26950859

  19. Microbial Signatures of Cadaver Gravesoil During Decomposition.

    PubMed

    Finley, Sheree J; Pechal, Jennifer L; Benbow, M Eric; Robertson, B K; Javan, Gulnaz T

    2016-04-01

    Genomic studies have estimated there are approximately 10(3)-10(6) bacterial species per gram of soil. The microbial species found in soil associated with decomposing human remains (gravesoil) have been investigated and recognized as potential molecular determinants for estimates of time since death. The nascent era of high-throughput amplicon sequencing of the conserved 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene region of gravesoil microbes is allowing research to expand beyond more subjective empirical methods used in forensic microbiology. The goal of the present study was to evaluate microbial communities and identify taxonomic signatures associated with the gravesoil human cadavers. Using 16S rRNA gene amplicon-based sequencing, soil microbial communities were surveyed from 18 cadavers placed on the surface or buried that were allowed to decompose over a range of decomposition time periods (3-303 days). Surface soil microbial communities showed a decreasing trend in taxon richness, diversity, and evenness over decomposition, while buried cadaver-soil microbial communities demonstrated increasing taxon richness, consistent diversity, and decreasing evenness. The results show that ubiquitous Proteobacteria was confirmed as the most abundant phylum in all gravesoil samples. Surface cadaver-soil communities demonstrated a decrease in Acidobacteria and an increase in Firmicutes relative abundance over decomposition, while buried soil communities were consistent in their community composition throughout decomposition. Better understanding of microbial community structure and its shifts over time may be important for advancing general knowledge of decomposition soil ecology and its potential use during forensic investigations. PMID:26748499

  20. New directions in coral reef microbial ecology.

    PubMed

    Garren, Melissa; Azam, Farooq

    2012-04-01

    Microbial processes largely control the health and resilience of coral reef ecosystems, and new technologies have led to an exciting wave of discovery regarding the mechanisms by which microbial communities support the functioning of these incredibly diverse and valuable systems. There are three questions at the forefront of discovery: What mechanisms underlie coral reef health and resilience? How do environmental and anthropogenic pressures affect ecosystem function? What is the ecology of microbial diseases of corals? The goal is to understand the functioning of coral reefs as integrated systems from microbes and molecules to regional and ocean-basin scale ecosystems to enable accurate predictions of resilience and responses to perturbations such as climate change and eutrophication. This review outlines recent discoveries regarding the microbial ecology of different microenvironments within coral ecosystems, and highlights research directions that take advantage of new technologies to build a quantitative and mechanistic understanding of how coral health is connected through microbial processes to its surrounding environment. The time is ripe for natural resource managers and microbial ecologists to work together to create an integrated understanding of coral reef functioning. In the context of long-term survival and conservation of reefs, the need for this work is immediate. PMID:21955796

  1. AXIOME: automated exploration of microbial diversity

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Although high-throughput sequencing of small subunit rRNA genes has revolutionized our understanding of microbial ecosystems, these technologies generate data at depths that benefit from automated analysis. Here we present AXIOME (Automation, eXtension, and Integration Of Microbial Ecology), a highly flexible and extensible management tool for popular microbial ecology analysis packages that promotes reproducibility and customization in microbial research. Findings AXIOME streamlines and manages analysis of small subunit (SSU) rRNA marker data in QIIME and mothur. AXIOME also implements features including the PAired-eND Assembler for Illumina sequences (PANDAseq), non-negative matrix factorization (NMF), multi-response permutation procedures (MRPP), exploring and recovering phylogenetic novelty (SSUnique) and indicator species analysis. AXIOME has a companion graphical user interface (GUI) and is designed to be easily extended to facilitate customized research workflows. Conclusions AXIOME is an actively developed, open source project written in Vala and available from GitHub (http://neufeld.github.com/axiome) and as a Debian package. Axiometic, a GUI companion tool is also freely available (http://neufeld.github.com/axiometic). Given that data analysis has become an important bottleneck for microbial ecology studies, the development of user-friendly computational tools remains a high priority. AXIOME represents an important step in this direction by automating multi-step bioinformatic analyses and enabling the customization of procedures to suit the diverse research needs of the microbial ecology community. PMID:23587322

  2. Cheese Microbial Risk Assessments - A Review.

    PubMed

    Choi, Kyoung-Hee; Lee, Heeyoung; Lee, Soomin; Kim, Sejeong; Yoon, Yohan

    2016-03-01

    Cheese is generally considered a safe and nutritious food, but foodborne illnesses linked to cheese consumption have occurred in many countries. Several microbial risk assessments related to Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli infections, causing cheese-related foodborne illnesses, have been conducted. Although the assessments of microbial risk in soft and low moisture cheeses such as semi-hard and hard cheeses have been accomplished, it has been more focused on the correlations between pathogenic bacteria and soft cheese, because cheese-associated foodborne illnesses have been attributed to the consumption of soft cheeses. As a part of this microbial risk assessment, predictive models have been developed to describe the relationship between several factors (pH, Aw, starter culture, and time) and the fates of foodborne pathogens in cheese. Predictions from these studies have been used for microbial risk assessment as a part of exposure assessment. These microbial risk assessments have identified that risk increased in cheese with high moisture content, especially for raw milk cheese, but the risk can be reduced by preharvest and postharvest preventions. For accurate quantitative microbial risk assessment, more data including interventions such as curd cooking conditions (temperature and time) and ripening period should be available for predictive models developed with cheese, cheese consumption amounts and cheese intake frequency data as well as more dose-response models. PMID:26950859

  3. Microbial Changes during Pregnancy, Birth, and Infancy

    PubMed Central

    Nuriel-Ohayon, Meital; Neuman, Hadar; Koren, Omry

    2016-01-01

    Several healthy developmental processes such as pregnancy, fetal development, and infant development include a multitude of physiological changes: weight gain, hormonal, and metabolic changes, as well as immune changes. In this review, we present an additional important factor which both influences and is affected by these physiological processes—the microbiome. We summarize the known changes in microbiota composition at a variety of body sites including gut, vagina, oral cavity, and placenta, throughout pregnancy, fetal development, and early childhood. There is still a lot to be discovered; yet several pieces of research point to the healthy desired microbial changes. Future research is likely to unravel precise roles and mechanisms of the microbiota in gestation; perhaps linking the metabolic, hormonal, and immune changes together. Although some research has started to link microbial dysbiosis and specific microbial populations with unhealthy pregnancy complications, it is important to first understand the context of the natural healthy microbial changes occurring. Until recently the placenta and developing fetus were considered to be germ free, containing no apparent microbiome. We present multiple study results showing distinct microbiota compositions in the placenta and meconium, alluding to early microbial colonization. These results may change dogmas and our overall understanding of the importance and roles of microbiota from the beginning of life. We further review the main factors shaping the infant microbiome—modes of delivery, feeding, weaning, and exposure to antibiotics. Taken together, we are starting to build a broader understanding of healthy vs. abnormal microbial alterations throughout major developmental time-points. PMID:27471494

  4. Microbial Cellulose Utilization: Fundamentals and Biotechnology

    PubMed Central

    Lynd, Lee R.; Weimer, Paul J.; van Zyl, Willem H.; Pretorius, Isak S.

    2002-01-01

    Fundamental features of microbial cellulose utilization are examined at successively higher levels of aggregation encompassing the structure and composition of cellulosic biomass, taxonomic diversity, cellulase enzyme systems, molecular biology of cellulase enzymes, physiology of cellulolytic microorganisms, ecological aspects of cellulase-degrading communities, and rate-limiting factors in nature. The methodological basis for studying microbial cellulose utilization is considered relative to quantification of cells and enzymes in the presence of solid substrates as well as apparatus and analysis for cellulose-grown continuous cultures. Quantitative description of cellulose hydrolysis is addressed with respect to adsorption of cellulase enzymes, rates of enzymatic hydrolysis, bioenergetics of microbial cellulose utilization, kinetics of microbial cellulose utilization, and contrasting features compared to soluble substrate kinetics. A biological perspective on processing cellulosic biomass is presented, including features of pretreated substrates and alternative process configurations. Organism development is considered for “consolidated bioprocessing” (CBP), in which the production of cellulolytic enzymes, hydrolysis of biomass, and fermentation of resulting sugars to desired products occur in one step. Two organism development strategies for CBP are examined: (i) improve product yield and tolerance in microorganisms able to utilize cellulose, or (ii) express a heterologous system for cellulose hydrolysis and utilization in microorganisms that exhibit high product yield and tolerance. A concluding discussion identifies unresolved issues pertaining to microbial cellulose utilization, suggests approaches by which such issues might be resolved, and contrasts a microbially oriented cellulose hydrolysis paradigm to the more conventional enzymatically oriented paradigm in both fundamental and applied contexts. PMID:12209002

  5. Linking microbial carbon utilization with microbially-derived soil organic matter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kallenbach, Cynthia M.; Grandy, A. Stuart

    2014-05-01

    Soil microbial communities are fundamental to plant C turnover, as all C inputs eventually pass through the microbial biomass. In turn, there is increasing evidence that this biomass accumulates as a significant portion of stable soil organic matter (SOM) via physiochemical interactions with the soil matrix. However, when exploring SOM dynamics, these two processes are often regarded as discrete from one another, despite potentially important linkages between microbial C utilization and the fate of that biomass C as SOM. Specifically, if stable SOM is largely comprised of microbial products, we need to better understand the soil C inputs that influence microbial biomass production and microbial C allocation. Microbial physiology, such as microbial growth efficiency (MGE), growth rate and turnover have direct influences on microbial biomass production and are highly sensitive to resource quality. Therefore, the importance of resource quality on SOM accumulation may not necessarily be a function of resistance to decay but the degree to which it optimizes microbial biomass production. To examine the relationship between microbial C utilization and microbial contributions to SOM, an ongoing 15-mo incubation experiment was set up using artificial, initially C- and microbial-free soils. Soil microcosms were constructed by mixing sand with either kaolinite or montmorillonite clays followed with a natural soil microbial inoculum. For both soil mineral treatments, weekly additions of glucose, cellobiose, or syringol are carried out, with an additional treatment of plant leachate to serve as a reference. This simplified system allows us to determine 1) if, in absence of plant-derived C, chemically complex SOM similar to natural soils can accumulate through the production of microbial residues and 2) how differences in C utilization of simple substrates, varying in energy yields, influence the quantity and chemistry of newly formed SOM. Over the course of the incubation, MGE

  6. Surface Chemistry Enhanced Microbial Bioelectrocatalysis

    PubMed Central

    Santoro, Carlo; Babanova, Sofia; Artyushkova, Kateryna; Cornejo, Jose’ A.; Ista, Linnea; Bretschger, Orianna; Marsili, Enrico; Atanassov, Plamen; Schuler, Andrew J.

    2016-01-01

    Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) modified gold anodes are used in single chamber microbial fuel cells (SCMFC) for organics removal and electricity generation. Hydrophilic (−N(CH3)3+, −OH, −COOH) and hydrophobic (−CH3) SAMs are examined for their effect on bacterial attachment, current and power output. The different substratum chemistry affects both the current and power output and the community composition of the electrochemically active biofilm formed. Of the four SAM-modified anode tested, −N(CH3)3+ results in shortest start up time, highest single electrode polarization and power density, followed by −OH and –COOH SAMs. Hydrophobic SAM decreases bacteria attachment and anodes performance in comparison to hydrophilic SAMs. Electron transfer rate is faster on the N(CH3)3+-surface than on other surfaces, and correlates with a high abundance of δ-Proteobacteria, including electrochemically active species. A consortium of Clostridia and δ-Proteobacteria is found on all the anode surfaces, suggesting a synergistic cooperation under anodic conditions. PMID:26025340

  7. Unzipping a Functional Microbial Amyloid

    PubMed Central

    Alsteens, David; Ramsook, Caleen B.; Lipke, Peter N.; Dufrêne, Yves F.

    2012-01-01

    Bacterial and fungal species produce some of the best-characterized functional amyloids, i.e. extracellular fibres that play key roles in mediating adhesion and biofilm formation. Yet, the molecular details underlying their mechanical strength remain poorly understood. Here, we use single-molecule atomic force microscopy to measure the mechanical properties of amyloids formed by Als cell adhesion proteins from the pathogen Candida albicans. We show that stretching Als proteins through their amyloid sequence yields characteristic force signatures corresponding to the mechanical unzipping of β-sheet interactions formed between surfacearrayed Als proteins. The unzipping probability increases with contact time, reflecting the time necessary for optimal inter β-strand associations. These results demonstrate that amyloid interactions provide cohesive strength to a major adhesion protein from a microbial pathogen, thereby strengthening cell adhesion. We suggest that such functional amyloids may represent a generic mechanism for providing mechanical strength to cell adhesion proteins. In nanotechnology, these single-molecule manipulation experiments provide new opportunities to understand the molecular mechanisms driving the cohesion of functional amyloid-based nanostructures. PMID:22924880

  8. Microbial effects on colloidal agglomeration

    SciTech Connect

    Hersman, L.

    1995-11-01

    Colloidal particles are known to enhance the transport of radioactive metals through soil and rock systems. This study was performed to determine if a soil microorganism, isolated from the surface samples collected at Yucca Mountain, NV, could affect the colloidal properties of day particles. The agglomeration of a Wyoming bentonite clay in a sterile uninoculated microbial growth medium was compared to the agglomeration in the medium inoculated with a Pseudomonas sp. In a second experiment, microorganisms were cultured in the succinate medium for 50 h and removed by centrifugation. The agglomeration of the clay in this spent was compared to sterile uninoculated medium. In both experiments, the agglomeration of the clay was greater than that of the sterile, uninoculated control. Based on these results, which indicate that this microorganism enhanced the agglomeration of the bentonite clay, it is possible to say that in the presence of microorganisms colloidal movement through a rock matrix could be reduced because of an overall increase in the size of colloidal particle agglomerates. 32 refs.

  9. Microbial reporters of metal bioavailability

    PubMed Central

    Magrisso, Sagi; Erel, Yigal; Belkin, Shimshon

    2008-01-01

    Summary When attempting to assess the extent and the implications of environmental pollution, it is often essential to quantify not only the total concentration of the studied contaminant but also its bioavailable fraction: higher bioavailability, often correlated with increased mobility, signifies enhanced risk but may also facilitate bioremediation. Genetically engineered microorganisms, tailored to respond by a quantifiable signal to the presence of the target chemical(s), may serve as powerful tools for bioavailability assessment. This review summarizes the current knowledge on such microbial bioreporters designed to assay metal bioavailability. Numerous bacterial metal‐sensor strains have been developed over the past 15 years, displaying very high detection sensitivities for a broad spectrum of environmentally significant metal targets. These constructs are based on the use of a relatively small number of gene promoters as the sensing elements, and an even smaller selection of molecular reporter systems; they comprise a potentially useful panel of tools for simple and cost‐effective determination of the bioavailability of heavy metals in the environment, and for the quantification of the non‐bioavailable fraction of the pollutant. In spite of their inherent advantages, however, these tools have not yet been put to actual use in the evaluation of metal bioavailability in a real environmental remediation scheme. For this to happen, acceptance by regulatory authorities is essential, as is a standardization of assay conditions. PMID:21261850

  10. Microbial remediation of explosive waste.

    PubMed

    Singh, Baljinder; Kaur, Jagdeep; Singh, Kashmir

    2012-05-01

    Explosives are synthesized globally mainly for military munitions. Nitrate esters, such as GTN and PETN, nitroaromatics like TNP and TNT and nitramines with RDX, HMX and CL20, are the main class of explosives used. Their use has resulted in severe contamination of environment and strategies are now being developed to clean these substances in an economical and eco-friendly manner. The incredible versatility inherited in microbes has rendered these explosives as a part of the biogeochemical cycle. Several microbes catalyze mineralization and/or nonspecific transformation of explosive waste either by aerobic or anaerobic processes. It is likely that ongoing genetic adaptation, with the recruitment of silent sequences into functional catabolic routes and evolution of substrate range by mutations in structural genes, will further enhance the catabolic potential of bacteria toward explosives and ultimately contribute to cleansing the environment of these toxic and recalcitrant chemicals. This review summarizes information on the biodegradation and biotransformation pathways of several important explosives. Isolation, characterization, utilization and manipulation of the major detoxifying enzymes and the molecular basis of degradation are also discussed. This may be useful in developing safer and economic microbiological methods for clean up of soil and water contaminated with such compounds. The necessity of further investigations concerning the microbial metabolism of these substances is also discussed. PMID:22497284

  11. Microbial corrosion of aluminum alloy.

    PubMed

    Yang, S S; Chen, C Y; Wei, C B; Lin, Y T

    1996-11-01

    Several microbes were isolated from the contaminated fuel-oil in Taiwan and the microbial corrosion of aluminum alloy A356-T6 was tested by MIL-STD-810E test method. Penicillium sp. AM-F5 and Cladosporium resinac ATCC 22712 had significant adsorption and pitting on the surface of aluminum alloy, Pseudomonas acruginosa AM-B5 had weak adsorption and some precipitation in the bottom, and Candida sp. AM-Y1 had the less adsorption and few cavities formation on the surface. pH of the aqueous phase decreased 0.3 to 0.7 unit for 4 months of incubation. The corrosion of aluminum alloy was very significant in the cultures of Penicillium sp. AM-F2, Penicillium sp. AM-F5 and C. resinac ATCC 22712. The major metabolites in the aqueous phase with the inoculation of C. resinac were citric acid and oxalic acid, while succinic acid and fumaric acid were the minors. PMID:10592801

  12. Microbial biomass production and evaluation

    SciTech Connect

    Al-Shoshan, A.A.

