The article, “Progress in the Ecological Genetics and Biodiversity of Freshwater Bacteria,” by Jürg B. Logue, Helmut Bürgmann, and Christopher T. Robinson, inaugurates a series of articles in BioScience on the theme “21st Century Directions in Biology.” Most issues of BioScience will include an article about the impacts of new molecular techniques on a range of biological fields.
The authors of the first “21st Century Directions in Biology” article summarize the history of techniques that allow the study of bacteria that cannot be cultured in the laboratory—the large majority. The first generation of such techniques was focused principally on the analysis of DNA sequences. Research that employed these techniques indirectly shed light on the nature of freshwater environments as a bacterial habitat. A particular problem in the study of freshwater environments is that they fluctuate greatly over time and space. It has become clear, however, that freshwater is quite different from terrestrial soil and marine environments in terms of the bacteria present.
Progress has brought new information to bear on the long-debated question of what exactly constitutes a bacterial species. It has also clarified the role of random events in the distribution of such species: randomness appears to be a substantial, although not all-powerful, influence.
The newest techniques can analyze specific functional capabilities of bacteria, such as their ability to metabolize particular molecules. Moreover, some techniques can analyze multiple capabilities in parallel. These are being combined with accurate and sensitive measurement techniques. Such research is yielding new understanding of how microbial populations shift in response to environmental change, a question that is likely to loom larger as freshwater becomes a more limiting resource for human populations.
Scientists spin artificial silk from whey protein
24.01.2017 | Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY
Choreographing the microRNA-target dance
24.01.2017 | UT Southwestern Medical Center
A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
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24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.01.2017 | Life Sciences
24.01.2017 | Health and Medicine