Viruses could become the next generation of environmentally friendly decontaminants, replacing harmful chemicals like chlorine dioxide in cleaning up areas exposed to anthrax spores, according to findings released today at the American Society for Microbiologys Biodefense Research Meeting. Researchers from the Biological Defense Research Directorate in Rockville, Maryland, the Defense Science Technology Laboratory in the United Kingdom, and the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute presented their findings.
"Decontamination modalities for anthrax to date have centered on the use of toxic biocides (formaldehyde, chlorine dioxide) or gamma radiation. These approaches suffer from the dual handicap of toxicity to man and the environment and/or are extremely expensive," says Leslie Baillie, one of the scientists on the study. "There is an urgent need for strategies which are environmentally friendly, can be used to decontaminate a range of environments with little or no toxicity to fauna and flora and are cost effective."
In the study the researchers investigated the feasibility of using lytic bacteriophage, viruses that specifically target and kill bacteria, to reduce the level of spores made by the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis a close but harmless relative of the organism that causes anthrax. Treatment of the soil with bacteriophage resulted in a significant reduction in spore contamination.
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Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...
Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...
Scientists from the MPI for Chemical Energy Conversion report in the first issue of the new journal JOULE.
Cell Press has just released the first issue of Joule, a new journal dedicated to sustainable energy research. In this issue James Birrell, Olaf Rüdiger,...
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