Spores of fungus, Candida albicans

The long strands are the tubular filaments (hyphae) that have developed from the fungal spores. Yeast cells (rounded, yellow) are budding from the ends of the hyphae (red). Candida albicans causes the infection known as candidiasis which affects the moist mucous membranes of the body, such as skin folds, mouth, respiratory tract and vagina. Oral and vaginal conditions are known as thrush.

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  • Exploitative protozoa

    7th January, 2016

    Scientists previously believed that the relationship between the protozoa Paramecium bursaria and algae Chlorella sp. was most likely a mutually beneficial one. However, a recent study from the University of Exeter, UK, suggests that the protozoan host may in fact be exploiting the algae for the sugars they provide through photosynthesis. Testing the ParameciumChlorella symbiosis, they found that P. bursaria benefitted more with increased light intensity, whereas the researchers did not find any conditions where the algae benefitted more, nor where both species benefitted mutually.

  • Less stress, healthier microbiomes

    7th January, 2016

    If you are feeling stressed, your microbiome – the communities of microbes living in and on you – may be suffering too. A team at the University of Guelph, Canada, studied the link between stress and microbiomes in wild red squirrels, and found that individuals with low stress hormone levels had a more diverse microbiome, while increased stress caused a spike in potentially harmful bacteria, but less bacterial diversity.

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