Every year, millions of women are affected by the pain and discomfort of urinary tract infections or UTIs. For some, the infections may return even after treatment, recurring two or more times within a six-month period.
Now, researchers have found that recurrent UTIs may be caused by particular strains of Escherichia coli bacteria that can travel back and forth between the gut and the urinary tract with relative ease. The research appears in the 8 May issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine.
We each have trillions of microbial hitchhikers living in and on our bodies. These symbiotic organisms have co-evolved with us over millions of years and increasingly are being seen as essential to our health and well being, researchers said at the 2012 Abelson Symposium at AAAS.
The effort to understand the human microbiome—the full complement of 4 million or more genes contained in the microbial community we each harbor—is one of the hottest fields of scientific research.
Microbes on a Georgia mountaintop and mutated Salmonella bacteria are being scrutinized by undergraduate biologists in two innovative courses recognized by the Science Prize for Inquiry-Based Instruction.
The award-winning course developed by Nitya Jacob at Oxford College in Georgia allows students to do original research of the microbial diversity of nearby granite outcrops through DNA isolation and sequencing.