Tiny Biological Needles: How Some Bacteria Are Able to Infect Their Targets

Hi there! My name is Danny Ward and I am a PhD student at the John Innes Centre and the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. Today, I’m going to be telling you a little about what research I am working on, any why it is important. As the title suggests, I work on tiny biological needles. Tiny biological needles? Yes, you did indeed read that correctly! For many, we know that certain bacteria can cause disease but exactly how they are able to infect their targets often remains a mystery. One such system, responsible for promoting bacterial infection, … Continue reading Tiny Biological Needles: How Some Bacteria Are Able to Infect Their Targets

Towards the goodies!

How do bacteria find food? It is an important question as everything and also bacteria need to intake food/nutrients to survive and grow. Think about how you get food. First of all you realise that you are hungry, then you need to know where your next food source is, which can be either your fridge or the nearest take away, and then you move towards it. Bacteria do it very similarly. Interestingly, most bacteria can move or swim towards a nutrient as soon as they are hungry and they know where to find food. This process of bacterial movement according … Continue reading Towards the goodies!

Bring in the iron!

While the last article was about the project I studied in the past, this one will be about the project I am currently working on. Generally, it is about how bacteria sense the presence of iron in an environment where there is only little iron present. Okay, let’s start from the beginning.  One reason why I am so fascinated with bacteria, is because they can basically survive in all kinds of different environments. However, these changing environments require proper preparations. Just as you would put on some layers of warm clothes in winter when you go outside, they need to adapt to … Continue reading Bring in the iron!

Bacteria killing each other

Most people have only ever heard of those bad bacteria that make us sick and give us diarrhoea or pneumonia. However, few people actually know that those little bugs are all around us. They live in every corner of our body, they can be basically found everywhere in nature, be it in the forest, in the sea or in volcanoes. They are also amazing flatmates, sitting on your toilet, in the kitchen or in your bed. Now for example, imagine an environment within our body which is full of nutrients and metals, like our gut. A real paradise for bacteria … Continue reading Bacteria killing each other