Two papers published this week, and one last month, reveal the pandemic potential of H5N1 "bird flu". One identifies four, another identifies five, genetic changes the virus would have to undergo before it could spread easily in humans, and the third paper suggests some of these changes are alre... Read More
When I drafted my article for TakePart (Don’t Panic – Ebola Isn’t Heading For You), I used the term ‘ebolavirus’ throughout, but the editors changed every instance to ‘Ebola virus’. Understanding which term is correct is far more complicated than you might imagine. Read More
Over 50 percent of bacterial infections in Indian hospitals are resistant to commonly used antibiotics, and surveys show that many widespread bacterial pathogens in India are also resistant to powerful, broad-spectrum antibiotics.
In 2010, a team of South Asian and British scientists analyzed... 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
From the Open University, a neat video highlighting seven amazing things microbes do. 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
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
Bacteria can multiply rapidly, potentially doubling every 20 minutes in ideal conditions but this exponential growth phase is preceded by a period known as lag phase, where no increase in cell number is seen. Lag phase was first described in the 19th Century, and was assumed to be needed by bact... 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
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
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
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
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
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
Water is set to use a new biological weapon to flush away Whitby residents’ festive fat.
Over the Christmas period trillions of fat-busting bugs have been deployed in the sewers of Whitby to feast on fat, oils and grease.
Over time these substances build up on the inside of sewer pipes, re... 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
An unusual regulatory mechanism that controls the swimmer/non-swimmer option in genetically identical Salmonella also impacts the bacteria's ability to cause infection.
University of Washington scientists reported the discovery this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.... Read More