    1986-01-01

    A study of microbial biomass production was conducted to determine the amount that certain microorganisms can produce. The microorganisms, grown in their optimum conditions, were put into media containing 1% (w/v) corn starch. Those that yielded the greatest quantity of biomass were then utilized in corn meal fermentation. Their effect upon the protein nutritional value of the product was also determined. A comparative study was then carried out to determine the amylolytic activity, and biomass produced by single and mixed cultures of microorganisms including Bacillus sterothermophilus, Endomycopsis fibuligera, Saccharomyces diastaticus, and Candida utilis. In bacteria-yeast fermentation, the highest biomass (4.3 mg/ml) was obtained from C. utilis following B. sterothermophilus. In another fermentation process, yeast-yeast, the highest biomass (6.73 mg/ml) was obtained from a mixed culture of E. fibuligera and C. utilis. In both groups of microorganisms, the level of crude protein, crude fiber, percent relative nutritive value (%RNV) and total available amino acids of lysine, methionine and tryptophan increased. The increase made by the mixed cultures of yeast was superior and was the only treatment that showed a significant (P > 0.05) difference from the non-fermented control and from other treatments.

  13. Advanced microbial check valve development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colombo, G. V.; Greenley, D. R.

    1980-01-01

    A flight certified assembly identified as a Microbial Check Valve (MCV) was developed and tested. The MCV is a canister packed with an iodinated anionic exchange resin. The device is used to destroy organisms in a water stream as the water passes through the device. The device is equally effective for fluid flow in either direction and its primary method of organism removal is killing rather than filtering. The MCV was successfully developed for the space shuttle to: disinfect fuel cell water; and prevent back contamination of the stored potable water supply. One version of the device consists of a high residual iodinated resin bed that imparts approximately 2 ppm of iodine to the fuel cell water as it flows to the potable water tanks. A second version of the device consists of a low residual iodinated resin bed. One of these low residual beds is located at each use port in the potable water system for the dual purpose of removing some iodine from the potable water as it is dispensed and also to prevent back contamination of the potable supply.

  14. Microbial Communities and Bioactive Compounds in Marine Sponges of the Family Irciniidae—A Review

    PubMed Central

    Hardoim, Cristiane C. P.; Costa, Rodrigo

    2014-01-01

    Marine sponges harbour complex microbial communities of ecological and biotechnological importance. Here, we propose the application of the widespread sponge family Irciniidae as an appropriate model in microbiology and biochemistry research. Half a gram of one Irciniidae specimen hosts hundreds of bacterial species—the vast majority of which are difficult to cultivate—and dozens of fungal and archaeal species. The structure of these symbiont assemblages is shaped by the sponge host and is highly stable over space and time. Two types of quorum-sensing molecules have been detected in these animals, hinting at microbe-microbe and host-microbe signalling being important processes governing the dynamics of the Irciniidae holobiont. Irciniids are vulnerable to disease outbreaks, and concerns have emerged about their conservation in a changing climate. They are nevertheless amenable to mariculture and laboratory maintenance, being attractive targets for metabolite harvesting and experimental biology endeavours. Several bioactive terpenoids and polyketides have been retrieved from Irciniidae sponges, but the actual producer (host or symbiont) of these compounds has rarely been clarified. To tackle this, and further pertinent questions concerning the functioning, resilience and physiology of these organisms, truly multi-layered approaches integrating cutting-edge microbiology, biochemistry, genetics and zoology research are needed. PMID:25272328

  15. Sediment Interfaces: Ecotones on a Microbial Scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borchers, M. R.; Colwell, F. S.; D'Angelo, G.; Thurber, A. R.; Graw, M. F.

    2015-12-01

    Ecotones - transitions between different biomes - often support greater faunal diversity than the adjacent ecological systems. For subseafloor microorganisms, defined geological and chemical gradients have been shown to affect population sizes and community structure, but the role that sediment interfaces play is still unclear. Here, we test the hypothesis that zones of transition between two distinct sediment types increase microbial diversity and change community composition. Concurrently, we explore those factors that drive deep-subsurface microbial community structure (e.g., depth, interstitial water chemistry, methane concentrations, clay content). Samples from IODP Expedition 349 - South China Sea Tectonics - had interfaces of either ash/clay or turbidite/clay boundaries sampled , DNA extracted, and the 16S rRNA gene analyzed on an Illumina MiSeq platform. Initial analyses reveal that microbial communities in sediment samples are distinct from communities in drilling fluid, indicating that contamination is unlikely. In four of the eight complete interfaces currently analyzed we found an increase in diversity (based on the chao1 index), in certain cases doubling the diversity of the adjacent rock types. The pattern was not uniform across all interfaces. While some posit that ecotones provide a mixing of the two adjacent communities, we were surprised to find an abundance (mean = 392 OTUs) of unique microbial taxa within the ecotone itself when compared to adjacent sediment (mean=282 unique OTUs). Thus while diversity was not uniformly increased in ecotones, the interface led to divergent microbial communities that were not simply mixtures of those adjacent. We will discuss the ability of abiotic factors in explaining the among ecotone variance that we observed. Our investigation helps to characterize the factors that drive microbial community structure of the subseafloor while highlighting the need to focus on habitat heterogeneity at a scale pertinent to

  16. Induced polarization response of microbial induced sulfideprecipitation

    SciTech Connect

    Ntarlagiannis, Dimitrios; Williams, Kenneth Hurst; Slater, Lee; Hubbard, Susan

    2004-06-04

    A laboratory scale experiment was conducted to examine the use of induced polarization and electrical conductivity to monitor microbial induced sulfide precipitation under anaerobic conditions in sand filled columns. Three columns were fabricated; one for electrical measurements, one for geochemical sampling and a third non-inoculated column was used as a control. A continual upward flow of nutrients and metals in solution was established in each column. Desulfovibrio vulgaris microbes were injected into the middle of the geochemical and electrical columns. Iron and zinc sulfides precipitated along a microbial action front as a result of sulfate reduction due by Desulfovibrio vulgaris. The precipitation front initially developed near the microbial injection location, and subsequently migrated towards the nutrient inlet, as a result of chemotaxis by Desulfovibrio vulgaris. Sampling during and subsequent to the experiment revealed spatiotemporal changes in the biogeochemical measurements associated with microbial sulfate reduction. Conductivity measurements were insensitive to all biogeochemical changes occurred within the column. Changes in the IP response (of up to 14 mrad)were observed to coincide in place and in time with the active microbe respiration/sulfide precipitation front as determined from geochemical sampling. The IP response is correlated with the lactate concentration gradient, an indirect measurement of microbial metabolism, suggesting the potential of IP as a method for monitoring microbial respiration/activity. Post experimental destructive sample analysis and SEM imaging verified the geochemical results and supported our hypothesis that microbe induced sulfide precipitation is directly detectable using electrical methods. Although the processes not fully understood, the IP response appears to be sensitive to this anaerobic microbial precipitation, suggesting a possible novel application for the IP method.

  17. Two-stage microbial community experimental design.

    PubMed

    Tickle, Timothy L; Segata, Nicola; Waldron, Levi; Weingart, Uri; Huttenhower, Curtis

    2013-12-01

    Microbial community samples can be efficiently surveyed in high throughput by sequencing markers such as the 16S ribosomal RNA gene. Often, a collection of samples is then selected for subsequent metagenomic, metabolomic or other follow-up. Two-stage study design has long been used in ecology but has not yet been studied in-depth for high-throughput microbial community investigations. To avoid ad hoc sample selection, we developed and validated several purposive sample selection methods for two-stage studies (that is, biological criteria) targeting differing types of microbial communities. These methods select follow-up samples from large community surveys, with criteria including samples typical of the initially surveyed population, targeting specific microbial clades or rare species, maximizing diversity, representing extreme or deviant communities, or identifying communities distinct or discriminating among environment or host phenotypes. The accuracies of each sampling technique and their influences on the characteristics of the resulting selected microbial community were evaluated using both simulated and experimental data. Specifically, all criteria were able to identify samples whose properties were accurately retained in 318 paired 16S amplicon and whole-community metagenomic (follow-up) samples from the Human Microbiome Project. Some selection criteria resulted in follow-up samples that were strongly non-representative of the original survey population; diversity maximization particularly undersampled community configurations. Only selection of intentionally representative samples minimized differences in the selected sample set from the original microbial survey. An implementation is provided as the microPITA (Microbiomes: Picking Interesting Taxa for Analysis) software for two-stage study design of microbial communities. PMID:23949665

  18. Microbial Community Analysis of a Single Chamber Microbial Fuel Cell Using Potato Wastewater

    SciTech Connect

    Zhen Li; Rishika Haynes; Eugene Sato; Malcolm Shields; Yoshiko Fujita; Chikashi Sato

    2014-04-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) convert chemical energy to electrical energy via bioelectrochemical reactions mediated by microorganisms. We investigated the diversity of the microbial community in an air cathode single chamber MFC that utilized potato-process wastewater as substrate. Terminal Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (T-RFLP) results indicated that the bacterial communities on the anode, cathode, control electrode, and MFC bulk fluid were similar, but differed dramatically from that of the anaerobic domestic sludge and potato wastewater inoculum. The 16S rDNA sequencing results showed that microbial species detected on the anode were predominantly within the phyla of Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Bacteroidetes. Fluorescent microscopy results indicated that there was a clear enhancement of biofilm formation on the anode. Results of this study could help improve understanding of the complexity of microbial communities and optimize the microbial composition for generating electricity by MFCs that utilize potato wastewater.

  19. A Theoretical Reassessment of Microbial Maintenance and Implications for Microbial Ecology Modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Gangsheng; Post, Wilfred M

    2012-01-01

    We attempted to reconcile three microbial maintenance models (Herbert, Pirt, and Compromise) through a critical reassessment. We provided a rigorous proof that the true growth yield coefficient (YG) is the ratio of the specific maintenance rate (a in Herbert) to the maintenance coefficient (m in Pirt). Other findings from this study include: (1) the Compromise model is identical to the Herbert for computing microbial growth and substrate consumption, but it expresses the dependence of maintenance on both microbial biomass and substrate; (2) the maximum specific growth rate in the Herbert ( max,H) is higher than those in the other two models ( max,P and max,C), and the difference is the physiological maintenance factor (mq = a); and (3) the overall maintenance coefficient (mT) is more sensitive to mq than to the specific growth rate ( G) and YG. Our critical reassessment of microbial maintenance provides a new approach for quantifying some important components in soil microbial ecology models.

  20. Astrobiological Significance of Microbial Extremophiles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pikuta, Elena V.; Hoover, Richard B.

    2007-01-01

    The microflora of the cryosphere of planet Earth provides the best analogs for life forms that might be found in the permafrost or polar ice caps of Mars, near the surface of the cometary nuclei, or in the liquid water beneath and the ice crusts of icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn. The importance of study alkaliphilic microorganisms for astrobiology was enhanced by the findings of abundant carbonates and carbonate globules rimmed with possibly biogenic magnetites in association with the putative microfossils in the ALH84001 meteorite. Although the ALH84001 "nanofossils" were to small and simple to be unambiguously recognized as biogenic, they stimulated Astrobiology research and studies of microbial extremophiles and biomarkers in ancient rocks and meteorites. Recent studies of CI and CM carbonaceous meteorites have resulted in the detection of the well-preserved mineralized remains of coccoidal and filamentous microorganisms in cyanobacterial mats. Energy Dispersive X-ray Analysis has shown anomalous biogenic element ratios clearly indicating they are not recent biological contaminants. This paper reviews microbial extremophiles in context of their significance to Astrobiology. The study of halophilic microorganisms was started from work with saline soils and lakes, and one of the record of good growth for Haloferax mediterranei was shown at 30 percent NaC1. Although alkali-tolerant nitrifying bacteria had previously been reported, the first described alkaliphilic microorganism was the bacterium Streptococcus faecalis. Halophilic and alkaliphilic forms are relevant to conditions that might be found in closed impact basins and craters on Mars filled with evaporite deposits. The first obligately acidophilic bacterium described was Acidithiobacillus ferrooxydans (formally Thiobacillus ferrooxidans). Later thermophilic lithotrophic acidophiles were found, and the hyperacidophilic moderately thermophilic species of the genus Picrophilus were found to grow at negative p

  1. Molecular biology of microbial ureases.

    PubMed Central

    Mobley, H L; Island, M D; Hausinger, R P

    1995-01-01

    progress in our understanding of the molecular biology of microbial ureases is reviewed. PMID:7565414

  2. Microbial metalloproteomes are largely uncharacterized.

    PubMed

    Cvetkovic, Aleksandar; Menon, Angeli Lal; Thorgersen, Michael P; Scott, Joseph W; Poole, Farris L; Jenney, Francis E; Lancaster, W Andrew; Praissman, Jeremy L; Shanmukh, Saratchandra; Vaccaro, Brian J; Trauger, Sunia A; Kalisiak, Ewa; Apon, Junefredo V; Siuzdak, Gary; Yannone, Steven M; Tainer, John A; Adams, Michael W W

    2010-08-01

    Metal ion cofactors afford proteins virtually unlimited catalytic potential, enable electron transfer reactions and have a great impact on protein stability. Consequently, metalloproteins have key roles in most biological processes, including respiration (iron and copper), photosynthesis (manganese) and drug metabolism (iron). Yet, predicting from genome sequence the numbers and types of metal an organism assimilates from its environment or uses in its metalloproteome is currently impossible because metal coordination sites are diverse and poorly recognized. We present here a robust, metal-based approach to determine all metals an organism assimilates and identify its metalloproteins on a genome-wide scale. This shifts the focus from classical protein-based purification to metal-based identification and purification by liquid chromatography, high-throughput tandem mass spectrometry (HT-MS/MS) and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) to characterize cytoplasmic metalloproteins from an exemplary microorganism (Pyrococcus furiosus). Of 343 metal peaks in chromatography fractions, 158 did not match any predicted metalloprotein. Unassigned peaks included metals known to be used (cobalt, iron, nickel, tungsten and zinc; 83 peaks) plus metals the organism was not thought to assimilate (lead, manganese, molybdenum, uranium and vanadium; 75 peaks). Purification of eight of 158 unexpected metal peaks yielded four novel nickel- and molybdenum-containing proteins, whereas four purified proteins contained sub-stoichiometric amounts of misincorporated lead and uranium. Analyses of two additional microorganisms (Escherichia coli and Sulfolobus solfataricus) revealed species-specific assimilation of yet more unexpected metals. Metalloproteomes are therefore much more extensive and diverse than previously recognized, and promise to provide key insights for cell biology, microbial growth and toxicity mechanisms. PMID:20639861

  3. Molecular biology of microbial ureases.

    PubMed

    Mobley, H L; Island, M D; Hausinger, R P

    1995-09-01

    progress in our understanding of the molecular biology of microbial ureases is reviewed. PMID:7565414

