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New device to improve urinary infections treatment

Original Source: Urinary tract infections could be treated more quickly and efficiently using a DNA sequencing device the size of a USB stick, says a study. "We found that this device, which is the size of a USB stick, could detect the bacteria in heavily infected urine - and provide its DNA sequence in just 12 hours. This is a quarter of the time needed for conventional microbiology," said one of the researchers Justin O'Grady from University of East Anglia in England. The new device called MinION detected bacteria from urine samples four times more quickly than traditional methods of culturing bacteria. The new method can also detect antibiotic resistance - allowing patients to be treated more effectively, the researchers said. "Swift results like these will make it possible...

Bladder cells regurgitate bacteria to prevent urinary tract infections

Source: Duke Medicine researchers have found that bladder cells have a highly effective way to combat E. coli bacteria that cause urinary tract infections (UTIs). In a study published online May 28, 2015, in the journal Cell, Duke researchers and their colleagues describe how bladder cells can physically eject the UTI-causing bacteria that manage to invade the host cell. This response is analogous to having indigestion and vomiting to rid the stomach of harmful substances. The finding suggests there may be a potential way to capitalize on this natural tendency in bladder cells to help treat recurring UTIs. UTIs are the second most common type of infection in the body, accounting for about 8.1 million doctor visits annually, the majority of which occur in women, according to the National...

Engineered bacteria detect cancer and diabetes in urine

Source: Most of us think of bacteria as the enemy, but each of our bodies harbors trillions of microbes, most of them beneficial or benign. Now, you can add two new friendlies to the list. This week, two groups of synthetic biologists seeking to repurpose living microbes for human benefit report genetically modifying bacteria to detect cancer in mice and diabetes in humans. Clinicians have sought to exploit microbes for more than a century. Beginning in 1891, an American bone surgeon named William Coley injected more than 1000 patients with bacterial colonies in hopes that they would shrink inoperable tumors. The treatment sometimes worked, in part because the microbes preferentially seek out tumor tissue, which is rich in nutrients yet has few immune cells to knock...