Sun, May 28, 2017 | updated 10:12 PM IST

New approach to drug resistance, courtesy Hollywood wizardry

Updated: Sep 09, 2016 14:11 IST      
New approach to drug resistance, courtesy Hollywood wizardry

Washington D.C. [USA], Sept. 9 (ANI): Looks like Hollywood wizardry has turned quite helpful for the scientists from Harvard Medical School and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

The scientists have designed a simple way to observe how bacteria move as they become impervious to drugs.

The experiments are thought to provide the first large-scale glimpse of the maneuvers of bacteria as they encounter increasingly higher doses of antibiotics and adapt to survive and thrive in them.

To do so, the team constructed a 2-by-4-foot petri dish and filled it with 14 liters of agar, a seaweed-derived jellylike substance commonly used in labs to nourish organisms as they grow.

To observe how the bacterium Escherichia coli adapts to increasingly higher doses of antibiotics, researchers divided the dish into sections and saturated them with various doses of medication. The outermost rims of the dish were free of any drug.

The next section contained a small amount of antibiotic, just above the minimum needed to kill the bacteria and each subsequent section represented a 10-fold increase in dose, with the center of the dish containing 1,000 times as much antibiotic as the area with the lowest dose.

Over two weeks, a camera mounted on the ceiling above the dish took periodic snapshots that the researchers spliced into a time-lapsed montage.

The result was a powerful, unvarnished visualization of bacterial movement, death and survival; evolution at work, visible to the naked eye.

The device, dubbed the Microbial Evolution and Growth Arena (MEGA) plate, represents a simple, and more realistic, platform to explore the interplay between space and evolutionary challenges that force organisms to change and adapt or die, the researchers said.

"We know quite a bit about the internal defense mechanisms bacteria use to evade antibiotics but we don't really know much about their physical movements across space as they adapt to survive in different environments," said study first author Michael Baym.

The researchers caution that their giant petri dish is not intended to perfectly mirror how bacteria adapt and thrive in the real world and in hospital settings, but it does mimic more closely the real-world environments bacteria encounter than traditional lab cultures.

This is because, the researchers say, in bacterial evolution, space, size and geography matter. Moving across environments with varying antibiotic strengths poses a different challenge for organisms than they face in traditional lab experiments that involve tiny plates with homogeneously mixed doses of drugs.

The study has been published in Science. (ANI)

Ocean warming impacts marine species' distribution

Updated: May 27, 2017 10:54 IST     

Washington D.C.[USA], May 27 (ANI): Ocean temperature continues to play a major role in where commercially and recreationally important species will find suitable habitat, suggests a study.

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Here's how hand amputation, reattachment affect brain

Updated: May 26, 2017 08:20 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 26 (ANI): When a person loses a hand to amputation, nerves that control sensation and movement are severed, causing dramatic changes in areas of the brain that controlled these functions. As a result, areas of the brain devoted to the missing hand take on other functions.

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Soon, toy cars that'll help get kids with disabilities moving

Updated: May 26, 2017 08:19 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 26 (ANI): Two new modified toy car designs have been developed for children with disabilities in an effort to encourage them to further explore, play, and engage in physical and social activities.

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Being 'cruel to be kind' really works!

Updated: May 25, 2017 07:29 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 25 (ANI): Can making people feel bad really help them? Yes, according to a recent study.

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DNA may have only modest impact on sexual assault arrests

Updated: May 24, 2017 19:06 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 24 (ANI): Most arrests in sexual assault cases occur before crime laboratory results are available, a new study found, suggesting that DNA testing may influence arrests in just a small number of cases.

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Your eyes can reveal if you have the post-disaster blues

Updated: May 24, 2017 16:01 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 24 (ANI): Turns out, your eyes really are the windows to your soul as a recent study has found that depression risk following a natural disaster can be predicted via pupil dilation.

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Size of whale has evolved in the recent past!

Updated: May 24, 2017 11:03 IST     

New Delhi [India], May 7 (ANI): Interestingly, blue whales, the largest vertebrate animal that ever lived, have recently evolved into giants.

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Washington D.C. [USA], May 7 (ANI): A team of researchers discovered that deep portions of earth's mantle might be as hot as it was more than 2.5 billion years ago.

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Death by Kissing Bugs more common than thought: Study

Updated: May 22, 2017 13:26 IST     

New York [USA], May 22 (ANI): Kissing Bugs, who like to bite humans around their lips and faces, as they sleep, are more dangerous than you have ever thought of.

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Now, deaf-blind can 'watch' television with this technology

Updated: May 21, 2017 14:15 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 21 (ANI): In a first, researchers have developed a new technology that types Braille or subtitles of television channels in real time and helps deaf-blind people "watch" television without intermediaries.

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Planting trees cannot replace cutting CO2 emissions!

Updated: May 18, 2017 17:15 IST     

New Delhi [INDIA], May 18 (ANI): According to a new study, growing plants and then storing CO2, taken up from the atmosphere, is no viable option to counteract unmitigated emissions from fossil fuel burning.

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Washington D.C. [USA], May 17 (ANI): Large families and strong social ties may help female rhesus macaques live longer, by reducing their chances of dying by 2.3 percent in one year, reveals a new study.

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Turns out, 'drunk you' not that different from 'sober you'

Updated: May 16, 2017 07:21 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 16 (ANI): Your personality may change when you drink, but less than you think, according to a recent study.

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Researchers find ways to make solar energy affordable

Updated: May 14, 2017 21:20 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 14 (ANI): In a recent study, researchers used data science to determine and predict the effects of exposure to weather and other conditions on materials in solar panels.

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Washington D.C. [USA], May 14 (ANI): Just like students choose their flatmates, Briton researchers have found that males of great tit birds are quiet selective when it comes to neighbourhood and opt to nest together with like-minded neighbours to improve their chances of survival.

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Washington D.C. [USA], May 13 (ANI): A group of international scientists studying China's Yellow River has come up with an analytic formula that could help officials better predict and prevent its all-too-frequent floods, which threaten as many as 80 million people.

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'Winged' snakes once slithered the Earth

Updated: May 13, 2017 12:54 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 13 (ANI): A mysterious 5-million-year-old "winged serpent" has finally been identified as a new species of ancient snakes.

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Newly-found distant 'warm Neptune' has primitive atmosphere

Updated: May 12, 2017 10:33 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 12 (ANI): A team of scientists has discovered a distant Neptune-sized planet that has clear skies and an atmosphere almost entirely composed of hydrogen and helium, scientists have discovered.

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New 3-D printed 'bionic skin' lets robots 'feel'

Updated: May 11, 2017 12:27 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], May 11 (ANI): A team of researchers has come up with a revolutionary process for 3D printing stretchable electronic sensory devices that could give robots the ability to feel their environment.

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Washington D.C. [USA], May 11 (ANI): African lion is the next big cat species to become extinct as they have lost most of their prey, according to a recent study.

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