Bacteriophage (green) attacking a bacterium (orange)
Bacteria Set Off Viral “Bombs” Inside Neighbors
A study finds some E. coli can deploy a chemical called colibactin to reawaken long-dormant viruses inside bacteria, causing destruction.
ABOVE: © iStock.com, iLexx
Bacteria Set Off Viral “Bombs” Inside Neighbors
Bacteria Set Off Viral “Bombs” Inside Neighbors

A study finds some E. coli can deploy a chemical called colibactin to reawaken long-dormant viruses inside bacteria, causing destruction.

A study finds some E. coli can deploy a chemical called colibactin to reawaken long-dormant viruses inside bacteria, causing destruction.

ABOVE: © iStock.com, iLexx

bacteriophage

Illustration of gray bacteriophages approaching and infecting a red and orange bacteria that has multiple fimbria protruding from it.
Bacteria-Infecting Viruses in Gut Microbiome Linked to Cognition
Dan Robitzski | Feb 16, 2022
Research in mice and flies suggests that bacteriophages, including those found in dairy foods, may have an influence on an animals’ ability to learn and remember information.
An illustration of an orange bacteriophage virus sitting on top of a green bacterium
Some Viruses Use an Alternative Genetic Alphabet
Abby Olena | Apr 29, 2021
In a trio of studies, researchers follow up on a 40-year-old finding that certain bacteriophages replace adenine with so-called diaminopurine, perhaps to avoid host degradation.
Virus Hunters: Searching for Therapeutic Phages in a Drug Resistant World
The Scientist Creative Services Team | Sep 21, 2020
Researchers Jason Gill and Paul Turner will discuss their work on bacteriophage therapy to treat drug resistant bacterial infections.
Retrons Help Bacteria Defend Themselves from Phages: Study
Catherine Offord | Feb 1, 2021
The mysterious DNA sequences appear to help bacterial cells spot when they’ve been infected with viruses—and prompt those cells to self-destruct.
major depressive disorder depression microbiome bacteria virus phage bacteriophage metabolite metabolomics
Distinct Microbiome and Metabolites Linked with Depression
Rachael Moeller Gorman | Dec 9, 2020
The gastrointestinal tracts of people with major depressive disorder harbor a signature composition of viruses, bacteria, and their metabolic products, according to the most comprehensive genomic and metabolomic analysis in depression to date.
The Scientist Speaks Podcast – Episode 3
The Scientist Creative Services Team | Mar 25, 2020
Tackling Antibiotic Resistance: Viruses to the Rescue
Gene Splicing Pioneer Dale Kaiser Dies
Ashley Yeager | Jun 29, 2020
Working with a virus that infects bacteria, the Stanford University biochemist and developmental biologist helped to develop a way to stitch DNA together, a discovery that gave rise to genetic engineering.
Switch Master: A Profile of Barbara Meyer
Diana Kwon | Jan 13, 2020
Working with bacteriophages and nematodes, the University of California, Berkeley, molecular biologist uncovered a role for genetic switches in early development.
Infographic: Phage Protein Helps E. coli Evade Mouse Immune Cells
Catherine Offord | Jan 13, 2020
Researchers suggest the viruses can help endosymbiotic bacteria get along with their hosts.
antibiotics antibiotics resistance persister bacteria bacteriophage
Opinion: We Need More than New Antibiotics to Fight Resistance
Neil S. Greenspan, Arturo Casadevall | Nov 1, 2019
Metabolic disrupters, phages, and other approaches are going to be needed to treat the broadest possible range of patients infected by bacterial pathogens resistant to multiple drugs.
Genetically Modified Viral Cocktail Treats Deadly Bacteria in Teen
Ashley Yeager | May 8, 2019
Tweaking the genomes of two phages and combining them with a third phage helped to clear a persistent Mycobacterium infection in the patient.
Researchers Discover 10 New Immune Systems in Bacteria
Jim Daley | Jan 25, 2018
The findings more than double the number of known defense mechanisms, piquing the interests of molecular biology tool developers.
Image of the Day: Virus Spacecraft 
The Scientist Staff, The Scientist Staff | Jan 5, 2018
Researchers reconstruct images of a virus that infects Escherichia coli bacteria.
Bacteriophages to the Rescue
Emily Monosson | Jul 16, 2017
Phage therapy is but one example of using biological entities to reduce our reliance on antibiotics and other failing chemical solutions.
Book Excerpt from Natural Defense
Emily Monosson | Jul 16, 2017
In Chapter 3, “The Enemy of Our Enemy Is Our Friend: Infecting the Infection,” author Emily Monosson makes the case for bacteriophage therapy in the treatment of infectious disease.
Anti-CRISPR Protein Reduces Off-Target Effects
Diana Kwon | Jul 12, 2017
AcrIIA4, an inhibitor protein from the Listeria bacteriophage, can block DNA from binding to Cas9 during genome editing.
Ancient Protein Helps E. coli Thwart Viral Attack
Ashley Yeager | May 9, 2017
When engineered to use a four-billion-year-old version of the protein thioredoxin, the bacteria can stall bacteriophage replication, a new study shows.
Inflammation Drives Gut Bacteria Evolution
Ruth Williams | Mar 16, 2017
Viruses within Salmonella rapidly spread genes throughout the bacterial population during a gut infection, scientists show.
Scientists Identify a Viral Communication System
Joshua A. Krisch | Jan 19, 2017
A team finds that viruses can sense chemical signals and use them to decide whether to kill or infect their hosts.