Evolution and adaptation are an important and basic part of biology and with the advancement of high-throughput technologies new approaches are available to exploit these properties for biotechnological applications. In this highlight we underscore a number of recent articles that we believe are highly relevant to biotechnology, including the discovery of… (More)
In the following highlight we refer to a number of new advances in the field of Biotechnology that address issues relating to the synthesis of new antibiotics, new biocatalysts and matrices in biofilms.
At birth, the human colon is rapidly colonized by a vast amount of gut microbes that affect host physiology and metabolism because of their ability to ferment nutrients and secrete bioactive compounds (de Vos, 2013). Lately, different reports are exploring their potential use for the treatment of a wide variety of diseases, although the clinical use of the… (More)
In Meschke and Schrempf (2010), the authors present a very colourful research article on the potential of Strepto-myces lividans as a biocontrol agent. Streptomyces are well-characterized soil microorganisms that have attracted the attention of scientists because of their potential as producers of secondary metabolites that are of interest to the pharma… (More)
The removal of pollutants from the environment has been declared a priority by a number of Environmental Protection Agencies (Roze et al., 2009). A great number of aerobic pathways have been deciphered and their relevance in microbiology and biotechnology has been reviewed several times (Garmendia et al. In the area of biodegradation the role anaerobes and… (More)
In this special issue a series of articles appear detailing methods of energy generation under different conditions; processes which are related to the future vision of microbes as a source of electric power (Lovley, 2009). Methanogenesis is identified as an important part of the biogeochemical carbon cycle in diverse anaerobic environments. Methane is an… (More)
Arsenic (As) is toxic, carcinogenic and causes serious health problems. While As occurs naturally due to volcanic activity, the major anthropogenic sources of As are metal processing, burning of coal and arsenic-based pesticides or herbicides. Arsenate (AsO4 3-) and arsenite (AsO3 3-) are the primary chemical forms found in soil. Because of the wide… (More)
The crucial first step in tackling pollution is probably the preclusion of the toxic spread, and therefore, early contaminant detection is crucial (van Dillewijn et al., 2009). Biological detectors are usually cheaper and more sensitive than chemical detection methodologies, but they may present additional problems because contaminants can prejudice growth… (More)