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Sample records for microbial janitors tackle

  1. Nasal Staphylococcus aureus and Methicillin-Resistant S. aureus Carriage among Janitors Working in Hospitals in Northern Taiwan

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Yhu-Chering

    2015-01-01

    Background Staphylococcus aureus is an important cause of infection, and brings additional concern with methicillin resistance. In addition, nasal methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonization rates among health care workers are higher than that for general population. To determine the prevalence rate and risk factors for the colonization of S. aureus, including MRSA, among janitors working in hospitals in northern Taiwan, we conducted this study. Methods Between June and August, 2014, a total of 186 janitors, 111 working in hospitals and 75 working in non-medical institutions, were recruited. Specimens were obtained from the nares of the subjects for the detection of S. aureus, with a questionnaire completed for each subject. All the S. aureus isolates, including MRSA and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA), were further molecularly characterized. Results The nasal carriage rate of S. aureus was 15.3% for hospital janitors and 13.3% for non-medical janitors. The carriage rate of MRSA was 3.6% for hospital janitors and 1.3% for non-medical janitors. No statistically significant difference was found in the nasal carriage rate of S. aureus (p = 0.707) and MRSA (p = 0.65) between hospital janitors and non-medical janitors. Hospital janitors working in hospital more than 6 years and cleaning microbiologic laboratories were significantly associated with nasal S. aureus colonization. All 5 MRSA isolates carried either staphylococcal cassette chromosome type IV or V and three of them belonged to sequence type (ST) 59, the community clone prevailing in Taiwan. Of the 22 MSSA isolates, six pulsotypes were identified, with one major type for 14 isolates (shared by five STs) and another type for 4 isolates (all belonged to ST 188). Conclusion Exposure to the hospital environment may not increase the nasal carriage rate of S. aureus, including MRSA, among janitors in hospitals in Taiwan. However, for janitors in the hospital setting, working for more

  2. 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…

  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.

  4. Tackling antibiotic resistance.

    PubMed

    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

    2011-11-02

    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 it must be tackled in the most effective ways possible. To explore how the problem of antibiotic resistance might best be addressed, a group of 30 scientists from academia and industry gathered at the Banbury Conference Centre in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, USA, from 16 to 18 May 2011. From these discussions there emerged a priority list of steps that need to be taken to resolve this global crisis.

  5. 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

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Tackling inequalities in health: the Australian experience.

    PubMed

    Whitehead, M; Judge, K; Hunter, D J; Maxwell, R; Scheuer, M A

    1993-03-20

    Federal and state governments in Australia have embarked on a series of national initiatives which show a firm commitment to tackling social inequalities in health. The development of national goals and targets for health, for example, covers social and environmental conditions and sets differential targets for specific social groups with very poor health status. In a complementary initiative, a wide ranging analysis of the health care system--the National Health Strategy--has as one of its main objectives to improve the equitable impact of the health system. Where problems of access to and quality of services have been exposed, policies have been devised to deal with them. The exceptionally poor health of the Aboriginal community has elicited cross party support for action. Resources have been allocated to implement the National Aboriginal Health Strategy: to improve living and working conditions, education, and employment opportunities. Britain can glean much from the Australian experience. PMID:8490345

  11. 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)

  12. Tackling health inequalities: moving theory to action

    PubMed Central

    Signal, Louise; Martin, Jennifer; Reid, Papaarangi; Carroll, Christopher; Howden-Chapman, Philippa; Ormsby, Vera Keefe; Richards, Ruth; Robson, Bridget; Wall, Teresa

    2007-01-01

    Background This paper reports on health inequalities awareness-raising workshops conducted with senior New Zealand health sector staff as part of the Government's goal of reducing inequalities in health, education, employment and housing. Methods The workshops were based on a multi-method needs assessment with senior staff in key health institutions. The workshops aimed to increase the knowledge and skills of health sector staff to act on, and advocate for, eliminating inequalities in health. They were practical, evidence-based, and action oriented and took a social approach to the causes of inequalities in health. The workshops used ethnicity as a case study and explored racism as a driver of inequalities. They focused on the role of institutionalized racism, or racism that is built into health sector institutions. Institutional theory provided a framework for participants to analyse how their institutions create and maintain inequalities and how they can act to change this. Results Participants identified a range of institutional mechanisms that promote inequalities and a range of ways to address them including: undertaking further training, using Māori (the indigenous people) models of health in policy-making, increasing Māori participation and partnership in decision making, strengthening sector relationships with iwi (tribes), funding and supporting services provided 'by Māori for Māori', ensuring a strategic approach to intersectoral work, encouraging stronger community involvement in the work of the institution, requiring all evaluations to assess impact on inequalities, and requiring the sector to report on progress in addressing health inequalities. The workshops were rated highly by participants, who indicated increased commitment to tackle inequalities as a result of the training. Discussion Government and sector leadership were critical to the success of the workshops and subsequent changes in policy and practice. The use of locally adapted equity

  13. 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

  14. 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 ...

  15. Momentum and kinetic energy before the tackle in rugby union.

    PubMed

    Hendricks, Sharief; Karpul, David; Lambert, Mike

    2014-09-01

    Understanding the physical demands of a tackle in match situations is important for safe and effective training, developing equipment and research. Physical components such as momentum and kinetic energy, and it relationship to tackle outcome is not known. The aim of this study was to compare momenta between ball-carrier and tackler, level of play (elite, university and junior) and position (forwards vs. backs), and describe the relationship between ball-carrier and tackler mass, velocity and momentum and the tackle outcome. Also, report on the ball-carrier and tackler kinetic energy before contact and the estimated magnitude of impact (energy distributed between ball-carrier and tackler upon contact). Velocity over 0.5 seconds before contact was determined using a 2-dimensional scaled version of the field generated from a computer alogorithm. Body masses of players were obtained from their player profiles. Momentum and kinetic energy were subsequently calculated for 60 tackle events. Ball-carriers were heavier than the tacklers (ball-carrier 100 ± 14 kg vs. tackler 93 ± 11 kg, d = 0.52, p = 0.0041, n = 60). Ball-carriers as forwards had a significantly higher momentum than backs (forwards 563 ± 226 Kg(.)m(.)s(-1) n = 31 vs. backs 438 ± 135 Kg(.)m(.)s(-1), d = 0.63, p = 0.0012, n = 29). Tacklers dominated 57% of tackles and ball-carriers dominated 43% of tackles. Despite the ball-carrier having a mass advantage before contact more frequently than the tackler, momentum advantage and tackle dominance between the ball-carrier and tackler was proportionally similar. These findings may reflect a characteristic of the modern game of rugby where efficiently heavier players (particularly forwards) are tactically predetermined to carry the ball in contact. Key PointsFirst study to quantify momentum, kinetic energy, and magnitude of impact in rugby tackles across different levels in matches without a device attached to a player.Physical components alone, of either ball

  16. Momentum and Kinetic Energy Before the Tackle in Rugby Union

    PubMed Central

    Hendricks, Sharief; Karpul, David; Lambert, Mike

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the physical demands of a tackle in match situations is important for safe and effective training, developing equipment and research. Physical components such as momentum and kinetic energy, and it relationship to tackle outcome is not known. The aim of this study was to compare momenta between ball-carrier and tackler, level of play (elite, university and junior) and position (forwards vs. backs), and describe the relationship between ball-carrier and tackler mass, velocity and momentum and the tackle outcome. Also, report on the ball-carrier and tackler kinetic energy before contact and the estimated magnitude of impact (energy distributed between ball-carrier and tackler upon contact). Velocity over 0.5 seconds before contact was determined using a 2-dimensional scaled version of the field generated from a computer alogorithm. Body masses of players were obtained from their player profiles. Momentum and kinetic energy were subsequently calculated for 60 tackle events. Ball-carriers were heavier than the tacklers (ball-carrier 100 ± 14 kg vs. tackler 93 ± 11 kg, d = 0.52, p = 0.0041, n = 60). Ball-carriers as forwards had a significantly higher momentum than backs (forwards 563 ± 226 Kg.m.s-1 n = 31 vs. backs 438 ± 135 Kg.m.s-1, d = 0.63, p = 0.0012, n = 29). Tacklers dominated 57% of tackles and ball-carriers dominated 43% of tackles. Despite the ball-carrier having a mass advantage before contact more frequently than the tackler, momentum advantage and tackle dominance between the ball-carrier and tackler was proportionally similar. These findings may reflect a characteristic of the modern game of rugby where efficiently heavier players (particularly forwards) are tactically predetermined to carry the ball in contact. Key Points First study to quantify momentum, kinetic energy, and magnitude of impact in rugby tackles across different levels in matches without a device attached to a player. Physical components alone, of either ball-carrier or

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. Sharon F. Clackum: tackling down-to-earth Priorities.

    PubMed

    Bloom, Marlene Z

    2014-11-01

    Sharon F. Clackum, incoming 2014-2015 ASCP president, will be tackling the down-to-earth priorities facing consultant pharmacists every day: improving medication therapy for older adults, increasing public awareness of the services they provide, and achieving recognition by Medicare as health professionals who need to be paid.

  1. Nature of tackles that result in injury in professional rugby league.

    PubMed

    King, Doug; Hume, Patria A; Clark, Trevor

    2012-04-01

    A total of 31,655 tackles in 48 professional rugby league matches were coded from video for height and direction of tackle on the ball carrier. Injuries were recorded by team medical staff for injury date, time, site, type, mechanism, severity, and player position. Tackle-related injuries were most frequently the result of two tacklers being involved in tackling the ball carrier from the side at shoulder or midtorso body levels. The ball carrier had a higher injury rate when tackled from behind his visual field at shoulder height and in the fourth quarter of matches. Tacklers had a higher risk of injury when tackling from the side of the ball carrier, as the first tackler, and in the third quarter of matches. Coaches should focus on practicing correct technique during tackling with two or more tacklers and when tackling in the ball carrier's blind vision area. PMID:22458826

  2. 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.

  3. Report asks service providers to help tackle HIV violence.

    PubMed

    1996-05-01

    A report issued by the Anti-Violence Project and the National Association of People with AIDS recommends that AIDS service providers (legal, social, and medical) take the lead in tackling HIV-related violence. More than one in five HIV-positive people say they have been the target of assault, harassment, or intimidation because of their infection. Service providers are urged to break through the silence by acknowledging their client's concerns and offering assistance through local anti-violence programs. The report also recommends imposing harsher penalties on hate crimes aimed at people with disabilities, including HIV. A separate report found that most HIV-related violence goes unreported.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. [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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. An investigation of shoulder forces in active shoulder tackles in rugby union football.

    PubMed

    Usman, Juliana; McIntosh, Andrew S; Fréchède, Bertrand

    2011-11-01

    In rugby union football the tackle is the most frequently executed skill and one most associated with injury, including shoulder injury to the tackler. Despite the importance of the tackle, little is known about the magnitude of shoulder forces in the tackle and influencing factors. The objectives of the study were to measure the shoulder force in the tackle, as well as the effects of shoulder padding, skill level, side of body, player size, and experimental setting on shoulder force. Experiments were conducted in laboratory and field settings using a repeated measures design. Thirty-five participants were recruited to the laboratory and 98 to the field setting. All were male aged over 18 years with rugby experience. The maximum force applied to the shoulder in an active shoulder tackle was measured with a custom built forceplate incorporated into a 45 kg tackle bag. The overall average maximum shoulder force was 1660 N in the laboratory and 1997 N in the field. This difference was significant. The shoulder force for tackling without shoulder pads was 1684 N compared to 1635 N with shoulder pads. There was no difference between the shoulder forces on the dominant and non-dominant sides. Shoulder force reduced with tackle repetition. No relationship was observed between player skill level and size. A substantial force can be applied to the shoulder and to an opponent in the tackle. This force is within the shoulder's injury tolerance range and is unaffected by shoulder pads.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Views on alternative forums for effectively tackling climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hjerpe, Mattias; Nasiritousi, Naghmeh

    2015-09-01

    This year (2015) marks the 21st formal anniversary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and in December a new climate treaty is expected to be reached. Yet, the UNFCCC has not been successful in setting the world on a path to meet a target to prevent temperatures rising by more than 2 °C above pre-industrial levels. Meanwhile, other forums, such as the G20 and subnational forums, have increasingly become sites of climate change initiatives. There has, however, so far been no systematic evaluation of what forums climate change policymakers and practitioners perceive to be needed to effectively tackle climate change. Drawing on survey data from two recent UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP), we show that there exists an overall preference for state-led, multilateral forums. However, preferences starkly diverge between respondents from different geographical regions and no clear alternative to the UNFCCC emerges. Our results highlight difficulties in coordinating global climate policy in a highly fragmented governance landscape.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Wind Turbine Failures - Tackling current Problems in Failure Data Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reder, M. D.; Gonzalez, E.; Melero, J. J.

    2016-09-01

    The wind industry has been growing significantly over the past decades, resulting in a remarkable increase in installed wind power capacity. Turbine technologies are rapidly evolving in terms of complexity and size, and there is an urgent need for cost effective operation and maintenance (O&M) strategies. Especially unplanned downtime represents one of the main cost drivers of a modern wind farm. Here, reliability and failure prediction models can enable operators to apply preventive O&M strategies rather than corrective actions. In order to develop these models, the failure rates and downtimes of wind turbine (WT) components have to be understood profoundly. This paper is focused on tackling three of the main issues related to WT failure analyses. These are, the non-uniform data treatment, the scarcity of available failure analyses, and the lack of investigation on alternative data sources. For this, a modernised form of an existing WT taxonomy is introduced. Additionally, an extensive analysis of historical failure and downtime data of more than 4300 turbines is presented. Finally, the possibilities to encounter the lack of available failure data by complementing historical databases with Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) alarms are evaluated.

  18. 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.

  19. Physiological and anthropometric correlates of tackling ability in junior elite and subelite rugby league players.

    PubMed

    Gabbett, Tim J; Jenkins, David G; Abernethy, Bruce

    2010-11-01

    This study investigated the tackling ability of junior elite and subelite rugby league players, and determined the relationship between selected physiological and anthropometric characteristics and tackling ability in these athletes. Twenty-eight junior elite (mean ± SD age, 16.0 ± 0.2 years) and 13 junior subelite (mean ± SD age, 15.9 ± 0.6 years) rugby league players underwent a standardized 1-on-1 tackling drill in a 10-m grid. Video footage was taken from the rear, side, and front of the defending player. Tackling proficiency was assessed using standardized technical criteria. In addition, all players underwent measurements of standard anthropometry (stature, body mass, and sum of 7 skinfolds), acceleration (10-m sprint), change of direction speed (505 test), and lower body muscular power (vertical jump). Junior elite players had significantly greater (p < 0.05) tackling proficiency than junior subelite players (65.7 ± 12.5 vs. 54.3 ± 16.8%). Junior elite players tended to be taller, heavier, leaner, and have greater acceleration, change of direction speed, and muscular power, than the junior subelite players. The strongest individual correlates of tackling ability were acceleration (r = 0.60, p < 0.001) and lower body muscular power (r = 0.38, p < 0.05). When multiple linear regression analysis was performed to determine which of the physiological and anthropometric characteristics predicted tackling ability, fast acceleration was the only variable that contributed significantly (r2 = 0.24, p < 0.01) to the predictive model. These findings demonstrate that fast acceleration, and to a lesser extent, lower body muscular power contribute to effective tackling ability in junior rugby league players. From a practical perspective, strength and conditioning coaches should emphasize the development of acceleration and lower body muscular power qualities to improve tackling ability in junior rugby league players.

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

    ScienceCinema

    Moose, Steve

    2016-07-12

    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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Electromyographic Study of Neck Muscle Activity According to Head Position in Rugby Tackles

    PubMed Central

    Morimoto, Koji; Sakamoto, Masaaki; Fukuhara, Takashi; Kato, Kazuo

    2013-01-01

    [Purpose] This study examined differences in neck muscle activity in two different head positions during tackles with the aim of contributing to the prevention of sports injuries. [Subjects] The subjects were 28 male high-school rugby players. [Methods] Two tackle positions were considered: a head-up position and a head-down position. Muscle activities of the sternocleidomastoid muscles and the upper, middle, and lower parts of the trapezius muscles were measured. [Results] Muscle activities of the sternocleidomastoid muscles and the right upper trapezius muscle were significantly increased in the head-up position, and the activity of the lower trapezius was significantly increased in the head-down position. [Conclusion] Tackling with the head-up position increases neck muscle activity and stability of the head and the neck. PMID:24259802

  5. Microbial xanthophylls.

    PubMed

    Bhosale, Prakash; Bernstein, Paul S

    2005-09-01

    Xanthophylls are oxygenated carotenoids abundant in the human food supply. Lutein, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthin are major xanthophyll carotenoids in human plasma. The consumption of these xanthophylls is directly associated with reduction in the risk of cancers, cardiovascular disease, age-related macular degeneration, and cataract formation. Canthaxanthin and astaxanthin also have considerable importance in aquaculture for salmonid and crustacean pigmentation, and are of commercial interest for the pharmaceutical and food industries. Chemical synthesis is a major source for the heavy demand of xanthophylls in the consumer market; however, microbial producers also have potential as commercial sources. In this review, we discuss the biosynthesis, commercial utility, and major microbial sources of xanthophylls. We also present a critical review of current research and technologies involved in promoting microbes as potential commercial sources for mass production.

