Nature Research News 27/9/2011 from bacterium to biofuel

Summaries of newsworthy papers: Association of a bacterium with haemorrhagic stroke, microbial production of a diesel biofuel and more.


This press release contains:

Summaries of newsworthy papers:

Association of a bacterium with haemorrhagic stroke
Microbial production of a diesel biofuel
Mention of papers to be published at the same time

Geographical listing of authors

[1] Association of a bacterium with haemorrhagic stroke
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1491

A particular strain of Stretococcus mutans is identified in Nature Communications this week as being associated with haemorrhagic stroke. The findings suggest that infection with this bacteria could be a risk factor for haemorrhagic stroke.

Koichiro Wada and colleagues show that certain types of the Streptococcus mutans bacterium can exacerbate a mouse model of stroke and can bind to damaged blood vessels in the mouse brain using a collagen binding protein. They found that oral bacteria isolated from human haemorrhagic stroke patients showed a higher frequency of bacteria expressing the collagen binding protein compared to controls and stroke patients with non-haemorrhagic stroke.

These finding suggest that certain bacteria contain virulence proteins that can worsen haemorrhagic stroke. These bacteria may also be potential risk factors for this condition.

Koichiro Wada (Osaka University, Japan)
Tel: +81 6 6879 2913; E-mail: [email protected]

[2] Microbial production of a diesel biofuel
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1494

A step towards the microbial production of a biofuel which may be used as an alternative to D2 diesel fuel is reported in Nature Communications this week. Advanced biofuels, with properties similar to those of petroleum-based fuels, could be used by current engine designs, and distribution and storage infrastructure with potential benefits to the environment.

Taek Soon Lee and colleagues identify bisabolane as a biosynthetic alternative to D2 diesel and then engineer bacteria and yeast to produce the bisabolane precursor, bisabolene. The final step of the synthesis to produce bisabolane unfortunately requires a conventional hydrogenation and it cannot currently be carried out microbially.

Although the scale-up to commercially viable volumes would require significant further development, this work provides new insights into the identification of new terpene-based advanced biofuels and the development of microbial platforms for biofuel production.

Taek Soon Lee (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Emeryville, CA, USA)
Tel: +1 510 495 2469; E-mail: [email protected]

[3] Capturing the essence of folding and functions of biomolecules using coarse-grained models
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1481

[4] Room temperature magnetic materials from nanostructured diblock copolymers
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1485

[5] Role of mid-gap states in charge transport and photoconductivity in semiconductor nanocrystal films
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1492

[6] A shift of the TOR adaptor from Rictor towards Raptor by semaphorin in C. elegans
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1495
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The following list of places refers to the whereabouts of authors on the papers numbered in this release. For example, London: 4 - this means that on paper number four, there will be at least one author affiliated to an institute or company in London. The listing may be for an author's main affiliation, or for a place where they are working temporarily. Please see the PDF of the paper for full details.

Pavia: 1

Kanagawa: 1
Nagoya: 6
Osaka: 1
Shizuoka: 1
Tokyo: 1

Seoul: 3

Berkeley: 2

Emeryville : 2
Amherst: 4
College Park: 3
New Mexico
Los Alamos: 5


From North America and Canada

Neda Afsarmanesh, Nature New York

Tel: +1 212 726 9231; E-mail: [email protected]

From Japan, Korea, China, Singapore and Taiwan

Mika Nakano, Nature Tokyo

Tel: +81 3 3267 8751; E-mail: [email protected]

From the UK

Rachel Twinn, Nature, London

Tel: +44 20 7843 4658; E-mail: [email protected]

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Published: 27 Sep 2011

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