In a world where 842 million people suffer from chronic hunger, insect pests consume 20-30 percent of world food crops. Chemical pesticides are increasingly expensive, ineffective and environmentally aggressive, killing beneficial insects and, when transmitted through the food chain, moving in unwanted directions.
The search for eco-friendly bio-insecticides has focused mainly on developing transgenic crops that express natural protein toxins. The most successful, by far, are crops that express the toxin from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (BT). However the widespread use of BT transgenics has raised new—and contradictory—concerns; farmers fear the rapid evolution of BT-resistant insects and some consumers fear the rapid marketing of transgenic foods.
In the search for alternatives, scientists are revisiting a ‘natural’ biological control strategy used by insecticidal bacteria that live symbiotically with “entomopathogenic” nematodes. That’s a mouthful to describe an insect-killing bacterium that lives inside an unaffected worm host. The classic example is the bacterium, Xenorhabdus nematophila (X. nematophila; Latin for “loves nematodes”) and nematodes of the genus, Steinernema. Bacterium-nematode teams live almost their entire lifecycle inside larval-stage insects. The Xenorhabdus-Steinernema (‘X-S’) team is being used successfully to combat Lepidoptera, Coleoptera and Diptera pests.
Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University
How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy