Engineering a better biofuel

The often-maligned E. coli bacteria has powerhouse potential: in the lab, it has the ability to crank out fuels, pharmaceuticals and other useful products at a rapid rate. A team from the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis has discovered a new way to remove a major stumbling block in the process, and boost biofuel production from E. coli.

A person’s diet, acidity of urine may affect susceptibility to UTIs

The acidity of urine — as well as the presence of small molecules related to diet — may influence how well bacteria can grow in the urinary tract, a new study shows. The research, led by Jeffrey Henderson, MD, PhD, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, may have implications for treating urinary tract infections, which are among the most common bacterial infections worldwide.
Doctors examine culture dish

Estrogen fights urinary infection in mouse study

Estrogen levels drop dramatically in menopause, a time when the risk of urinary tract infections increases significantly. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found new evidence in mice that the two phenomena are connected by more than just timing.

Urinary tract infections steal from hosts’ defense arsenals

Humans have known for centuries that copper is a potent weapon against infection. New research shows that the bacteria that cause serious urinary tract infections “know” this, too, and steal copper to prevent the metal from being used against them. Blocking this thievery with a drug may significantly improve patients’ chances of fighting off infections, according to researchers.

Discovery helps mice beat urinary tract infections

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found new clues to why some urinary tract infections recur persistently after multiple rounds of treatment. Their research, conducted in mice, suggests that the bacteria that cause urinary tract infections take advantage of a cellular waste disposal system that normally helps fight invaders.

Treatments for urinary infections leave bacteria bald, happy and vulnerable

The schematic in the center shows how a drug molecule (in the circle) prevents UTIs by stopping pili formation.A different approach to treating urinary tract infections (UTIs) could defeat the bacteria that cause the infections without directly killing them, a strategy that could help slow the growth of antibiotic-resistant infections. Instead of trying to wipe out bacteria, researchers at the School of Medicine have been working to create pharmaceuticals that essentially “defang” the bacteria by preventing them from assembling pili, microscopic hairs that enable the bacteria to invade host cells and defend themselves against the host’s immune system.

Treatments for urinary infections leave bacteria bald, happy and vulnerable

The schematic in the center shows how a drug molecule (in the circle) prevents UTIs by stopping pili formation.A different approach to treating urinary tract infections (UTIs) could defeat the bacteria that cause the infections without directly killing them, a strategy that could help slow the growth of antibiotic-resistant infections. Instead of trying to wipe out bacteria, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have been working to create pharmaceuticals that essentially “defang” the bacteria by preventing them from assembling pili, microscopic hairs that enable the bacteria to invade host cells and defend themselves against the host’s immune system.
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