Tag Microbiology

Study shows movement, evolutionary history of TB in China

A genetic scan of a massive number of samples taken from tuberculosis patients across China has shown a surprising genetic uniformity: just two “strains” of the tuberculosis bacterium account for 99.4 percent of all cases.

A hidden world of communication, chemical warfare, beneath the soil

New research from the University of Wisconsin–Madison shows how some harmful microbes have to contend not just with a farmer’s chemical attacks, but also with their microscopic neighbors — and themselves turn to chemical warfare to ward off threats.

Finding useful chemicals from fungi, faster

Fungi are rich sources of natural molecules for drug discovery, but many challenges have pushed pharmaceutical companies away from tapping into this bounty. Now scientists…

Termite gut holds a secret to breaking down plant biomass

In the Microbial Sciences Building at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the incredibly efficient eating habits of a fungus-cultivating termite are surprising even to those well acquainted with the insect’s natural gift for turning wood to dust.

Byzantine skeleton yields 800-year-old genomes from a fatal infection

Researchers discovered extraordinarily well preserved microfossils — mineralized ‘ghost cells’ — that closely resembled bacteria from the genus Staphylococcus.

UW biotech spinoff Mirus Bio celebrates two decades in business

The company makes cutting-edge products based on discoveries by three UW scientists for delivering DNA and RNA into cells.

The color of blood: Pigment helps stage symbiosis in squid

The small but charismatic Hawaiian bobtail squid is known for its predator-fooling light organ.

Microbiome and human health workshop

The opportunity to couple this emerging field and a traditional strength of UW–Madison — large longitudinal studies such as the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study; the Beaver Dam Eye Study; MIDUS, Midlife in the United States; and the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort — will be explored in a small, one-day workshop to be sponsored by the Center for Demography of Health and Aging and the Center for Demography and Ecology.

Tuberculosis genomes portray secrets of pathogen’s success

By any measure, tuberculosis (TB) is a wildly successful pathogen. It infects as many as two billion people in every corner of the world, with a new infection of a human host estimated to occur every second.

Swimming through complex bodily fluids gets simpler

It's an uncomfortable truth of life that our bodily fluids are chock full of microscopic swimming organisms - maybe even more uncomfortable to researchers that those little swimmers do laps faster than the theories describing their motion would allow.

Essential mechanism of symbiosis found in Hawaiian squid

Experiments at the University of Wisconsin–Madison with a small squid that glows in the dark have uncovered a complex conversation that allows the newly hatched squid to attract the glowing, symbiotic bacteria that disguises it against predators.

In sync: Squid, glowing companions march in genetic harmony

Most humans are blissfully unaware that we owe our healthful existence to trillions of microbes that make their home in the nooks and crannies of the human body, primarily the gut.