You probably remember foot and mouth disease (FMD) from the 2001 outbreak in the UK that prompted the culling of over 10 million sheep and cattle, but the disease affects livestock all over the world. It's a particular problem in Africa, where wildlife that harbor the picornavirus that causes FM... Read More
Viruses are the most abundant biological entities on the planet with approximately 1030 in the world’s oceans at any time. As such, they play a central role in global nutrient cycling. Despite their ecological importance, little is known about how viruses interact with their hosts due to the dif... Read More
The Amazon river is the largest river in the world. It drains the entire Amazon rainforest, sending leftover nutrients, detritus, and minerals from the South American jungle out into the tropical Atlantic ocean. This runoff forms a freshwater plume, hundreds of miles across, that profoundly affe... Read More
As is our custom at this time of year, we go over the material that has appeared in this blog over the last six months. Seems like a lot of stuff, but it’s the result of the work of quite a number of dedicated people, all of whom deserve our gratitude.
Click "source" to read more. Read More
A new study reveals that a protein of the Ebola virus can transform into three distinct shapes, each with a separate function that is critical to the virus's survival. Each shape offers a potential target for developing drugs against Ebola virus disease, a hemorrhagic fever that kills up to 9 ou... Read More
Influenza infection can enhance the ability of the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae to cause ear and throat infections, according to research published ahead of print in the journal Infection and Immunity.
In the study, the investigators infected mice with either influenza alone, pneumococc... Read More
Recently identified cell-cycle controls are targets for new drugs that fight infections by shutting down division.
A cell is not a soap bubble that can simply pinch in two to reproduce. The ability to faithfully copy genetic material and distribute it equally to daughter cells is fundamental ... Read More
Most of us are familiar with taking our daily probiotic supplement in the conventional way, either in capsule or powder form. It is however becoming increasingly apparent that people are discovering some weird and wonderful ways to use their probiotics, and here nutritional therapist Jo Saunders... Read More
Communities in Africa and Thailand that worked together on HIV-prevention efforts saw not only a rise in HIV screening but a drop in new infections, according to a new study in the peer-reviewed journal The Lancet Global Health.
The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health's Project Accept —... Read More
An international team of scientists from Singapore, Thailand, China and Australia has cracked the genetic code of the liver fluke parasite, Opisthorchis viverrini, using a unique DNA analysis technique developed at A*STAR’s Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS).
GIS’s DNA analysis technique ha... Read More
Purdue University researchers have developed a laser sensor that can identify Salmonella bacteria grown from food samples about three times faster than conventional detection methods.
Known as BARDOT (pronounced bar-DOH'), the machine scans bacteria colonies and generates a distinct black and... Read More
Johns Hopkins researchers have found evidence in mice that a tuberculosis (TB) infection in the lungs triggers immune system signaling to the gut that temporarily decreases the diversity of bacteria in that part of the digestive tract.
The Johns Hopkins researchers showed that this decrease i... Read More
Dangerous new pathogens such as the Ebola virus invoke scary scenarios of deadly epidemics, but even ancient scourges such as the bubonic plague are still providing researchers with new insights on how the body responds to infections.
In a study published online Sept. 18, 2014, in the journal... Read More
Pathogenic fungi like Candida albicans can cause oral, skin, nail and genital infections. While exposure to pathogenic fungi is generally not life-threatening, it can be deadly to immunocompromised patients with AIDS or cancer. A variety of antifungal medications, such as triazoles and polyenes,... Read More
Oman's first MERS coronavirus patient died in hospital on Sunday from lung failure, state news agency ONA said.
The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which can cause coughing, fever and pneumonia, emerged in Saudi Arabia last year and has been reported in Qatar, France,... Read More
Animal genomes are known to contain captured retroviruses, typically referred to as endogenous retroviruses (ERVs). Many of these elements are still transcribed and are known to be involved in both beneficial functions in animal biology, such as placenta formation, and not-so beneficial functio... Read More
There's a belief that says exposing people -- especially babies and young children -- to different kinds of germs early in life can keep them from developing illnesses like asthma, allergies, and other diseases that affect the immune system. The theory, called the “hygiene hypothesis,” is that o... Read More
Gut bacteria in premature infants don't come from their mothers, but from microbes in the neonatal intensive-care unit (NICU), a new study finds. Babies typically get their gut bacteria from their mothers during childbirth. Premature infants, however, receive antibiotics during their first week ... Read More
Researchers at UCL have developed a new antibacterial material which has potential for cutting hospital acquired infections. The combination of two simple dyes with nanoscopic particles of gold is deadly to bacteria when activated by light - even under modest indoor lighting. And in a first for ... Read More
There is no approved medicine to treat polyomaviruses, which afflict people with weakened immune systems, but scientists have found that a chemical compound called Retro-2 is able to reduce significantly the infectivity and spread of the viruses in lab cell cultures. Now they are working to impr... Read More