  4. Microbial Metallomics: A Bioinorganic Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elliott, S. J.

    2004-12-01

    The term "metallome", as described by R.J.P. Williams is synonymous with the instantaneously determined concentration of all inorganic species within a cellular system [1]. Here, we refine this definition to specify that metallomics should reflect not only the overall content of inorganic species in cells, but the chemical identity of such species (i.e., in both ligated and unligated states) a well as their location. Of particular interest to the metallobiochemist are the roles inorganic species play in the up- and down-regulation of protein expression in cells. Thus, we consider that a fully realized "metallome" will reflect the biochemical pathways associated with metal ion speciation and localization within cells. Here we will describe currently proposed strategy and methodology that is used by the Elliott Lab of Boston University to capture snapshots of the proteomic and metallomic landscape of a variety of microbial systems. Two such systems will be described in some detail. The first is Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath), a methanotrophic organism that is known to undergo dramatic morphological changes upon the introduction of varying concentrations of Fe and Cu in the growth medium. In particular, the introduction of increasing concentrations of copper induces the expression of extensive intracytosolic membranes [2]. The Fe:Cu ratio also controls the expression of gene transcripts for soluble and particulate methane monooxygenase enzymes. This provides a unique opportunity to explore metal sensing, uptake, speciation and localization in methanotrophs. A developing model of protein expression and metal input will be discussed. Specific metallomic experiments regarding Shewanella oneidensis will also be discussed, in the context of an ongoing effort to understand how this organism can utilize a dazzling array of electron acceptors, including Fe(III), Mn(IV), nitrite, DMSO, TMAO, and fumarate. [1] R.J.P. Williams, Coord. Chem. Rev., 216:583-595 (2001). [2] C

  5. Tackling inequalities in obesity: a protocol for a systematic review of the effectiveness of public health interventions at reducing socioeconomic inequalities in obesity among adults

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Socioeconomic inequalities in obesity and associated risk factors for obesity are widening throughout developed countries worldwide. Tackling obesity is high on the public health agenda both in the United Kingdom and internationally. However, what works in terms of interventions that are able to reduce inequalities in obesity is lacking. Methods/Design The review will examine public health interventions at the individual, community and societal level that might reduce inequalities in obesity among adults aged 18 years and over, in any setting and in any country. The following electronic databases will be searched: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Social Science Citation Index, ASSIA, IBSS, Sociological Abstracts, and the NHS Economic Evaluation Database. Database searches will be supplemented with website and gray literature searches. No studies will be excluded based on language, country or publication date. Randomized and non-randomized controlled trials, prospective and retrospective cohort studies (with/without control groups) and prospective repeat cross-sectional studies (with/without control groups) that have a primary outcome that is a proxy for body fatness and have examined differential effects with regard to socioeconomic status (education, income, occupation, social class, deprivation, poverty) or where the intervention has been targeted specifically at disadvantaged groups or deprived areas will be included. Study inclusion, data extraction and quality appraisal will be conducted by two reviewers. Meta-analysis and narrative synthesis will be conducted. The main analysis will examine the effects of 1) individual, 2) community and 3) societal level public health interventions on socioeconomic inequalities in adult obesity. Interventions will be characterized by their level of action and their approach to tackling inequalities. Contextual information on how such public health interventions are organized, implemented and delivered will also

  6. Nitrogen cycle in microbial mats: completely unknown?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coban, O.; Bebout, B.

    2015-12-01

    Microbial mats are thought to have originated around 3.7 billion years ago, most likely in the areas around submarine hydrothermal vents, which supplied a source of energy in the form of reduced chemical species from the Earth's interior. Active hydrothermal vents are also believed to exist on Jupiter's moon Europa, Saturn's moon Enceladus, and on Mars, earlier in that planet's history. Microbial mats have been an important force in the maintenance of Earth's ecosystems and the first photosynthesis was also originated there. Microbial mats are believed to exhibit most, if not all, biogeochemical processes that exist in aquatic ecosystems, due to the presence of different physiological groups of microorganisms therein. While most microbially mediated biogeochemical transformations have been shown to occur within microbial mats, the nitrogen cycle in the microbial mats has received very little study in spite of the fact that nitrogen usually limits growth in marine environments. We will present the first results in the determination of a complete nitrogen budget for a photosynthetic microbial mat. Both in situ sources and sinks of nitrogen in photosynthetic microbial mats are being measured using stable isotope techniques. Our work has a particular focus on recently described, but poorly understood, processes, e.g., anammox and dissimilatory nitrate reduction, and an emphasis on understanding the role that nitrogen cycling may play in generating biogenic nitrogen isotopic signatures and biomarker molecules. Measurements of environmental controls on nitrogen cycling should offer insight into the nature of co-evolution of these microbial communities and their planets of origin. Identifying the spatial (microscale) as well as temporal (diel and seasonal) distribution of nitrogen transformations, e.g., rates of nitrification and denitrification, within mats, particularly with respect to the distribution of photosynthetically-produced oxygen, is anticipated. The results

  7. Microbial hotspots and hot moments in soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuzyakov, Yakov; Blagodatskaya, Evgenia

    2015-04-01

    Soils are the most heterogeneous parts of the biosphere, with an extremely high differentiation of properties and processes within nano- to macroscales. The spatial and temporal heterogeneity of input of labile organics by plants creates microbial hotspots over short periods of time - the hot moments. We define microbial hotspots as small soil volumes with much faster process rates and much more intensive interactions compared to the average soil conditions. Such hotspots are found in the rhizosphere, detritusphere, biopores (including drilosphere) and on aggregate surfaces, but hotspots are frequently of mixed origin. Hot moments are short-term events or sequences of events inducing accelerated process rates as compared to the averaged rates. Thus, hotspots and hot moments are defined by dynamic characteristics, i.e. by process rates. For this hotspot concept we extensively reviewed and examined the localization and size of hotspots, spatial distribution and visualization approaches, transport of labile C to and from hotspots, lifetime and process intensities, with a special focus on process rates and microbial activities. The fraction of active microorganisms in hotspots is 2-20 times higher than in the bulk soil, and their specific activities (i.e. respiration, microbial growth, mineralization potential, enzyme activities, RNA/DNA ratio) may also be much higher. The duration of hot moments in the rhizosphere is limited and is controlled by the length of the input of labile organics. It can last a few hours up to a few days. In the detritusphere, however, the duration of hot moments is regulated by the output - by decomposition rates of litter - and lasts for weeks and months. Hot moments induce succession in microbial communities and intense intra- and interspecific competition affecting C use efficiency, microbial growth and turnover. The faster turnover and lower C use efficiency in hotspots counterbalances the high C inputs, leading to the absence of strong

  8. Non-microbial methane emissions from soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Bin; Hou, Longyu; Liu, Wei; Wang, Zhiping

    2013-12-01

    Traditionally, methane (CH4) is anaerobically formed by methanogenic archaea. However, non-microbial CH4 can also be produced from geologic processes, biomass burning, animals, plants, and recently identified soils. Recognition of non-microbial CH4 emissions from soils remains inadequate. To better understand this phenomenon, a series of laboratory incubations were conducted to examine effects of temperature, water, and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) on CH4 emissions under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions using autoclaved (30 min, 121 °C) soils and aggregates (>2000 μm, A1; 2000-250 μm, A2; 250-53 μm, M1; and <53 μm, M2). Results show that applying autoclaving to pre-treat soils is effective to inhibit methanogenic activity, ensuring the CH4 emitted being non-microbial. Responses of non-microbial CH4 emissions to temperature, water, and H2O2 were almost identical between aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Increasing temperature, water of proper amount, and H2O2 could significantly enhance CH4 emissions. However, the emission rates were inhibited and enhanced by anaerobic conditions without and with the existence of H2O2, respectively. As regards the aggregates, aggregate-based emission presented an order of M1 > A2 > A1 > M2 and C-based emission an order of M2 > M1 > A1 > A2, demonstrating that both organic carbon quantity and property are responsible for CH4 emissions from soils at the scale of aggregate. Whole soil-based order of A2 > A1 > M1 > M2 suggests that non-microbial CH4 release from forest soils is majorly contributed by macro-aggregates (i.e., >250 μm). The underlying mechanism is that organic matter through thermal treatment, photolysis, or reactions with free radicals produce CH4, which, in essence, is identical with mechanisms of other non-microbial sources, indicating that non-microbial CH4 production may be a widespread phenomenon in nature. This work further elucidates the importance of non-microbial CH4 formation which should be distinguished

  9. High-resolution phylogenetic microbial community profiling.

    PubMed

    Singer, Esther; Bushnell, Brian; Coleman-Derr, Devin; Bowman, Brett; Bowers, Robert M; Levy, Asaf; Gies, Esther A; Cheng, Jan-Fang; Copeland, Alex; Klenk, Hans-Peter; Hallam, Steven J; Hugenholtz, Philip; Tringe, Susannah G; Woyke, Tanja

    2016-08-01

    Over the past decade, high-throughput short-read 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing has eclipsed clone-dependent long-read Sanger sequencing for microbial community profiling. The transition to new technologies has provided more quantitative information at the expense of taxonomic resolution with implications for inferring metabolic traits in various ecosystems. We applied single-molecule real-time sequencing for microbial community profiling, generating full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences at high throughput, which we propose to name PhyloTags. We benchmarked and validated this approach using a defined microbial community. When further applied to samples from the water column of meromictic Sakinaw Lake, we show that while community structures at the phylum level are comparable between PhyloTags and Illumina V4 16S rRNA gene sequences (iTags), variance increases with community complexity at greater water depths. PhyloTags moreover allowed less ambiguous classification. Last, a platform-independent comparison of PhyloTags and in silico generated partial 16S rRNA gene sequences demonstrated significant differences in community structure and phylogenetic resolution across multiple taxonomic levels, including a severe underestimation in the abundance of specific microbial genera involved in nitrogen and methane cycling across the Lake's water column. Thus, PhyloTags provide a reliable adjunct or alternative to cost-effective iTags, enabling more accurate phylogenetic resolution of microbial communities and predictions on their metabolic potential. PMID:26859772

  10. Humans differ in their personal microbial cloud

    PubMed Central

    Altrichter, Adam E.; Bateman, Ashley C.; Stenson, Jason; Brown, GZ; Green, Jessica L.; Bohannan, Brendan J.M.

    2015-01-01

    Dispersal of microbes between humans and the built environment can occur through direct contact with surfaces or through airborne release; the latter mechanism remains poorly understood. Humans emit upwards of 106 biological particles per hour, and have long been known to transmit pathogens to other individuals and to indoor surfaces. However it has not previously been demonstrated that humans emit a detectible microbial cloud into surrounding indoor air, nor whether such clouds are sufficiently differentiated to allow the identification of individual occupants. We used high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA genes to characterize the airborne bacterial contribution of a single person sitting in a sanitized custom experimental climate chamber. We compared that to air sampled in an adjacent, identical, unoccupied chamber, as well as to supply and exhaust air sources. Additionally, we assessed microbial communities in settled particles surrounding each occupant, to investigate the potential long-term fate of airborne microbial emissions. Most occupants could be clearly detected by their airborne bacterial emissions, as well as their contribution to settled particles, within 1.5–4 h. Bacterial clouds from the occupants were statistically distinct, allowing the identification of some individual occupants. Our results confirm that an occupied space is microbially distinct from an unoccupied one, and demonstrate for the first time that individuals release their own personalized microbial cloud. PMID:26417541

  11. Microbial biodiversity in glacier-fed streams.

    PubMed

    Wilhelm, Linda; Singer, Gabriel A; Fasching, Christina; Battin, Tom J; Besemer, Katharina

    2013-08-01

    While glaciers become increasingly recognised as a habitat for diverse and active microbial communities, effects of their climate change-induced retreat on the microbial ecology of glacier-fed streams remain elusive. Understanding the effect of climate change on microorganisms in these ecosystems is crucial given that microbial biofilms control numerous stream ecosystem processes with potential implications for downstream biodiversity and biogeochemistry. Here, using a space-for-time substitution approach across 26 Alpine glaciers, we show how microbial community composition and diversity, based on 454-pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, in biofilms of glacier-fed streams may change as glaciers recede. Variations in streamwater geochemistry correlated with biofilm community composition, even at the phylum level. The most dominant phyla detected in glacial habitats were Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria and Cyanobacteria/chloroplasts. Microorganisms from ice had the lowest α diversity and contributed marginally to biofilm and streamwater community composition. Rather, streamwater apparently collected microorganisms from various glacial and non-glacial sources forming the upstream metacommunity, thereby achieving the highest α diversity. Biofilms in the glacier-fed streams had intermediate α diversity and species sorting by local environmental conditions likely shaped their community composition. α diversity of streamwater and biofilm communities decreased with elevation, possibly reflecting less diverse sources of microorganisms upstream in the catchment. In contrast, β diversity of biofilms decreased with increasing streamwater temperature, suggesting that glacier retreat may contribute to the homogenisation of microbial communities among glacier-fed streams. PMID:23486246

  12. Microbial shaping of sedimentary wrinkle structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mariotti, G.; Pruss, S. B.; Perron, J. T.; Bosak, T.

    2014-10-01

    Wrinkle structures on sandy bed surfaces were present in some of the earliest sedimentary environments, but are rare in modern environments. These enigmatic millimetre- to centimetre-scale ridges or pits are particularly common in sediments that harbour trace fossils and imprints of early animals, and appeared in the aftermath of some large mass extinctions. Wrinkle structures have been interpreted as possible remnants of microbial mats, but the formation mechanism and associated palaeoenvironmental and palaeoecological implications of these structures remain debated. Here we show that microbial aggregates can form wrinkle structures on a bed of bare sand in wave tank experiments. Waves with a small orbital amplitude at the bed surface do not move sand grains directly. However, they move millimetre-size, light microbial fragments and thereby produce linear sand ridges and rounded scour pits at the wavelengths observed in nature within hours. We conclude that wrinkle structures are morphological biosignatures that form at the sediment-water interface in wave-dominated environments, and not beneath microbial mats as previously thought. During early animal evolution, grazing by eukaryotic organisms may have temporarily increased the abundance of microbial fragments and thus the production of wrinkle structures.

  13. Metabolic interactions and dynamics in microbial communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Segre', Daniel

    Metabolism, in addition to being the engine of every living cell, plays a major role in the cell-cell and cell-environment relations that shape the dynamics and evolution of microbial communities, e.g. by mediating competition and cross-feeding interactions between different species. Despite the increasing availability of metagenomic sequencing data for numerous microbial ecosystems, fundamental aspects of these communities, such as the unculturability of many isolates, and the conditions necessary for taxonomic or functional stability, are still poorly understood. We are developing mechanistic computational approaches for studying the interactions between different organisms based on the knowledge of their entire metabolic networks. In particular, we have recently built an open source platform for the Computation of Microbial Ecosystems in Time and Space (COMETS), which combines metabolic models with convection-diffusion equations to simulate the spatio-temporal dynamics of metabolism in microbial communities. COMETS has been experimentally tested on small artificial communities, and is scalable to hundreds of species in complex environments. I will discuss recent developments and challenges towards the implementation of models for microbiomes and synthetic microbial communities.

  14. Biogeochemistry of Microbial Coal-Bed Methane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strąpoć, Dariusz; Mastalerz, Maria; Dawson, Katherine; Macalady, Jennifer; Callaghan, Amy V.; Wawrik, Boris; Turich, Courtney; Ashby, Matthew

    2011-05-01

    Microbial methane accumulations have been discovered in multiple coal-bearing basins over the past two decades. Such discoveries were originally based on unique biogenic signatures in the stable isotopic composition of methane and carbon dioxide. Basins with microbial methane contain either low-maturity coals with predominantly microbial methane gas or uplifted coals containing older, thermogenic gas mixed with more recently produced microbial methane. Recent advances in genomics have allowed further evaluation of the source of microbial methane, through the use of high-throughput phylogenetic sequencing and fluorescent in situ hybridization, to describe the diversity and abundance of bacteria and methanogenic archaea in these subsurface formations. However, the anaerobic metabolism of the bacteria breaking coal down to methanogenic substrates, the likely rate-limiting step in biogenic gas production, is not fully understood. Coal molecules are more recalcitrant to biodegradation with increasing thermal maturity, and progress has been made in identifying some of the enzymes involved in the anaerobic degradation of these recalcitrant organic molecules using metagenomic studies and culture enrichments. In recent years, researchers have attempted lab and subsurface stimulation of the naturally slow process of methanogenic degradation of coal.

