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Bugging bugs: Learning to speak microbe

Deep in your lungs, there's a battle raging. It's a warm, moist environment where the ever-opportunistic bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa has taken up residence. If your lungs are healthy, chances are the invader will be quickly dispatched. But in the mucus-clogged lungs of people with cystic fi... Read More

Researcher: Food labels with microbial data could help manage physical, and possibly mental, health

Just as food labels now tell the content of fat, fiber, vitamins and minerals, food scientists believe the information one day will include all bacteria and fungi in the product.

“Like a nutritional profile, we are creating a microbial profile,” said Dr. Suresh Pillai, Texas AgriLife Research... Read More

Susanna Edwards: Science and art under the microscope

Susanna Edwards is, by her own admission, an obsessive collector. The London-based artist has used found objects to trigger many creative projects, but the chance discovery of a collection of Victorian microscope slides set Edwards off in an unexpected direction.

A new exhibition brings toget... Read More

Probiotic gum puts friendly organisms in the mouth to defeat bad breath and infections

You won't find it on the shelves next to Juicy Fruit, but a new Canadian-made chewing gum is being touted for its health benefits, based in part on years of research by microbiologists at the University of B.C.

For those with an aversion to swallowing supplements or eating yogurt containing h... Read More

Dysentery amoeba gets a boost from a transcription factor

Every year, the parasite Entamoeba histolytica causes an estimated 40 million cases of amoebic dysentery and liver abscesses and 100,000 deaths, mainly in developing countries. A new paper accepted for publication in mBio shows that a transcription factor called Upstream Regulatory Element 3-Bi... Read More

TWiV 72: Bucket of bolts



On episode #72 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Dickson, Alan and Rich explain CRISPR/Cas, the immune system of bacteria and archaea, how novel viruses are discovered by deep sequencing of small... Read More

Virus outbreaks on ships mirror trend on shore

Suffering a bout of gastrointestinal illness in a cramped cruise ship cabin ranks pretty high on the scale of vacation nightmares. And given the bug going around this year, illness at sea is likely to spike.

Last week, Celebrity Cruises' Mercury ship returned to port in Charleston, South Caro... Read More

Virus infections may lead to gluten intolerance--study

A novel study cautions that virus infections might be one of the factors contributing to gluten intolerance.

Researchers at the Academy of Finland's Research Programme on Nutrition, Food and Health (ELVIRA) have found that the genes [basic, functional units of heredity, each occupying a speci... Read More

Plodding Amoeba Flips Into Free-Swimming Flagellate: Naegleria Genome Sheds Light on Transition from Prokaryotes to Eukaryotes

In the long evolutionary road from bacteria to humans, a major milestone occurred some 1.5 billion years ago when microbes started building closets for all their stuff, storing DNA inside a nucleus, for example, or cramming all the energy machinery inside mitochondria.

Scientists have now seq... Read More

Move over, Cosmo! The Joint Commission has its own quiz

Americans do so like a good quiz, assuming it carries no penalty for wrong answers. Witness the popularity of those ever-fab Cosmo questionnaires: "Are You Enough of a Bad Girl?" "Do You Ace a First Date?" "Are You an Oversharer or Mysterious?" Now comes a quiz that even the most painfully modes... Read More

BacterioFiles Episode 7

In this show, I report on five exciting stories: a bacterial electric grid, engineering biofilms, beewolves that use antibiotics, tiny bacterial magnets, and microbial life's potential on Mars.




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First-class scientist commemorated on new stamp

One of Britain’s most renowned scientists is to be remembered in a new set of Royal Mail stamps for being the godfather of Listerine. Joseph Lister went on to become Baron Lister of Lyme Regis for his work in medicine, particularly in battling infections with antiseptics.

He used work done by... Read More

"Cheese trafficking" detected in El Paso

U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Bridge of the Americas port of entry seized 107 pounds of “queso fresco” (soft) Mexican cheese hidden in false compartments of a vehicle making entry Wednesday.

A 46-year-old Mexican citizen from Juarez, Mexico and his passenger, a 43-... Read More

How to Create an Effective PowerPoint Presentation

Presenting your work is a fantastic opportunity to get feedback on your project, demonstrate the significance of your results, and make the connections that will enhance your future career. And yet, how many incomprehensible lab meetings have we all sat through? How many seminars have you attend... Read More

From Carnivorous Plants to the Medicine Cabinet? Anti-Fungal Agents in Pitcher Plants Investigated

In the tropics, carnivorous plants trap unsuspecting prey in a cavity filled with liquid known as a "pitcher."

The moment insects like flies, ants and beetles fall into a pitcher, the plant's enzymes are activated and begin dissolving their new meal, obtaining nutrients such as carbon and nit... Read More

First Microbes Colonized Land by Using Fat For Protection

The earliest microbes that survived on land may have synthesized fat molecules to prevent their death from dehydration.

The molecules, called wax esters, could have helped the microbes colonize land by protecting them against the harsh environments that probably characterized the lifeless con... Read More

Africa polio eradication scheme launched

A campaign has been launched to eradicate polio in west and central Africa, targeting 85 million children.

Some 400,000 health workers and volunteers will go from door-to-door in 19 countries, giving oral polio vaccine to children under the age of five.

Africa has made significant progress... Read More

Cutting the cold chain

No matter what advanced method is used to develop and produce vaccines, their efficacy is limited by old technology – the refrigerator. All viral vaccines must either be stored frozen, or kept at low temperatures. If they are not properly stored, they lose potency and do not confer protection ag... Read More

Hut Cave on Mt. Erebus taken by mountaineer Nick Giguere

Photo of Hut Cave taken by mountaineer Nick Giguere during the 2008 expedition Exploring the Rock Bottom of the Food Chain in McMurdo's Extreme Environments led by Dr. Laurie Connell and Dr. Hubert Staudigel. For more pictures go to their website: http://earthref.org/ERESE/projects/GOLF439/... Read More

Microbe traces found at meteorite crash site

Scientists studying an ancient meteorite crash site in the Canadian Arctic have detected traces of microbes that point to the key role played by impact craters in the evolution of life on Earth and could help determine whether life once existed on Mars.

The discovery -- hailed by an 11-member... Read More

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