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. Microbial metropolis.

    PubMed

    Wimpenny, Julian

    2009-01-01

    Microorganisms can form tightly knit communities such as biofilms. Many others include marine snow, anaerobic digester granules, the ginger beer plant and bacterial colonies. This chapter is devoted to a survey of the main properties of these communities, with an emphasis on biofilms. We start with attachment to surfaces and the nature of adhesion. The growing community then forms within a matrix, generally of organic macromolecules. Inevitably the environment within such a matrix is different from that outside. Organisms respond by forming crowd-detection and response units; these quorum sensing systems act as switches between planktonic life and the dramatically altered conditions found inside microbial aggregates. The community then matures and changes and may even fail and disappear. Antimicrobial resistance is discussed as an example of multicellular behavior. The multicellular lifestyle has been modeled mathematically and responded to powerful molecular biological techniques. Latterly, microbial systems have been used as models for fundamental evolutionary processes, mostly because of their high rates of reproduction and the ease of genetic manipulation. The life of most microbes is a duality between the yin of the community and the yang of planktonic existence. Sadly far less research has been devoted to adaptation to free-living forms than in the opposite direction. PMID:20943124

  13. 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.…

  14. 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…

  15. Microbial responses to southward and northward Cambisol soil transplant.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Microfluidics and microbial engineering.

    PubMed

    Kou, Songzi; Cheng, Danhui; Sun, Fei; Hsing, I-Ming

    2016-02-01

    The combination of microbial engineering and microfluidics is synergistic in nature. For example, microfluidics is benefiting from the outcome of microbial engineering and many reported point-of-care microfluidic devices employ engineered microbes as functional parts for the microsystems. In addition, microbial engineering is facilitated by various microfluidic techniques, due to their inherent strength in high-throughput screening and miniaturization. In this review article, we firstly examine the applications of engineered microbes for toxicity detection, biosensing, and motion generation in microfluidic platforms. Secondly, we look into how microfluidic technologies facilitate the upstream and downstream processes of microbial engineering, including DNA recombination, transformation, target microbe selection, mutant characterization, and microbial function analysis. Thirdly, we highlight an emerging concept in microbial engineering, namely, microbial consortium engineering, where the behavior of a multicultural microbial community rather than that of a single cell/species is delineated. Integrating the disciplines of microfluidics and microbial engineering opens up many new opportunities, for example in diagnostics, engineering of microbial motors, development of portable devices for genetics, high throughput characterization of genetic mutants, isolation and identification of rare/unculturable microbial species, single-cell analysis with high spatio-temporal resolution, and exploration of natural microbial communities.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Waste collection in developing countries--tackling occupational safety and health hazards at their source.

    PubMed

    Bleck, Daniela; Wettberg, Wieland

    2012-11-01

    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. PMID:22552042

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  5. 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.

  6. Improving psychosexual knowledge in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder: pilot of the tackling teenage training program.

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    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 evaluated whether psychosexual knowledge increased after taking part in the TTT program, using a pre- and post-training design in 30 adolescents with ASD (77 % male, mean age = 14.80 years, mean intelligence = 96.96). Psychosexual knowledge increased significantly (pre-training total score: M = 25.74, SD = 6.20; post-training total score: M = 33.52 (SD = 2.78); F(1,29) = 65.20, p < .001). The TTT program may be useful to improve psychosexual knowledge and functioning in adolescents with ASD, yet these findings are preliminary, and a more elaborate controlled trial is needed.

  7. Jejunal tackle: a case report of complete jejunal transection in rugby union.

    PubMed

    Perry, William; Fischer, Jesse; Wakeman, Christopher

    2014-09-01

    Jejunal perforation as a result of blunt abdominal trauma during sport is particularly rare. We are aware of 6 reported cases of jejunal perforation in sport: 1 in hockey, 2 in football (soccer), and 3 in American football. This report presents the case of a 25-year-old professional rugby union player, who presented to an "After Hours" general practice clinic with increasing central abdominal and epigastric pain after a heavy tackle during an international match in New Zealand. Despite suffering complete jejunal transection, the patient continued to play on, only presenting to an After Hours general practice clinic 3 hours after the injury. The case demonstrates the remarkable physiological resilience of professional rugby players and acts as a reminder to maintain a high degree of suspicion for small bowel injury despite normal vital signs in healthy young patients with abdominal pain secondary to blunt trauma.

  8. Waste collection in developing countries--tackling occupational safety and health hazards at their source.

    PubMed

    Bleck, Daniela; Wettberg, Wieland

    2012-11-01

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Practitioner perspectives on tackling health inequalities: findings from an evaluation of healthy living centres in Scotland.

    PubMed

    Rankin, David; Backett-Milburn, Kathryn; Platt, Stephen

    2009-03-01

    Little is known about how health practitioners tasked with tackling health inequalities account for their own programmes and actions. This paper attempts to address this gap by drawing on data collected in the course of an evaluation of the Healthy Living Centre (HLC) programme, which was designed to address the wider determinants of health, in particular social exclusion and socioeconomic disadvantage, through targeting services at the most deprived local communities. Six Scottish HLC case studies explored in depth how HLC practitioners conceptualised 'health inequalities' and applied the construct to legitimate their public health and health improvement work. Practitioners drew on multiple explanations of health inequalities, sought to apply holistic approaches to service provision, and developed activities that took account of classed practices intended to overcome class-related disempowerment and stigma. They discussed the challenges of positioning services to appeal to and reach target groups and the difficulties in assessing the impact of their work on reducing health inequalities. Responses to tackling inequalities were variable across time and between HLCs, resulting from uneven learning about target groups and their changing needs, an evolving policy agenda and consideration given to the longer-term sustainability of HLC sites. Although practitioners' work to address health inequalities was limited by the programme's focus on working with disadvantaged groups, findings illustrate how classed practices are linked to the challenges of attracting and successfully engaging with such groups. Practitioner accounts highlighted the importance of gaining acceptance to overcome barriers to engagement with disadvantaged communities, the time required to achieve a satisfactory level of engagement, the proximity of service providers to clients and the adaptability of services necessary to address evolving needs.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. Why Microbial Communities?

    ScienceCinema

    Fredrickson, Jim (PNNL)

    2016-07-12

    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.

  15. Our unique microbial identity.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Jack A

    2015-05-14

    A recent article examines the extent of individual variation in microbial identities and how this might determine disease susceptibility, therapeutic responses and recovery from clinical interventions.

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. [Social and organizational innovation to tackle the challenge of integrated care of the chronically ill].

    PubMed

    Nuño-Solinís, Roberto

    2014-01-01

    The increase in life expectancy, coupled with other factors, has led to an increase in the prevalence of chronic diseases and multiple morbidity. This has led to the need to develop new health and social care models, which will allow managing these efficiently and in a sustainable manner. In particular, there seems to be consensus on the need to move towards integrated, patient-centered, and more proactive care. Thus, in recent years, chronic care models have been developed at international, national and regional level, as well as introducing strategies to tackle the challenge of chronic illness. However, the implementation of actions facilitating the change towards this new model of care does not seem to be an easy task. This paper presents some of the strategic lines and initiatives carried out by the Department of Health of the Basque Government. These actions can be described within a social and organizational innovation framework, as a means for effective implementation of interventions and strategies that shape the model required for the improved care of chronic illnesses within a universal and tax-funded health system.

  7. Tackling of unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, and obesity: health effects and cost-effectiveness.

    PubMed

    Cecchini, Michele; Sassi, Franco; Lauer, Jeremy A; Lee, Yong Y; Guajardo-Barron, Veronica; Chisholm, Daniel

    2010-11-20

    The obesity epidemic is spreading to low-income and middle-income countries as a result of new dietary habits and sedentary ways of life, fuelling chronic diseases and premature mortality. In this report we present an assessment of public health strategies designed to tackle behavioural risk factors for chronic diseases that are closely linked with obesity, including aspects of diet and physical inactivity, in Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Russia, and South Africa. England was included for comparative purposes. Several population-based prevention policies can be expected to generate substantial health gains while entirely or largely paying for themselves through future reductions of health-care expenditures. These strategies include health information and communication strategies that improve population awareness about the benefits of healthy eating and physical activity; fiscal measures that increase the price of unhealthy food content or reduce the cost of healthy foods rich in fibre; and regulatory measures that improve nutritional information or restrict the marketing of unhealthy foods to children. A package of measures for the prevention of chronic diseases would deliver substantial health gains, with a very favourable cost-effectiveness profile.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Microbial Source Tracking

    EPA Science Inventory

    Bacterial indicators of fecal contamination provide the basis for assessing the microbial quality of environmental waters. While the indicator concept has overall helped reduce waterborne outbreaks in recreational waters, the public health value of currently used indicator bacter...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Tackling the stacking disorder of melon--structure elucidation in a semicrystalline material.

    PubMed

    Seyfarth, Lena; Seyfarth, Jan; Lotsch, Bettina V; Schnick, Wolfgang; Senker, Jürgen

    2010-03-01

    In this work we tackle the stacking disorder of melon, a layered carbon imide amide polymer with the ideal composition (C(6)N(7)(NH)(NH(2))). Although its existence has been postulated since 1834 the structure of individual melon layers could only recently be solved via electron diffraction and high-resolution (15)N solid-state NMR spectroscopy. With only weak van der Waals interactions between neighboring layers its long range stacking order is poorly defined preventing an efficient use of diffraction techniques. We, therefore, rely on a combination of solid-state NMR experiments and force field calculations. The key information is obtained based on heteronuclear ((1)H-(13)C) and homonuclear ((1)H-(1)H) second moments M(2) acquired from (1)H-(13)C cross polarization experiments. To allow for an interpretation of the polarization transfer rates the resonances in the (13)C MAS spectra have to be assigned and the hydrogen atoms have to be located. The assignment was performed using a two-dimensional (15)N-(13)C iDCP experiment. For the determination of the position of the hydrogen atoms NH and HH distances were measured via(1)H-(15)N Lee-Goldburg CP and (1)H-(1)H double-quantum build-up curves, respectively. Furthermore, the homogeneity of the material under examination was investigated exploiting (15)N spin-diffusion. Based on force field methods 256 structure models with varying lateral arrangements between neighboring layers were created. For each model the M(2) were calculated allowing them to be ranked by comparing calculated and measured M(2) as well as via their force field energies. This allows the creation of markedly structured hypersurfaces with two distinctly favored shift vectors for the displacement of neighboring layers. PMID:20165772

  15. OpenMinds: creating a mental health workshop for teenagers to tackle stigma and raise awareness.

    PubMed

    Jones, Sammy; Sinha, Kathryn; Swinton, Martin; Millar, Christina; Rayment, Dane; Simmons, Meinou

    2011-09-01

    As a group of four clinical medical students from Cambridge University, we undertook a Student Selected Module (SSC- "OpenMinds") whereby we designed and delivered a workshop about mental health to year 9 pupils. The aim of our SSC was to produce an interactive, informative lesson which addressed the complex issues of stigma and discrimination against those suffering from a mental illness as well as teaching the pupils how to recognise mental health problems and provide them with guidance on how to seek help. We split a fifty minute session into the following sections: tackling stigma; how common mental illness is; celebrity examples; real life examples; role play; and small group work. To engage the pupils we used a combination of teaching modalities targeting all learning. We delivered the workshop to four separate classes and received feedback from the pupils after each. We used this feedback to adapt and improve our presentation and assess the efficacy. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive with the striking results of 101/109 pupils saying that they would recommend the workshop to a friend and 68/109 pupils saying they enjoyed all aspects. Our SSC built upon work by a contingent of trainee Psychiatrists who undertook a similar project of mental health education for teenagers, called "Heads above the rest", in Northern Ireland with great success. By continuing their work we were able to demonstrate that medical students can successfully complete the same project under the guidance of a Psychiatrist, thus increasing the sustainability of the project by reducing the time burden on the Psychiatrists. Participating in the project was also valuable to our own personal development of teaching skills. PMID:21894106

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Microbial reduction of uranium

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lovley, D.R.; Phillips, E.J.P.; Gorby, Y.A.; Landa, E.R.

    1991-01-01

    REDUCTION of the soluble, oxidized form of uranium, U(VI), to insoluble U(IV) is an important mechanism for the immobilization of uranium in aquatic sediments and for the formation of some uranium ores1-10. U(VI) reduction has generally been regarded as an abiological reaction in which sulphide, molecular hydrogen or organic compounds function as the reductant1,2,5,11. Microbial involvement in U(VI) reduction has been considered to be limited to indirect effects, such as microbial metabolism providing the reduced compounds for abiological U(VI) reduction and microbial cell walls providing a surface to stimulate abiological U(VI) reduction1,12,13. We report here, however, that dissimilatory Fe(III)-reducing microorganisms can obtain energy for growth by electron transport to U(VI). This novel form of microbial metabolism can be much faster than commonly cited abiological mechanisms for U(VI) reduction. Not only do these findings expand the known potential terminal electron acceptors for microbial energy transduction, they offer a likely explanation for the deposition of uranium in aquatic sediments and aquifers, and suggest a method for biological remediation of environments contaminated with uranium.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Microbial ultraviolet sunscreens.

    PubMed

    Gao, Qunjie; Garcia-Pichel, Ferran

    2011-11-01

    Exposure to the shortest wavelengths in sunlight, ultraviolet light, constitutes a deleterious ecological factor for many microorganisms. The use of secondary metabolites as sunscreens has emerged as an important photoprotective mechanism in certain groups of large-celled microorganisms, such as cyanobacteria, fungi and many protists. In this Review, we describe our current understanding of microbial 'sunscreen' compounds, including scytonemin, the mycosporines and the naphthalene-based melanins. Study of these sunscreens has led to the discovery of new classes of compounds, new metabolic pathways, a deeper understanding of microbial photobiology and the potential for dermatological or biomedical applications.

  5. 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....

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Microbial Energy Conversion

    SciTech Connect

    Buckley, Merry; Wall, Judy D.

    2006-10-01

    The American Academy of Microbiology convened a colloquium March 10-12, 2006, in San Francisco, California, to discuss the production of energy fuels by microbial conversions. The status of research into various microbial energy technologies, the advantages and disadvantages of each of these approaches, research needs in the field, and education and training issues were examined, with the goal of identifying routes for producing biofuels that would both decrease the need for fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, the choices for providing energy are limited. Policy makers and the research community must begin to pursue a broader array of potential energy technologies. A diverse energy portfolio that includes an assortment of microbial energy choices will allow communities and consumers to select the best energy solution for their own particular needs. Funding agencies and governments alike need to prepare for future energy needs by investing both in the microbial energy technologies that work today and in the untested technologies that will serve the world’s needs tomorrow. More mature bioprocesses, such as ethanol production from starchy materials and methane from waste digestors, will find applications in the short term. However, innovative techniques for liquid fuel or biohydrogen production are among the longer term possibilities that should also be vigorously explored, starting now. Microorganisms can help meet human energy needs in any of a number of ways. In their most obvious role in energy conversion, microorganisms can generate fuels, including ethanol, hydrogen, methane, lipids, and butanol, which can be burned to produce energy. Alternatively, bacteria can be put to use in microbial fuel cells, where they carry out the direct conversion of biomass into electricity. Microorganisms may also be used some day to make oil and natural gas technologies more efficient by sequestering carbon or by assisting in the recovery of oil and

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

    2013-03-01

    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.

  1. 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

  2. Microbial provinces in the subseafloor.

    PubMed

    Schrenk, Matthew O; Huber, Julie A; Edwards, Katrina J

    2010-01-01

    The rocks and sediments of the oceanic subsurface represent a diverse mosaic of environments potentially inhabited by microorganisms. Understanding microbial ecosystems in subseafloor environments confounds standard ecological descriptions in part because we have difficulty elucidating and describing the scale of relevant processes. Habitat characteristics impact microbial activities and growth, which in turn affect microbial diversity, net production, and global biogeochemical cycles. Herein we provide descriptions of subseafloor microbial provinces, broadly defined as geologically and geographically coherent regions of the subseafloor that may serve as potential microbial habitats. The purpose of this review is to summarize and refine criteria for the definition and delineation of distinct subseafloor microbial habitats to aid in their exploration. This review and the criteria we outline aim to develop a unified framework to improve our understanding of subseafloor microbial ecology, enable quantification of geomicrobial processes, and facilitate their accurate assimilation into biogeochemical models. PMID:21141666

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Tackling the social determinants of inequalities in health during Phase V of the Healthy Cities Project in Europe.

