Those who take part in clinical trials often have to do nasty things, from taking new drugs to forgoing sleep. Participants in a trial organised by Stanley Hazen of the Cleveland Clinic, in Ohio, had a decidedly easier task: eating steak. After reading Dr Hazen’s conclusions, though, they may be... Read More
They sweep. They swab. They sterilize. And still the germs persist.
In U.S. hospitals, an estimated 1 in 20 patients pick up infections they didn't have when they arrived, some caused by dangerous 'superbugs' that are hard to treat.
The rise of these superbugs, along with increased pressur... Read More
Researchers have more questions than answers about the latest bird flu circulating in China, including whether birds are the only reservoir for the virus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 17 people in China have died of H7N9 infection, and there is no evidence of person-to-per... Read More
Amoeba eat bacteria and other human pathogens, engulfing and destroying them – or being destroyed by them, but how these single-cell organisms distinguish and respond successfully to different bacterial classes has been largely unexplained.
In a report in the journal Current Biology, research... Read More
Bacteria on a surface wander around and often organize into highly resilient communities known as biofilms. It turns out that they organize in a rich-get-richer pattern similar to the distribution of wealth in the U.S. economy, according to a new study by researchers at University of California,... Read More
The bacterium Photorhabdus luminescens is a constant companion of some roundworms. These worms assault insect larvae, thereby infecting them with the bacteria; the pathogens then attack the cells of their victims with a deadly cocktail of various toxins. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of... Read More
Plant and animal cells have two genomes—in the nucleus and the mitochondria. A new study describes how a clash between the two makes fruit flies sick. Diseases from a mutation in one genome are complicated enough, but some illnesses arise from errant interactions between the DNA in the nucleus a... Read More
Pancreatic cancer is a dreadful disease. Even in rich countries, only about 4% of those diagnosed with it are still alive after five years. In America it is the third-most-common cause of cancer deaths among women, after lung and breast cancer; among men it is fourth, after lung, prostate and co... Read More
Reconfiguring the genetics of the food pathogen E. coli produces hydrocarbons indistinguishable from those burned in trucks. Welding bits and pieces from various microbes and the camphor tree into the genetic code of Escherichia coli has allowed scientists to convince the stomach bug to produce... Read More
A 65-year-old Frenchman is hospitalized after contracting France's first case of a deadly new respiratory virus related to SARS, and French health authorities said Wednesday they are trying to find anyone who might have been in contact with him to prevent it from spreading.
It's unclear how o... Read More
Older adults who harbor certain infections, such as the herpes cold sore virus, may have poorer thinking and memory abilities than their peers, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that of more than 1,600 older adults, those with signs of chronic infection with herpes simplex and certain o... Read More
Of all the things that could be hazardous to your health, would you believe breathing oxygen makes the list?
Our bodies produce toxic chemicals in our cells, called oxidants, which we fight naturally and with foods that contain antioxidants like blueberries and dark chocolate. All forms of li... Read More
In the summer of 1968, a new strain of influenza appeared in Hong Kong. This strain, known as H3N2, spread around the globe and eventually killed an estimated 1 million people.
A new study from MIT reveals that there are many strains of H3N2 circulating in birds and pigs that are genetically ... Read More
Recently, one of Paul Cezanne’s missing paintings was rediscovered. The painting shows Paulin Paulet, a gardener on Cezanne’s family estate, looking at his poker cards. Cezanne painted Paulet as part of a series of paintings between 1890 and 1896. This particular painting is called A Card Player... Read More
This episode describes how the bane of sausage makers and home canners became the darling of the Hollywood set. The lethal toxin made by our friend Clostridium botulinum was put to good use paralyzing facial muscles and erasing frown lines. This video has an amazing intro sequence. Read More
Researchers have used whole genome sequencing to reveal if drug-resistant bacteria are transmitted from animals to humans in two disease outbreaks that occurred on different farms in Denmark. The results, which are published today in EMBO Molecular Medicine, confirm animal-to-human transmission ... Read More
Metagenomics has allowed researchers to reconstruct the genome sequence of a deadly Shiga-toxigenic E. coli outbreak without having to grow bacteria in the lab.
“The outbreak of Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli illustrated the effects of a bacterial epidemic on a wealthy, modern, industrializ... Read More
Bacteria that grows only on rocks in the Swiss Alps has helped researchers identify how alcohol might affect key brain proteins.
“Now that we’ve identified this key brain protein and understand its structure, it’s possible to imagine developing a drug that could block the binding site,” says ... Read More
In multicellular organisms it is essential that every cell behaves and does the job it was produced to perform. The survival of a multicellular organism depends on this - every cell in your body is tightly controlled in terms of how big it can grow (fairly big), when it can reproduce (almost ne... Read More