  15. Environmental Regulation of Microbial Community Structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bebout, Leslie; DesMarais, D.; Heyenga, G.; Nelson, F.; DeVincenzi, D. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Most naturally occurring microbes live in complex microbial communities consisting of thousands of phylotypes of microorganisms living in close proximity. Each of these draws nutrients from the environment and releases metabolic waste products, which may in turn serve as substrates for other microbial groups. Gross environmental changes, such as irradiance level, hydrodynamic flow regime, temperature or water chemistry can directly affect the productivity of some community members, which in turn will affect other dependent microbial populations and rate processes. As a first step towards the development of "standard" natural communities of microorganisms for a variety of potential NASA applications, we are measuring biogeochemical cycling in artificially structured communities of microorganisms, created using natural microbial mat communities as inoculum. The responses of these artificially assembled communities of microorganisms to controlled shifts in ecosystem incubation conditions is being determined. This research requires close linking of environmental monitoring, with community composition in a closed and controlled incubation setting. We are developing new incubation chamber designs to allow for this integrated approach to examine the interplay between environmental conditions, microbial community composition and biogeochemical processes.

  16. Humans differ in their personal microbial cloud.

    PubMed

    Meadow, James F; Altrichter, Adam E; Bateman, Ashley C; Stenson, Jason; Brown, G Z; Green, Jessica L; Bohannan, Brendan J M

    2015-01-01

    Dispersal of microbes between humans and the built environment can occur through direct contact with surfaces or through airborne release; the latter mechanism remains poorly understood. Humans emit upwards of 10(6) biological particles per hour, and have long been known to transmit pathogens to other individuals and to indoor surfaces. However it has not previously been demonstrated that humans emit a detectible microbial cloud into surrounding indoor air, nor whether such clouds are sufficiently differentiated to allow the identification of individual occupants. We used high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA genes to characterize the airborne bacterial contribution of a single person sitting in a sanitized custom experimental climate chamber. We compared that to air sampled in an adjacent, identical, unoccupied chamber, as well as to supply and exhaust air sources. Additionally, we assessed microbial communities in settled particles surrounding each occupant, to investigate the potential long-term fate of airborne microbial emissions. Most occupants could be clearly detected by their airborne bacterial emissions, as well as their contribution to settled particles, within 1.5-4 h. Bacterial clouds from the occupants were statistically distinct, allowing the identification of some individual occupants. Our results confirm that an occupied space is microbially distinct from an unoccupied one, and demonstrate for the first time that individuals release their own personalized microbial cloud. PMID:26417541

  17. The Archaea of a Hypersaline Microbial Mat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robertson, C.; Spear, J. R.; Pace, N. R.

    2006-12-01

    The overarching goal of this work is to describe and understand the organismal composition within the domain Archaea for the microbial ecosystem of a hypersaline microbial mat. Sea salt is crystallized by solar evaporation at North America's largest saltworks, the Exportadora de Sal, in Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur. Sea water flows through a series of evaporative basins with an increase in salinity until saturation is reached and halite crystallization begins. Several of these ponds are underlined with thick microbial mats. To date, it has not been known what kinds of organisms comprise these complex microbial ecosystems. Here, we report a survey of the stratified microbial communities for the distribution of representatives of Archaea in layers of the mats. This survey uses molecular approaches, based on cloning and sequencing of SSU rRNA genes for phylogenetic analyses, to determine the nature and extent of archaeal diversity that constitute these ecosystems. We compiled an altogether new phylogenetic backbone for the domain Archaea and placed representative sequences from this hypersaline analysis onto that framework. Analyses to date indicate the ubiquitous dominance of uncultured organisms of phylogenetic kinds not generally thought to be associated with hypersaline environments. Collectively, the results indicate that the diversity of life is extensive even in this seemingly inhospitable "extreme" environment.

  18. Microbial Life in a Liquid Asphalt Desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulze-Makuch, Dirk; Haque, Shirin; de Sousa Antonio, Marina Resendes; Ali, Denzil; Hosein, Riad; Song, Young C.; Yang, Jinshu; Zaikova, Elena; Beckles, Denise M.; Guinan, Edward; Lehto, Harry J.; Hallam, Steven J.

    2011-04-01

    Pitch Lake in Trinidad and Tobago is a natural asphalt reservoir nourished by pitch seepage, a form of petroleum that consists of mostly asphaltines, from the surrounding oil-rich region. During upward seepage, pitch mixes with mud and gases under high pressure, and the lighter portion evaporates or is volatilized, which produces a liquid asphalt residue characterized by low water activity, recalcitrant carbon substrates, and noxious chemical compounds. An active microbial community of archaea and bacteria, many of them novel strains (particularly from the new Tar ARC groups), totaling a biomass of up to 107 cells per gram, was found to inhabit the liquid hydrocarbon matrix of Pitch Lake. Geochemical and molecular taxonomic approaches revealed diverse, novel, and deeply branching microbial lineages with the potential to mediate anaerobic hydrocarbon degradation processes in different parts of the asphalt column. In addition, we found markers for archaeal methane metabolism and specific gene sequences affiliated with facultative and obligate anaerobic sulfur- and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria. The microbial diversity at Pitch Lake was found to be unique when compared to microbial communities analyzed at other hydrocarbon-rich environments, which included Rancho Le Brea, a natural asphalt environment in California, USA, and an oil well and a mud volcano in Trinidad and Tobago, among other sites. These results open a window into the microbial ecology and biogeochemistry of recalcitrant hydrocarbon matrices and establish the site as a terrestrial analogue for modeling the biotic potential of hydrocarbon lakes such as those found on Saturn's largest moon Titan.

  19. Biogeochemistry of microbial coal-bed methane

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Strc, D.; Mastalerz, Maria; Dawson, K.; MacAlady, J.; Callaghan, A.V.; Wawrik, B.; Turich, C.; Ashby, M.

    2011-01-01

    Microbial methane accumulations have been discovered in multiple coal-bearing basins over the past two decades. Such discoveries were originally based on unique biogenic signatures in the stable isotopic composition of methane and carbon dioxide. Basins with microbial methane contain either low-maturity coals with predominantly microbial methane gas or uplifted coals containing older, thermogenic gas mixed with more recently produced microbial methane. Recent advances in genomics have allowed further evaluation of the source of microbial methane, through the use of high-throughput phylogenetic sequencing and fluorescent in situ hybridization, to describe the diversity and abundance of bacteria and methanogenic archaea in these subsurface formations. However, the anaerobic metabolism of the bacteria breaking coal down to methanogenic substrates, the likely rate-limiting step in biogenic gas production, is not fully understood. Coal molecules are more recalcitrant to biodegradation with increasing thermal maturity, and progress has been made in identifying some of the enzymes involved in the anaerobic degradation of these recalcitrant organic molecules using metagenomic studies and culture enrichments. In recent years, researchers have attempted lab and subsurface stimulation of the naturally slow process of methanogenic degradation of coal. Copyright ?? 2011 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

  20. The politics of partnerships: a study of police and housing collaboration to tackle anti-social behaviour on Australian public housing estates.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Keith

    2010-01-01

    This paper draws on the findings from a research project on partnership arrangements between the police and housing departments on three Australian public housing estates to tackle problems associated with illicit drug activity and anti-social behaviour (ASB). The analysis focused on the setting up of the partnerships and the interactions that followed from these institutional arrangements. The assumption that informs the paper is that when studying partnerships there is a need for a more critically framed analysis. The temptation to posit "a successful model" of what partnership entails and then to judge practices in relation to this model is considerable, but it inevitably falls into the trap of constructing a narrative of partnership success or failure in terms of individual agency (that is, the degree of commitment from individuals). The analysis undertaken in this paper has therefore sought to fathom a more complex set of organizational processes. Rather than confine the discussion to issues of success and failure, the study foregrounds the subjective accounts of individuals who work within partnership and the constraints they encounter. The paper therefore makes explicit the cultural tensions within and across agencies, contestation as to the extent of the policy "problem," and the divergent perspectives on the appropriate modes of intervention. PMID:21290817

  1. Tackling the tuberculosis epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa--unique opportunities arising from the second European Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) programme 2015-2024.

    PubMed

    Zumla, Alimuddin; Petersen, Eskild; Nyirenda, Thomas; Chakaya, Jeremiah

    2015-03-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) today remains a global emergency affecting 9.0 million people globally. The African Region bears the highest global TB/HIV burden and over 50% of TB cases in SSA are co-infected with HIV. An estimated 1.5 million died from the TB globally in 2013. A large majority of the 360,000 HIV-positive TB cases who died were from sub-Saharan Africa. Research and development is an important pillar of the WHO post-2015 global TB strategy. Advances in development of diagnostics, drugs, host-directed therapies, and vaccines will require evaluation under field conditions through multi-centre clinical trials at different geographical locations. Thus it is critically important that these evaluations are fully supported by all African governments and the capacity, trained staff and infrastructure required to perform the research and evaluations is built and made available. This viewpoint article reviews the opportunities provided by recently launched second programme (2015-2024) of the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP2) for tackling the TB epidemic in Africa through its magnanimous portfolio. The unique opportunities provided by EDCTP2 for leadership of scientific research in TB and other diseases fully devolving to Africa are also covered. PMID:25809755

  2. Tackling gender inequalities and intimate partner violence in the response to HIV: moving towards effective interventions in Southern and Eastern Africa.

    PubMed

    Gibbs, Andrew

    2016-07-01

    Ending intimate partner violence (IPV) and reducing gender inequalities are recognised as critical to "'ending AIDS" by 2030. Amongst women, experiencing IPV has been shown to increase HIV acquisition, reduce women's ability to use HIV prevention strategies and reduce adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART). In Southern and Eastern Africa there has recently been a significant push to strengthen programming around this through broad funding and programming streams. However, while gender inequality underpins IPV and HIV acquisition, in different contexts a variety of other factors intersect to shape this vulnerability. Using reflections focused on young women living in urban informal settlements and the Stepping Stones and Creating Futures intervention, this paper illustrates the need to understand the specific drivers of HIV and IPV in any given context and the need for interventions to prevent this. Any intervention needs to include three key components: 1) resonate with the lived realities of women they target; 2) tackle multiple factors shaping women's vulnerability to IPV and HIV simultaneously; and 3) consider how best to work with men and boys to achieve improved outcomes for women. Such an approach, it is argued, resonating with the "slow research" movement, will yield better outcomes for interventions, but will also require a fundamental rethinking of how interventions to prevent IPV and HIV amongst women are conceptualised, with a greater emphasis on understanding the ways in which gender resonates in each context and how interventions can operate. PMID:27399043

  3. Cancer-Promoting Effects of Microbial Dysbiosis

    PubMed Central

    Sheflin, Amy M.; Whitney, Alyssa K.; Weir, Tiffany L.

    2014-01-01

    Humans depend upon our commensal bacteria for nutritive, immune-modulating and metabolic contributions to maintenance of health. However, this commensal community exists in careful balance that, if disrupted, enters dysbiosis; which has been shown to contribute to the etiology of colon, gastric, esophageal, pancreatic, laryngeal, breast and gallbladder carcinomas. This etiology is closely tied to host inflammation, which causes and is aggravated by microbial dysbiosis while increasing vulnerability to pathogens. Advances in sequencing technology have increased our ability to catalog microbial species associated with various cancer types across the body. However, defining microbial biomarkers as cancer predictors presents multiple challenges and existing studies identifying cancer-associated bacteria have reported inconsistent outcomes. Combining metabolites and microbiome analyses can help elucidate interactions between gut microbiota, metabolism and the host. Ultimately, understanding how gut dysbiosis impacts host response and inflammation will be critical to creating an accurate picture of the role of the microbiome in cancer. PMID:25123079

  4. Microbial fuel cells for biosensor applications.

    PubMed

    Yang, Huijia; Zhou, Minghua; Liu, Mengmeng; Yang, Weilu; Gu, Tingyue

    2015-12-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) face major hurdles for real-world applications as power generators with the exception of powering small sensor devices. Despite tremendous improvements made in the last two decades, MFCs are still too expensive to build and operate and their power output is still too small. In view of this, in recently years, intensive researches have been carried out to expand the applications into other areas such as acid and alkali production, bioremediation of aquatic sediments, desalination and biosensors. Unlike power applications, MFC sensors have the immediate prospect to be practical. This review covers the latest developments in various proposed biosensor applications using MFCs including monitoring microbial activity, testing biochemical oxygen demand, detection of toxicants and detection of microbial biofilms that cause biocorrosion. PMID:26272393

  5. Microbial enhanced oil recovery and compositions therefor

    DOEpatents

    Bryant, Rebecca S.

    1990-01-01

    A method is provided for microbial enhanced oil recovery, wherein a combination of microorganisms is empirically formulated based on survivability under reservoir conditions and oil recovery efficiency, such that injection of the microbial combination may be made, in the presence of essentially only nutrient solution, directly into an injection well of an oil bearing reservoir having oil present at waterflood residual oil saturation concentration. The microbial combination is capable of displacing residual oil from reservoir rock, which oil may be recovered by waterflooding without causing plugging of the reservoir rock. Further, the microorganisms are capable of being transported through the pores of the reservoir rock between said injection well and associated production wells, during waterflooding, which results in a larger area of the reservoir being covered by the oil-mobilizing microorganisms.

  6. The information science of microbial ecology.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Aria S; Konwar, Kishori M; Louca, Stilianos; Hanson, Niels W; Hallam, Steven J

    2016-06-01

    A revolution is unfolding in microbial ecology where petabytes of 'multi-omics' data are produced using next generation sequencing and mass spectrometry platforms. This cornucopia of biological information has enormous potential to reveal the hidden metabolic powers of microbial communities in natural and engineered ecosystems. However, to realize this potential, the development of new technologies and interpretative frameworks grounded in ecological design principles are needed to overcome computational and analytical bottlenecks. Here we explore the relationship between microbial ecology and information science in the era of cloud-based computation. We consider microorganisms as individual information processing units implementing a distributed metabolic algorithm and describe developments in ecoinformatics and ubiquitous computing with the potential to eliminate bottlenecks and empower knowledge creation and translation. PMID:27183115

  7. Metabolic Network Modeling of Microbial Communities

    PubMed Central

    Biggs, Matthew B.; Medlock, Gregory L.; Kolling, Glynis L.

    2015-01-01

    Genome-scale metabolic network reconstructions and constraint-based analysis are powerful methods that have the potential to make functional predictions about microbial communities. Current use of genome-scale metabolic networks to characterize the metabolic functions of microbial communities includes species compartmentalization, separating species-level and community-level objectives, dynamic analysis, the “enzyme-soup” approach, multi-scale modeling, and others. There are many challenges inherent to the field, including a need for tools that accurately assign high-level omics signals to individual community members, new automated reconstruction methods that rival manual curation, and novel algorithms for integrating omics data and engineering communities. As technologies and modeling frameworks improve, we expect that there will be proportional advances in the fields of ecology, health science, and microbial community engineering. PMID:26109480

  8. Microbial survival in deep space environment.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Silverman, G. J.

    1971-01-01

    Review of the knowledge available on the extent to which microorganisms (mainly microbial spores, vegetative cells, and fungi) are capable of surviving the environment of deep space, based on recent simulation experiments of deep space. A description of the experimental procedures used is followed by a discussion of deep space ecology, the behavior of microorganisms in ultrahigh vacuum, and factors influencing microbial survival. It is concluded that, so far, simulation experiments have proved far less lethal to microorganisms than to other forms of life. There are, however, wide gaps in the knowledge available, and no accurate predictions can as yet be made on the degree of lethality that might be incurred by a microbial population on a given mission. Therefore, sterilization of spacecraft surfaces is deemed necessary if induced panspermia (i.e., interplanetary life propagation) is to be avoided.

