Oxytricha trifallax lives in ponds all over the world. Under an electron microscope it looks like a football adorned with tassels. The tiny fringes are the cilia it uses to move around and gobble up algae. What makes Oxytricha unusual, however, is the crazy things it does with its DNA.
Unlike... Read More
In a world first, researchers have found that a naturally occurring chemical attracts pregnant malaria-transmitting mosquitoes - a discovery which could boost malaria control efforts. The chemical, cedrol, found in mosquito breeding sites near Africa's Lake Victoria, could be used in traps that... Read More
For the first time, doctors have used DNA-sequencing technology to diagnose and treat a boy in an emergency. It's a big step for DNA sequencing—that the technology is able to work so quickly, and to help a patient directly. As useful as DNA sequencing is for research and genetic counseling, befo... Read More
Researchers from the Institute of Microbiology at ETH Zurich have discovered a new protein with antibiotic properties in a mushroom that grows on horse dung. Researchers are now exploring the various potential applications.
Microbiologists and molecular biologists at ETH Zurich and the Univer... Read More
Some people infected with pathogens spread their germs to others while remaining symptom-free themselves. Now, investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine believe they may know why.
When the scientists gave oral antibiotics to mice infected with Salmonella typhimurium, a bacte... Read More
In February 2014 I wrote about children in California who developed a poliomyelitis-like paralysis, also called acute flaccid paralysis or AFP. However, the cause of this paralysis was not known. The CDC has released its study of these cases and concludes “The etiology of AFP with anterior myeli... Read More
For patients who acquire an infection while in the hospital, each day of hospitalization increases the risk that the infection will be caused by a drug-resistant ... Read More
In a basement laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, two roboticists have harnessed the innate sensing, swimming, and swarming abilities of bacteria to power microscopic robots. Even though their work sounds like the prologue to a dark science fiction film, Ph.D. students Elizabeth Beatti... Read More
In this blog post, I discuss our Summer Research Program's "Lab Themed Dessert" competion, for which one of my students created a cake "sculpture" of Bdellovibrio attacking and invading E. coli. It was tasty, informative, and fun! My student clearly thought about Bdellovibrio a LOT during the ... Read More
According to the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance commissioned by the UK Prime Minister, failing to address the growing problem of drug-resistant infections could cause 10 million deaths a year and cost up to $100 trillion USD by 2050.
Now, researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusal... Read More
In the photo series "Impermanence," South Korean artist Seung-Hwan Oh creates colorful, otherworldly portraits with a little help from some "friends" — emulsion-consuming microbes, that is.
By immersing an exposed roll of medium-format positive film in water containing these bacteria and lea... Read More
As the world experiences a wakeup call about the rise of drug-resistant infections, a new approach to creating smarter, “programmable” drugs could combat the two major problems with life-saving drugs today.
On the one hand, today’s antibiotics work a little too well. They not only kill infect... Read More
Many different microbes can cause pneumonia, and treatment may be delayed or off target if doctors cannot tell which bug is the culprit. A novel approach—analyzing a patient's breath for key chemical compounds made by the infecting microbe—may help detect invasive aspergillosis, a fungal infecti... Read More
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] -- A new study provides evidence from lab experiments that a drug already used in people to fight tapeworms might also prove effective against strains of the superbug MRSA, which kills thousands of people a year in the United States. Read More
Ed Yong, a freelance science writer who authors the Not Exactly Rocket Science blog for National Geographic, has penned an opinion piece in the NY Times Sunday Review on how society needs to start thinking about the microbiome as an ecosystem with all the complexities that it entails and not as ... Read More
Beautiful scanning electron microscopy images.
"For 2 decades we have been devoting our work to the visualization of the previously unknown and invisible. Detailed, aesthetic, and scientifically correct we present an access into the microscopic world of biology, medicine, chemistry, technolog... Read More
Last week two American aid workers who had contracted Ebola while working in west Africa were released from a U.S. hospital and pronounced “recovered.” They had been flown to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta from Liberia earlier this month to receive care in the hospital’s specialized infect... Read More
Here’s an undeniable fact: In samples collected from seven of New York’s subway platforms, scientists discovered that we're surrounded in plumes of microbes wafting off other people’s skin. Here’s another undeniable fact: Those bacteria colonize all of our glands and follicles and the entire epi... Read More
New understanding of how bacteria build their protective cell wall solves persistent puzzler.
Using a series of chemical and genetic tricks to interrogate a dizzying cast of characters involved in the process of building a cell wall, researchers believe they have discovered the hidden identit... Read More
In a recent New York Times OpEd entitled What We’re Afraid to Say About Ebola, Michaeal Osterholm wonders whether Ebola virus could go airborne:
You can now get Ebola only through direct contact with bodily fluids. If certain mutations occurred, it would mean that just breathing would put one... Read More