How did bacterial glycogen branching enzymes evolve?

structure of glycogen

Glycogen is a sugar which plays important roles in carbon and energy storage in bacteria. Glycogen with a highly branched, compact structure offers a more durable energy source – a characteristic linked with bacterial environmental durability, such as the ability to survive in deep sea vents. Dr Liang Wang at the Institut Pasteur of Shanghai and Ms Qing-Hua Liu at […]

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Getting retting better by bacterial blending

jute undergoes the retting process

Jute is the second most important fibre crop after cotton. Harvesting of jute is followed by retting, where the fibres are separated from stems. This is performed in open waters where natural microorganisms decompose the plant material. The fibre quality depends on retting efficiency. Given the water scarcity in Bangladesh and the resulting delays in harvest, the quality of fibres […]

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Scalp microbiome gets to the root of dandruff

Dandruff-free hair

Dandruff is an extremely common cosmetic condition, but one that remains often difficult to treat. Research scientists Sally Grimshaw, Elaine Xu and Dr Barry Murphy, of Unilever R&D, have carried out a detailed genetic investigation of the scalp microbiome: the community of bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms that live on the scalp skin. Their findings suggest that both bacteria and […]

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Breaking down the fort: Combatting clinical biofilms

Antibiotic-resistant Acinetobacter baumanii are forming protective layers called biofilms.

Treating bacterial infections can be challenging, even more so when they build a fort. These forts, or ‘biofilms’, form on living and non-living surfaces, such as heart valves, and protect bacteria from immune responses and antibiotics. This can lead to serious, chronic conditions, for instance an infection of the heart’s lining (endocarditis), relapsing infections and increased mortality. To help combat […]

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