    PubMed

    Ritsatakis, Anna; Ostergren, Per-Olof; Webster, Premila

    2015-06-01

    The WHO European Healthy Cities Network has from its inception aimed at tackling inequalities in health. In carrying out an evaluation of Phase V of the project (2009-13), an attempt was made to examine how far the concept of equity in health is understood and accepted; whether cities had moved further from a disease/medical model to looking at the social determinants of inequalities in health; how far the HC project contributed to cities determining the extent and causes of inequalities in health; what efforts were made to tackle such inequalities and how far inequalities in health may have increased or decreased during Phase V. A broader range of resources was utilized for this evaluation than in previous phases of the project. These indicated that most cities were definitely looking at the broader determinants. Equality in health was better understood and had been included as a value in a range of city policies. This was facilitated by stronger involvement of the HC project in city planning processes. Although almost half the cities participating had prepared a City Health Profile, only few cities had the necessary local level data to monitor changes in inequalities in health.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Microbial production of epoxides

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Advances in microbial amylases.

    PubMed

    Pandey, A; Nigam, P; Soccol, C R; Soccol, V T; Singh, D; Mohan, R

    2000-04-01

    This review makes a comprehensive survey of microbial amylases, i.e. alpha-amylase, beta-amylase and glucoamylase. Amylases are among the most important enzymes and are of great significance in present-day biotechnology. Although they can be derived from several sources, such as plants, animals and micro-organisms, the enzymes from microbial sources generally meet industrial demands. Microbial amylases could be potentially useful in the pharmaceutical and fine-chemical industries if enzymes with suitable properties could be prepared. With the advent of new frontiers in biotechnology, the spectrum of amylase application has widened in many other fields, such as clinical, medicinal and analytical chemistries, as well as their widespread application in starch saccharification and in the textile, food, brewing and distilling industries. In this review, after a brief description of the sources of amylases, we discuss the molecular biology of amylases, describing structures, cloning, sequences, and protoplast fusion and mutagenesis. This is followed by sections on their production and finally the properties of various amylases.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Microbial denitrogenation of fossil fuels.

    PubMed

    Benedik, M J; Gibbs, P R; Riddle, R R; Willson, R C

    1998-09-01

    The microbial degradation of nitrogen compounds from fossil fuels is important because of the contribution these contaminants make to the formation of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and hence to air pollution and acid rain. They also contribute to catalyst poisoning during the refining of crude oil, thus reducing process yields. We review the current status of microbial degradation of aromatic nitrogen compounds and discuss the potential of microbial processes to alleviate these problems.

  19. Genomic perspectives in microbial oceanography.

    PubMed

    DeLong, Edward F; Karl, David M

    2005-09-15

    The global ocean is an integrated living system where energy and matter transformations are governed by interdependent physical, chemical and biotic processes. Although the fundamentals of ocean physics and chemistry are well established, comprehensive approaches to describing and interpreting oceanic microbial diversity and processes are only now emerging. In particular, the application of genomics to problems in microbial oceanography is significantly expanding our understanding of marine microbial evolution, metabolism and ecology. Integration of these new genome-enabled insights into the broader framework of ocean science represents one of the great contemporary challenges for microbial oceanographers.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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)

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. Microbial Communities as Experimental Units.

    PubMed

    Day, Mitch D; Beck, Daniel; Foster, James A

    2011-05-01

    Artificial ecosystem selection is an experimental technique that treats microbial communities as though they were discrete units by applying selection on community-level properties. Highly diverse microbial communities associated with humans and other organisms can have significant impacts on the health of the host. It is difficult to find correlations between microbial community composition and community-associated diseases, in part because it may be impossible to define a universal and robust species concept for microbes. Microbial communities are composed of potentially thousands of unique populations that evolved in intimate contact, so it is appropriate in many situations to view the community as the unit of analysis. This perspective is supported by recent discoveries using metagenomics and pangenomics. Artificial ecosystem selection experiments can be costly, but they bring the logical rigor of biological model systems to the emerging field of microbial community analysis.

  19. The influence of soluble microbial products on microbial community composition: hypothesis of microbial community succession.

    PubMed

    Chipasa, Kangala B; Medrzycka, Krystyna

    2008-01-01

    Soluble microbial products (SMP) are organic compounds produced by activated sludge microorganisms as they degrade substrates. They include by-products of microbial activity, death and lysis. The available literature does not reveal how SMP influence microbial community composition. In this regard, we microscopically studied changes in composition of microbial communities, especially protozoa and metazoa, under the influence of increased as well as reduced levels of SMP. The presence of SMP at high level significantly caused changes in microbial community composition. Microbial species shifted from attached ciliates (12-175 microm) to free-swimming and crawling ciliates (35-330 microm) and then invertebrates, which included rotifers (0.2-1 mm) and nematodes (1-50 mm). The shift of small-size microorganisms to large ones was observed as one of the most significant influences of SMP. Attached ciliates reappeared when we removed the SMP that had accumulated in the bioreactors - we have called this as the resurrection phenomenon of microorganisms. Such rapid changes in microbial community composition were not observed in the experiment with low concentration of SMP. Overall, the results suggest that accumulation of SMP is one of the intrinsic regulatory mechanisms that control viability and dormancy of microbial communities in activated sludge. PMID:18610657

  20. The microbial nitrogen cycle.

    PubMed

    Jetten, Mike S M

    2008-11-01

    This special issue highlights several recent discoveries in the microbial nitrogen cycle including the diversity of nitrogen-fixing bacteria in special habitats, distribution and contribution of aerobic ammonium oxidation by bacteria and crenarchaea in various aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, regulation of metabolism in nitrifying bacteria, the molecular diversity of denitrifying microorganisms and their enzymes, the functional diversity of freshwater and marine anammox bacteria, the physiology of nitrite-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation and the degradation of recalcitrant organic nitrogen compounds. Simultaneously the articles in this issue show that many questions still need to be addressed, and that the microbes involved in catalyzing the nitrogen conversions still harbour many secrets that need to be disclosed to fully understand the biogeochemical nitrogen cycle, and make future predictions and global modelling possible.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Microbial transformation of sesquiterpenoids.

    PubMed

    Bhatti, Haq N; Zubair, Muhammad; Rasool, Nasir; Hassan, Zahid; Ahmad, Viqar U

    2009-08-01

    Biotransformations are useful methods for producing medicinal and agricultural chemicals from both active and inactive natural products with the introduction of chemical functions into remote sites of the molecules. Research on microbial biotransformations of commonly available sesquiterpenoids into more valuable derivatives has always been of interest because of their economical potential to the perfume, food, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Fungal transformations of sesquiterpenoids have been less frequently studied compared with many other natural products. In recent years, however, much attention has been given to the exploitation of new products with enhanced biological activity using microorganisms. This review, covering the period from 1990 to 2006, summarizes our knowledge of the biotransformations of sesquiterpenoids by various fungi. Such transformations could lead to the discovery of new reaction pathways that might be useful in the design of new value-added products.

  4. Chaos and microbial systems

    SciTech Connect

    Kot, M.

    1991-01-01

    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 forded double-Monod equations, a model for a predator and a prey in a chemostat with periodic variation of inflowing substrate, suggested that simple microbial systems might provide the perfect framework for determining the efficacy and relevance of the new nonlinear dynamics in dealing with complex population dynamics. Progress in two areas of research, 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 also judge the usefulness of various new techniques of nonlinear dynamics to the study of populations) is reported.

  5. Drinking water microbial myths.

    PubMed

    Allen, Martin J; Edberg, Stephen C; Clancy, Jennifer L; Hrudey, Steve E

    2015-01-01

    Accounts of drinking water-borne disease outbreaks have always captured the interest of the public, elected and health officials, and the media. During the twentieth century, the drinking water community and public health organizations have endeavored to craft regulations and guidelines on treatment and management practices that reduce risks from drinking water, specifically human pathogens. During this period there also evolved misunderstandings as to potential health risk associated with microorganisms that may be present in drinking waters. These misunderstanding or "myths" have led to confusion among the many stakeholders. The purpose of this article is to provide a scientific- and clinically-based discussion of these "myths" and recommendations for better ensuring the microbial safety of drinking water and valid public health decisions.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.…

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

    2016-04-25

    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.

  12. Microbial populations in contaminant plumes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Haack, S.K.; Bekins, B.A.

    2000-01-01

    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.

  13. 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.).

  14. The estimation of microbial biomass.

    PubMed

    Harris, C M; Kell, D B

    1985-01-01

    Methods that have been used to estimate the content, and in some cases the nature, of the microbial biomass in a sample are reviewed. The methods may be categorised in terms of their principle (physical, chemical, biological or mathematical/computational), their speed (real-time or otherwise) and the amount of automation/expense involved. For sparse populations, where the output signal is to be enhanced by growth of the organisms, physical, chemical and biological approaches may be of equal merit, whilst in systems, such as laboratory and industrial fermentations, in which the microbial biomass content is high, physical methods (alone) can permit the real-time estimation of microbial biomass.

  15. Tackling the Health Challenge posed by Hepatitis C in Puerto Rico: A Call for Immediate Public Health Actions.

    PubMed

    Pérez, Cynthia M; Albizu-García, Carmen E; Torres, Esther A

    2015-06-01

    Within the past decade, researchers and hepatitis C specialists in Puerto Rico have highlighted the burden of hepatitis C and associated disease outcomes in the island to raise public awareness about this problem and set out a call to action to tackle prevention and control efforts, yet so far no concrete actions have taken place. The population-based studies on hepatitis C have documented that the main risk factor is the sharing of syringes and drug paraphernalia to inject drugs, that most seropositive individuals are unaware of their infection status, and that there are large knowledge deficits about the disease, its risk factors, and measures of prevention and control. The subject is further complicated by the fact that despite hepatitis C reporting is mandatory, there is no effective epidemiological surveillance system to provide the information needed for planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of intervention strategies for this infection and access to medical and other existing therapies is limited. This document addresses the disparities in HC V infection and its adverse outcomes experienced among Puerto Ricans and attempts to set out strategies to address a public health response for hepatitis C at the meso and macro levels of the social-ecological model. Diverse organizations and major stakeholders are urged to mount an adequate response to hepatitis C by transforming current scientific evidence into public health actions to increase awareness, identify those who are actively infected, and link infected individuals into comprehensive care and treatment. PMID:26061053

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    DOE PAGES

    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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  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. 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)

  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 nanowires for bioenergy applications.

    PubMed

    Malvankar, Nikhil S; Lovley, Derek R

    2014-06-01

    Microbial nanowires are electrically conductive filaments that facilitate long-range extracellular electron transfer. The model for electron transport along Shewanella oneidensis nanowires is electron hopping/tunneling between cytochromes adorning the filaments. Geobacter sulfurreducens nanowires are comprised of pili that have metal-like conductivity attributed to overlapping pi-pi orbitals of aromatic amino acids. The nanowires of Geobacter species have been implicated in direct interspecies electron transfer (DIET), which may be an important mode of syntrophy in the conversion of organic wastes to methane. Nanowire networks confer conductivity to Geobacter biofilms converting organic compounds to electricity in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and increasing nanowire production is the only genetic manipulation shown to yield strains with improved current-producing capabilities. Introducing nanowires, or nanowire mimetics, might improve other bioenergy strategies that rely on extracellular electron exchange, such as microbial electrosynthesis. Similarities between microbial nanowires and synthetic conducting polymers suggest additional energy-related applications.

  5. 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

  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. 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

  8. 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.

  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. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Molecular ecology of microbial mats.

    PubMed

    Bolhuis, Henk; Cretoiu, Mariana Silvia; Stal, Lucas J

    2014-11-01

    Phototrophic microbial mats are ideal model systems for ecological and evolutionary analysis of highly diverse microbial communities. Microbial mats are small-scale, nearly closed, and self-sustaining benthic ecosystems that comprise the major element cycles, trophic levels, and food webs. The steep and fluctuating physicochemical microgradients, that are the result of the ever changing environmental conditions and of the microorganisms' own activities, give rise to a plethora of potential niches resulting in the formation of one of the most diverse microbial ecosystems known to date. For several decades, microbial mats have been studied extensively and more recently molecular biological techniques have been introduced that allowed assessing and investigating the diversity and functioning of these systems. These investigations also involved metagenomics analyses using high-throughput DNA and RNA sequencing. Here, we summarize some of the latest developments in metagenomic analysis of three representative phototrophic microbial mat types (coastal, hot spring, and hypersaline). We also present a comparison of the available metagenomic data sets from mats emphasizing the major differences between them as well as elucidating the overlap in overall community composition. PMID:25109247

  15. 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.

  16. Molecular ecology of microbial mats.

    PubMed

    Bolhuis, Henk; Cretoiu, Mariana Silvia; Stal, Lucas J

    2014-11-01

    Phototrophic microbial mats are ideal model systems for ecological and evolutionary analysis of highly diverse microbial communities. Microbial mats are small-scale, nearly closed, and self-sustaining benthic ecosystems that comprise the major element cycles, trophic levels, and food webs. The steep and fluctuating physicochemical microgradients, that are the result of the ever changing environmental conditions and of the microorganisms' own activities, give rise to a plethora of potential niches resulting in the formation of one of the most diverse microbial ecosystems known to date. For several decades, microbial mats have been studied extensively and more recently molecular biological techniques have been introduced that allowed assessing and investigating the diversity and functioning of these systems. These investigations also involved metagenomics analyses using high-throughput DNA and RNA sequencing. Here, we summarize some of the latest developments in metagenomic analysis of three representative phototrophic microbial mat types (coastal, hot spring, and hypersaline). We also present a comparison of the available metagenomic data sets from mats emphasizing the major differences between them as well as elucidating the overlap in overall community composition.

  17. 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

  18. 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…

  19. Barber tackles heavy oil

    SciTech Connect

    Bleakley, W.B.

    1980-06-01

    Barber Oil Corp. is using a combination of mining and oil recovery techniques to recover heavy oil in the Kern River field near Bakersfield, California. The approach involves drilling 8 near-horizontal shafts from a cavern at the bottom of an 84-in. hole drilled to approximately 700 ft. The hole is cased with 60-in. pipe, and the cavern is cement lined. The near-horizontal shafts are designed to follow the natural dip of the producing zone and lie as near the base of the zone as geologic interpretation will allow. Slotted casing is installed in the radials, and each radial is connected to 2 risers. One riser delivers steam into the radial lines, and the other radial pumps produced oil using conventional sucker-rod pumping systems.

  20. 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)

  1. 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…

  2. Nanomedicine: AFM tackles osteoarthritis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aigner, Thomas; Schmitz, Nicole; Haag, Jochen

    2009-03-01

    Current diagnostic tools detect cartilage degeneration only at advanced stages, but the atomic force microscope can now detect structural changes earlier, paving the way for treatment of joint diseases.

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Microbial Production of Biovanillin

    PubMed Central

    Converti, A.; Aliakbarian, B.; Domínguez, J.M.; Bustos Vázquez, G.; Perego, P.

    2010-01-01

    This review aims at providing an overview on the microbial production of vanillin, a new alternative method for the production of this important flavor of the food industry, which has the potential to become economically competitive in the next future. After a brief description of the applications of vanillin in different industrial sectors and of its physicochemical properties, we described the traditional ways of providing vanillin, specifically extraction and chemical synthesis (mainly oxidation) and compared them with the new biotechnological options, i.e., biotransformations of caffeic acid, veratraldehyde and mainly ferulic acid. In the second part of the review, emphasis has been addressed to the factors most influencing the bioproduction of vanillin, specifically the age of inoculum, pH, temperature, type of co-substrate, as well as the inhibitory effects exerted either by excess substrate or product. The final part of the work summarized the downstream processes and the related unit operations involved in the recovery of vanillin from the bioconversion medium. PMID:24031526

  10. 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...