  9. Gut microbial communities of social bees.

    PubMed

    Kwong, Waldan K; Moran, Nancy A

    2016-06-01

    The gut microbiota can have profound effects on hosts, but the study of these relationships in humans is challenging. The specialized gut microbial community of honey bees is similar to the mammalian microbiota, as both are mostly composed of host-adapted, facultatively anaerobic and microaerophilic bacteria. However, the microbial community of the bee gut is far simpler than the mammalian microbiota, being dominated by only nine bacterial species clusters that are specific to bees and that are transmitted through social interactions between individuals. Recent developments, which include the discovery of extensive strain-level variation, evidence of protective and nutritional functions, and reports of eco-physiological or disease-associated perturbations to the microbial community, have drawn attention to the role of the microbiota in bee health and its potential as a model for studying the ecology and evolution of gut symbionts. PMID:27140688

  10. Predicting microbial interactions through computational approaches.

    PubMed

    Li, Chenhao; Lim, Kun Ming Kenneth; Chng, Kern Rei; Nagarajan, Niranjan

    2016-06-01

    Microorganisms play a vital role in various ecosystems and characterizing interactions between them is an essential step towards understanding the organization and function of microbial communities. Computational prediction has recently become a widely used approach to investigate microbial interactions. We provide a thorough review of emerging computational methods organized by the type of data they employ. We highlight three major challenges in inferring interactions using metagenomic survey data and discuss the underlying assumptions and mathematics of interaction inference algorithms. In addition, we review interaction prediction methods relying on metabolic pathways, which are increasingly used to reveal mechanisms of interactions. Furthermore, we also emphasize the importance of mining the scientific literature for microbial interactions - a largely overlooked data source for experimentally validated interactions. PMID:27025964

  11. Microbial precipitation of dolomite in methanogenic groundwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, Jennifer A.; Bennett, Philip C.; González, Luis A.; MacPherson, G. L.; Milliken, Kitty L.

    2004-04-01

    We report low-temperature microbial precipitation of dolomite in dilute natural waters from both field and laboratory experiments. In a freshwater aquifer, microorganisms colonize basalt and nucleate nonstoichiometric dolomite on cell walls. In the laboratory, ordered dolomite formed at near-equilibrium conditions from groundwater with molar Mg:Ca ratios of <1; dolomite was absent in sterile experiments. Geochemical and microbiological data suggest that methanogens are the dominant metabolic guild in this system and are integral to dolomite precipitation. We hypothesize that the attached microbial consortium reacts with the basalt surface, releasing Mg and Ca into solution, which drives dolomite precipitation via nucleation on the cell wall. These findings provide insight into the long-standing dolomite problem and suggest a fundamental role for microbial processes in the formation of dolomite across a wide range of environmental conditions.

  12. Characterizing microbial communities through space and time

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez, Antonio; King, Andrew; Robeson, Michael S.; Song, Sejin; Shade, Ashley; Metcalf, Jessica; Knight, Rob

    2011-01-01

    Until recently, the study of microbial diversity has mainly been limited to descriptive approaches, rather than predictive model-based analyses. The development of advanced analytical tools and decreasing cost of high-throughput multi-omics technologies has made the later approach more feasible. However, consensus is lacking as to which spatial and temporal scales best facilitate understanding of the role of microbial diversity in determining both public and environmental health. Here, we review the potential for combining these new technologies with both traditional and nascent spatio-temporal analysis methods. The fusion of proper spatio-temporal sampling, combined with modern multi-omics and computational tools, will provide insight into the tracking, development and manipulation of microbial communities. PMID:22154467

  13. Principles for designing synthetic microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Johns, Nathan I; Blazejewski, Tomasz; Gomes, Antonio Lc; Wang, Harris H

    2016-06-01

    Advances in synthetic biology to build microbes with defined and controllable properties are enabling new approaches to design and program multispecies communities. This emerging field of synthetic ecology will be important for many areas of biotechnology, bioenergy and bioremediation. This endeavor draws upon knowledge from synthetic biology, systems biology, microbial ecology and evolution. Fully realizing the potential of this discipline requires the development of new strategies to control the intercellular interactions, spatiotemporal coordination, robustness, stability and biocontainment of synthetic microbial communities. Here, we review recent experimental, analytical and computational advances to study and build multi-species microbial communities with defined functions and behavior for various applications. We also highlight outstanding challenges and future directions to advance this field. PMID:27084981

  14. Microbial Life Under Extreme Energy Limitation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoehler, Tori M.; Jorgensen, Bo Barker

    2013-01-01

    A great number of the bacteria and archaea on Earth are found in subsurface environments in a physiological state that is poorly represented or explained by laboratory cultures. Microbial cells in these very stable and oligotrophic settings catabolize 104- to 106-fold more slowly than model organisms in nutrient-rich cultures, turn over biomass on timescales of centuries to millennia rather than hours to days, and subsist with energy fluxes that are 1,000-fold lower than the typical culture-based estimates of maintenance requirements. To reconcile this disparate state of being with our knowledge of microbial physiology will require a revised understanding of microbial energy requirements, including identifying the factors that comprise true basal maintenance and the adaptations that might serve to minimize these factors.

  15. Microbial Enzymes: Tools for Biotechnological Processes

    PubMed Central

    Adrio, Jose L.; Demain, Arnold L.

    2014-01-01

    Microbial enzymes are of great importance in the development of industrial bioprocesses. Current applications are focused on many different markets including pulp and paper, leather, detergents and textiles, pharmaceuticals, chemical, food and beverages, biofuels, animal feed and personal care, among others. Today there is a need for new, improved or/and more versatile enzymes in order to develop more novel, sustainable and economically competitive production processes. Microbial diversity and modern molecular techniques, such as metagenomics and genomics, are being used to discover new microbial enzymes whose catalytic properties can be improved/modified by different strategies based on rational, semi-rational and random directed evolution. Most industrial enzymes are recombinant forms produced in bacteria and fungi. PMID:24970208

  16. Microfluidics Expanding the Frontiers of Microbial Ecology

    PubMed Central

    Rusconi, Roberto; Garren, Melissa; Stocker, Roman

    2014-01-01

    The ability afforded by microfluidics to observe the behaviors of microbes in highly controlled and confined microenvironments, across scales from a single cell to mixed communities, has significantly contributed to expand the frontiers of microbial ecology over the last decade. Spatially and temporally varying distributions of organisms and chemical cues that mimic natural microbial habitats can now be established by exploiting physics at the micrometer scale and by incorporating structures with specific geometries and materials. Here we review applications of microfluidics that have resulted in highly insightful discoveries on fundamental aspects of microbial life, ranging from growth and sensing to cell-cell interactions and population dynamics. We anticipate that this flexible, multidisciplinary technology will continue to facilitate discoveries regarding the ecology of microorganisms and help uncover strategies to control phenomena such as biofilm formation and antibiotic resistance. PMID:24773019

  17. Interchange of entire communities: microbial community coalescence.

    PubMed

    Rillig, Matthias C; Antonovics, Janis; Caruso, Tancredi; Lehmann, Anika; Powell, Jeff R; Veresoglou, Stavros D; Verbruggen, Erik

    2015-08-01

    Microbial communities are enigmatically diverse. We propose a novel view of processes likely affecting microbial assemblages, which could be viewed as the Great American Interchange en miniature: the wholesale exchange among microbial communities resulting from moving pieces of the environment containing entire assemblages. Incidental evidence for such 'community coalescence' is accumulating, but such processes are rarely studied, likely because of the absence of suitable terminology or a conceptual framework. We provide the nucleus for such a conceptual foundation for the study of community coalescence, examining factors shaping these events, links to bodies of ecological theory, and we suggest modeling approaches for understanding coalescent communities. We argue for the systematic study of community coalescence because of important functional and applied consequences. PMID:26111582

  18. Priming in the microbial landscape: periphytic algal stimulation of litter-associated microbial decomposers.

    PubMed

    Kuehn, Kevin A; Francoeur, Steven N; Findlay, Robert H; Neely, Robert K

    2014-03-01

    Microbial communities associated with submerged detritus in aquatic ecosystems often comprise a diverse mixture of autotrophic and heterotrophic microbes, including algae, bacteria, protozoa, and fungi. Recent studies have documented increased rates of plant litter mass loss when periphytic algae are present. We conducted laboratory and field experiments to assess potential metabolic interactions between natural autotrophic and heterotrophic microbial communities inhabiting submerged decaying plant litter of Typha angustifolia and Schoenoplectus acutus. In the field, submerged plant litter was either exposed to natural sunlight or placed under experimental canopies that manipulated light availability and growth of periphytic algae. Litter was collected and returned to the laboratory, where algal photosynthesis was manipulated (light/dark incubation), while rates of bacterial and fungal growth and productivity were simultaneously quantified. Bacteria and fungi were rapidly stimulated by exposure to light, thus establishing the potential for algal priming of microbial heterotrophic decay activities. Experimental incubations of decaying litter with 14C- and 13C-bicarbonate established that inorganic C fixed by algal photosynthesis was rapidly transferred to and assimilated by heterotrophic microbial decomposers. Periphytic algal stimulation of microbial heterotrophs, especially fungal decomposers, is an important and largely unrecognized interaction within the detrital microbial landscape, which may transform our current conceptual understanding of microbial secondary production and organic matter decomposition in aquatic ecosystems. PMID:24804458

  19. Microbial ecology of terrestrial Antarctica: Are microbial systems at risk from human activities?

    SciTech Connect

    White, G.J.

    1996-08-01

    Many of the ecological systems found in continental Antarctica are comprised entirely of microbial species. Concerns have arisen that these microbial systems might be at risk either directly through the actions of humans or indirectly through increased competition from introduced species. Although protection of native biota is covered by the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, strict measures for preventing the introduction on non-native species or for protecting microbial habitats may be impractical. This report summarizes the research conducted to date on microbial ecosystems in continental Antarctica and discusses the need for protecting these ecosystems. The focus is on communities inhabiting soil and rock surfaces in non-coastal areas of continental Antarctica. Although current polices regarding waste management and other operations in Antarctic research stations serve to reduce the introduction on non- native microbial species, importation cannot be eliminated entirely. Increased awareness of microbial habitats by field personnel and protection of certain unique habitats from physical destruction by humans may be necessary. At present, small-scale impacts from human activities are occurring in certain areas both in terms of introduced species and destruction of habitat. On a large scale, however, it is questionable whether the introduction of non-native microbial species to terrestrial Antarctica merits concern.

  20. Microbial control over carbon cycling in soil

    PubMed Central

    Schimel, Joshua P.; Schaeffer, Sean M.

    2012-01-01

    A major thrust of terrestrial microbial ecology is focused on understanding when and how the composition of the microbial community affects the functioning of biogeochemical processes at the ecosystem scale (meters-to-kilometers and days-to-years). While research has demonstrated these linkages for physiologically and phylogenetically “narrow” processes such as trace gas emissions and nitrification, there is less conclusive evidence that microbial community composition influences the “broad” processes of decomposition and organic matter (OM) turnover in soil. In this paper, we consider how soil microbial community structure influences C cycling. We consider the phylogenetic level at which microbes form meaningful guilds, based on overall life history strategies, and suggest that these are associated with deep evolutionary divergences, while much of the species-level diversity probably reflects functional redundancy. We then consider under what conditions it is possible for differences among microbes to affect process dynamics, and argue that while microbial community structure may be important in the rate of OM breakdown in the rhizosphere and in detritus, it is likely not important in the mineral soil. In mineral soil, physical access to occluded or sorbed substrates is the rate-limiting process. Microbial community influences on OM turnover in mineral soils are based on how organisms allocate the C they take up – not only do the fates of the molecules differ, but they can affect the soil system differently as well. For example, extracellular enzymes and extracellular polysaccharides can be key controls on soil structure and function. How microbes allocate C may also be particularly important for understanding the long-term fate of C in soil – is it sequestered or not? PMID:23055998

  1. Systems Biology of Microbial Exopolysaccharides Production

    PubMed Central

    Ates, Ozlem

    2015-01-01

    Exopolysaccharides (EPSs) produced by diverse group of microbial systems are rapidly emerging as new and industrially important biomaterials. Due to their unique and complex chemical structures and many interesting physicochemical and rheological properties with novel functionality, the microbial EPSs find wide range of commercial applications in various fields of the economy such as food, feed, packaging, chemical, textile, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry, agriculture, and medicine. EPSs are mainly associated with high-value applications, and they have received considerable research attention over recent decades with their biocompatibility, biodegradability, and both environmental and human compatibility. However, only a few microbial EPSs have achieved to be used commercially due to their high production costs. The emerging need to overcome economic hurdles and the increasing significance of microbial EPSs in industrial and medical biotechnology call for the elucidation of the interrelations between metabolic pathways and EPS biosynthesis mechanism in order to control and hence enhance its microbial productivity. Moreover, a better understanding of biosynthesis mechanism is a significant issue for improvement of product quality and properties and also for the design of novel strains. Therefore, a systems-based approach constitutes an important step toward understanding the interplay between metabolism and EPS biosynthesis and further enhances its metabolic performance for industrial application. In this review, primarily the microbial EPSs, their biosynthesis mechanism, and important factors for their production will be discussed. After this brief introduction, recent literature on the application of omics technologies and systems biology tools for the improvement of production yields will be critically evaluated. Special focus will be given to EPSs with high market value such as xanthan, levan, pullulan, and dextran. PMID:26734603

  2. Cave speleothems as repositories of microbial biosignatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Ana Z.; Jurado, Valme; Pereira, Manuel F. C.; Fernández, Octavio; Calaforra, José M.; Dionísio, Amélia; Saiz-Jimenez, Cesareo

    2015-04-01

    The need to better understand the biodiversity, origins of life on Earth and on other planets, and the wide applications of the microbe-mineral interactions have led to a rapid expansion of interest in subsurface environments. Recently reported results indicated signs of an early wet Mars and rather recent volcanic activity which suggest that Mars's subsurface can house organic molecules or traces of microbial life, making the search for microbial life on Earth's subsurface even more compelling. Caves on Earth are windows into the subsurface that harbor a wide variety of mineral-utilizing microorganisms, which may contribute to the formation of biominerals and unusual microstructures recognized as biosignatures. These environments contain a wide variety of redox interfaces and stable physicochemical conditions, which enhance secondary mineral precipitation and microbial growth under limited organic nutrient inputs. Enigmatic microorganisms and unusual mineral features have been found associated with secondary mineral deposits or speleothems in limestone caves and lava tubes. In this study, Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM) and Energy Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) analyses were conducted on cave speleothem samples to assess microbe-mineral interactions, evaluate biogenicity, as well as to describe unusual mineral formations and microbial features. Microbial mats, extracellular polymeric substances, tubular empty sheaths, mineralized cells, filamentous fabrics, as well as "cell-sized" etch pits or microborings produced by bacterial cells were observed on minerals. These features evidence microbe-mineral interactions and may represent mineralogical signatures of life. We can thus consider that caves on Earth are plausible repositories of terrestrial biosignatures where we can look for microbial signatures. Acknowledgments: AZM acknowledges the support from the Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship within the 7th European Community Framework

  3. Systems Biology of Microbial Exopolysaccharides Production.

    PubMed

    Ates, Ozlem

    2015-01-01

    Exopolysaccharides (EPSs) produced by diverse group of microbial systems are rapidly emerging as new and industrially important biomaterials. Due to their unique and complex chemical structures and many interesting physicochemical and rheological properties with novel functionality, the microbial EPSs find wide range of commercial applications in various fields of the economy such as food, feed, packaging, chemical, textile, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry, agriculture, and medicine. EPSs are mainly associated with high-value applications, and they have received considerable research attention over recent decades with their biocompatibility, biodegradability, and both environmental and human compatibility. However, only a few microbial EPSs have achieved to be used commercially due to their high production costs. The emerging need to overcome economic hurdles and the increasing significance of microbial EPSs in industrial and medical biotechnology call for the elucidation of the interrelations between metabolic pathways and EPS biosynthesis mechanism in order to control and hence enhance its microbial productivity. Moreover, a better understanding of biosynthesis mechanism is a significant issue for improvement of product quality and properties and also for the design of novel strains. Therefore, a systems-based approach constitutes an important step toward understanding the interplay between metabolism and EPS biosynthesis and further enhances its metabolic performance for industrial application. In this review, primarily the microbial EPSs, their biosynthesis mechanism, and important factors for their production will be discussed. After this brief introduction, recent literature on the application of omics technologies and systems biology tools for the improvement of production yields will be critically evaluated. Special focus will be given to EPSs with high market value such as xanthan, levan, pullulan, and dextran. PMID:26734603

  4. Microbial Communities of Pavilion Lake Microbialites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russell, J. A.; Biddle, J.; Pointing, S.; Cardman, Z.; Brady, A. L.; Slater, G. F.; Lim, D. S.

