Learn about the bacteria, fungi and other micro-organisms that maintain human health.
The body contains 10 times more bacteria, fungi and other micro-organisms than human cells. Most of these species are harmless—although they can still cause illness if they wind up in the wrong place. In add... Read More
Bacteria found in gold mines and frozen caves show the extreme flexibility of life, and hint at where else we might find it in the solar system.
The first time Tullis Onstott ventured underground, he squeezed into an elevator with dozens of South African gold miners and descended a mile into ... Read More
Imagine you are a tiny caddisfly pupa. When you emerge from your pupal case, it is dark, but not pitch black, and high above you, you see the faint glow of a starry sky. On new wings, you rise. Cue angelic voices.
Suddenly, you struggle against an invisible barrier. Cue scary cello. You begin... Read More
The same bacteria that eats flesh can make a super glue used to bind molecules.
Dr. Mark Howarth, with his graduate student Bijan Zakeri in Oxford University's department of biochemistry, developed an adhesive that sticks molecules together, nearly inseparably.
They used the bacteria Strep... Read More
Influenza A virus reservoirs in animals have provided novel genetic elements leading to the emergence of global pandemics in humans. Most influenza A viruses circulate in waterfowl, but those that infect mammalian hosts are thought to pose the greatest risk for zoonotic spread to humans and the ... Read More
Microbial inhabitants outnumber our body's own cells by about ten to one. These residents have become the subject of intensive research, which is beginning to elucidate their roles in health and disease.
Two journal articles by, David A. Relman, Departments of Medicine and of Microbiology and... Read More
If you've ever had a bacterial infection like staph or strep throat, your doctor may have prescribed penicillin. But if you've had the flu or a common cold virus, penicillin won't work. That's because antibacterials only kill bacteria, and both the flu and the common cold are viruses. So for ill... Read More
Adding prebiotic ingredients to infant formula helps colonize the newborn's gut with a stable population of beneficial bacteria, and probiotics enhance immunity in formula-fed infants, two University of Illinois studies report.
"The beneficial bacteria that live in a baby's intestine are all-... Read More
Scientists may have found one of the keys to weight loss hiding in the poop of 3,000-year-old mummies. The bacterial DNA found in their guts is very different from our modern intestinal flora.
The reason: chlorinated water and antibiotics.
That's the first hypothesis of Dr. Cecil Lewis. Acco... Read More
One in every six cancers worldwide is caused by an infection that is preventable or treatable, according to new estimates published in the journal Lancet Oncology. The research indicates infections are attributable for approximately 2 million new cancer cases every year.
"Infections with cert... Read More
The latest episode of the Animal Science Podcast from the American Society of Animal Science interviews researcher Mark Westhusin at Texas A&M University which recently announced the birth of a genetically modified goat that produces a malaria vaccine in its milk. This goat could help people in ... Read More
Researchers at the College of Life Sciences have identified fexinidazole as a possible, much-needed, new treatment for the parasitic disease visceral leishmaniasis.
Leishmaniasis is named after William Leishman, a Glasgwegian doctor serving with the British Army in India, who first identified... Read More
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Conventional wisdom says that in order for a species of insect to develop resistance to an antibiotic, several generations have to pass, whereby genes from those that have some natural resistance pass them on to their offspring. But sometimes conventional wisdom fails to take into account how so... Read More
It’s become a sad fact that many people being treated in health-care facilities end up catching a bad -- and potentially deadly -- bug in the very place where they’re supposed to get better.
A report on the increased incidence of clostridium difficile infections in hospitals and other health-... Read More
When my laboratory discovered the cell receptor for poliovirus in 1989, many new research directions were suddenly revealed – such as creating a mouse model for poliomyelitis. One application we did not think of was to use the receptor to screen samples of drinking water for the presence of viru... Read More
The investigation of a mystery disease that has killed dozens of children in Cambodia is advancing after the discovery in patient samples of a virus that causes hand, foot and mouth disease.
The Institut Pasteur du Cambodge found enterovirus 71 in 15 of 24 patients sampled since mid-June, Phi... Read More
Prof. Pamela Ronald, a Professor in Plant Pathology at University of California, Davis and director of Grass Genetics at the Joint Bioenergy Institute, studies genes that control the plant response to stress.
In her presentation for the Frontiers in Life Sciences symposium at Cornell Universi... Read More