Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

E. coli waves the Blue Flag for our beaches

27.07.2004


E. coli, the bug made famous by food poisoning outbreaks, can be used to point the finger of blame at the right culprit when our waterways become polluted. E. coli live in the guts of animals and are already used to indicate whether food and water are contaminated with faecal material. However, according to a recent article in the August 2004 issue of Microbiology Today, the quarterly magazine of the Society for General Microbiology, this work can be extended to use the bugs to detect and find the source of the pollution.

Researchers at the University of Lancaster isolated E. coli bacteria from all the likely sources of pollution (cattle, sheep, donkeys, wild birds, dogs and humans) and then ‘fingerprinted’ the DNA from each isolate to form a unique bar code. The bar codes were all stored in a searchable computer library, which is used to match new samples from contaminated sites.

“This should help to identify sources, prevent contamination and improve health”, explains Dr Keith Jones from the University of Lancaster. “If you isolate E. coli from a contaminated environment it is possible to match the DNA fingerprint with that from different animals in the library. This then tells you which animal sources are responsible for that pollution.”



A recent finding showed that pollution of a beach in Northwest England was not due to contamination from human sewage, as thought, but from seabird droppings.

In the laboratory E. coli has long been associated with advancing research in cell and molecular biology and this issue of Microbiology Today explores some of the many aspects of E. coli, from the friend to the foe. Thanks to genomics, scientists now understand why some strains of E. coli are harmless, whilst others are deadly. For example, E. coli O157:H7 was made infamous due to a fatal outbreak in Scotland in 1996, whilst other strains, such as E. coli K-12, the most well studied bacterium in science, have contributed enormously to our understanding of how cells work.

Other features in the August 2004 issue of Microbiology Today include:

·Escherichia coli: model and menace (page 114)
·The history of E. coli K-12 (page 116)
·Diarrhoeal disease in the UK (page 117)
·E. coli as a probiotic (page 119)
·Comparative genomics (page 124)
·Getting to the bottom of the burger bug (page 126)

These are just some of the articles that appear, together with all the regular features and reports of Society activities.

Faye Jones | alfa
Further information:
http://www.sgm.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden

nachricht The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet
22.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

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...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>