    2011-12-01

    Fossilized remnants of microbial mat growth, called stromatolites, are found in the rock record and are thought to be some of the earliest evidence for life on Earth. On the modern Earth, living versions of these stromatolites, called microbialites, are found in few environments across the globe. Pavilion Lake in British Columbia was found to host these microbialites, even though conditions are not extreme in the lake and grazers exist amongst the microbial growths. The Pavilion Lake Research Project, funded by NASA, the CSA and others, has developed the lake into an analog research site for the exploration of extraplanetary bodies since 2004. Pavilion Lake began to be explored for microbial ecology in 2007 to attempt to determine how the microbial communities change over time, location and depth to build these microbialite structures. DNA extracted from microbialites at two different locations and 3 depths at each location were analyzed by T-RFLP patterns. Significant differences were seen in the total communities from each location. Additional samples were taken in the summer and budding seasons, and significant differences were seen by season. A survey performed on just the cyanobacterial populations show less differences between taxa between sites, but significant differences with depth above and below the chemocline and between mineralized and non-mineralized mats. Differences were also examined between purple and green nodules, which are thought to be the growth forms of the microbialites. Detailed sequence analysis shows that Pavilion Lake microorganisms are similar, yet different, from microbial communities seen in other microbialite systems. In 2011, the research project moved to Kelly Lake, a lake nearby Pavilion Lake, that also contain microbialite structures. Similar morphologies were seen in Kelly Lake with an approximate 20 ft. offset in the typical depths where morphologies were seen. Continued analysis of Kelly Lake microbialites will be performed

  5. Environments that Induce Synthetic Microbial Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Klitgord, Niels; Segrè, Daniel

    2010-01-01

    Interactions between microbial species are sometimes mediated by the exchange of small molecules, secreted by one species and metabolized by another. Both one-way (commensal) and two-way (mutualistic) interactions may contribute to complex networks of interdependencies. Understanding these interactions constitutes an open challenge in microbial ecology, with applications ranging from the human microbiome to environmental sustainability. In parallel to natural communities, it is possible to explore interactions in artificial microbial ecosystems, e.g. pairs of genetically engineered mutualistic strains. Here we computationally generate artificial microbial ecosystems without re-engineering the microbes themselves, but rather by predicting their growth on appropriately designed media. We use genome-scale stoichiometric models of metabolism to identify media that can sustain growth for a pair of species, but fail to do so for one or both individual species, thereby inducing putative symbiotic interactions. We first tested our approach on two previously studied mutualistic pairs, and on a pair of highly curated model organisms, showing that our algorithms successfully recapitulate known interactions, robustly predict new ones, and provide novel insight on exchanged molecules. We then applied our method to all possible pairs of seven microbial species, and found that it is always possible to identify putative media that induce commensalism or mutualism. Our analysis also suggests that symbiotic interactions may arise more readily through environmental fluctuations than genetic modifications. We envision that our approach will help generate microbe-microbe interaction maps useful for understanding microbial consortia dynamics and evolution, and for exploring the full potential of natural metabolic pathways for metabolic engineering applications. PMID:21124952

  6. Microbial limitation in a changing world: A stoichiometric approach for predicting microbial resource limitation and fluxes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Midgley, M.; Phillips, R.

    2014-12-01

    Microbes mediate fluxes of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) in soils depending on ratios of available C, N, and P relative to microbial demand. Hence, characterizing microbial C and nutrient limitation in soils is critical for predicting how ecosystems will respond to human alterations of climate and nutrient availability. Here, we take a stoichiometric approach to assessing microbial C, N, and P limitation by using threshold element ratios (TERs). TERs enable shifting resource limitation to be assessed by matching C, N and P ratios from microbial biomass, extracellular enzyme activities, and soil nutrient concentrations. We assessed microbial nutrient limitation in temperate forests dominated by trees that associate with one of two mycorrhizal symbionts: arbsucular mycorrhizal (AM) or ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi. We found that both ECM and AM microbial communities were co-limited by C and N, supporting conventional wisdom that microbes are C-limited and temperate forests are N-limited. However, AM microbial communities were relatively more C-limited than ECM communities (P=0.001). In response to chronic field N fertilization, both AM and ECM communities became relatively more P-limited (P=0.011), but they remained N- and C-limited overall. Thus, realistic levels of N deposition may not dampen microbial N limitation. Reflecting differences in relative limitation, N mineralization rates were higher in AM soils than in ECM soils (P=0.004) while C mineralization rates were higher in ECM soils than in AM soils (P=0.023). There were no significant differences in P flux between AM and ECM soils or detectable mineralization responses to N addition, indicating that mineralization rates are closely tied to C and nutrient limitation. Overall, we found that 1) microbial resource limitation can be detected without resource addition; and 2) TERs and ratios of labile resources are viable tools for predicting mineralization responses to resource additions.

  7. The Microbial Opsin Family of Optogenetic Tools

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Feng; Vierock, Johannes; Yizhar, Ofer; Fenno, Lief E.; Tsunoda, Satoshi; Kianianmomeni, Arash; Prigge, Matthias; Berndt, Andre; Cushman, John; Polle, Jürgen; Magnuson, Jon; Hegemann, Peter; Deisseroth, Karl

    2014-01-01

    The capture and utilization of light is an exquisitely evolved process. The single-component microbial opsins, although more limited than multicomponent cascades in processing, display unparalleled compactness and speed. Recent advances in understanding microbial opsins have been driven by molecular engineering for optogenetics and by comparative genomics. Here we provide a Primer on these light-activated ion channels and pumps, describe a group of opsins bridging prior categories, and explore the convergence of molecular engineering and genomic discovery for the utilization and understanding of these remarkable molecular machines. PMID:22196724

  8. Microbial biofilms in intertidal systems: an overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Decho, Alan W.

    2000-07-01

    Intertidal marine systems are highly dynamic systems which are characterized by periodic fluctuations in environmental parameters. Microbial processes play critical roles in the remineralization of nutrients and primary production in intertidal systems. Many of the geochemical and biological processes which are mediated by microorganisms occur within microenvironments which can be measured over micrometer spatial scales. These processes are localized by cells within a matrix of extracellular polymeric secretions (EPS), collectively called a "microbial biofilm". Recent examinations of intertidal systems by a range of investigators using new approaches show an abundance of biofilm communities. The purpose of this overview is to examine recent information concerning the roles of microbial biofilms in intertidal systems. The microbial biofilm is a common adaptation of natural bacteria and other microorganisms. In the fluctuating environments of intertidal systems, biofilms form protective microenvironments and may structure a range of microbial processes. The EPS matrix of biofilm forms sticky coatings on individual sediment particles and detrital surfaces, which act as a stabilizing anchor to buffer cells and their extracellular processes during the frequent physical stresses (e.g., changes in salinity and temperature, UV irradiation, dessication). EPS is an operational definition designed to encompass a range of large microbially-secreted molecules having widely varying physical and chemical properties, and a range of biological roles. Examinations of EPS using Raman and Fourier-transform infared spectroscopy, and atomic-force microscopy suggest that some EPS gels possess physical and chemical properties which may hasten the development of sharp geochemical gradients, and contribute a protective effect to cells. Biofilm polymers act as a sorptive sponge which binds and concentrates organic molecules and ions close to cells. Concurrently, the EPS appear to localize

  9. Microbial endemism: does phosphorus limitation enhance speciation?

    PubMed

    Souza, Valeria; Eguiarte, Luis E; Siefert, Janet; Elser, James J

    2008-07-01

    There is increasing evidence for the existence of unique ecosystems that are dominated by locally adapted microbiota which harbour distinct lineages and biological capabilities, much like the macrobiota of Darwin's Galapagos Islands. As a primary example of such a system, we highlight key discoveries from the Cuatro Ciénegas basin in Mexico. We argue that high microbial endemism requires a combination of geographical isolation, long-term continuity and mechanisms for reducing the intensity of horizontal gene transfer (HGT). We also propose that strong phosphorus limitation has an important role in microbial diversification by reducing the intensity of HGT. PMID:18521074

  10. Hydrolytic microbial communities in terrestrial ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manucharova, Natalia; Chernov, Timofey; Kolcova, Ekaterina; Zelezova, Alena; Lukacheva, Euhenia; Zenova, Galina

    2014-05-01

    Hydrolytic microbial communities in terrestrial ecosystems Manucharova N.A., Chernov T.I., Kolcova E.M., Zelezova A.D., Lukacheva E.G. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia Vertical differentiation of terrestrial biogeocenoses is conditioned by the formation of vertical tiers that differ considerably in the composition and structure of microbial communities. All the three tiers, phylloplane, litter and soil, are united by a single flow of organic matter, and are spatially separated successional stages of decomposition of organic substances. Decomposition of organic matter is mainly due to the activity of microorganisms producing enzymes - hydrolase and lyase - which destroy complex organic compounds. Application of molecular biological techniques (FISH) in environmental studies provides a more complete information concerning the taxonomic diversity and potential hydrolytic activity of microbial complexes of terrestrial ecosystems that exist in a wide range of environmental factors (moisture, temperature, redox potential, organic matter). The combination of two molecular biological techniques (FISH and DGGE-analysis of fragments of gene 16S rRNA total amplificate) enables an informative assessment of the differences in the structure of dominant and minor components of hydrolytic complexes formed in different tiers of terrestrial ecosystems. The functional activity of hydrolytic microbial complexes of terrestrial ecosystems is determined by the activity of dominant and minor components, which also have a high gross enzymatic activity. Degradation of biopolymers in the phylloplane is mainly due to the representatives of the Proteobacteria phylogenetic group (classes alpha and beta). In mineral soil horizons, the role of hydrolytic representatives of Firmicutes and Actinobacteria increases. Among the key environmental parameters that determine the functional activity of the hydrolytic (chitinolytic) complex of soil layer (moisture, nutrient supply, successional

  11. MICROBIAL DEGRADATION OF SEVEN AMIDES BY SUSPENDED BACTERIAL POPULATIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Microbial transformation rate constants were determined for seven amides in natural pond water. A second-order mathematical rate expression served as the model for describing the microbial transformation. Also investigated was the relationship between the infrared spectra and the...

  12. Probable Carbonate Fossilization Processes Within Dead Sea Microbial Remains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, P. A.; Wentworth, S. J.; Thomas-Keprta, K. L.; Allen, C. C.; McKay, D. S.

    2001-01-01

    Microbial fossilization processes in the Dead Sea is primarily associated with the calcium cation. The putative fossilized microbes do not represent the reported living microbial population. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  13. Microbial Control of Invertebrate Pests-Chapter 7

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Arthropods, particularly insects, have a wide spectrum of microbial pathogens – viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoans, as well as entomopathogenic bacterium-nematode symbioses. All these categories of microorganisms have been commercialized to control arthropods. There are several hundred microbial p...

  14. Environmental Microbial Community Proteomics: Status, Challenges and Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Da-Zhi; Kong, Ling-Fen; Li, Yuan-Yuan; Xie, Zhang-Xian

    2016-01-01

    Microbial community proteomics, also termed metaproteomics, is an emerging field within the area of microbiology, which studies the entire protein complement recovered directly from a complex environmental microbial community at a given point in time. Although it is still in its infancy, microbial community proteomics has shown its powerful potential in exploring microbial diversity, metabolic potential, ecological function and microbe-environment interactions. In this paper, we review recent advances achieved in microbial community proteomics conducted in diverse environments, such as marine and freshwater, sediment and soil, activated sludge, acid mine drainage biofilms and symbiotic communities. The challenges facing microbial community proteomics are also discussed, and we believe that microbial community proteomics will greatly enhance our understanding of the microbial world and its interactions with the environment. PMID:27527164

  15. Functional Microbial Diversity Explains Groundwater Chemistry in a Pristine Aquifer

    EPA Science Inventory

    Microbial communities inhabiting anoxic aquifers catalyze critical biogeochemical reactions in the subsurface, yet little is known about how their community structure correlates with groundwater chemistry. In this study, we described the composition of microbial communities in th...

  16. GEOELECTRICAL EVIDENCE OF MICROBIAL DEGRADATION OF DIESEL CONTAMINATED SEDIMENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The alteration of physical properties by microbial activity in petroleum contaminated sediments was investigated using geophysical techniques in laboratory column experiments. Microbial population growth was determined by the Most Probable Number technique (MPN), community dynami...

  17. Environmental Microbial Community Proteomics: Status, Challenges and Perspectives.

    PubMed

    Wang, Da-Zhi; Kong, Ling-Fen; Li, Yuan-Yuan; Xie, Zhang-Xian

    2016-01-01

    Microbial community proteomics, also termed metaproteomics, is an emerging field within the area of microbiology, which studies the entire protein complement recovered directly from a complex environmental microbial community at a given point in time. Although it is still in its infancy, microbial community proteomics has shown its powerful potential in exploring microbial diversity, metabolic potential, ecological function and microbe-environment interactions. In this paper, we review recent advances achieved in microbial community proteomics conducted in diverse environments, such as marine and freshwater, sediment and soil, activated sludge, acid mine drainage biofilms and symbiotic communities. The challenges facing microbial community proteomics are also discussed, and we believe that microbial community proteomics will greatly enhance our understanding of the microbial world and its interactions with the environment. PMID:27527164

  18. Advances in microbial insect control in horticultural ecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The use of microbial organisms as biological control agents has progressed significantly since Metschnikoff launched the first attempt at microbial insect control with Metarhizium anisopliae in 1879. Following the lead of Metschnikoff, entomopathogenic nematodes, fungi, bacteria and viruses have b...

  19. Technology Education Tackles Energy Crisis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cutshall, Sandy

    2002-01-01

    Describes the solar-hydrogen technologies at the East Valley Institute of Technology, the only technology center in the nations that offers this class. Describes its focus on solving the energy crisis. (JOW)

  20. We must tackle population problems.

    PubMed

    Hironaka, W

    1992-03-01

    Thank you Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity to speak out not only as a Japanese parliamentarian, but also as a member of GLOBE International, Global Legislators Organization for a Balanced Environment, consisting of legislators from the US Congress, EC Parliament, USSR Assembly and Japanese Diet who have joined together to compare, improve and coordinate our respective legislative activities in an effort to effectively address the complex issues surrounding environment and development. Mr. Chairman, world population--which reached 5.4 billion in mid-1991--is growing exponentially. According to 1 UNFPA report 3 people are born every second, a total of 250,000 people every day or 95-100 million people every year. At this rate, world population will reach 6.4 billion by year 2001, and if this rate continues to go unchecked, world population will reach 14-15 billion by the end of the 21st century. GLOBE is highly aware of the relationship between rapidly growing human populations, environmental degradation and sustainable development. We urge UNCED negotiators to address population growth rates and the integrally linked concerns of resource consumption levels, particularly in the industrialized world, in their search for solutions to the conflict between environment and development. Negotiators should also seriously consider ways in which to broaden educational and economic opportunities for women to ease population growth rates, and to alleviate poverty and stresses on the environment that result from population pressures. Social and economic factors must be integrated into population planning. It is saddening to note that almost 40,000 children die every day due to malnutrition, lack of fresh water and access to resources. Over 100 million children do not receive a primary education. Mr. Chairman, worldwide demand for a range of family planning services is increasing faster than supply. Recent studies indicate that if quality family planning information, training and services were made readily available by government and other groups, population rates would drop to manageable levels. Widespread access to family planning services is essential to population stabilization. The health of mothers, children and general quality of life is also improved through the implementation of family planning programs. At the present time many women cannot make use of the limited available services because of cultural constraints, lack of status and self-confidence. Unless complementary efforts are made to expand economic and educational opportunities for women, family planning and other reproductive health services will not reach their full potential for stabilizing population. Although family planning is an individual decision, and implementation of population programs is a sovereign matter in each country, I would urge developed countries to help their neighbors in developing countries who are in need of support for family planning and health services. Investment in family planning programs is 1 of the best ways to contribute to environmental protection and improvement. A greater portion of our foreign aid monies should be allocated for direct population assistance programs that will reach people at the grassroots level. To achieve this, a cooperative working relationship with local nongovernmental organization (NGOs) is essential. The members of GLOBE hope to facilitate cooperation between NGOs and governments so that we might stabilize human population. PMID:12284963

  1. Transformative tools for tackling tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The world is in need of more effective approaches to controlling tuberculosis. The development of improved control strategies has been hampered by deficiencies in the tools available for detecting Mycobacterium tuberculosis and defining the dynamic consequences of the interaction of M. tuberculosis with its human host. Key needs include a highly sensitive, specific nonsputum diagnostic; biomarkers predictive of responses to therapy; correlates of risk for disease development; and host response–independent markers of M. tuberculosis infection. Tools able to sensitively detect and quantify total body M. tuberculosis burden might well be transformative across many needed use cases. Here, we review the current state of the field, paying particular attention to needed changes in experimental paradigms that would facilitate the discovery, validation, and development of such tools. PMID:26458772

  2. Virgin's Knight tackles climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banks, Michael

    2008-11-01

    "There is no greater or more immediate challenge than that posed by climate change," said Sir Richard Branson, chairman of the Virgin group, via video-link at the 59th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) held in Glasgow in the UK at the end of September. That grand statement may seem like a lot of hot air for the entrepreneur best known for his attempt to circumnavigate the globe by balloon. But Branson went on to reveal that Virgin Galactic, which aims to fly passengers 100 km into space for 200 000 per trip, will also provide room on its craft for a series of scientific experiments to study the Earth's atmosphere.

