The SARS pandemic of 2002-2003 is believed to have been caused by a bat coronavirus (CoV) that first infected a civet and then was passed on to humans. The isolation of a new SARS-like coronavirus from bats suggests that the virus could have directly infected humans. Read More
Every day we see animals migrating through the air, across plains, and in the oceans, in beautifully coordinated patterns; starlings flock together in the thousands while sardines swim together in enormous shoals. These social behaviors are important in allowing animals to socialize, avoid preda... Read More
The tiny thymus teaches the immune system to ignore the teeming, foreign bacteria in the gut that helps you digest and absorb food, researchers say.
When immune cells recognize essential gut bacteria as foreign, inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease can be ... Read More
Mealybugs only eat plant sap, but sap doesn't contain all the essential amino acids the insects need to survive. Luckily, the bugs have a symbiotic relationship with two species of bacteria -- one living inside the other in a situation unique to known biology -- to manufacture the nutrients sap ... Read More
A Cornell University study offers further proof that the divergence of humans from chimpanzees some 4 million to 6 million years ago was profoundly influenced by mutations to DNA sequences that play roles in turning genes on and off.
The study, published June 9 in Nature Genetics, provides ev... Read More
Imagine swimming to the bottom of the sea, the water growing impossibly deep and dark the farther you travel. At these depths, beyond the reach of the sun, live strange new sources of light. Fish, jellyfish, and even bacteria light up these midnight waters.
According to new research in PLOS O... Read More
Clumps of proteins twisted into aberrant shapes cause the prion diseases that have perplexed biologists for decades. The surprises just keep coming with a new report that the simple clusters of proteins responsible for Mad Cow and other prions diseases may, without help from DNA or RNA, be capab... Read More
Scouring the genomes and body-wide microbial communities of 93 people, researchers have discovered a link between the composition of the microbiome and genetic variation in innate immunity, phagocyte function, and other immune pathways. The research was presented by University of Minnesota popul... Read More
A new study shows that common mutant forms of the deadly JC polyomavirus are not responsible for the pathogen’s main attack, which causes a brain-damaging disease in immunocompromised patients called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. But that finding raises the ominous question of what... Read More
Scientists have just got a clearer picture of the defences used by a key influenza virus to evade our immune system.
The findings reported today in the journal Science could lead to a new research approach in the holy grail of developing vaccines before new flu viruses evolve.
Influenza A/... Read More
Vaccines, including those used in protecting against influenza, do not put a person at increased risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome despite wide-spread concerns, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Disease.
The retrospective study spanned 13 years ... Read More
In 2008, François-Henri Boissel was leading a charmed life. He was a young, successful investment banker working in Tokyo, Japan. And then the market crashed.
He thought of sticking it out, waiting until things improved, but then he remembered a conversation he’d had with his father, Jean-Pie... Read More
A combination of two well-known antiviral drugs protects monkeys against MERS and could potentially be used to save humans from the lethal disease, scientists said on Sunday.
Researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases gave the drugs, ribavirin and interferon, to ... Read More
The students, at the University of California at Santa Barbara, were all sickened within a three-week period last month with the disease, a sometimes fatal illness that can affect the brain or the blood, according to a spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Department of Public Health.
They... Read More
Each year, more than two million people in the United States develop antibiotic-resistant infections, and at least 23,000 of them die as a result, says the first-ever national snapshot of the issue. That toll only rises when other conditions exacerbated by these infections are included in the co... Read More
Why are these scientists in hazmat suits smiling? They're standing in a field that they are about to spread with raw manure – four different kinds of raw manure, to be exact.
Michele Jay-Russell, a University of California, Davis food safety scientist, posted the above picture on Twitter last... Read More
What is wrong with this paragraph from today’s New York Times that describes the origin of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus:
Health officials confirmed Wednesday that bats in Saudi Arabia were the source of the mysterious virus that has sickened 96 people in the Middle ... Read More
McMaster University researchers are about to launch Canada’s first tuberculosis (TB) vaccine clinical trial with a vaccine totally designed, manufactured and tested within McMaster.
"The exciting thing for McMaster is that this is translational research that has gone from the basic science wh... Read More
The toxoplasma parasite can be deadly, causing spontaneous abortion in pregnant women or killing immune-compromised patients, but it has even stranger effects in mice.
Infected mice lose their fear of cats, which is good for both cats and the parasite, because the cat gets an easy meal and th... Read More
A team of scientists, led by researchers at The Wistar Institute, has determined that it might be possible to stimulate the immune system against multiple strains of influenza virus by sequentially vaccinating individuals with distinct influenza strains isolated over the last century.
Their r... Read More