Spinach, iron, and fiber Biology Health 

Stopping Bacteria from Stealing Our Iron

By Ada Hagan @adahagan As we discussed last time, bacteria that infect the human body face a major challenge, iron, which is essential for bacterial growth, is hard to obtain from human tissues.  Many pathogenic bacteria solve this problem by deploying “stealth siderophores,” which steal iron from human iron-binding proteins while evading our defenses. In the battle between humans and pathogenic bacteria, our best weapons—antibiotics—are being weakened by widespread resistance. Is there a way to use bacteria’s need for iron against them? Researchers have pursued the answer to this question…

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Spinach and Siderophores: The Bacterial Battle for Iron Biology Health 

Spinach and Siderophores: The Bacterial Battle for Iron

By Ada Hagan @adahagan Many remember the boisterous, muscle-bound, tattooed sailor Popeye and the thin-as-a-rail Olive Oyl from Saturday morning cartoons. In times of need, such as when his rival Bluto abducted Olive Oyl for the 50th time, Popeye would squeeze open a tin can of spinach. Eating the spinach, sometimes miraculously through his corn-cob pipe, gave Popeye that extra boost of energy needed to escape his bonds and rescue Olive Oyl. What was so special about spinach that gave Popeye his superpower? Iron. Or so I thought. It’s popularly…

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Numerous distinct methane streams emanating from the seafloor at an upper slope (< 500 m water depth) cold seep site, offshore Virginia. (Photo courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, 2013 Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition) Biology Environment Oceanography 

Methane-Munching Microbes Limit Global Warming

By Kate Stone Methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases, is constantly leaking out of holes on the ocean floor. Now, an international team of scientists have found that these “methane seeps” are home to unique communities of microbes that play an invaluable role in maintaining life on Earth. Microbes that Eat Methane Methane seeps in the sea floor release methane into the surrounding water, which is fed on by microorganisms that live on or near these leaks. By consuming the gas, they prevent it from entering our atmosphere….

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