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Like a College Student Pulling an All-Nighter

If you think you can't live without caffeine, take a look at the newly-described bacteria, Pseudomonas putida CBB5, says Katherine Harmon at the Scientific American Observations blog. These organisms feed on pure caffeine, University of Iowa researchers say, by using specialized enzymes to break it up into carbon dioxide and ammonia. The researchers, who presented their work at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, found these bacteria in a flowerbed on the university's campus, Harmon says. They say it's not surprising the organisms feed on caffeine given its presence in the environment. The team hopes the discovery of this specialized enzyme could eventually be used to develop new medications to treat heart arrhythmias or asthma, or boost blood flow, Harmon says.

The Scan

Self-Reported Hearing Loss in Older Adults Begins Very Early in Life, Study Says

A JAMA Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery study says polygenic risk scores associated with hearing loss in older adults is also associated with hearing decline in younger groups.

Genome-Wide Analysis Sheds Light on Genetics of ADHD

A genome-wide association study meta-analysis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder appearing in Nature Genetics links 76 genes to risk of having the disorder.

MicroRNA Cotargeting Linked to Lupus

A mouse-based study appearing in BMC Biology implicates two microRNAs with overlapping target sites in lupus.

Enzyme Involved in Lipid Metabolism Linked to Mutational Signatures

In Nature Genetics, a Wellcome Sanger Institute-led team found that APOBEC1 may contribute to the development of the SBS2 and SBS13 mutational signatures in the small intestine.