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BacterioFiles

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The podcast for microbe lovers: reporting on exciting news about bacteria, archaea, and sometimes even eukaryotic microbes and viruses.

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Recent Episodes

399: Conductor Creating Carbon Canvases
This episode: Bacteria can aide the production of the useful material graphene, using their ability to add electrons to external surfaces! Download Episode (7.7 MB, 11.3 minutes) Show notes: Microbe of the episode: Brevibacterium frigoritolerans News item Takeaways Advanced materials often take advanced techniques to create, but they offer numerous benefits: increased strength and flexibility, smaller size, more options. One such material is graphene, which is basically a sheet of carbon atoms linked together like chainmail. It is only a single atom thick but is amazingly strong, mostly transparent, and good at conducting heat and electricity. The trick is, it's hard to make in large quantities cheaply and easily. Sheets of carbons can be obtained from blocks of graphite, but these sheets are graphene oxide, which lack the desirable properties of graphene. Chemical methods can be used to remove the oxidation, but they are harsh and difficult. Luckily, bacteria are great at microscopic remodeling. In this study, electron-transferring bacteria are able to reduce the graphene oxide to graphene with properties almost as good as are achieved by chemical reduction. Journal Paper: Lehner BAE, Janssen VAEC, Spiesz EM, Benz D, Brouns SJJ, Meyer AS, van der Zant HSJ. 2019. Creation of Conductive Graphene Materials by Bacterial Reduction Using Shewanella oneidensis. ChemistryOpen 8:888–895. Other interesting stories: Frog skin gut bacteria correlate with resistance to deadly virus Skin microbiota could be transplanted to treat skin conditions (paper)   Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening! Subscribe: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Android, or RSS. Support the show at Patreon, or check out the show at Twitter or Facebook.
398: Marathon Microbes Maximize Mileage
This episode: Bacteria found in the guts of serious athletes help mice exercise longer by transforming their metabolic waste! Download Episode (7.3 MB, 10.6 minutes) Show notes: Microbe of the episode: Aggregatibacter (Actinobacillus) actinomycetemcomitans News item Takeaways Our gut microbes affect many aspects of health, and many aspects of how we live affect our microbes. One such aspect is physical exertion, which has been associated with enrichment of various microbes in the guts of athletes. This observation led to the question: are these microbes just benefiting from the high levels of exertion, or are they able to contribute also? This study found that certain such bacteria, when given to mice, enabled the mice to run for a longer period on a treadmill. These microbes break down lactic acid, which is generated in our bodies when we push our physical limits, but the study provided evidence that the longer run times were due not to removal of this waste product, but to the propionate compound produced by its degradation. Journal Paper: Scheiman J, Luber JM, Chavkin TA, MacDonald T, Tung A, Pham L-D, Wibowo MC, Wurth RC, Punthambaker S, Tierney BT, Yang Z, Hattab MW, Avila-Pacheco J, Clish CB, Lessard S, Church GM, Kostic AD. 2019. Meta-omics analysis of elite athletes identifies a performance-enhancing microbe that functions via lactate metabolism. Nat Med 25:1104–1109. Other interesting stories: Aphids hijacked viral gene to determine whether they grow wings Phage therapy could help treat green sea turtles   Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening! Subscribe: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Android, or RSS. Support the show at Patreon, or check out the show at Twitter or Facebook.
397: Plant Promotes Pathogen-Prohibiting Partner
This episode: Plants stimulate their root bacteria to compete better, and these bacteria help the plants resist disease! Download Episode (7.3 MB, 10.6 minutes) Show notes: Microbe of the episode: Bacillus circulans Takeaways In some ways, plants' roots are like our gut. They both absorb nutrients, and they both have complex communities of microbes living alongside the host cells. These microbes can assist their hosts in various ways, and get fed in return. In this study, one species of root bacterium is able to compete against others by producing an antimicrobial compound. The plant stimulates this production with chemical signals, and benefits from its symbionts' increased competitiveness because the bacterium helps the plant resist infection. Journal Paper: Ogran A, Yardeni EH, Keren-Paz A, Bucher T, Jain R, Gilhar O, Kolodkin-Gal I. 2019. The Plant Host Induces Antibiotic Production To Select the Most-Beneficial Colonizers. Appl Environ Microbiol 85:e00512-19. Other interesting stories: Plant virus influences aphid viral infection, which possibly increases spread of both Producing bioplastics from low-cost carbon sources   Email questions or comments to bacteriofiles at gmail dot com. Thanks for listening! Subscribe: Apple Podcasts, RSS. Support the show at Patreon, or check out the show at Twitter or Facebook

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Podcast Details
Started
Dec 1st, 2014
Latest Episode
Oct 7th, 2019
Release Period
Weekly
No. of Episodes
209
Avg. Episode Length
11 minutes
Explicit
No

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