  3. Tackling Teens' No. 1 Problem.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adair, Jan

    2000-01-01

    Drug Strategies' updated guide evaluates the 50 most popular U.S. prevention programs. Project ALERT scored high in overall quality, administrative ease, and rehearsal and role plays. Key components include age appropriateness, identification of social pressures, instruction in refusal skills, interactivity, normative education, family…

  4. Tackling Misconceptions about Linear Associations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huey, Maryann E.; Baker, Deidra L.

    2015-01-01

    Many teachers of required secondary school mathematics classes are introducing statistics and probability topics traditionally relegated to college or AP Statistics courses. As a result, they need guidance in preparing lesson plans and orchestrating effective classroom discussions. In this article, the authors will describe the students' learning…

  5. Tackling Disrespectful, Unprofessional Provider Behaviors.

    PubMed

    2016-06-01

    To address problematic provider behaviors that can affect patient safety, physician leaders at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) developed the Coworker Observation Reporting System (CORS), a systematized approach for retrieving and addressing concerns about providers reported by staff. To encourage staff members to report concerns, they have to trust that the organization is going to respond, and they also have to feel that they have a certain element of psychological safety. Selected peer messengers share staff complaints with providers, enabling them to offer their perspectives on the issues or events in question. Three years into the implementation of CORS, investigators found that the majority of providers self-correct their behaviors when reports about staff concerns are shared. Additional level 1, level 2, and level 3 interventions are built into the CORS system for providers who fail to self-correct after one or two reports. PMID:27295820

  6. FCCLA Program Tackles Youth Violence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carpenter, Beth

    2006-01-01

    This article features "STOP (Students Taking on Prevention) the Violence," a peer-to-peer outreach initiative that empowers young people to recognize, report, and reduce the potential for youth violence. It is a national Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) program that provides young people with the attitudes, skills, and…

  7. Spatial variations in nutrient and microbial transport from feedlot surfaces

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nutrient and microbial transport by runoff may vary at different locations within a beef cattle feedlot. If the areas making the greatest contributions to nutrient and microbial transport can be identified, it may be possible to institute precision management practices to reduce nutrient and microbi...

  8. 40 CFR 158.2110 - Microbial pesticides data requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Microbial pesticides data requirements. 158.2110 Section 158.2110 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2110 Microbial pesticides data requirements. (a) For all...

  9. Contribution of microbial carbon to soil fractions: significance of diverse microbial group biochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Throckmorton, H.; Bird, J. A.; Dane, L.; Firestone, M. K.; Horwath, W. R.

    2011-12-01

    The importance of diverse microbial groups to soil C maintenance is still a matter of debate. This study follows the turnover of 13C labeled nonliving residues from diverse microbial groups into soil physical fractions in situ in a temperate forest in California (CA) and a tropical forest in Puerto Rico (PR), during 5 sampling points per site- over a 3 and 2 year period, respectively. Microbial groups include fungi, actinomycetes, Gm(+) bacteria, and Gm(-) bacteria, isolated from CA and PR soils to obtain temperate and tropical isolates composited of 3-4 species per group. The selected density fractionation approach isolated: a "light fraction" (LF), non-mineral aggregate "occluded fraction" (OF), and a "mineral bound fraction" (MF). Pyrolysis gas chromatography mass spectrometry (Py-GC-MS) was employed to characterize microbial group isolates, whole soils, and fractions. Microbial isolates contained unique biochemical fingerprints: temperate and tropical fungi and tropical Gm(-) were characterized by a low abundance of phenol, benzene, and N-compounds compared with other microbial group isolates. Py-GC-MS revealed compositional differences among soil fractions at both sites, likely attributed to differences in the decomposition stage and C source material (ie. plant vs. microbial). For both sites, benzene and N-compounds were greatest in the MF; lignin and phenol compounds were greatest in the LF; and lipids were greatest in the OF. The trend for polysaccharides differed between sites, with the greatest concentration in the CA OF; and for PR with the lowest concentration in the OF, and similar concentrations in the LF and MF. SOM chemistry was most similar between sites in the LF, compared with the OF and MF, suggesting that differences in SOM chemistry between sites may be more attributed to differential decomposition processes than unique litter quality inputs. A substantial portion of microbial C moved from the LF into the OF, and the MF by the first sampling

  10. Microbial corrosion monitoring by an amperometric microbial biosensor developed using whole cell of Pseudomonas sp.

    PubMed

    Dubey, R S; Upadhyay, S N

    2001-12-01

    A microbial biosensor was developed for monitoring microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC) of metallic materials in industrial systems. The Pseudomonas sp. isolated from corroded metal surface was immobilized on acetylcellulose membrane and its respiratory activity was estimated by measuring oxygen consumption. The microbial biosensor was used for the measurement of sulfuric acid in a batch culture medium contaminated by microorganisms. A linear relationship between the microbial sensor response and the concentration of sulfuric acid was observed. The response time of biosensor was 5 min and was dependent on the immobilized cell loading of Pseudomonas sp., pH, temperature and corrosive environments. The microbial biosensor response was stable, reproducible and specific for sensing of sulfur oxidizing bacterial activity. PMID:11679280

  11. Improvement of Microbial Assays of Vitamins

    PubMed Central

    Heed, Edward J.

    1972-01-01

    A method for the improvement of microbial assays of vitamins, which involves the addition of a surfactant to the incubated test, was developed. This surfactant tends to eliminate bacterial clumping, giving a uniform suspension of single cells, thereby making the turbidity readings less erratic and the actual assay standard curves more closely related to the desired theoretical curve. PMID:4627232

  12. Oral microbial habitat a dynamic entity.

    PubMed

    Faran Ali, Syed Muhammad; Tanwir, Farzeen

    2012-01-01

    Oral microbial habitat is composed of wide variety of species. These species play a significant role in maintaining the well being of the oral cavity by contributing in various ways. However the proper functioning of these oral microbes can be detrimental for the human oral cavity if the conditions are not suitable such as redox potential (Eh), pH of a site, the activity of the host defenses, and the presence of antimicrobial agents. The oral microbial community represents the best-characterized group associated with the human host. There are strong correlations between the qualitative composition of the oral microbiota and clinically healthy or diseased states. Amongst the bacteria of more than 700 species now identified within the human oral microbiota, it is the streptococci that are numerically predominant. Interactions between mucosal surfaces and microbial microbiota are key to host defense, health, and disease. These surfaces are exposed to high numbers of microbes and must be capable of distinguishing between those that are beneficial or avirulent and those that will invade and cause disease. Our understanding of the mechanisms involved in these discriminatory processes has recently begun to expand as new studies bring to light the importance of epithelial cells and novel immune cell subsets such as T(h)17 T cells in these processes. In this review article we have tried to find out the factors responsible for maintaining oral microbial habitat intact and the reasons which cause changes in its composition. PMID:25737863

  13. Interval scanning photomicrography of microbial cell populations.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Casida, L. E., Jr.

    1972-01-01

    A single reproducible area of the preparation in a fixed focal plane is photographically scanned at intervals during incubation. The procedure can be used for evaluating the aerobic or anaerobic growth of many microbial cells simultaneously within a population. In addition, the microscope is not restricted to the viewing of any one microculture preparation, since the slide cultures are incubated separately from the microscope.

  14. Nutrient Addition Dramatically Accelerates Microbial Community Succession

    PubMed Central

    Knelman, Joseph E.; Schmidt, Steven K.; Lynch, Ryan C.; Darcy, John L.; Castle, Sarah C.; Cleveland, Cory C.; Nemergut, Diana R.

    2014-01-01

    The ecological mechanisms driving community succession are widely debated, particularly for microorganisms. While successional soil microbial communities are known to undergo predictable changes in structure concomitant with shifts in a variety of edaphic properties, the causal mechanisms underlying these patterns are poorly understood. Thus, to specifically isolate how nutrients – important drivers of plant succession – affect soil microbial succession, we established a full factorial nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilization plot experiment in recently deglaciated (∼3 years since exposure), unvegetated soils of the Puca Glacier forefield in Southeastern Peru. We evaluated soil properties and examined bacterial community composition in plots before and one year after fertilization. Fertilized soils were then compared to samples from three reference successional transects representing advancing stages of soil development ranging from 5 years to 85 years since exposure. We found that a single application of +NP fertilizer caused the soil bacterial community structure of the three-year old soils to most resemble the 85-year old soils after one year. Despite differences in a variety of soil edaphic properties between fertilizer plots and late successional soils, bacterial community composition of +NP plots converged with late successional communities. Thus, our work suggests a mechanism for microbial succession whereby changes in resource availability drive shifts in community composition, supporting a role for nutrient colimitation in primary succession. These results suggest that nutrients alone, independent of other edaphic factors that change with succession, act as an important control over soil microbial community development, greatly accelerating the rate of succession. PMID:25050551

  15. Inactivation of Microbial Contaminants in Fresh Produce

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    With the microbial safety of fresh produce of increasing concern, conventional sanitizing treatments need to be supplemented with effective new interventions to inactivate human pathogens. The Produce Safety research project at the US Dept. Agriculture’s Eastern Regional Research Center develops and...

  16. Relevance of antarctic microbial ecosystems to exobiology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mckay, Christopher P.

    1993-01-01

    Antarctic microbial ecosystems which provide biological and physical analogs that can be used in exobiology are studied. Since the access to extraterrestrial habitats is extremely difficult, terrestrial analogs represent the best opportunity for both formulation and preliminary testing of hypothesis about life. Antarctica, as one of few suitable environments on earth is considered to be a major locus of progress in exobiology.

  17. QUANTITATIVE RISK ASSESSMENT FOR MICROBIAL AGENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Compared to chemical risk assessment, the process for microbial agents and infectious disease is more complex because of host factors and the variety of settings in which disease transmission can occur. While the National Academy of Science has established a paradigm for performi...

  18. METABOLISM OF FENTHION BY AQUATIC MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The microbial metabolism of the mosquito control agent, fenthion, has been studied in shake flask systems containing water and sediment from a salt marsh. The usefulness of this information in describing the fate of fenthion in microcosms and in a field dosing experiment was dete...

  19. The Biogeography of Putative Microbial Antibiotic Production.

    PubMed

    Morlon, Hélène; O'Connor, Timothy K; Bryant, Jessica A; Charkoudian, Louise K; Docherty, Kathryn M; Jones, Evan; Kembel, Steven W; Green, Jessica L; Bohannan, Brendan J M

    2015-01-01

    Understanding patterns in the distribution and abundance of functional traits across a landscape is of fundamental importance to ecology. Mapping these distributions is particularly challenging for species-rich groups with sparse trait measurement coverage, such as flowering plants, insects, and microorganisms. Here, we use likelihood-based character reconstruction to infer and analyze the spatial distribution of unmeasured traits. We apply this framework to a microbial dataset comprised of 11,732 ketosynthase alpha gene sequences extracted from 144 soil samples from three continents to document the spatial distribution of putative microbial polyketide antibiotic production. Antibiotic production is a key competitive strategy for soil microbial survival and performance. Additionally, novel antibiotic discovery is highly relevant to human health, making natural antibiotic production by soil microorganisms a major target for bioprospecting. Our comparison of trait-based biogeographical patterns to patterns based on taxonomy and phylogeny is relevant to our basic understanding of microbial biogeography as well as the pressing need for new antibiotics. PMID:26102275

  20. The Biogeography of Putative Microbial Antibiotic Production

    PubMed Central

    Bryant, Jessica A.; Charkoudian, Louise K.; Docherty, Kathryn M.; Jones, Evan; Kembel, Steven W.; Green, Jessica L.; Bohannan, Brendan J. M.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding patterns in the distribution and abundance of functional traits across a landscape is of fundamental importance to ecology. Mapping these distributions is particularly challenging for species-rich groups with sparse trait measurement coverage, such as flowering plants, insects, and microorganisms. Here, we use likelihood-based character reconstruction to infer and analyze the spatial distribution of unmeasured traits. We apply this framework to a microbial dataset comprised of 11,732 ketosynthase alpha gene sequences extracted from 144 soil samples from three continents to document the spatial distribution of putative microbial polyketide antibiotic production. Antibiotic production is a key competitive strategy for soil microbial survival and performance. Additionally, novel antibiotic discovery is highly relevant to human health, making natural antibiotic production by soil microorganisms a major target for bioprospecting. Our comparison of trait-based biogeographical patterns to patterns based on taxonomy and phylogeny is relevant to our basic understanding of microbial biogeography as well as the pressing need for new antibiotics. PMID:26102275

  1. MICROBIAL DEGRADATION OF PROPANIL IN AQUATIC SYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Second-order microbial degradation rate constants were developed for the herbicide propanil in lake and water samples from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Variations in calculated second-order rate constants were attributed to differences in bacterial counting methods us...

  2. Microbial ecology of chlorinated solvent biodegradation.

    PubMed

    David, Maude M; Cecillon, Sebastien; Warne, Brett M; Prestat, Emmanuel; Jansson, Janet K; Vogel, Timothy M

    2015-12-01

    This study focused on the microbial ecology of tetrachloroethene (PCE) degradation to trichloroethene, cis-1,2-dichloroethene and vinyl chloride to evaluate the relationship between the microbial community and the potential accumulation or degradation of these toxic metabolites. Multiple soil microcosms supplied with different organic substrates were artificially contaminated with PCE. A thymidine analogue, bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), was added to the microcosms and incorporated into the DNA of actively replicating cells. We compared the total and active bacterial communities during the 50-day incubations by using phylogenic microarrays and 454 pyrosequencing to identify microorganisms and functional genes associated with PCE degradation to ethene. By use of this integrative approach, both the key community members and the ecological functions concomitant with complete PCE degradation could be determined, including the presence and activity of microbial community members responsible for producing hydrogen and acetate, which are critical for Dehalococcoides-mediated PCE degradation. In addition, by correlation of chemical data and phylogenic microarray data, we identified several bacteria that could potentially oxidize hydrogen. These results demonstrate that PCE degradation is dependent on some microbial community members for production of appropriate metabolites, while other members of the community compete for hydrogen in soil at low redox potentials. PMID:24517489

  3. MICROBIAL SOURCE TRACKING: DIFFERENT USES AND APPROACHES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Microbial Source Tracking (MST) methods are used to determine the origin of fecal pollution impacting natural water systems. Several methods require the isolation of pure cultures in order to develop phenotypic or genotypic fingerprint libraries of both source and water bacterial...

  4. Microbial food safety - modeling and applications

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Microbial food safety is a key issue for the food processing industry, and enhancing food safety is everyone’s responsibility from food producers to consumers. Financial losses to the economy due to foodborne illness are in the billions of dollars, annually. Foodborne illness can be caused by patho...

  5. Microbial Stress Tolerance for Biofuels: Systems Biology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This book provides comprehensive up-to-date understanding and frontier research addressing mechanisms of microbial stress tolerance involved in biofuels using a systems biology approach. It ties closely with the cutting edge technology with a focus on the challenging subject of biofuels. The develo...

  6. Anticorrosive Microbial Polysaccharides: Structure-Function Relationships

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Water-soluble microbial polysaccharides are often implicated in biofilm formation and are believed to mediate cell-cell aggregation and adhesion to surfaces. Generally, biofilm formation is considered harmful or undesirable, as it leads to increased drag, plugging of pores, dimished heat transfer, ...

  7. Modeling and applications in microbial food safety

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mathematical modeling is a scientific and systematic approach to study and describe the recurrent events or phenomena with successful application track for decades. When models are properly developed and validated, their applications may save costs and time. For the microbial food safety concerns, ...

  8. Microbial Safety of Fresh Produce - Preface

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fresh produce has been the source of recent outbreaks of foodborne illness which have caused sickness, hospitalizations and deaths of consumers, as well as serious adverse economic impact on growers and processors. The preface for the book entitled “Microbial Safety of Fresh Produce” discusses possi...

  9. Using Omics to Study Microbial Water Quality

    EPA Science Inventory

    Water is one of the most important resources of all natural ecosystems. Not only is water important to life, but it is also a habitat for a large diversity of microbial forms, in many cases carrying critical geochemical functions. In other instances, water is implicated in outbre...

  10. Status of microbial control of house flies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    House flies are major pests of human and animal health throughout the world and are among the most difficult to control because of resistance to every insecticide that has been developed for their control. There are a variety of microbial agents available to manage flies, each with advantages and d...

  11. Phylogenetic & Physiological Profiling of Microbial Communities of Contaminated Soils/Sediments: Identifying Microbial consortia...

    SciTech Connect

    Terence L. Marsh

    2004-05-26

    The goals of this study were: (1) survey the microbial community in soil samples from a site contaminated with heavy metals using new rapid molecular techniques that are culture-independent; (2) identify phylogenetic signatures of microbial populations that correlate with metal ion contamination; and (3) cultivate these diagnostic strains using traditional as well as novel cultivation techniques in order to identify organisms that may be of value in site evaluation/management or bioremediation.

  12. Cross-Site Soil Microbial Communities under Tillage Regimes: Fungistasis and Microbial Biomarkers

    PubMed Central

    Yrjälä, Kim; Alakukku, Laura; Palojärvi, Ansa

    2012-01-01

    The exploitation of soil ecosystem services by agricultural management strategies requires knowledge of microbial communities in different management regimes. Crop cover by no-till management protects the soil surface, reducing the risk of erosion and nutrient leaching, but might increase straw residue-borne and soilborne plant-pathogenic fungi. A cross-site study of soil microbial communities and Fusarium fungistasis was conducted on six long-term agricultural fields with no-till and moldboard-plowed treatments. Microbial communities were studied at the topsoil surface (0 to 5 cm) and bottom (10 to 20 cm) by general bacterial and actinobacterial terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) and phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analyses. Fusarium culmorum soil fungistasis describing soil receptivity to plant-pathogenic fungi was explored by using the surface layer method. Soil depth had a significant impact on general bacterial as well as actinobacterial communities and PLFA profiles in no-till treatment, with a clear spatial distinction of communities (P < 0.05), whereas the depth-related separation of microbial communities was not observed in plowed fields. The fungal biomass was higher in no-till surface soil than in plowed soil (P < 0.07). Soil total microbial biomass and fungal biomass correlated with fungistasis (P < 0.02 for the sum of PLFAs; P < 0.001 for PLFA 18:2ω6). Our cross-site study demonstrated that agricultural management strategies can have a major impact on soil microbial community structures, indicating that it is possible to influence the soil processes with management decisions. The interactions between plant-pathogenic fungi and soil microbial communities are multifaceted, and a high level of fungistasis could be linked to the high microbial biomass in soil but not to the specific management strategy. PMID:22983972

  13. Kombucha tea fermentation: Microbial and biochemical dynamics.

    PubMed

    Chakravorty, Somnath; Bhattacharya, Semantee; Chatzinotas, Antonis; Chakraborty, Writachit; Bhattacharya, Debanjana; Gachhui, Ratan

    2016-03-01

    Kombucha tea, a non-alcoholic beverage, is acquiring significant interest due to its claimed beneficial properties. The microbial community of Kombucha tea consists of bacteria and yeast which thrive in two mutually non-exclusive compartments: the soup or the beverage and the biofilm floating on it. The microbial community and the biochemical properties of the beverage have so far mostly been described in separate studies. This, however, may prevent understanding the causal links between the microbial communities and the beneficial properties of Kombucha tea. Moreover, an extensive study into the microbial and biochemical dynamics has also been missing. In this study, we thus explored the structure and dynamics of the microbial community along with the biochemical properties of Kombucha tea at different time points up to 21 days of fermentation. We hypothesized that several biochemical properties will change during the course of fermentation along with the shifts in the yeast and bacterial communities. The yeast community of the biofilm did not show much variation over time and was dominated by Candida sp. (73.5-83%). The soup however, showed a significant shift in dominance from Candida sp. to Lachancea sp. on the 7th day of fermentation. This is the first report showing Candida as the most dominating yeast genus during Kombucha fermentation. Komagateibacter was identified as the single largest bacterial genus present in both the biofilm and the soup (~50%). The bacterial diversity was higher in the soup than in the biofilm with a peak on the seventh day of fermentation. The biochemical properties changed with the progression of the fermentation, i.e., beneficial properties of the beverage such as the radical scavenging ability increased significantly with a maximum increase at day 7. We further observed a significantly higher D-saccharic acid-1,4-lactone content and caffeine degradation property compared to previously described Kombucha tea fermentations. Our

  14. Countering the demand for, and supply of, illicit tobacco: an assessment of the ‘North of England Tackling Illicit Tobacco for Better Health’ Programme

    PubMed Central

    McNeill, Ann; Iringe-Koko, Belinda; Bains, Manpreet; Bauld, Linda; Siggens, Geoffrey; Russell, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Background Illicit tobacco (IT) undermines the effectiveness of tobacco control strategies. We assessed the implementation and impact of a new programme designed to reduce demand for, as well as supply of, IT, in the north of England, where IT was prevalent. Methods ‘Mixed methods’ research was undertaken. Qualitative methods included stakeholder interviews (at outset and 1 year later) and ethnographic research. Indicators reflecting those supply and demand issues for which data were available were identified and monitored, including relevant items on two cross-sectional surveys carried out in 2009 and 2011 with over 4000 individuals from which a social marketing campaign was also developed. IT reports to two existing hotlines, promoted through the programme, were assessed. Results Initially, concerns abounded about the different philosophies and ways of working of local and national enforcement and health agencies, but these were much reduced at follow-up. A protocol was developed which greatly facilitated the flow of intelligence about IT supply. A social marketing campaign was developed highlighting two messages: IT makes it easier for children to start smoking and brings crime into the community, thereby avoiding misleading messages about relative harms of illicit and licit tobacco. Public and stakeholder awareness of IT increased as did calls to both hotlines. Conclusions A partnership of agencies, with competing values, was established to tackle IT, a complex public health issue and, inter alia, implemented a social marketing campaign using novel messages. This improved the flow of intelligence about the supply of IT and increased awareness of IT. PMID:23958644

  15. Johan Mackenbach, awarded an honorary doctorate for his work on health inequalities, in a discussion of burning issues in tackling health inequalities.

    PubMed

    Lorant, Vincent; D'Hoore, William

    2015-01-01

    On 20 March 2015, Professor Johan Mackenbach of the Erasmus University Medical Centre was awarded a doctorate honoris causa by the Catholic University (Université Catholique) of Louvain, Belgium, for his outstanding contribution to the analysis of health inequalities in Europe and to the development of policies intended to address them. In this context, a debate took place between Professor Mackenbach, Professor Maniquet, a well-being economist, and a representative of the Federal Health Ministry (Mr. Brieuc Vandamme). They were asked to debate on three topics. (1) socio-economic inequalities in health are not smaller in countries with universal welfare policies; (2) Policies needs to target either absolute inequalities or relative inequalities; (3) The focus of policies should either address the social determinants of health or concentrate on access to health care. The results of the debate by the three speakers highlighted the fact that welfare systems have not been able to tackle diseases of affluence. Targets for health policies should be set according to opportunity cost: health care is increasingly costly and a focus on health inequalities above all other inequalities runs the risk of taking a dogmatic approach to well-being. Health is only one dimension of well-being and policies to address inequality need to balance preferences between several dimensions of well-being. Finally, policymakers may not have that much choice when it comes to reducing inequality: all effective policies should be implemented. For example, Belgium and other European countries should not leave aside health protection policies that are evidence-based, in particular taxes on tobacco and alcohol. In his final contribution, Professor Mackenbach reminded the audience that politics is medicine on a larger scale and stated that policymakers should make more use of research into public health. PMID:26475341

  16. Microbial Inoculants and Their Impact on Soil Microbial Communities: A Review

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    The knowledge of the survival of inoculated fungal and bacterial strains in field and the effects of their release on the indigenous microbial communities has been of great interest since the practical use of selected natural or genetically modified microorganisms has been developed. Soil inoculation or seed bacterization may lead to changes in the structure of the indigenous microbial communities, which is important with regard to the safety of introduction of microbes into the environment. Many reports indicate that application of microbial inoculants can influence, at least temporarily, the resident microbial communities. However, the major concern remains regarding how the impact on taxonomic groups can be related to effects on functional capabilities of the soil microbial communities. These changes could be the result of direct effects resulting from trophic competitions and antagonistic/synergic interactions with the resident microbial populations, or indirect effects mediated by enhanced root growth and exudation. Combination of inoculants will not necessarily produce an additive or synergic effect, but rather a competitive process. The extent of the inoculation impact on the subsequent crops in relation to the buffering capacity of the plant-soil-biota is still not well documented and should be the focus of future research. PMID:23957006

  17. Dynamics of an experimental microbial invasion

    PubMed Central

    Acosta, Francisco; Zamor, Richard M.; Najar, Fares Z.; Roe, Bruce A.; Hambright, K. David

    2015-01-01

    The ecological dynamics underlying species invasions have been a major focus of research in macroorganisms for the last five decades. However, we still know little about the processes behind invasion by unicellular organisms. To expand our knowledge of microbial invasions, we studied the roles of propagule pressure, nutrient supply, and biotic resistance in the invasion success of a freshwater invasive alga, Prymnesium parvum, using microcosms containing natural freshwater microbial assemblages. Microcosms were subjected to a factorial design with two levels of nutrient-induced diversity and three levels of propagule pressure, and incubated for 7 d, during which P. parvum densities and microbial community composition were tracked. Successful invasion occurred in microcosms receiving high propagule pressure whereas nutrients or community diversity played no role in invasion success. Invaded communities experienced distinctive changes in composition compared with communities where the invasion was unsuccessful. Successfully invaded microbial communities had an increased abundance of fungi and ciliates, and decreased abundances of diatoms and cercozoans. Many of these changes mirrored the microbial community changes detected during a natural P. parvum bloom in the source system. This role of propagule pressure is particularly relevant for P. parvum in the reservoir-dominated southern United States because this species can form large, sustained blooms that can generate intense propagule pressures for downstream sites. Human impact and global climate change are currently causing widespread environmental changes in most southern US freshwater systems that may facilitate P. parvum establishment and, when coupled with strong propagule pressure, could put many more systems at risk for invasion. PMID:26324928

  18. HIV Infection and Microbial Diversity in Saliva

    PubMed Central

    Saxena, Deepak; Chen, Zhou; Liu, Gaoxia; Abrams, Willam R.; Phelan, Joan A.; Norman, Robert G.; Fisch, Gene S.; Corby, Patricia M.; Dewhirst, Floyd; Paster, Bruce J.; Kokaras, Alexis S.; Malamud, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Limited information is available about the effects of HIV and subsequent antiretroviral treatment on host-microbe interactions. This study aimed to determine the salivary microbial composition for 10 HIV-seropositive subjects, before and 6 months after highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), compared with that for 10 HIV-seronegative subjects. A conventional culture and two culture-independent analyses were used and consistently demonstrated differences in microbial composition among the three sets of samples. HIV-positive subjects had higher levels of total cultivable microbes, including oral streptococci, lactobacilli, Streptococcus mutans, and Candida, in saliva than did HIV-negative subjects. The total cultivable microbial levels were significantly correlated with CD4+ T cell counts. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), which compared the overall microbial profiles, showed distinct fingerprinting profiles for each group. The human oral microbe identification microarray (HOMIM) assay, which compared the 16S rRNA genes, showed clear separation among the three sample groups. Veillonella, Synergistetes, and Streptococcus were present in all 30 saliva samples. Only minor changes or no changes in the prevalence of Neisseria, Haemophilus, Gemella, Leptotrichia, Solobacterium, Parvimonas, and Rothia were observed. Seven genera, Capnocytophaga, Slackia, Porphyromonas, Kingella, Peptostreptococcaceae, Lactobacillus, and Atopobium, were detected only in HIV-negative samples. The prevalences of Fusobacterium, Campylobacter, Prevotella, Capnocytophaga, Selenomonas, Actinomyces, Granulicatella, and Atopobium were increased after HAART. In contrast, the prevalence of Aggregatibacter was significantly decreased after HAART. The findings of this study suggest that HIV infection and HAART can have significant effects on salivary microbial colonization and composition. PMID:24523469

  19. HIV infection and microbial diversity in saliva.

    PubMed

    Li, Yihong; Saxena, Deepak; Chen, Zhou; Liu, Gaoxia; Abrams, Willam R; Phelan, Joan A; Norman, Robert G; Fisch, Gene S; Corby, Patricia M; Dewhirst, Floyd; Paster, Bruce J; Kokaras, Alexis S; Malamud, Daniel

    2014-05-01

    Limited information is available about the effects of HIV and subsequent antiretroviral treatment on host-microbe interactions. This study aimed to determine the salivary microbial composition for 10 HIV-seropositive subjects, before and 6 months after highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), compared with that for 10 HIV-seronegative subjects. A conventional culture and two culture-independent analyses were used and consistently demonstrated differences in microbial composition among the three sets of samples. HIV-positive subjects had higher levels of total cultivable microbes, including oral streptococci, lactobacilli, Streptococcus mutans, and Candida, in saliva than did HIV-negative subjects. The total cultivable microbial levels were significantly correlated with CD4+ T cell counts. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), which compared the overall microbial profiles, showed distinct fingerprinting profiles for each group. The human oral microbe identification microarray (HOMIM) assay, which compared the 16S rRNA genes, showed clear separation among the three sample groups. Veillonella, Synergistetes, and Streptococcus were present in all 30 saliva samples. Only minor changes or no changes in the prevalence of Neisseria, Haemophilus, Gemella, Leptotrichia, Solobacterium, Parvimonas, and Rothia were observed. Seven genera, Capnocytophaga, Slackia, Porphyromonas, Kingella, Peptostreptococcaceae, Lactobacillus, and Atopobium, were detected only in HIV-negative samples. The prevalences of Fusobacterium, Campylobacter, Prevotella, Capnocytophaga, Selenomonas, Actinomyces, Granulicatella, and Atopobium were increased after HAART. In contrast, the prevalence of Aggregatibacter was significantly decreased after HAART. The findings of this study suggest that HIV infection and HAART can have significant effects on salivary microbial colonization and composition. PMID:24523469

  20. High-resolution phylogenetic microbial community profiling

    SciTech Connect

    Singer, Esther; Coleman-Derr, Devin; Bowman, Brett; Schwientek, Patrick; Clum, Alicia; Copeland, Alex; Ciobanu, Doina; Cheng, Jan-Fang; Gies, Esther; Hallam, Steve; Tringe, Susannah; Woyke, Tanja

    2014-03-17

    The representation of bacterial and archaeal genome sequences is strongly biased towards cultivated organisms, which belong to merely four phylogenetic groups. Functional information and inter-phylum level relationships are still largely underexplored for candidate phyla, which are often referred to as microbial dark matter. Furthermore, a large portion of the 16S rRNA gene records in the GenBank database are labeled as environmental samples and unclassified, which is in part due to low read accuracy, potential chimeric sequences produced during PCR amplifications and the low resolution of short amplicons. In order to improve the phylogenetic classification of novel species and advance our knowledge of the ecosystem function of uncultivated microorganisms, high-throughput full length 16S rRNA gene sequencing methodologies with reduced biases are needed. We evaluated the performance of PacBio single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing in high-resolution phylogenetic microbial community profiling. For this purpose, we compared PacBio and Illumina metagenomic shotgun and 16S rRNA gene sequencing of a mock community as well as of an environmental sample from Sakinaw Lake, British Columbia. Sakinaw Lake is known to contain a large age of microbial species from candidate phyla. Sequencing results show that community structure based on PacBio shotgun and 16S rRNA gene sequences is highly similar in both the mock and the environmental communities. Resolution power and community representation accuracy from SMRT sequencing data appeared to be independent of GC content of microbial genomes and was higher when compared to Illumina-based metagenome shotgun and 16S rRNA gene (iTag) sequences, e.g. full-length sequencing resolved all 23 OTUs in the mock community, while iTags did not resolve closely related species. SMRT sequencing hence offers various potential benefits when characterizing uncharted microbial communities.