Germs

  • A new study shows how dangerous germs travel as stowaways from one continent to another

    Using a special culture, germs from smears can be recognized and identified. Photo: WWU/H. Dornhege

    As scientists from Münster University, in collaboration with the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, have now demonstrated, toilets at airports are also a “transfer point” for germs. These include germs against which traditional antibiotics for the treatment of bacterial infections are not, or only partially, effective.
    Münster (mfm/sm) – Everyday life at an airport: there’s still time before the jet taking passengers to faraway countries takes off – time enough for a quick visit to the toilet. What awaits passengers there is not always a pleasant sight. However, what they don’t see can be much worse. As scientists from Münster University, in collaboration with the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, have now demonstrated, toilets at airports are also a “transfer point” for germs.

  • High-speed camera snaps bio-switch in action

    The riboswitch 'button' before, during and after coupling of the ligand (green), from left to right. Credit: Yun-Xing Wang and Jason Stagno, National Cancer Institute

    X-ray experiment opens new route to study biochemical reactions. With a powerful X-ray camera, scientists have watched a genetic switch at work for the first time. The study led by Yun-Xing Wang from the National Cancer Institute of the U.S. reveals the ultrafast dynamics of a riboswitch, a gene regulator that can switch individual genes on and off. The innovative technique used for this investigation opens up a completely new avenue for studying numerous fundamental biochemical reactions, as the team reports in a fast-track publication in the journal Nature.

  • Mit Elektronenstrahlen Keime abtöten

    Probe eines Schweineherzbeutels © Fraunhofer FEP

    Medizinprodukte, Verpackungen und Lebensmittel lassen sich sicher und effizient durch Elektronenstrahlen sterilisieren. Fraunhofer-Forscher wollen künftig mit beschleunigten Elektronen auch Gewebetransplantate von Keimen befreien und zudem die Eigenschaften des biologischen Materials verändern.

  • Research against antibiotic resistance

    The paper disks have different antibiotics: Antibiotics in the discs in the culture on the left prevent bacteria from proliferating. Bacteria in the culture on the right are resistant to most of the antibiotics.

    The Swiss National Science Foundation is launching the National Research Programme “Antimicrobial Resistance”, which aims to develop new solutions to ensure that antibiotics remain effective. Worldwide, more and more pathogens are becoming resistant to today’s antibiotics. The aim of European Antibiotic Awareness Day on 18 November 2016 is to highlight the fact that medicines are losing their effectiveness as a result and that once easy-to-treat infections are turning into deadly diseases. To counteract this development, the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) is launching the National Research Programme “Antimicrobial Resistance” (NRP 72).