We continue our semi-annual ritual and post this quick tour of our blog posts published since December, 2012.
Our new section dealing with “pictures that made a difference but may be nearly forgotten by now” seems to be off to a good start. Please send us suggestions of... Read More
Tiny electrical wires protrude from some bacteria and contribute to rock and dirt formation. Researchers studying the protein that makes up one such wire have determined the protein's structure. The finding is important to such diverse fields as producing energy, recycling Earth's carbon and min... Read More
Some may think of turkeys as good for just lunch meat and holiday meals, but bioengineers at UC Berkeley saw inspiration in the big birds for a new type of biosensor that changes color when exposed to chemical vapors. This feature makes the sensors valuable detectors of toxins or airborne pathog... Read More
Bacterial proteins could alter precipitation patterns and climate-change models.
Proteins can help grow teeth and bones in the body, crops in the ground, and even ice in the atmosphere. Some proteins have an uncanny knack for kick starting ice formation at unusual temperatures, and they have ... Read More
Going barefoot in parts of Africa, Asia, and South America contributes to hookworm infections, which afflict an estimated 700 million of the world’s poor. The parasitic worm lives in the soil and enters the body through the feet. By feeding on victims’ blood, the worms cause anemia and, in child... Read More
Research led by scientists at the University of Dundee has uncovered the workings of a 'bacterial raincoat' that helps to protect bacteria from the changing environment in which they live.
Many bacteria grow in large communities called biofilms, where the cells work together and produce a sti... Read More
Curtin University researchers have found a way to breed disease-resistant wheat with no downside, potentially bringing multi-million dollar savings to Australia’s agricultural industry. Farmers can lose more than 0.35 tonnes per hectare in wheat yields to Yellow Spot, even after applying fungici... Read More
The bacteria in the human mouth – particularly those nestled under the gums – are as powerful as a fingerprint at identifying a person’s ethnicity, new research shows.
Scientists identified a total of almost 400 different species of microbes in the mouths of 100 study participants belonging t... Read More
Gareth Thomas, founder of Berkeley Lab’s National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM) and one of the world’s foremost experts on electron microscopy, passed away on February 7. He was 81.
Click on 'source' to read more. Read More
Viruses are obligate intracellular parasites: they must enter a cell to reproduce. To gain access to the cell interior, a virus must first bind to one or more specific receptor molecules on the cell surface. Cell receptors for viruses do not exist only to serve viruses: they also have cellular f... Read More
What makes a harmless virus turn lethal? For the deadliest infectious disease in cats, Cornell scientists now know.
After gathering the world’s largest sample collection for feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), they uncovered the holy grail of a 30-year quest for the mutation that turns it fa... Read More
Rhinovirus C is believed to be responsible for up to half of all childhood colds, and is a serious complicating factor for respiratory conditions such as asthma. Together with rhinoviruses A and B, the recently discovered virus is responsible for millions of illnesses yearly at an estimated annu... Read More
Officially called a fecal microbiota transplantation, or FMT, the procedure involves the insertion of a small, diluted sample of stool from a donor into the colon of a recipient. (Clearly disgusting.) The swap imports a healthy community of bacteria, the intestinal microbiota, into the system of... Read More
Genomic analysis of transplant patients finds an opportunistic microorganism whose elevated presence could be used an indicator in treatment.
More than 260,000 Americans are alive today thanks to transplant operations that have replaced their failing kidneys, hearts, lungs or livers with hea... Read More
In honor of the Bay Area Science Festival, a group of passionate microbrewers, scientists, and yeast cultivators make 3 original brews to compete in a blind tasting at Nerd Nite in San Francisco, California.
Want to learn more about the microbes involved in brewing? Please check out the Micro... Read More
A strain of bacteria that causes skin and soft tissue infections in humans originally came from cattle, according to a study to be published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. The researchers who conducted the genetic analysis of strains of Staphyl... Read More
Mathematicians have found that by varying the timing of treatments, doctors may be able to increase the odds that a disease outbreak will die off suddenly.
Herding cats is a cakewalk compared with getting people to take flu vaccine shots in the last weeks of summer—work, school, limited pharm... Read More
Excerpt from Science Now "Gut Microbes Can Split a Species"; see link above to read the Science article
Here's how to create a new species. Put animals—say finches—from the same species on separate islands and let them do their thing for many, many generations. Over time, each group will ada... Read More
Famed astronomer and writer Carl Sagan said in his book Cosmos: “The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” And so are microbes, we must add. To understand the s... Read More
The American Museum of Natural History has began recruiting for this new, free, spring, after school program for high school students. Please help them out by sharing the word with interested teens:
Did you know that the Twa, a group of people in the Congo, rarely get cavities or that Japanes... Read More