Microbiology

Understanding the flow and processing of carbon in the world's oceans, which cover 70 percent of Earth's surface, is central to understanding global climate cycles, with many questions remaining unanswered. Between 200 and 1,000 meters below the ocean surface exists a "twilight zone" where insufficient sunlight penetrates for microorganisms to perform photosynthesis. Despite this, it is known that microbes resident at these depths capture carbon dioxide that they then use to form cellular structures and carry out necessary metabolic reactions so that they can survive and reproduce. Details are now emerging about a microbial metabolic pathway that helps solve the mystery of how certain bacteria do this in the dark ocean. These research results, which are enabling a better understanding of what happens to the carbon that is fixed in the oceans every year, were published by a team of researchers, including those from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI), in the September 2, 2011 edition of Science.

Microbiology

Scientists were surprised at how fast bacteria developed resistance to the miracle antibiotic drugs when they were developed less than a century ago. Now scientists at McMaster University have found that resistance has been around for at least 30,000 years.

Environment


California Chinook salmon face many threats, but a new study predicts that climate change alone could finish them off as streams become too warm for spawning.
Warming streams could spell the end of spring-run Chinook salmon in California by the end of the century, according to a study by scientists at UC Davis, the Stockholm Environment Institute and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

AIDS & HIV

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School have demonstrated an approach to HIV vaccine design that uses an altered form of HIV's outer coating or envelope protein.




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