Department of Microbiology News

UT Technology Named a 2013 Top Innovation

Technology developed by UT researchers that lights up cells to enable study of the effects of drugs and monitor disease is among The Scientist magazine’s top ten innovations of 2013. Most bioluminescent tests, or tests that light up cells, only temporarily generate a light signal. The UT technology genetically modifies the cells so they light up in response to specific stimuli that can be monitored over time.

Expert on Treatment of Malaria to Speak at Last Science Forum

Current research of the treatment of malaria is the topic of the final Science Forum of the semester. Nathan Schmidt, assistant professor of microbiology, will present “A ‘Sweet’ Approach to Treating Malaria” on Friday, November 22. Schmidt’s presentation begins at noon in Room C-D of Thompson-Boling Arena. Attendees can bring lunch or purchase it at the arena.

Professor Returns to Land from Sea Research Cruise

Andrew Steen, a research assistant professor in microbiology, has his feet back on dry land after spending a week at sea with thirteen other scientists. Steen was chosen to be part of the scientific crew of the research ship R/V Endeavor on a cruise that aims to train the next generation of seagoing scientists to become chief scientists.

Professor Discovers How Microbes Survive at Bare Minimum

Image of archaea. Image Courtesy: Richard Kevorkian, University of Tennessee.

Beneath the ocean floor is a desolate place with no oxygen and sunlight. Yet microbes have thrived in this environment for millions of years. A study led by Karen Lloyd, an assistant professor of microbiology, reveals that these microscopic life-forms called archaea slowly eat tiny bits of protein. The study was released today in Nature.

The New York Times: Deep Under Antarctica, Looking for Signs of Life

A project involving Jill Mikucki, assistant professor of microbiology, was featured in The New York Times. It seeks to find evidence of life in a lake deep under the Antarctic ice as well as understanding the role subglacial lakes in stabilizing or destabilizing the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Science Omega: Unexpected numbers of microbes are fighting nitrous oxide

Frank Loeffler, UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair for Microbiology, was featured in Science-Omega for his research involving nitrous oxide. Loeffler and his international team has discovered that the range of microorganisms which combat the greenhouse gas is broader than expected.