While the medical community has been exploring the use of bacteriophages, a form of virus that can be used to manage bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics, plant pathologists with the American Phytopathological Society (APS) now say that this same approach may also help fight plant disease.
According to Jason Gill, a phage researcher at the University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, phages have been proposed as plant-pathogen control agents in a process known as phage therapy--the application of phages to ecosystems to reduce the population size of bacteria. "Phage could be explored as a biological control agent--the use of one organism to suppress another," said Gill.
Like other methods of biological control, one advantage of phage therapy is a reduction in the usage of chemical agents against pest species, which, in the case of phage, means a reduction in the usage of chemical antibiotics, said Gill. Another potential benefit of phage therapy is that phages are generally quite specific for their host bacterial species, and so can be targeted towards harmful bacteria while leaving other, potentially beneficial bacteria intact.
Amy Steigman | EurekAlert!
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Since their experimental discovery, magnetic skyrmions - tiny magnetic knots - have moved into the focus of research. Scientists from Hamburg and Kiel have now been able to show that individual magnetic skyrmions with a diameter of only a few nanometres can be stabilised in magnetic metal films even without an external magnetic field. They report on their discovery in the journal Nature Communications.
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Theoretical physicists at Trinity College Dublin are among an international collaboration that has built the world's smallest engine - which, as a single calcium ion, is approximately ten billion times smaller than a car engine.
Work performed by Professor John Goold's QuSys group in Trinity's School of Physics describes the science behind this tiny motor.
Together with the University of Innsbruck, the ETH Zurich and Interactive Fully Electrical Vehicles SRL, Infineon Austria is researching specific questions on the commercial use of quantum computers. With new innovations in design and manufacturing, the partners from universities and industry want to develop affordable components for quantum computers.
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Experimental progress towards engineering quantized gauge fields coupled to ultracold matter promises a versatile platform to tackle problems ranging from condensed-matter to high-energy physics
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Soft robots have a distinct advantage over their rigid forebears: they can adapt to complex environments, handle fragile objects and interact safely with humans. Made from silicone, rubber or other stretchable polymers, they are ideal for use in rehabilitation exoskeletons and robotic clothing. Soft bio-inspired robots could one day be deployed to explore remote or dangerous environments.
Most soft robots are actuated by rigid, noisy pumps that push fluids into the machines' moving parts. Because they are connected to these bulky pumps by tubes,...
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