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

    PubMed

    Kostić, Tanja; Sessitsch, Angela

    2011-10-14

    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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Microbial field pilot study

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-01-01

    The objective of this project is to perform a microbially enhanced oil recovery field pilot test 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 preferentially swept by a prior waterflood. This will force future flood water to invade bypassed regions or the reservoir and increase sweep efficiency. Injection of nutrient stimulates the growth and metabolism of reservoir bacteria, which produces beneficial products to enhance oil recovery. Sometimes, chemical treatments are used to clean or condition injection water. Such a chemical treatment has been initiated by Sullivan and Company at the Southeast Vassar Vertz Sand Unit. The unit injection water was treated with a mixture of water, methanol, isopropyl alcohol, and three proprietary chemicals. To determine if the chemicals would have an impact on the pilot, it was important to determine the effects of the chemical additives on the growth and metabolism of the bacteria from wells in this field. Two types of media were used: a mineral salts medium with molasses and nitrate, and this medium with 25 ppm of the treatment chemicals added. Samples were collected anaerobically from each of two wells, 1A-9 and 7-2. A sample from each well was inoculated and cultured in the broth tubes of molasses-nitrate medium with and without the chemicals. Culturing temperature was 35{degrees}C. Absorbance, pressure and cell number were checked to determine if the chemicals affected the growth and metabolism of bacteria in the brine samples. 12 figs.

  17. [Microbial geochemical calcium cycle].

    PubMed

    Zavarzin, G A

    2002-01-01

    The participation of microorganisms in the geochemical calcium cycle is the most important factor maintaining neutral conditions on the Earth. This cycle has profound influence on the fate of inorganic carbon, and, thereby, on the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. The major part of calcium deposits was formed in the Precambrian, when prokaryotic biosphere predominated. After that, calcium recycling based on biogenic deposition by skeletal organisms became the main process. Among prokaryotes, only a few representatives, e.g., cyanobacteria, exhibit a special calcium function. The geochemical calcium cycle is made possible by the universal features of bacteria involved in biologically mediated reactions and is determined by the activities of microbial communities. In the prokaryotic system, the calcium cycle begins with the leaching of igneous rock predominantly through the action of the community of organotrophic organisms. The release of carbon dioxide to the soil air by organotrophic aerobes leads to leaching with carbonic acid and soda salinization. Under anoxic conditions, of major importance is the organic acid production by primary anaerobes (fermentative microorganisms). Calcium carbonate is precipitated by secondary anaerobes (sulfate reducers) and to a smaller degree by methanogens. The role of the cyanobacterial community in carbonate deposition is exposed by stromatolites, which are the most common organo-sedimentary Precambrian structures. Deposition of carbonates in cyanobacterial mats as a consequence of photoassimilation of CO2 does not appear to be a significant process. It is argued that carbonates were deposited at the boundary between the "soda continent", which emerged as a result of subaerial leaching with carbonic acid, and the ocean containing Ca2+. Such ecotones provided favorable conditions for the development of the benthic cyanobacterial community, which was a precursor of stromatolites.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Pyrite oxidation by microbial consortia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bostick, B. C.; Revill, K. L.; Doyle, C.; Kendelewicz, T.; Brown, G. E.; Spormann, A. M.; Fendorf, S.

    2003-12-01

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) is formed through pyrite oxidation, which produces acidity and releases toxic metals associated with pyrite and other sulfide minerals. Microbes accelerate pyrite oxidation markedly, thereby playing a major role in the production of AMD. Here, we probe pyrite oxidation by consortia of Thiobacillus ferrooxidans and thiooxidans using surface-sensitive photoelectron spectroscopy and X-ray absorption spectroscopy and compare them with surfaces oxidized through chemical and single species cultures. Microbial oxidation resulted in the formation of distinct oxidized surface species distributed non-uniformly over the pyrite surface; consortia produced a surface both more heterogeneous and more oxidized. In contrast, chemical oxidation proceeds without the build-up of passivating oxidation products. Surface morphology was not correlated with sites of nucleation or oxidation in any obvious manner. These results demonstrate that microbial oxidation occurs through a similar mechanism to chemical oxidation, but that the presence of complex microbial communities may impact the manner by which pyrite oxidation proceeds.

  2. Prospects for microbial biodiesel production.

    PubMed

    Shi, Shuobo; Valle-Rodríguez, Juan Octavio; Siewers, Verena; Nielsen, Jens

    2011-03-01

    As the demand for biofuels for transportation is increasing, it is necessary to develop technologies that will allow for low-cost production of biodiesel. Conventional biodiesel is mainly produced from vegetable oil by chemical transesterification. This production, however, has relatively low land-yield and is competing for agricultural land that can be used for food production. Therefore, there is an increasing interest in developing microbial fermentation processes for production of biodiesel as this will allow for the use of a wide range of raw-materials, including sugar cane, corn, and biomass. Production of biodiesel by microbial fermentation can be divided into two different approaches, (1) indirect biodiesel production from oleaginous microbes by in vitro transesterification, and (2) direct biodiesel production from redesigned cell factories. This work reviews both microbial approaches for renewable biodiesel production and evaluates the existing challenges in these two strategies.

  3. 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.

  4. Microbial metagenomics: beyond the genome.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Jack A; Dupont, Christopher L

    2011-01-01

    Metagenomics literally means "beyond the genome." Marine microbial metagenomic databases presently comprise approximately 400 billion base pairs of DNA, only approximately 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. The microbial contribution to macroecology

    PubMed Central

    Barberán, Albert; Casamayor, Emilio O.; Fierer, Noah

    2014-01-01

    There has been a recent explosion of research within the field of microbial ecology that has been fueled, in part, by methodological improvements that make it feasible to characterize microbial communities to an extent that was inconceivable only a few years ago. Furthermore, there is increasing recognition within the field of ecology that microorganisms play a critical role in the health of organisms and ecosystems. Despite these developments, an important gap still persists between the theoretical framework of macroecology and microbial ecology. We highlight two idiosyncrasies of microorganisms that are fundamental to understanding macroecological patterns and their mechanistic drivers. First, high dispersal rates provide novel opportunities to test the relative importance of niche, stochastic, and historical processes in structuring biological communities. Second, high speciation rates potentially lead to the convergence of ecological and evolutionary time scales. After reviewing these unique aspects, we discuss strategies for improving the conceptual integration of microbes into macroecology. As examples, we discuss the use of phylogenetic ecology as an integrative approach to explore patterns across the tree of life. Then we demonstrate how two general theories of biodiversity (i.e., the recently developed theory of stochastic geometry and the neutral theory) can be adapted to microorganisms. We demonstrate how conceptual models that integrate evolutionary and ecological mechanisms can contribute to the unification of microbial ecology and macroecology. PMID:24829564

  18. 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.

  19. Microbial biofilms on facial prostheses.

    PubMed

    Ariani, Nina; Vissink, Arjan; van Oort, Robert P; Kusdhany, Lindawati; Djais, Ariadna; Rahardjo, Tri Budi W; van der Mei, Henny C; Krom, Bastiaan P

    2012-01-01

    The composition of microbial biofilms on silicone rubber facial prostheses was investigated and compared with the microbial flora on healthy and prosthesis-covered skin. Scanning electron microscopy showed the presence of mixed bacterial and yeast biofilms on and deterioration of the surface of the prostheses. Microbial culturing confirmed the presence of yeasts and bacteria. Microbial colonization was significantly increased on prosthesis-covered skin compared to healthy skin. Candida spp. were exclusively isolated from prosthesis-covered skin and from prostheses. Biofilms from prostheses showed the least diverse band-profile in denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) whereas prosthesis-covered skin showed the most diverse band-profile. Bacterial diversity exceeded yeast diversity in all samples. It is concluded that occlusion of the skin by prostheses creates a favorable niche for opportunistic pathogens such as Candida spp. and Staphylococcus aureus. Biofilms on healthy skin, skin underneath the prosthesis and on the prosthesis had a comparable composition, but the numbers present differed according to the microorganism.

  20. Commercial production of microbial enzymes

    SciTech Connect

    Munro, I.G.

    1985-01-01

    The advantages and uses of industrially produced microbial enzymes are described. The processes involved in the production of these enzymes, cultivation techniques, enzyme extraction, enzyme purification and immobilization are outlined. Both the history of enzyme technology and its future development are discussed.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. [Microbial sensors: achievements, problems, prospects].

    PubMed

    Korpan, Ia I; El'skaia, A V

    1995-12-01

    The review summarizes the literature data on the design of laboratory and commercial types of biosensors based on living cells of microorganisms. The following aspects are discussed: microbiological, biochemical and physical fundamentals of microbial sensors; operation modes and fields of application of cell-based biosensors; immobilization technique for biological recognition systems; benefits and problems in this field of biotechnology.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Microbial Protein-tyrosine Kinases*

    PubMed Central

    Chao, Joseph D.; Wong, Dennis; Av-Gay, Yossef

    2014-01-01

    Microbial ester kinases identified in the past 3 decades came as a surprise, as protein phosphorylation on Ser, Thr, and Tyr amino acids was thought to be unique to eukaryotes. Current analysis of available microbial genomes reveals that “eukaryote-like” protein kinases are prevalent in prokaryotes and can converge in the same signaling pathway with the classical microbial “two-component” systems. Most microbial tyrosine kinases lack the “eukaryotic” Hanks domain signature and are designated tyrosine kinases based upon their biochemical activity. These include the tyrosine kinases termed bacterial tyrosine kinases (BY-kinases), which are responsible for the majority of known bacterial tyrosine phosphorylation events. Although termed generally as bacterial tyrosine kinases, BY-kinases can be considered as one family belonging to the superfamily of prokaryotic protein-tyrosine kinases in bacteria. Other members of this superfamily include atypical “odd” tyrosine kinases with diverse mechanisms of protein phosphorylation and the “eukaryote-like” Hanks-type tyrosine kinases. Here, we discuss the distribution, phylogeny, and function of the various prokaryotic protein-tyrosine kinases, focusing on the recently discovered Mycobacterium tuberculosis PtkA and its relationship with other members of this diverse family of proteins. PMID:24554699

  9. Toward Understanding, Managing, and Protecting Microbial Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Bodelier, Paul L. E.

    2011-01-01

    Microbial communities are at the very basis of life on earth, catalyzing biogeochemical reactions driving global nutrient cycles. However, unlike for plants and animals, microbial diversity is not on the biodiversity–conservation agenda. The latter, however, would imply that microbial diversity is not under any threat by anthropogenic disturbance or climate change. This maybe a misconception caused by the rudimentary knowledge we have concerning microbial diversity and its role in ecosystem functioning. This perspective paper identifies major areas with knowledge gaps within the field of environmental microbiology that preclude a comprehension of microbial ecosystems on the level we have for plants and animals. Opportunities and challenges are pointed out to open the microbial black box and to go from descriptive to predictive microbial ecology. PMID:21747797

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Exploring Subglacial Microbial Ecology (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mikucki, J.; Mitchell, A. C.; Johnson, S. S.; Grzymski, J.

    2009-12-01

    Subglacial environments were long thought to be abiotic. We now know that microbial life exists below glaciers, but know relatively little about the in situ metabolic processes they mediate and how their activity transforms the geochemistry of subglacial efflux. It has been hypothesized that subglacial systems, driven to anoxia in the presence of sufficient organic matter, will follow a continuum of redox chemistries utilizing electron acceptors with decreasing reduction potential (i.e. Fe (III), sulfate, CO2). Indeed, sulfate reduction and methanogenesis have been detected in studies of polythermal glaciers. However, it is unclear whether there is sufficient organic matter to sustain highly reducing conditions below Antarctic ice. Here we present a broad overview of the microbial ecology of subglacial ecosystems and describe the links between microbial diversity and community function in these chemically complex environments. The subglacial environment below the Taylor Glacier, Antarctica provides an example where biogeochemical measurements made on subglacial efflux can inform specific mechanisms of microbial metabolism. We have tested the validity of these mechanisms using environmental genomic surveys and biogeochemical measurements of subglacial fluids to describe an active community that cycles iron and sulfur below Taylor Glacier. Examples include the incorporation of radiolabeled bicarbonate by cells in the outflow and detection of functional genes responsible for CO2-fixation (i.e. RuBisCO), and isotopic composition of sulfate sulfur and oxygen in the outflow indicative of sulfate reduction with the presence of functional genes of the sulfur cycle (i.e. APS reductase). Moving forward in our exploration of subglacial ecosystems, key questions regarding microbial energetics include: 1) How microorganisms cycle mineral substrates below glaciers to gain energy for growth 2) Whether subglacial microorganisms grow syntrophically in order to metabolize iron and

  14. Microbial source tracking: a forensic technique for microbial source identification?

    PubMed

    Stapleton, Carl M; Wyer, Mark D; Kay, David; Crowther, John; McDonald, Adrian T; Walters, Martin; Gawler, Andrew; Hindle, Terry

    2007-05-01

    As the requirements of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the US Clean Water Act (USCWA) for the maintenance of microbiological water quality in 'protected areas' highlight, there is a growing recognition that integrated management of point and diffuse sources of microbial pollution is essential. New information on catchment microbial dynamics and, in particular, the sources of faecal indicator bacteria found in bathing and shellfish harvesting waters is a pre-requisite for the design of any 'programme of measures' at the drainage basin scale to secure and maintain compliance with existing and new health-based microbiological standards. This paper reports on a catchment-scale microbial source tracking (MST) study in the Leven Estuary drainage basin, northwest England, an area for which quantitative faecal indicator source apportionment empirical data and land use information were also collected. Since previous MST studies have been based on laboratory trials using 'manufactured' samples or analyses of spot environmental samples without the contextual microbial flux data (under high and low flow conditions) and source information, such background data are needed to evaluate the utility of MST in USCWA total maximum daily load (TMDL) assessments or WFD 'Programmes of Measures'. Thus, the operational utility of MST remains in some doubt. The results of this investigation, using genotyping of Bacteroidetes using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and male-specific ribonucleic acid coliphage (F + RNA coliphage) using hybridisation, suggest some discrimination is possible between livestock- and human-derived faecal indicator concentrations but, in inter-grade areas, the degree to which the tracer picture reflected the land use pattern and probable faecal indicator loading were less distinct. Interestingly, the MST data was more reliable on high flow samples when much of the faecal indicator flux from catchment systems occurs. Whilst a useful supplementary tool, the MST

  15. Electrochemical Performance and Microbial Characterization of Thermophilic Microbial Fuel Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wrighton, K. C.; Agbo, P.; Brodie, E. L.; Weber, K. A.; Desantis, T. Z.; Anderson, G. L.; Coates, J. D.

    2007-12-01

    Significant research effort is currently focused on microbial fuel cells (MFC) as a source of renewable energy. To date, most of these efforts have concentrated on MFCs operating at mesophilic temperatures. However, many previous studies have reported on the superiority of thermophilic conditions in anaerobic digestion and demonstrated a net gain in energy yield, in terms of methane, relative to the increased energy requirements of operation. Because of this, our recent studies on MFCs focused on investigating the operation and microbiology associated with thermophilic MFCs operating at 55°C. Over 100-day operation, these MFCs were highly stable and achieved a maximum power density of 24mW/m2 and a columbic efficiency of 89 percent with acetate as the sole electron donor. In order to characterize the microbial community involved in thermophilic electricity generation, DNA and RNA were isolated from the electrode and PhyloChip analyses performed. Exploring the changes in the microbial community over time in electricity producing MFC revealed an increase in relative abundance of populations belonging to the Firmicutes, Chloroflexi, and alpha Proteobacteria by at least one order of magnitude. In contrast, these populations decreased in the open circuit and no electron donor amended controls. In order to better characterize the active microbial populations, we enriched and isolated a novel organism, strain JR, from samples collected from an operating MFC. Based on 16S rRNA sequence analysis strain JR was a member of the family Peptococcaceae, within the Phylum Firmicutes, clustering with Thermincola ferriacetica (98 percent similarity). Phenotypic characterization revealed that strain JR was capable of thermophilic dissimilatory reduction of insoluble electron acceptors such as amorphous Fe(III); as well as reduction of the model quinone 2,6-anthraquinone disulfonate. Thermincola strain JR was also capable of producing current by coupling acetate oxidation to anodic

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. [Microbial interactions with heavy metals].

    PubMed

    Cervantes, C; Espino-Saldaña, A E; Acevedo-Aguilar, F; León-Rodriguez, I L; Rivera-Cano, M E; Avila-Rodríguez, M; Wróbel-Kaczmarczyk, K; Wróbel-Zasada, K; Gutiérrez-Corona, J F; Rodríguez-Zavala, J S; Moreno-Sánchez, R

    2006-01-01

    Living organisms are exposed in nature to heavy metals, commonly present in their ionized species. These ions exert diverse toxic effects on microorganisms. Metal exposure both selects and maintains microbial variants able to tolerate their harmful effects. Varied and efficient metal resistance mechanisms have been identified in diverse species of bacteria, fungi and protists. The study of the interactions between microorganisms and metals may be helpful to understand the relations of toxic metals with higher organisms such as mammals and plants. Some microbial systems of metal tolerance have the potential to be used in biotechnological processes, such as the bioremediation of environmental metal pollution or the recovery of valuable metals. In this work we analyze several examples of the interactions of different types of microbes with heavy metals; these cases are related either with basic research or with possible practical applications.

