Bacterial meningitis is the most common nervous system infection and a major cause of childhood death. In a new study appearing in the September 1 print issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation, Kelly Doran and colleagues from UCSD investigate the mechanisms responsible for the penetration of the human blood-brain barrier (BBB) by Group B Streptococcus (GBS), the bacteria that causes meningitis in newborn infants.
The authors find a novel GBS gene, called iagA, which helps the bacteria invade the normally shield-like brain endothelial cells of the BBB. An iagA mutant showed decreased invasion through these cells and reduced the development of meningitis and lethality in vivo. Deletion of iagA did not affect other key steps in the pathogenesis of GBS meningitis, including bacterial survival. Thus iagA specifically promotes endothelial cell uptake of the pathogen. The iagA gene product seems to synthesize a glycolipid anchor that facilitates the bacteria’s interaction with the host cell.
Stacie Bloom | EurekAlert!
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08.12.2017 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
‘Spying’ on the hidden geometry of complex networks through machine intelligence
08.12.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
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The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications
Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...
Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.
The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...
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