UW Today

microbiology


November 12, 2015

From garden to gut: New book from UW’s David Montgomery explores an unfolding scientific revolution

The Hidden Half cover

A new book by University of Washington geologist David Montgomery weaves history, science and personal challenges into an exploration of humanity’s tangled relationship with microbes, perhaps the least loved and most misunderstood creatures on Earth — and in you. “The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health” comes out Nov. 16…


January 21, 2014

Dental school researchers patent new antibacterial agent

If proven effective in clinical trials, the new antibacterial might be applied after a root canal or other dental procedure to reduce the chances of infection or decay.

Titanium-based materials can inhibit bacterial growth when bound to metal ions. If proven beneficial in clinical trials, certain titanates could be applied after a dental procedure to prevent infection or decay.


December 31, 2013

Genetically identical bacteria can behave in radically different ways

bacterial cells split

When a bacterial cell divides into two daughter cells there can be an uneven distribution of cellular organelles. The resulting cells can behave differently from each other, giving them an evolutionary advantage.


May 8, 2013

Pioneer bacteria lay down trails that draw new recruits

bacteria form colonies

New research shows bacteria may draw other bacteria to an infection site by laying down trails of a “molecular glue” that attract free-swimming individual bacteria.


April 30, 2013

Tactics of new Middle East virus suggest treating by altering lung cells’ response to infection

Coronavirus Erasmus

The Erasmus virus resets 207 genes in lung cells to hamper the cells’ ability to launch an antiviral reaction. Available drugs might correct this sabotage.


April 11, 2013

Tuberculosis fighter and promoter reveals what’s behind its split identity

TB cording in zebrafish

Latest research findings suggest the possibility of reverting TB hyper-susceptibility to TB hyper-resistance.


March 29, 2013

Head-on collisions between DNA-code reading machineries accelerate gene evolution

Houra Merrikh Samuel Million-Weaver

Bacteria speed up their evolution by positioning specific genes along the route of expected traffic jams in DNA encoding. Collisions can result in mutations.


February 19, 2013

Mutant champions save imperiled species from almost-certain extinction

Gloved had holds plate with dozes of tiny wells of reddish orange hue

Species facing widespread and rapid environmental changes can sometimes evolve quickly enough to dodge the extinction bullet. UW scientists consider the genetic underpinnings of such evolutionary rescue.