  2. Synthetic microbial ecosystems for biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Pandhal, Jagroop; Noirel, Josselin

    2014-06-01

    Most highly controlled and specific applications of microorganisms in biotechnology involve pure cultures. Maintaining single strain cultures is important for industry as contaminants can reduce productivity and lead to longer "down-times" during sterilisation. However, microbes working together provide distinct advantages over pure cultures. They can undertake more metabolically complex tasks, improve efficiency and even expand applications to open systems. By combining rapidly advancing technologies with ecological theory, the use of microbial ecosystems in biotechnology will inevitably increase. This review provides insight into the use of synthetic microbial communities in biotechnology by applying the engineering paradigm of measure, model, manipulate and manufacture, and illustrate the emerging wider potential of the synthetic ecology field. Systems to improve biofuel production using microalgae are also discussed.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Microbial enhanced oil recovery research

    SciTech Connect

    Sharma, M.M.; Georgiou, G.

    1990-01-01

    The objective of this work is to develop an engineering framework for the exploitation of microorganisms to enhance oil recovery. Specific goals include: (1) investigation of the mechanisms of microbially induced oil mobilization; (2) the production, isolation, chemical characterization and study of the physical properties of microbially produced surfactants; (3) model studies in sandstone cores for the characterization of the interactions between growing microbially cultures and oil reservoirs; (4) development of simulators for MEOR; and (5) design of operational strategies for the sequential injection of microorganisms and nutrient in reservoirs are: (1) systematic discussion of the mechanisms important in MEOR processes; (2) Measurement of the growth characteristics of Bacillus Licheniformis under various conditions of pH, temperature and salt concentration for both aerobic and anaerobic growth.; (3) measurement of interfacial tension reducing ability of the biosurfactant under different conditions of pH and salt concentration; (4) development of some preliminary methods to concentrate and characterize the biosurfactant; (5) development of a compositional numerical simulator for MEOR processes; and (6) Measurement of the lowest interfacial tension (IFT) value reported for biosurfactants to date. Demonstration of the fact that the low IFT values required for oil recovery can be attained with biosurfactants.

  7. Microbial mine detection system (MMDS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fliermans, Carl B.; Lopez-de-Victoria, Geralyne

    1998-09-01

    The Savannah River Technology Center (SRTC) is developing the Microbial Mine Detection System (MMDS), a cost-effective, safe and reliable method to detect land mines using microorganisms as the primary biosensor detector. SRTC research has shown that various naturally occurring microbial species are stimulated by nitrogen, trinitrotoluene (TNT), dinitrotoluene (DNT), nitrates, nitrites, nitrous oxide, and the chemical components found in explosive materials. Several of the 10,000 indigenous bacteria already existing in the SRTC Subsurface Microbiology Culture Collection (SMCC) possess characteristics that would support discrete detection of land mines during metabolic activity or growth. SRTC scientists are screening and identifying bacteria residing in the SMCC, and other collections associated with specific land mines, for their attraction to explosive off-gasses. After contacting explosives or off-gasses, the micro-organisms will activate via bioluminescence and identify the location of the land mines. Once identified, down selected and mesocosmly defined, the micro-organisms can then be prepared for field deployment. This deployment process requires minimal user training and is envisioned to be administered in hand-held, vehicular mounted and airborne platforms. Microbial detection systems are a renewable resource, easy to preserve, inexpensive to maintain under field conditions, and provide a high-probability response recognition technology.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Microbial diversity--insights from population genetics.

    PubMed

    Mes, Ted H M

    2008-01-01

    Although many environmental microbial populations are large and genetically diverse, both the level of diversity and the extent to which it is ecologically relevant remain enigmatic. Because the effective (or long-term) population size, N(e), is one of the parameters that determines population genetic diversity, tests and simulations that assume selectively neutral mutations may help to identify the processes that have shaped microbial diversity. Using ecologically important genes, tests of selective neutrality suggest that adaptive as well as non-adaptive types of selection act and that departure from neutrality may be widespread or restricted to small groups of genotypes. Population genetic simulations using population sizes between 10(3) and 10(7) suggest extremely high levels of microbial diversity in environments that sustain large populations. However, census and effective population sizes may differ considerably, and because we know nothing of the evolutionary history of environmental microbial populations, we also have no idea what N(e) of environmental populations is. On the one hand, this reflects our ignorance of the microbial world. On the other hand, the tests and simulations illustrate interactions between microbial diversity and microbial population genetics that should inform our thinking in microbial ecology. Because of the different views on microbial diversity across these disciplines, such interactions are crucial if we are to understand the role of genes in microbial communities.

  13. 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.

  14. Microbial mercury methylation in Antarctic sea ice.

    PubMed

    Gionfriddo, Caitlin M; Tate, Michael T; Wick, Ryan R; Schultz, Mark B; Zemla, Adam; Thelen, Michael P; Schofield, Robyn; Krabbenhoft, David P; Holt, Kathryn E; Moreau, John W

    2016-01-01

    Atmospheric deposition of mercury onto sea ice and circumpolar sea water provides mercury for microbial methylation, and contributes to the bioaccumulation of the potent neurotoxin methylmercury in the marine food web. Little is known about the abiotic and biotic controls on microbial mercury methylation in polar marine systems. However, mercury methylation is known to occur alongside photochemical and microbial mercury reduction and subsequent volatilization. Here, we combine mercury speciation measurements of total and methylated mercury with metagenomic analysis of whole-community microbial DNA from Antarctic snow, brine, sea ice and sea water to elucidate potential microbially mediated mercury methylation and volatilization pathways in polar marine environments. Our results identify the marine microaerophilic bacterium Nitrospina as a potential mercury methylator within sea ice. Anaerobic bacteria known to methylate mercury were notably absent from sea-ice metagenomes. We propose that Antarctic sea ice can harbour a microbial source of methylmercury in the Southern Ocean. PMID:27670112

  15. The microbial ocean from genomes to biomes.

    PubMed

    DeLong, Edward F

    2009-05-14

    Numerically, microbial species dominate the oceans, yet their population dynamics, metabolic complexity and synergistic interactions remain largely uncharted. A full understanding of life in the ocean requires more than knowledge of marine microbial taxa and their genome sequences. The latest experimental techniques and analytical approaches can provide a fresh perspective on the biological interactions within marine ecosystems, aiding in the construction of predictive models that can interrelate microbial dynamics with the biogeochemical matter and energy fluxes that make up the ocean ecosystem.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Microbial transformations of isocupressic acid.

    PubMed

    Lin, S J; Rosazza, J P

    1998-07-01

    Microbial transformations of the labdane-diterpene isocupressic acid (1) with different microorganisms yielded several oxygenated metabolites that were isolated and characterized by MS and NMR spectroscopic analyses. Nocardia aurantia (ATCC 12674) catalyzed the cleavage of the 13,14-double bond to yield a new nor-labdane metabolite, 2. Cunninghamella elegans (-) (NRRL 1393) gave 7beta-hydroxyisocupressic acid (3) and labda-7,13(E)-diene-6beta,15, 17-triol-19-oic acid (4), and Mucor mucedo (ATCC 20094) gave 2alpha-hydroxyisocupressic acid (5) and labda-8(17),14-diene-2alpha, 13-diol-19-oic acid (6).

  6. 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

  7. Microbial biosensors for organophosphate pesticides.

    PubMed

    Mulchandani, Ashok; Rajesh

    2011-09-01

    Organophosphates, amongst the most toxic substance known, are used widely in agriculture around the world. Their extensive use, however, has resulted in their occurrence in the water and food supply threatening humans and animals. Therefore, there is a need for determination of these neurotoxic compounds sensitively, selectively, and rapidly in the field. The present work is a brief review on the recent advancements in amperometric, potentiometric, and optical biosensors using genetically engineered microorganisms expressing organophosphate hydrolyzing enzyme intracellularly or anchored on the cell surface for the detection of organophosphate pesticides. The benefits and limitations associated with such microbial biosensors are delineated.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Method for analyzing microbial communities

    SciTech Connect

    Zhou, Jizhong; Wu, Liyou

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...)

  14. 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.

  15. Microbial responses to environmental arsenic.

    PubMed

    Páez-Espino, David; Tamames, Javier; de Lorenzo, Víctor; Cánovas, David

    2009-02-01

    Microorganisms have evolved dynamic mechanisms for facing the toxicity of arsenic in the environment. In this sense, arsenic speciation and mobility is also affected by the microbial metabolism that participates in the biogeochemical cycle of the element. The ars operon constitutes the most ubiquitous and important scheme of arsenic tolerance in bacteria. This system mediates the extrusion of arsenite out of the cells. There are also other microbial activities that alter the chemical characteristics of arsenic: some strains are able to oxidize arsenite or reduce arsenate as part of their respiratory processes. These type of microorganisms require membrane associated proteins that transfer electrons from or to arsenic (AoxAB and ArrAB, respectively). Other enzymatic transformations, such as methylation-demethylation reactions, exchange inorganic arsenic into organic forms contributing to its complex environmental turnover. This short review highlights recent studies in ecology, biochemistry and molecular biology of these processes in bacteria, and also provides some examples of genetic engineering for enhanced arsenic accumulation based on phytochelatins or metallothionein-like proteins.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Microbial activity in weathering columns.

    PubMed

    García, C; Ballester, A; González, F; Blázquez, M L

    2007-03-22

    The aim of the present work was to evaluate the metabolic activity of the microbial population associated with a pyritic tailing after a column-weathering test. For this purpose, a column 150cm high and 15cm diameter was used. The solid was a tailing with 63.4% pyrite and with minor amounts of Cu, Pb and Zn sulfides (1.4, 0.5 and 0.8%, respectively). The column model was the habitual one for weathering tests: distilled water was added at the top of the column; the water flowed down through tailings and finally was collected at the bottom for chemical and microbiological analysis. Weathering was maintained for 36 weeks. The results showed a significant presence of microbial life that was distributed selectively over the column: sulfur- and iron-oxidizing aerobic bacteria were in the more oxygenated zone; anaerobic sulfur-reducing bacteria were isolated from the samples taken from the anoxic part of the column. Activity testing showed that (oxidizing and reducing) bacteria populations were active at the end of the weathering test. The quality of the water draining from the column was thus the final product of biological oxidation and reduction promoted by the bacteria consortia.

  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. [Microbial denitrogenation of fuel oil].

    PubMed

    Li, Shan-shan; Ma, Ting; Li, Guo-qiang; Liang, Feng-lai; Liu, Ru-lin

    2006-12-01

    The amount of organic nitrides contained in fuel oil is smaller than the one of organic sulfur compounds, but the existence of them is enough to affect the invariability of oil product greatly , and has a big effect on the color of oil. They also contribute to catalyst poisoning during the refining of crude oil, thus reducing the catalyzing rate of the catalyst and increasing process costs. Further more, some nitrogen organic compounds possess mutagenic and toxic activities. The combustion of these contaminants form nitrogen oxides (NOx), releasing of which to the air will cause the formation of acid rain and hence to air pollution. The classical hydroprocessing methods of nitrogen removal are costly and complicated, so the scientists are more and more interested in microbial denitrogenation. The aspects as follows are introduced, including the aromatic nitrogen compounds of fuel oil, the varieties of denitrogenation techincs, the classes of microbial denitrogenation and its biochemical pathways, molecular genetics developments of carbazole-degradative genes, and our opinion of the research direction in the future.

  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.

  5. The microbial desulfurization of coal.

    PubMed

    Rossi, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    The chemical structure of coal macerals is usually characterized by the presence of inorganic and organic sulfur. Inorganic sulfur consists mostly of iron sulfides, the so-called "pyritic sulfur," whereas organic sulfur is covalently bound to the carbon atoms of the coal macromolecule. Comminution of coal to sizes that liberate the iron sulfide grains makes their removal with mineral beneficiation processes theoretically possible, but practically profitless. Microbial removal of pyritic sulfur has been extensively investigated over the last 50 years and the very promising results obtained have encouraged the design and construction of a semi-commercial pilot plant in the framework of Project JOULE 0039 funded by the European Commission. The results of the 1-year operation of this plant are reported here, the most significant being the 90 % pyrite removal achieved in five stirred tank bioreactors operating with a 40 % solids suspension and the pyritic iron solubilization rate of 36 mg dm(-3) h(-1). Taking into account the very high price of the kWh in Italy, a rough estimate of the overall costs is in the range from 25 to 30 per tonne of dry coal. So far the development of a microbial process for organic sulfur removal has shown to be much more difficult and less successful, although significant progress in laboratory research is reported. PMID:23576051

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. Fundamentals of microbial community resistance and resilience.

    PubMed

    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.

  10. 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...

  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. 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...

  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. GENMAP--A Microbial Genetics Computer Simulation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Day, M. J.; And Others

    1985-01-01

    An interactive computer program in microbial genetics is described. The simulation allows students to work at their own pace and develop understanding of microbial techniques as they choose donor bacterial strains, specify selective media, and interact with demonstration experiments. Sample questions and outputs are included. (DH)

  15. Comparative molecular analysis of endoevaporitic microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Sahl, Jason W; Pace, Norman R; Spear, John R

    2008-10-01

    A phylogenetic comparison of microbial communities in hypersaline evaporites was conducted on crusts from Guerrero Negro, Mexico, and Lindsey Lake, New Mexico, using culture-independent rRNA gene sequence analysis. Many sequences were shared between evaporites, which suggests that similar environments select for specific microbial lineages from a global metacommunity. PMID:18757573

  16. Comparative molecular analysis of endoevaporitic microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Sahl, Jason W; Pace, Norman R; Spear, John R

    2008-10-01

    A phylogenetic comparison of microbial communities in hypersaline evaporites was conducted on crusts from Guerrero Negro, Mexico, and Lindsey Lake, New Mexico, using culture-independent rRNA gene sequence analysis. Many sequences were shared between evaporites, which suggests that similar environments select for specific microbial lineages from a global metacommunity.

  17. 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

  18. 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

    2016-01-28

    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.

  19. Microbial ecology of drinking water distribution systems.

    PubMed

    Berry, David; Xi, Chuanwu; Raskin, Lutgarde

    2006-06-01

    The supply of clean drinking water is a major, and relatively recent, public health milestone. Control of microbial growth in drinking water distribution systems, often achieved through the addition of disinfectants, is essential to limiting waterborne illness, particularly in immunocompromised subpopulations. Recent inquiries into the microbial ecology of distribution systems have found that pathogen resistance to chlorination is affected by microbial community diversity and interspecies relationships. Research indicates that multispecies biofilms are generally more resistant to disinfection than single-species biofilms. Other recent findings are the increased survival of the bacterial pathogen Legionella pneumophila when present inside its protozoan host Hartmannella vermiformis and the depletion of chloramine disinfectant residuals by nitrifying bacteria, leading to increased overall microbial growth. Interactions such as these are unaccounted for in current disinfection models. An understanding of the microbial ecology of distribution systems is necessary to design innovative and effective control strategies that will ensure safe and high-quality drinking water. PMID:16701992

  20. Microarray Applications in Microbial Ecology Research.

    SciTech Connect

    Gentry, T.; Schadt, C.; Zhou, J.

    2006-04-06

    Microarray technology has the unparalleled potential tosimultaneously determine the dynamics and/or activities of most, if notall, of the microbial populations in complex environments such as soilsand sediments. Researchers have developed several types of arrays thatcharacterize the microbial populations in these samples based on theirphylogenetic relatedness or functional genomic content. Several recentstudies have used these microarrays to investigate ecological issues;however, most have only analyzed a limited number of samples withrelatively few experiments utilizing the full high-throughput potentialof microarray analysis. This is due in part to the unique analyticalchallenges that these samples present with regard to sensitivity,specificity, quantitation, and data analysis. This review discussesspecific applications of microarrays to microbial ecology research alongwith some of the latest studies addressing the difficulties encounteredduring analysis of complex microbial communities within environmentalsamples. With continued development, microarray technology may ultimatelyachieve its potential for comprehensive, high-throughput characterizationof microbial populations in near real-time.

  1. 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

  2. Non-viral microbial keratitis in children

    PubMed Central

    Al-Otaibi, Abdullah G.

    2011-01-01

    Microbial (non-viral) keratitis is a serious vision-threatening condition. The management of microbial keratitis in children is particularly complicated by the children’s inability to cooperate during examinations and the lack of information prior to presentation. Predisposing factors vary according to geographical location and age. Corneal trauma is the leading cause for microbial keratitis in children, followed by systemic and ocular disease. Etiologic agents are most frequently Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria commonly found in contact lens-related microbial keratitis. Mycotic keratitis is a major risk factor in tropical weather conditions, particularly when associated with agricultural trauma. Early diagnosis, intensive drug treatment, and timely planned surgical intervention may effectively improve the outcome of pediatric microbial keratitis. PMID:23960991

  3. 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.

