Health & Medicine

Seasonal competition between mould spores and respiratory viruses

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is one of a number of respiratory viruses that demonstrate a clear seasonal incidence. Professor Gregory Retzinger and colleagues have explored the relationship between influenza-like illnesses (ILIs), COVID-19 and bioaerosol burden. They found an inverse relationship between mould spores and cases of ILIs and COVID-19 which is potentially due to competition for the same […]

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Biology

How did bacterial glycogen branching enzymes evolve?

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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Biology

Leaf spots on the prairies

Plants face a large number of threats from their surroundings. When microbes such as fungi act as pathogens on plants, they can cause disease. Some fungal pathogens of wheat appear as symptoms of spots on the leaves. Two important fungal species are the tan spot pathogen and the septoria nodorum blotch pathogen. These fungi can infect the same plant and […]

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Health & Medicine

Scalp microbiome gets to the root of dandruff

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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