A new study in the July 18 issue of The Journal of Experimental Medicine shows that gold-colored bacteria are more harmful than their unpigmented relatives. A group of scientists led by Victor Nizet (UCSD, San Diego, CA) have discovered that the molecules that give certain bugs their color also help them resist attack by immune cells called neutrophils.
Scientists and clinicians have known for many years that gold-colored strains of a bacterium called Staphylococcus aureus tend to be cause more disease than colorless strains. The color of these bugs comes from anti-oxidant molecules called carotenoids. Similar molecules also give carrots their color and are often touted for their ability to boost the immune system.
Nizet and colleagues now show that these pigmented molecules help S. aureus defuse damaging molecules that are produced by neutrophils in order to kill the bacteria. When the researchers removed the carotenoids from the bacteria, they became more vulnerable to immune attack. Nizet suggests that drugs that inhibit carotenoid synthesis might be useful for treating S. aureus infections, which can quickly develop resistance to traditional antibiotics.
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Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
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In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
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By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
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