  4. Microbial Interactions within a Cheese Microbial Community▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Mounier, Jérôme; Monnet, Christophe; Vallaeys, Tatiana; Arditi, Roger; Sarthou, Anne-Sophie; Hélias, Arnaud; Irlinger, Françoise

    2008-01-01

    The interactions that occur during the ripening of smear cheeses are not well understood. Yeast-yeast interactions and yeast-bacterium interactions were investigated within a microbial community composed of three yeasts and six bacteria found in cheese. The growth dynamics of this community was precisely described during the ripening of a model cheese, and the Lotka-Volterra model was used to evaluate species interactions. Subsequently, the effects on ecosystem functioning of yeast omissions in the microbial community were evaluated. It was found both in the Lotka-Volterra model and in the omission study that negative interactions occurred between yeasts. Yarrowia lipolytica inhibited mycelial expansion of Geotrichum candidum, whereas Y. lipolytica and G. candidum inhibited Debaryomyces hansenii cell viability during the stationary phase. However, the mechanisms involved in these interactions remain unclear. It was also shown that yeast-bacterium interactions played a significant role in the establishment of this multispecies ecosystem on the cheese surface. Yeasts were key species in bacterial development, but their influences on the bacteria differed. It appeared that the growth of Arthrobacter arilaitensis or Hafnia alvei relied less on a specific yeast function because these species dominated the bacterial flora, regardless of which yeasts were present in the ecosystem. For other bacteria, such as Leucobacter sp. or Brevibacterium aurantiacum, growth relied on a specific yeast, i.e., G. candidum. Furthermore, B. aurantiacum, Corynebacterium casei, and Staphylococcus xylosus showed reduced colonization capacities in comparison with the other bacteria in this model cheese. Bacterium-bacterium interactions could not be clearly identified. PMID:17981942

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Conditioning biomass for microbial growth

    DOEpatents

    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.

  9. 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

  10. Microbial processes and subsurface contaminants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molz, Fred J.

    A Chapman Conference entitled “Microbial Processes in the Transport, Fate, and In Situ Treatment of Subsurface Contaminants” was held in Snowbird, Utah, October 1-3, 1986. Members of the program committee and session chairmen were Lenore Clesceri (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y.), David Gibson (University of Texas, Austin), James Mercer (GeoTrans, Inc., Herndon , Va.), Donald Michelsen (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg), Fred Molz (Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.), Bruce Rittman (University of Illinois, Urbana), Gary Sayler (University of Tennessee, Knoxville), and John T. Wilson (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Ada, Okla.). The following report attempts to highlight the six sessions that constituted the conference. For additional information, including a bound summary and abstracts, contact Fred J. Molz, Civil Engineering Department, Auburn University, AL 36849 (telephone: 205-826-4321).

  11. 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.

  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 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Microbial desulfurization of natural gas

    SciTech Connect

    Sublette, K.L.; Sylvester, N.D.

    1987-01-01

    It has been demonstrated that the H/sub 2/S content of a gas can be reduced to very low levels by contact with an aerobic or anaerobic culture of Thiobacillus denitrificans if the reactor is operated under sulfide-limiting conditions. Hydrogen sulfide was observed to be an inhibitory substrate; however, upset conditions produced by excess H/sub 2/S feed were readily detected and reversed. Biomass yield is lower under aerobic conditions than anaerobic conditions presumably because of inhibition of growth by oxygen. However, under aerobic conditions the maximum loading of the biomass is 2-3 times higher than that observed for anaerobic conditions. Heterotrophic contamination was shown to have a negligible effect on reactor performance. The use of mixed cultures (T. denitrification and heterotrophs) could simplify a microbial gas desulfurization process by removing the requirement for aseptic operation of the reactor.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  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.

  1. 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

  2. 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).

  3. 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.

  4. Combining microbial cultures for efficient production of electricity from butyrate in a microbial electrochemical cell.

    PubMed

    Miceli, Joseph F; Garcia-Peña, Ines; Parameswaran, Prathap; Torres, César I; Krajmalnik-Brown, Rosa

    2014-10-01

    Butyrate is an important product of anaerobic fermentation; however, it is not directly used by characterized strains of the highly efficient anode respiring bacteria (ARB) Geobacter sulfurreducens in microbial electrochemical cells. By combining a butyrate-oxidizing community with a Geobacter rich culture, we generated a microbial community which outperformed many naturally derived communities found in the literature for current production from butyrate and rivaled the highest performing natural cultures in terms of current density (∼ 11A/m(2)) and Coulombic efficiency (∼ 70%). Microbial community analyses support the shift in the microbial community from one lacking efficient ARB in the marine hydrothermal vent community to a community consisting of ∼ 80% Geobacter in the anode biofilm. This demonstrates the successful production and adaptation of a novel microbial culture for generating electrical current from butyrate with high current density and high Coulombic efficiency, by combining two mixed microbial cultures containing complementing biochemical pathways.

  5. Divergence in plant and microbial allocation strategies explains continental patterns in microbial allocation and biogeochemical fluxes.

    PubMed

    Averill, Colin

    2014-10-01

    Allocation trade-offs shape ecological and biogeochemical phenomena at local to global scale. Plant allocation strategies drive major changes in ecosystem carbon cycling. Microbial allocation to enzymes that decompose carbon vs. organic nutrients may similarly affect ecosystem carbon cycling. Current solutions to this allocation problem prioritise stoichiometric tradeoffs implemented in plant ecology. These solutions may not maximise microbial growth and fitness under all conditions, because organic nutrients are also a significant carbon resource for microbes. I created multiple allocation frameworks and simulated microbial growth using a microbial explicit biogeochemical model. I demonstrate that prioritising stoichiometric trade-offs does not optimise microbial allocation, while exploiting organic nutrients as carbon resources does. Analysis of continental-scale enzyme data supports the allocation patterns predicted by this framework, and modelling suggests large deviations in soil C loss based on which strategy is implemented. Therefore, understanding microbial allocation strategies will likely improve our understanding of carbon cycling and climate.

  6. 40 CFR 158.2100 - Microbial pesticides definition and applicability.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 23 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 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...

  7. 40 CFR 158.2110 - Microbial pesticides data requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 23 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Microbial pesticides data requirements...) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2110 Microbial pesticides data requirements. (a) For all microbial pesticides. (1) The following § 158.2120 through §...

  8. Human-associated microbial signatures: examining their predictive value.

    PubMed

    Knights, Dan; Parfrey, Laura Wegener; Zaneveld, Jesse; Lozupone, Catherine; Knight, Rob

    2011-10-20

    Host-associated microbial communities are unique to individuals, affect host health, and correlate with disease states. Although advanced technologies capture detailed snapshots of microbial communities, high within- and between-subject variation hampers discovery of microbial signatures in diagnostic or forensic settings. We suggest turning to machine learning and discuss key directions toward harnessing human-associated microbial signatures.

  9. 40 CFR 158.2110 - Microbial pesticides data requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 24 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Microbial pesticides data requirements...) PESTICIDE PROGRAMS DATA REQUIREMENTS FOR PESTICIDES Microbial Pesticides § 158.2110 Microbial pesticides data requirements. (a) For all microbial pesticides. (1) The following § 158.2120 through §...

  10. 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

  11. Microbial fuel cells and microbial ecology: applications in ruminant health and production research.

    PubMed

    Bretschger, Orianna; Osterstock, Jason B; Pinchak, William E; Ishii, Shun'ichi; Nelson, Karen E

    2010-04-01

    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 (H(2)) transfer. Microbial fermentation processes and methanogenesis in ruminant animals are highly dependent on the consumption and production of H(2)in the rumen. Given the crucial role that H(2) plays in ruminant digestion, it is desirable to understand the microbial relationships that control H(2) 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. Surface reflectance degradation by microbial communities

    DOE PAGES

    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

  17. Microbial volatile emissions as insect semiochemicals

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We provide a synthesis of the literature describing biochemical interactions between microorganisms and arthropods by way of microbial volatile organic compound (MVOC) production. We explored important metabolic pathways involved in MVOC production and evaluated the functionality, generality, and e...

  18. 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)

  19. Novel trends for use of microbial tannases.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shuai; Gao, Xiangyang; He, Liping; Qiu, Yuanxin; Zhu, Huawei; Cao, Yong

    2015-01-01

    Tannases, mainly produced by microorganisms, are able to hydrolyze gallotannins, ellagitannins, complex tannins, and gallic acid esters into gallic acid, ellagic acid, glucose, or alcohols, and also synthesize gallic acid esters using tannic acid or gallic acid with a variety of alcohols in nonaqueous media. Microbial tannases have been widely applied especially in beverage processing, pharmaceutics, and brewing. However, many factors, especially high production costs, severely limit the use of microbial tannases at the industrial level. In this minireview, we aim to provide an overview of the advances in applications of microbial tannases during the last 15 years, mainly including the following respects: hydrolysis of tea cream, modification of green tea catechins, production of gallic acid, debittering of fruit juices, degradation of tannery effluents, and synthesis of propyl gallate, trying to know the trends and prospects for the future in applications of microbial tannases.

  20. Guiding bioprocess design by microbial ecology.

    PubMed

    Volmer, Jan; Schmid, Andreas; Bühler, Bruno

    2015-06-01

    Industrial bioprocess development is driven by profitability and eco-efficiency. It profits from an early stage definition of process and biocatalyst design objectives. Microbial bioprocess environments can be considered as synthetic technical microbial ecosystems. Natural systems follow Darwinian evolution principles aiming at survival and reproduction. Technical systems objectives are eco-efficiency, productivity, and profitable production. Deciphering technical microbial ecology reveals differences and similarities of natural and technical systems objectives, which are discussed in this review in view of biocatalyst and process design and engineering strategies. Strategies for handling opposing objectives of natural and technical systems and for exploiting and engineering natural properties of microorganisms for technical systems are reviewed based on examples. This illustrates the relevance of considering microbial ecology for bioprocess design and the potential for exploitation by synthetic biology strategies. PMID:25835154

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Microfluidics expanding the frontiers of microbial ecology.

    PubMed

    Rusconi, Roberto; Garren, Melissa; Stocker, Roman

    2014-01-01

    Microfluidics has significantly contributed to the expansion of the frontiers of microbial ecology over the past decade by allowing researchers to observe the behaviors of microbes in highly controlled microenvironments, across scales from a single cell to mixed communities. 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. In this article, we review applications of microfluidics that have resulted in 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 microbial processes such as biofilm formation and antibiotic resistance.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. A thermodynamic theory of microbial growth

    PubMed Central

    Desmond-Le Quéméner, Elie; Bouchez, Théodore

    2014-01-01

    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. [Marine microbial metagenomics: progress and prospect].

    PubMed

    Li, Xiang; Qin, Ling; Dai, Shi-kun; Jiang, Shu-mei; Liu, Zhi-heng

    2007-06-01

    Preliminary statistics showed that there are more than one million species of microbes in marine environments that formed a dynamic genetic reservoir, among which the majority are not revealed and categorized due to barrier in cultivation techniques. However, the situation has changed in recent years because of the rapid development of phylogenetic studies based on small ribosomal RNA and rDNA sequencing independent to standard laboratory cultivation. These changes have significantly altered our understanding about microbial diversity and microbial ecology. In this review, we highlight some of recent progress and innovation in research on microbial diversity, and propose a metagenomic scheme as an alternative to overcome some of the barriers that still remain for exploitation of marine microbial diversity for its enormous potential in pharmaceutical applications. We believe that rapid progress in marine metagenomics allows direct access to the genomes of numerous non-cultivable microorganisms for their associated chemical prosperity.

  9. Guiding bioprocess design by microbial ecology.

    PubMed

    Volmer, Jan; Schmid, Andreas; Bühler, Bruno

    2015-06-01

    Industrial bioprocess development is driven by profitability and eco-efficiency. It profits from an early stage definition of process and biocatalyst design objectives. Microbial bioprocess environments can be considered as synthetic technical microbial ecosystems. Natural systems follow Darwinian evolution principles aiming at survival and reproduction. Technical systems objectives are eco-efficiency, productivity, and profitable production. Deciphering technical microbial ecology reveals differences and similarities of natural and technical systems objectives, which are discussed in this review in view of biocatalyst and process design and engineering strategies. Strategies for handling opposing objectives of natural and technical systems and for exploiting and engineering natural properties of microorganisms for technical systems are reviewed based on examples. This illustrates the relevance of considering microbial ecology for bioprocess design and the potential for exploitation by synthetic biology strategies.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Integrating microbial traits into ecosystem models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allison, S. D.

    2012-12-01

    Diverse bacterial and fungal communities control the decomposition of complex organic material, thereby driving important ecosystem functions such as CO2 production and nutrient regeneration. Predicting these functions is challenging because microbial communities and the chemical substrates they metabolize are complex. To address this challenge, I developed a theoretical model of microbial decomposition based on microbial traits involved in substrate degradation, uptake, and growth. The model represents a large number of microbial taxa, each of which possesses a set of trait values drawn at random from empirically-based distributions. The model also includes a large number of chemical substrates that can be degraded by microbial extracellular enzymes and taken up by membrane transporters. Microbes with different trait values for enzyme production and uptake capacity compete for chemical substrates and vary in abundance during model runs. I used the model to predict rates of plant litter decomposition and determine which traits were associated with high microbial abundance under different environmental conditions. The model predicted that optimal traits depend on the level of enzyme production in the whole community, which determines resource availability and decomposition rates. There is also evidence for facilitation and competition among microbial taxa that co-occur on decomposing litter, suggesting that microbial interactions may play a role in determining ecosystem function. These interactions vary with community investment in extracellular enzyme production and the magnitude of tradeoffs affecting biochemical traits such as enzyme kinetic parameters. The model accounted for 69% of the variation in decomposition rates and up to 26% of the variation in enzyme activities in an empirical dataset with 15 types of Hawaiian plant litter. By explicitly representing microbial diversity, trait-based models can predict ecosystem processes based on functional trait

  13. 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

  14. Microbial isotopic fractionation of perchlorate chlorine.

    PubMed

    Coleman, Max L; Ader, Magali; Chaudhuri, Swades; Coates, John D

    2003-08-01

    Perchlorate contamination can be microbially respired to innocuous chloride and thus can be treated effectively. However, monitoring a bioremediative strategy is often difficult due to the complexities of environmental samples. Here we demonstrate that microbial respiration of perchlorate results in a significant fractionation ( approximately -15 per thousand ) of the chlorine stable isotope composition of perchlorate. This can be used to quantify the extent of biotic degradation and to separate biotic from abiotic attenuation of this contaminant. PMID:12902300

  15. An Economic Framework of Microbial Trade.

    PubMed

    Tasoff, Joshua; Mee, Michael T; Wang, Harris H

    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.

  16. Pyrosequencing for microbial identification and characterization.

    PubMed

    Cummings, Patrick J; Ahmed, Ray; Durocher, Jeffrey A; Jessen, Adam; Vardi, Tamar; Obom, Kristina M

    2013-08-22

    Pyrosequencing is a versatile technique that facilitates microbial genome sequencing that can be used to identify bacterial species, discriminate bacterial strains and detect genetic mutations that confer resistance to anti-microbial agents. The advantages of pyrosequencing for microbiology applications include rapid and reliable high-throughput screening and accurate identification of microbes and microbial genome mutations. Pyrosequencing involves sequencing of DNA by synthesizing the complementary strand a single base at a time, while determining the specific nucleotide being incorporated during the synthesis reaction. The reaction occurs on immobilized single stranded template DNA where the four deoxyribonucleotides (dNTP) are added sequentially and the unincorporated dNTPs are enzymatically degraded before addition of the next dNTP to the synthesis reaction. Detection of the specific base incorporated into the template is monitored by generation of chemiluminescent signals. The order of dNTPs that produce the chemiluminescent signals determines the DNA sequence of the template. The real-time sequencing capability of pyrosequencing technology enables rapid microbial identification in a single assay. In addition, the pyrosequencing instrument, can analyze the full genetic diversity of anti-microbial drug resistance, including typing of SNPs, point mutations, insertions, and deletions, as well as quantification of multiple gene copies that may occur in some anti-microbial resistance patterns.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  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.

  3. An Economic Framework of Microbial Trade.

    PubMed

    Tasoff, Joshua; Mee, Michael T; Wang, Harris H

    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

  4. 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.

  5. Microbial cellulose utilization: fundamentals and biotechnology.

    PubMed

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

    2002-09-01

    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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Microbial Lifestyle and Genome Signatures

    PubMed Central

    Dutta, Chitra; Paul, Sandip

    2012-01-01

    Microbes are known for their unique ability to adapt to varying lifestyle and environment, even to the extreme or adverse ones. The genomic architecture of a microbe may bear the signatures not only of its phylogenetic position, but also of the kind of lifestyle to which it is adapted. The present review aims to provide an account of the specific genome signatures observed in microbes acclimatized to distinct lifestyles or ecological niches. Niche-specific signatures identified at different levels of microbial genome organization like base composition, GC-skew, purine-pyrimidine ratio, dinucleotide abundance, codon bias, oligonucleotide composition etc. have been discussed. Among the specific cases highlighted in the review are the phenomena of genome shrinkage in obligatory host-restricted microbes, genome expansion in strictly intra-amoebal pathogens, strand-specific codon usage in intracellular species, acquisition of genome islands in pathogenic or symbiotic organisms, discriminatory genomic traits of marine microbes with distinct trophic strategies, and conspicuous sequence features of certain extremophiles like those adapted to high temperature or high salinity. PMID:23024607

  14. The process of microbial translocation.

    PubMed Central

    Alexander, J W; Boyce, S T; Babcock, G F; Gianotti, L; Peck, M D; Dunn, D L; Pyles, T; Childress, C P; Ash, S K

    1990-01-01

    The process of microbial translocation was studied using Candida albicans, Escherichia coli, or endotoxin instilled into Thiry-Vella loops of thermally injured guinea pigs and rats. Translocation of C. albicans occurred by direct penetration of enterocytes by a unique process different from classical phagocytosis. Translocation between enterocytes was not observed. Internalization was associated with a disturbance of the plasma membrane and brush border, but most internalized organisms were not surrounded by a plasma membrane. Passage of the candida into the lamina propria appeared to be associated with disruption of the basal membrane with extrusion of cytoplasm of the cell and candida. Organisms in the lamina propria were commonly phagocytized by macrophages but also were found free in lymphatics and blood vessels. Translocation of E. coli and endotoxin also occurred directly through enterocytes rather than between them, but translocated endotoxin diffused through the lamina propria and muscular wall of the bowel wall by passing between rather than through the myocytes. These descriptive phenomena provide new insight into the role of the enterocyte and intestinal immune cells in the translocation process. Images Figs. 11A-E. Figs. 11A-E. Figs. 12A-C. Figs. 1A-F. Figs. 2A-D. Figs. 2A-D. Figs. 2A-D. Figs. 2A-D. Fig. 3. Figs. 4A and B. Figs. 5A-B. Fig. 5C. Fig. 6. Fig. 6. Figs. 7A and B. Fig. 8. Fig. 9. Fig. 10. PMID:2222015

  15. The microbial genomics of arsenic.

    PubMed

    Andres, Jérémy; Bertin, Philippe N

    2016-03-01

    Arsenic, which is a major contaminant of many aquatic ecosystems worldwide, is responsible for serious public health issues. However, life has evolved various strategies for coping with this toxic element. In particular, prokaryotic organisms have developed processes enabling them to resist and metabolize this chemical. Studies based on genome sequencing and transcriptome, proteome and metabolome profiling have greatly improved our knowledge of prokaryotes' metabolic potential and functioning in contaminated environments. The increasing number of genomes available and the development of descriptive and comparative approaches have made it possible not only to identify several genetic determinants of the arsenic metabolism, but also to elucidate their phylogenetic distribution and their modes of regulation. In addition, studies using functional genomic tools have established the pleiotropic character of prokaryotes' responses to arsenic, which can be either common to several species or species-specific. These approaches also provide promising means of deciphering the functioning of microbial communities including uncultured organisms, the genetic transfers involved and the possible occurrence of metabolic interactions as well as the evolution of arsenic resistance and metabolism.

  16. 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.

  17. Microbial desulfurization of different coals.

    PubMed

    Acharya, C; Kar, R N; Sukla, L B

    2004-01-01

    Coal is the most important nonrenewable energy source of fossil origin. It is also the most common fuel in thermal power plants. However, during coal incineration in power plants, high sulfur content of coal poses serious environmental problems owing to sulfur dioxide emission. We studied the application of microbial methods for removal of sulfur from three types of high sulfur coals-two samples collected from Assam and Rajasthan in India and one from Libiaz, Poland. These coal samples were desulfurized using indigenous Acidithiobacillus sp. After investigation of the effect of various parameters, the conditions optimized for the maximum removal of total sulfur (91.87% for lignite, 63.13% for Polish coal, and only 9.44% for Assam coal) were as follows: initial pH of 1.5 (2.5 in the case of Assam coal), particle size of 45 micro, pulp density of 2% (w/v), incubation period of 30 d at -35 degrees C in presence of 44.2 g/L of ferrous sulfate in the media with shaking at 140 rpm. Poor removal of sulfur in the case of Assam coal was owing to extensive precipitation of jarosites. In addition, the sulfur in Assam coal is mostly found in organic form, which is difficult to remove with Acidithiobacillus sp. The removal of sulfur from the three coal samples was demonstrated with photomicrographic studies. PMID:15304738

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Microbial safety of tropical fruits.

    PubMed

    Strawn, Laura K; Schneider, Keith R; Danyluk, Michelle D

    2011-02-01

    There are approximately 140 million tons of over 3,000 types of tropical fruits produced annually worldwide. Tropical fruits, once unfamiliar and rare to the temperate market, are now gaining widespread acceptance. Tropical fruits are found in a variety of forms, including whole, fresh cut, dried, juice blends, frozen, pulp, and nectars in markets around the world. Documented outbreaks of foodborne disease associated with tropical fruits have occurred. Norovirus and Salmonella are the leading viral and bacterial pathogens, respectively, documented to have caused outbreaks of infections associated with consumption of tropical fruits. Sources of contamination of tropical fruit have been identified in the production environment and postharvest handling, primarily related to sanitation issues. Limited data exist on the specific route of transmission from these sources. Research on the microbial safety of tropical fruits is minimal; with the growing market for tropical fruit expected to increase by 33% in 2010 this research area needs to be addressed. The aim of this review is to discuss the foodborne pathogen outbreaks associated tropical fruit consumption, research previously completed on pathogen behavior on tropical fruits, preventive strategies for pathogen contamination, and research needs.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Microbial activity in soils following steam treatment.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Ruth E; James, C Andrew; Bhupathiraju, Vishvesh K; Alvarez-Cohen, Lisa

    2002-01-01

    Steam enhanced extraction (SEE) is an aquifer remediation technique that can be effective at removing the bulk of non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) contamination from the subsurface, particularly highly volatile contaminants. However, low volatility compounds such as polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are less efficiently removed by this process. This research evaluated the effects of steam injection on soil microbial activity, community structure, and the potential for biodegradation of contaminants following steam treatment. Three different soils were evaluated: a laboratory-prepared microbially-enriched soil, soil from a creosote contaminated field site, and soil from a chlorinated solvent and waste oil contaminated field site. Results from field-scale steaming are also presented. Microbial activity before and after steam treatment was evaluated using direct epifluorescent microscopy (DEM) using the respiratory activity dye 5-cyano-2,3, ditolyl tetrazolium chloride (CTC) in conjunction with the fluorochrome 5-(4,6-dichlorotriazinyl) aminofluorescein (DTAF) to yield a quantitative assessment of active and total microbial numbers. DEM results indicate that steamed soils that were analyzed while still hot exhibited microbial activity levels that were below detection. However, soil samples that were slowly cooled, more closely reflecting the conditions of applied SEE, exhibited microbial activity levels that were comparable to presteamed soils. Samples from a field-site where steam was applied continuously for 6 weeks also showed high levels of microbial activity following cooling. The metabolic capabilities of the steamed communities were investigated by measuring cell growth in enrichment cultures on various substrates. These studies provided evidence that organisms capable of biodegradation were among the mesophilic populations that survived steam treatment. Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis of the soils with domain-level rRNA probes suggest

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. Tackling chronic migraine: current perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Carod-Artal, Francisco Javier

    2014-01-01

    In the last decade, several diagnostic criteria and definitions have been proposed for chronic migraine (CM). The third edition of the International Classification of Headache Disorders–3 beta, published in 2013, has revised CM diagnostic criteria. CM is defined as “headache occurring on 15 or more days per month for more than 3 months, which has the features of migraine headache on at least 8 days per month.” Patients who meet the criteria for CM and for medication-overuse headache should be given both diagnoses. Worldwide, CM prevalence ranges 1%–3%, and its incidence has been estimated to be 2.5% per year. CM is associated with disability and poor quality of life. Modifiable risk factors include (among others): migraine progression (defined as an increase in frequency and severity of migraine attacks); medication and caffeine overuse; obesity; stressful life events; and snoring. CM patients have a significantly higher frequency of some comorbid conditions, including chronic pain, psychiatric disorders, respiratory illness, and some vascular risk factors. Management includes identification and control of comorbidities and risk factors that predispose to CM; treatment and prevention for medication overuse; early treatment for migraine attacks; and an adequate preventive therapy for CM. Several randomized controlled clinical trials have shown the efficacy of topiramate, amitriptyline, onabotulinumtoxinA, and cognitive-behavioral therapy in CM. PMID:24748814

  9. Transformative tools for tackling tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Gardiner, Jennifer L; Karp, Christopher L

    2015-10-19

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. How Four Communities Tackle Mainstreaming.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conn, Maurice

    1992-01-01

    To accommodate its moderately and severely handicapped students, the Saline (Michigan) Schools developed an inclusive community model requiring age-appropriate placement, integrated delivery of educational and related services, social integration, transition planning, community-based training, curricular expectations, systematic data-based…

  12. 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)

  13. 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…

  14. 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

  15. Tackling population in Sierra Leone.

    PubMed

    1994-06-01

    In this interview (April 21) with Yoshio Koike, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) country director, the population situation in Sierra Leone is described. 4.5 million persons inhabit an area of 74,000 sq. km. Independence was achieved in 1961, but the country was under the patronage of the United Kingdom until April 1992 when a military coup occurred. The new leaders are young (22-29 years) and enthusiastic; a democratic general election will be held in 1996 and the municipal assembly election will occur in 1995. Sierra Leone was the ninth African country receiving aid from UNFPA to establish a population policy (1989). A National Population Commission, which has remained dormant, was also established. The population growth rate is 2.4% annually (average for west African countries); the total fertility rate is 6.8. The maternal mortality rate is estimated to be 1400-1700/100,000 live births. The infant mortality rate (IMR) is about 180; for those under 5 years of age, it is 275. Although the country has 470 clinics available on paper, only 25% are operational according to UNFPA. This is the third year of the MCH/FP project, but only 76 clinics provide family planning information and services. Through coordination of nongovernmental and governmental efforts, 20,000 newcomers and acceptors are being recruited for family planning annually. If expansion continues at this rate and repeaters are maintained for 5 years, the contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) should reach 20%. Currently, it is 2% in rural areas and 9% in cities. The national average is about 4-6%. The CPR should approach the goal of 60% in 10 years. There is no serious objection to family planning on the basis of religion; however, people are not informed about the importance of birth spacing and about where they can obtain services. Information, education, and communication (IEC) activities are being improved.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Combining microbial cultures for efficient production of electricity from butyrate in a microbial electrochemical cell

    PubMed Central

    Miceli, Joseph F.; Garcia-Peña, Ines; Parameswaran, Prathap; Torres, César I.; Krajmalnik-Brown, Rosa

    2014-01-01

    Butyrate is an important product of anaerobic fermentation; however, it is not directly used by characterized strains of the highly efficient anode respiring bacteria (ARB) Geobacter sulfurreducens in microbial electrochemical cells. By combining a butyrate-oxidizing community with a Geobacter rich culture, we generated a microbial community which outperformed many naturally derived communities found in the literature for current production from butyrate and rivaled the highest performing natural cultures in terms of current density (~11 A/m2) and Coulombic efficiency (~70%). Microbial community analyses support the shift in the microbial community from one lacking efficient ARB in the marine hydrothermal vent community to a community consisting of ~80% Geobacter in the anode biofilm. This demonstrates the successful production and adaptation of a novel microbial culture for generating electrical current from butyrate with high current density and high Coulombic efficiency, by combining two mixed micro bial cultures containing complementing biochemical pathways. PMID:25048958

  20. 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.

  1. Sulfuric Acid Speleogenesis: Microbial Karst and Microbial Crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engel, A. S.; Bennett, P. C.; Stern, L. A.

    2001-12-01

    Sulfuric acid speleogenesis is a fundamental mechanism of karst formation, and is potentially responsible for the formation of some of the most extensive cave systems yet discovered. Speleogenesis occurs from the rapid dissolution of the host limestone by sulfuric acid produced from biotic and abiotic sulfide oxidation, and with the release of carbon dioxide, secondary gypsum crusts form. This crust develops predominately on the cave walls, often preserving original bedding indicators, until it finally collapses under its own weight to expose fresh limestone for dissolution. While this general speleogenetic process can be inferred from secondary residues in some caves, directly observing this process is difficult, and involves entry into an extreme environment with toxic atmospheres and low pH solutions. Kane Cave, Big Horn County, WY, offers the unique opportunity to study microbe-rock interactions directly. Kane Cave presently contains 3 springs that discharge hydrogen sulfide-rich waters, supporting thick subaqueous mats of diverse microbial communities in the stream passage. Condensation droplets and elemental sulfur form on subaerially exposed gypsum surfaces. Droplets have an average pH of 1.7, and are dominated by dissolved sulfate, Ca, Mg, Al, and Si, with minor Sr and Fe, and trace Mn and U. SEM and EDS examination of the crusts reveal the presence of C, O, and S, as well as authigenic, doubly-terminated quartz crystals. An average δ 13C value of -36 ‰ suggests that the crusts are biogenic and are composed of chemoautotrophic microorganisms. Enrichment cultures of biofilms and acid droplets rapidly produce sulfuric acid, demonstrating the dominance of sulfur-oxidizing bacteria. Colonization of gypsum surfaces by acidophilic microorganisms enhances acid dissolution of the limestone, and hence the growth of the cave itself. Limestone dissolution also results in mineralized crusts and biofilms that accumulate insoluble residues, which serve as sources of

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Microbial life in ridge flank crustal fluids.

    PubMed

    Huber, Julie A; Johnson, H Paul; Butterfield, David A; Baross, John A

    2006-01-01

    To determine the microbial community diversity within old oceanic crust, a novel sampling strategy was used to collect crustal fluids at Baby Bare Seamount, a 3.5 Ma old outcrop located in the north-east Pacific Ocean on the eastern flank of the Juan de Fuca Ridge. Stainless steel probes were driven directly into the igneous ocean crust to obtain samples of ridge flank crustal fluids. Genetic signatures and enrichment cultures of microorganisms demonstrate that these crustal fluids host a microbial community composed of species indigenous to the subseafloor, including anaerobic thermophiles, and species from other deep-sea habitats, such as seawater and sediments. Evidence using molecular techniques indicates the presence of a relatively small but active microbial population, dominated by bacteria. The microbial community diversity found in the crustal fluids may indicate habitat variability in old oceanic crust, with inputs of nutrients from seawater, sediment pore-water fluids and possibly hydrothermal sources. This report further supports the presence of an indigenous microbial community in ridge flank crustal fluids and advances our understanding of the potential physiological and phylogenetic diversity of this community.

  6. 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.

  7. Microbial biodiversity in glacier-fed streams

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Relating nanomaterial properties and microbial toxicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suresh, Anil K.; Pelletier, Dale A.; Doktycz, Mitchel J.

    2012-12-01

    Metal and metal oxide nanoparticles are among the most commonly used nanomaterials 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 assessments of toxicity. Further muddling biocidal interpretations are the diversity of microbes and their intrinsic tolerances to stresses. Here, we review a range of 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. General conclusions regarding the parent material of the nanoparticle and the 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 the structuring of these species within communities complicate extrapolations of nanoparticle toxicity in real world settings. Ultimately, to interpret the effect and eventual fate of engineered materials in the environment, an understanding of the relationship between nanoparticle properties and responses at the molecular, cellular and community levels will be essential.

  16. Environmental stress and evolvability in microbial systems.

    PubMed

    Baquero, F

    2009-01-01

    The sustainability of life on the planet depends on the preservation of the existing microbial systems, which constitutes our major "biological atmosphere". The detection of variations in microbial systems as a result of anthropogenic or natural changes is critical both to detect and assess risks and to programme specific interventions. Changes in microbial systems provokes stress, probably altering the local evolutionary time by changing evolvability (the possibilities of microbes to evolve). Methods should be refined to properly assess diversity in microbial systems. We propose that such diversity estimations should be done on a multi-hierarchical scale, encompassing not only organisms, but sub-cellular entities (e.g. chromosomal domains, plasmids, transposons, integrons, genes, gene modules) and supra-cellular organizations (e.g. clones, populations, communities, ecosystems), applying Hamiltonian criteria of inclusive fitness for the different ensembles. In any of these entities, we can generally identify, in a fractal manner, constant and variable parts. Variation in these entities and ensembles is probably both reduced and increased by environmental stress. Because of that, variation in microbial systems might serve as mirrors or symptoms of the health of the planet. PMID:19220344

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. High-resolution phylogenetic microbial community profiling

    PubMed Central

    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

    2016-01-01

    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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Specificity of marine microbial surface interactions.

    PubMed Central

    Imam, S H; Bard, R F; Tosteson, T R

    1984-01-01

    The macromolecular surface components involved in intraspecific cell surface interactions of the green microalga Chlorella vulgaris and closely associated bacteria were investigated. The specific surface attachment between this alga and its associated bacteria is mediated by lectin-like macromolecules associated with the surfaces of these cells. The binding activity of these surface polymers was inhibited by specific simple sugars; this suggests the involvement of specific receptor-ligand binding sites on the interactive surfaces. Epifluorescent microscopic evaluation of bacteria-alga interactions in the presence and absence of the macromolecules that mediate these interactions showed that the glycoproteins active in these processes were specific to the microbial sources from which they were obtained. The demonstration and definition of the specificity of these interactions in mixed microbial populations may play an important role in our understanding of the dynamics of marine microbial populations in the sea. PMID:6508293

  3. 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

  4. Nanotechnology, bionanotechnology and microbial cell factories

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Nanotechnology is increasingly using both materials and nano-objects synthesized by living beings, most of them produced by microbial cells. Emerging technologies and highly integrative approaches (such as 'omics and systems biology), that have been largely proven successful for the production of proteins and secondary metabolites are now expected to become fully adapted for the improved biological production of nanostructured materials with tailored properties. The so far underestimated potential of microbial cell factories in nanotechnology and nanomedicine is expected to emerge, in the next years, in the context of novel needs envisaged in the nanoscience universe. This should prompt a careful revisiting of the microbial cell factories as the most versatile biological platforms to supply functional materials for nanotechnological applications. PMID:20602780

  5. Universal microbial diagnostics using random DNA probes

    PubMed Central

    Aghazadeh, Amirali; Lin, Adam Y.; Sheikh, Mona A.; Chen, Allen L.; Atkins, Lisa M.; Johnson, Coreen L.; Petrosino, Joseph F.; Drezek, Rebekah A.; Baraniuk, Richard G.

    2016-01-01

    Early identification of pathogens is essential for limiting development of therapy-resistant pathogens and mitigating infectious disease outbreaks. Most bacterial detection schemes use target-specific probes to differentiate pathogen species, creating time and cost inefficiencies in identifying newly discovered organisms. We present a novel universal microbial diagnostics (UMD) platform to screen for microbial organisms in an infectious sample, using a small number of random DNA probes that are agnostic to the target DNA sequences. Our platform leverages the theory of sparse signal recovery (compressive sensing) to identify the composition of a microbial sample that potentially contains novel or mutant species. We validated the UMD platform in vitro using five random probes to recover 11 pathogenic bacteria. We further demonstrated in silico that UMD can be generalized to screen for common human pathogens in different taxonomy levels. UMD’s unorthodox sensing approach opens the door to more efficient and universal molecular diagnostics. PMID:27704040

  6. Microbial enzymes: tools for biotechnological processes.

    PubMed

    Adrio, Jose L; Demain, Arnold L

    2014-01-16

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Cancer-promoting effects of microbial dysbiosis.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    Humans depend on 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; this has been shown to contribute to the pathogenesis of colon, gastric, esophageal, pancreatic, laryngeal, breast, and gallbladder carcinomas. This development is closely tied to host inflammation, which causes and is aggravated by microbial dysbiosis and increases 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

  13. Microbial life under extreme energy limitation.

    PubMed

    Hoehler, Tori M; Jørgensen, Bo Barker

    2013-02-01

    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.

  14. 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.

  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. Development of an automated microbial sensor system.

    PubMed

    Heim, S; Schnieder, I; Binz, D; Vogel, A; Bilitewski, U

    1999-02-01

    An automated whole cell biosensor system was developed by integration of immobilized microbial cells in a flow-through system with screen-printed flow-through electrodes as detectors. The detectors used were thick-film Pt-electrodes in a 3-electrode configuration constructed as sandwich flow-through cells with a volume of about 36 microliters polarized at -900 mV. The measuring principle was the determination of oxygen consumption due to the microbial metabolism. Fructose was used as model analyte. The microorganisms were immobilized on cellulose-acetate membranes and integrated into a newly created reaction chamber (membrane reactor). The microbial cells used were Rhodococcus erythropolis and Issatchenkia orientalis known to be suitable for the determination of biological oxygen demand.

  17. Dynamics in the mixed microbial concourse

    PubMed Central

    Wintermute, Edwin H.; Silver, Pamela A.

    2010-01-01

    Isolated, clonal populations of cells are rarely found in nature. The emergent properties of microbial consortia present a challenge for the systems approach to biology, as chances for competition, communication, or collaboration multiply with the number of interacting agents. This review focuses on recent work on intercourse within biofilms, among quorum-sensing populations, and between cross-feeding metabolic cooperators. New tools from synthetic biology allow microbial interactions to be designed and tightly controlled, creating valuable model systems. We address both natural and synthetic partnerships, with an emphasis on how system behaviors derive from the properties of their components. Essential features of microbial biology arose in the context of a very mixed culture and cannot be understood without unscrambling it. PMID:21123647

  18. Microbial ecology of expanding oxygen minimum zones.

    PubMed

    Wright, Jody J; Konwar, Kishori M; Hallam, Steven J

    2012-06-01

    Dissolved oxygen concentration is a crucial organizing principle in marine ecosystems. As oxygen levels decline, energy is increasingly diverted away from higher trophic levels into microbial metabolism, leading to loss of fixed nitrogen and to production of greenhouse gases, including nitrous oxide and methane. In this Review, we describe current efforts to explore the fundamental factors that control the ecological and microbial biodiversity in oxygen-starved regions of the ocean, termed oxygen minimum zones. We also discuss how recent advances in microbial ecology have provided information about the potential interactions in distributed co-occurrence and metabolic networks in oxygen minimum zones, and we provide new insights into coupled biogeochemical processes in the ocean.

  19. 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.

  20. Epithelial Intermediate Filaments: Guardians against Microbial Infection?

    PubMed Central

    Geisler, Florian; Leube, Rudolf E.

    2016-01-01

    Intermediate filaments are abundant cytoskeletal components of epithelial tissues. They have been implicated in overall stress protection. A hitherto poorly investigated area of research is the function of intermediate filaments as a barrier to microbial infection. This review summarizes the accumulating knowledge about this interaction. It first emphasizes the unique spatial organization of the keratin intermediate filament cytoskeleton in different epithelial tissues to protect the organism against microbial insults. We then present examples of direct interaction between viral, bacterial, and parasitic proteins and the intermediate filament system and describe how this affects the microbe-host interaction by modulating the epithelial cytoskeleton, the progression of infection, and host response. These observations not only provide novel insights into the dynamics and function of intermediate filaments but also indicate future avenues to combat microbial infection. PMID:27355965

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  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. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 40 CFR 158.2110 - Microbial pesticides data requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... of the product. (b) Additional data requirements for genetically modified microbial pesticides. Additional requirements for genetically modified microbial pesticides may include but are not limited to... patterns” under which the individual data are required, with variations including all use patterns,...

  15. 40 CFR 158.2110 - Microbial pesticides data requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... of the product. (b) Additional data requirements for genetically modified microbial pesticides. Additional requirements for genetically modified microbial pesticides may include but are not limited to... patterns” under which the individual data are required, with variations including all use patterns,...

  16. 40 CFR 158.2110 - Microbial pesticides data requirements.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... of the product. (b) Additional data requirements for genetically modified microbial pesticides. Additional requirements for genetically modified microbial pesticides may include but are not limited to... patterns” under which the individual data are required, with variations including all use patterns,...

  17. Microbial control of arthropod pests of orchards in temperate climates

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Temperate orchards systems have several environmental features that make them conducive to microbial control strategies including adequate soil moisture, shading (protection from harmful UV) and stability. This chapter reviews and analyzes microbial control efforts in temperate orchards, including p...

  18. 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...

  19. [Advances in microbial solar cells--A review].

    PubMed

    Guo, Xiaoyun; Yu, Changping; Zheng, Tianling

    2015-08-01

    The energy crisis has become one of the major problems hindering the development of the world. The emergence of microbial fuel cells provides a new solution to the energy crisis. Microbial solar cells, integrating photosynthetic organisms such as plants and microalgae into microbial fuel cells, can convert solar energy into electrical energy. Microbial solar cell has steady electric energy, and broad application prospects in wastewater treatment, biodiesel processing and intermediate metabolites production. Here we reviewed recent progress of microbial solar cells from the perspective of the role of photosynthetic organisms in microbial fuel cells, based on a vast amount of literature, and discussed their advantages and deficiency. At last, brief analysis of the facing problems and research needs of microbial fuel cells are undertaken. This work was expected to be beneficial for the application of the microbial solar cells technology.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Anodic and cathodic microbial communities in single chamber microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Daghio, Matteo; Gandolfi, Isabella; Bestetti, Giuseppina; Franzetti, Andrea; Guerrini, Edoardo; Cristiani, Pierangela

    2015-01-25

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are a rapidly growing technology for energy production from wastewater and biomasses. In a MFC, a microbial biofilm oxidizes organic matter and transfers electrons from reduced compounds to an anode as the electron acceptor by extracellular electron transfer (EET). The aim of this work was to characterize the microbial communities operating in a Single Chamber Microbial Fuel Cell (SCMFC) fed with acetate and inoculated with a biogas digestate in order to gain more insight into anodic and cathodic EET. Taxonomic characterization of the communities was carried out by Illumina sequencing of a fragment of the 16S rRNA gene. Microorganisms belonging to Geovibrio genus and purple non-sulfur (PNS) bacteria were found to be dominant in the anodic biofilm. The alkaliphilic genus Nitrincola and anaerobic microorganisms belonging to Porphyromonadaceae family were the most abundant bacteria in the cathodic biofilm.

  3. 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

  4. 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, ...

  5. Archaean metabolic evolution of microbial mats

    PubMed Central

    Nisbet, E. G.; Fowler, C. M. R.

    1999-01-01

    Microbial mats of coexisting bacteria and archaea date back to the early Archaean: many of the major steps in early evolution probably took place within them. The earliest mats may have formed as biofilms of cooperative chemolithotrophs in hyperthermophile settings, with microbial exploitation of diversifying niches. Anoxygenic photosynthesis using bacteriochlorophyll could have allowed mats, including green gliding bacteria, to colonize anaerobic shallow-water mesothermophile habitats. Exploitation of the Calvin–Benson cycle by purple bacteria allowed diversification of microbial mats, with some organisms in more aerobic habitats, while green sulphur bacteria specialized in anaerobic niches. Cyanobacterial evolution led to more complex mats and plankton, allowing widespread colonization of the globe and the creation of further aerobic habitat. Microbial mat structure may reflect this evolutionary development in broad terms, with anaerobic lower levels occupied by archaeal and bacterial respirers, fermenters and green bacteria, while the higher levels contain aerobic purple bacteria and are dominated by cyanobacteria. A possible origin of eukaryotes is from a fusion of symbiotic partners living across a redox boundary in a mat. The geological record of Archaean mats may be present as isotopic fingerprints: with the presence of cyanobacteria, mats may have had a nearly modern structure as early as 3.5 Ga ago (1 Ga = 109 years).

  6. Extracellular DNA in oral microbial biofilms.

    PubMed

    Jakubovics, Nicholas S; Burgess, J Grant

    2015-07-01

    The extracellular matrix of microbial biofilms is critical for surface adhesion and nutrient homeostasis. Evidence is accumulating that extracellular DNA plays a number of important roles in biofilm integrity and formation on hard and soft tissues in the oral cavity. Here, we summarise recent developments in the field and consider the potential of targeting DNA for oral biofilm control.

  7. The rational exploration of microbial diversity.

    PubMed

    Quince, Christopher; Curtis, Thomas P; Sloan, William T

    2008-10-01

    The exploration of the microbial world has been an exciting series of unanticipated discoveries despite being largely uninformed by rational estimates of the magnitude of task confronting us. However, in the long term, more structured surveys can be achieved by estimating the diversity of microbial communities and the effort required to describe them. The rates of recovery of new microbial taxa in very large samples suggest that many more taxa remain to be discovered in soils and the oceans. We apply a robust statistical method to large gene sequence libraries from these environments to estimate both diversity and the sequencing effort required to obtain a given fraction of that diversity. In the upper ocean, we predict some 1400 phylotypes, and a mere fivefold increase in shotgun reads could yield 90% of the metagenome, that is, all genes from all taxa. However, at deep ocean, hydrothermal vents and diversities in soils can be up to two orders of magnitude larger, and hundreds of times the current number of samples will be required just to obtain 90% of the taxonomic diversity based on 3% difference in 16S rDNA. Obtaining 90% of the metagenome will require tens of thousands of times the current sequencing effort. Although the definitive sequencing of hyperdiverse environments is not yet possible, we can, using taxa-abundance distributions, begin to plan and develop the required methods and strategies. This would initiate a new phase in the exploration of the microbial world.

  8. 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

  9. Tuning microbial hosts for membrane protein production

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    The last four years have brought exciting progress in membrane protein research. Finally those many efforts that have been put into expression of eukaryotic membrane proteins are coming to fruition and enable to solve an ever-growing number of high resolution structures. In the past, many skilful optimization steps were required to achieve sufficient expression of functional membrane proteins. Optimization was performed individually for every membrane protein, but provided insight about commonly encountered bottlenecks and, more importantly, general guidelines how to alleviate cellular limitations during microbial membrane protein expression. Lately, system-wide analyses are emerging as powerful means to decipher cellular bottlenecks during heterologous protein production and their use in microbial membrane protein expression has grown in popularity during the past months. This review covers the most prominent solutions and pitfalls in expression of eukaryotic membrane proteins using microbial hosts (prokaryotes, yeasts), highlights skilful applications of our basic understanding to improve membrane protein production. Omics technologies provide new concepts to engineer microbial hosts for membrane protein production. PMID:20040113

  10. Arctic permafrost: Microbial lid on subsea methane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thornton, Brett F.; Crill, Patrick

    2015-08-01

    Submarine permafrost thaw in the Arctic has been suggested as a trigger for the release of large quantities of methane to the water column, and subsequently the atmosphere -- with important implications for global warming. Now research shows that microbial oxidation of methane at the thaw front can effectively prevent its release.

  11. 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.

  12. Microbial Control of Structural Insect Pests

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Three major pest groups affecting urban structures, ants, termites, and peridomestic cockroaches, are potentially the most amenable for the development of microbial controls. It is not only because of their economic importance, but their biology and ecology make them more susceptible to control by e...

  13. Microbial Diversity of Impact-Generated Habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pontefract, Alexandra; Osinski, Gordon R.; Cockell, Charles S.; Southam, Gordon; McCausland, Phil J. A.; Umoh, Joseph; Holdsworth, David W.

    2016-10-01

    Impact-generated lithologies have recently been identified as viable and important microbial habitats, especially within cold and arid regions such as the polar deserts on Earth. These unique habitats provide protection from environmental stressors, such as freeze-thaw events, desiccation, and UV radiation, and act to trap aerially deposited detritus within the fissures and pore spaces, providing necessary nutrients for endoliths. This study provides the first culture-independent analysis of the microbial community structure within impact-generated lithologies in a Mars analog environment, involving the analysis of 44,534 16S rRNA sequences from an assemblage of 21 rock samples that comprises three shock metamorphism categories. We find that species diversity increases (H = 2.4-4.6) with exposure to higher shock pressures, which leads to the development of three distinct populations. In each population, Actinobacteria were the most abundant (41%, 65%, and 59%), and the dominant phototrophic taxa came from the Chloroflexi. Calculated porosity (a function of shock metamorphism) for these samples correlates (R2 = 0.62) with inverse Simpson indices, accounting for overlap in populations in the higher shock levels. The results of our study show that microbial diversity is tied to the amount of porosity in the target substrate (as a function of shock metamorphism), resulting in the formation of distinct microbial populations.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. Bacillamides from a hypersaline microbial mat bacterium.

    PubMed

    Socha, Aaron M; Long, Richard A; Rowley, David C

    2007-11-01

    Chemical studies of a Bacillus endophyticus isolated from a Bahamian hypersaline microbial mat led to the isolation of bacillamides B and C, new tryptamide thiazole metabolites. Bioassay-guided fractionation using a HPLC-UV-MS bioassay technique enabled the detection of these trace fermentation products, and their total structures were elucidated by combined spectroscopic techniques.

  19. 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...

  20. 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.