The analysis of a termite entombed for 100 million years in an ancient piece of amber has revealed the oldest example of "mutualism" ever discovered between an animal and microorganism, and also shows the unusual biology that helped make this one of the most successful, although frequently despi... Read More
Doctors in the 17th Century wore penguin-like masks stuffed with flowers and herbs to protect themselves from the Plague. Image from NIH. Read More
I've always scene these types of masks featured in freaky movies, but had no idea that they were used by doctors in the 17th century to treat people who got infected by the plague.
"Scientists thought the plague was caused by breathing harmful gases emitted from the ground, and doctors put fl... Read More
The World Health Organization is working to debunk rumors started by an Australian virologist.
"The virus rumor was started by Adrian J. Gibbs, a retired plant virologist from the Australian National University, who previously published work in the journal Science questioning the idea, now ac... Read More
In 2007, as the world worried about a possible avian flu epidemic, Laurie Garrett, author of "The Coming Plague," gave this powerful TED talk to a University audience. Her insights from past pandemics are may be more relevant than ever today as we strive to understand the potential threat from s... Read More
Melanie Cushion holds down two jobs: she’s a research career scientist at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, and she’s also professor and associate chair for re... Read More
This is an exciting discovery for chemists, biologists and microbiologists alike. It's a great read.
John D. Sutherland, a chemist at the University of Manchester, has solved a problem that for 20 years has thwarted researchers trying to understand the origin of life — how the building blocks... Read More
The World Health Organization is now considering whether to advise the world's vaccine makers to switch from ordinary flu vaccine to the swine flu one. While a pandemic declaration is still probable, and the WHO gives the go-ahead, the swine flu vaccine will arrive too late for many.
Here's w... Read More
A proposal by a team of UC Davis scientists to develop the world’s first electron microscope capable of filming live biological processes has been awarded a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.
The team’s plan is to extend the capabilities of a powerful new imaging tool ca... Read More
I wonder if this could replace Lipitor?
A novel species of bacteria with cholesterol-busting properties has been discovered by scientists at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain. Dr Oliver Drzyzga and colleagues isolated the new bug, called Gordonia cholesterolivorans, from sewage slu... Read More
Press release from MIT - An ingenious new method of obtaining marine microbe samples while preserving the microbes' natural gene expression has yielded an unexpected boon: the presence of many varieties of small RNAs - snippets of RNA that act as switches to regulate gene expression in these sin... Read More
This is a great look at how traditional media and new media have impacted the public perception of swine flu/H1N1. Well worth watching. Read More
A goal in fighting influenza is a universal vaccine, one that works on many strains of the pathogen [see “Beating the Flu in a Single Shot”; Scientific American, June 2008]. But the virus’s outer coat, consisting mainly of proteins called hemagglutinin and neuraminidase, frequently mutate, forci... Read More
An ingenious new method of obtaining marine microbe samples while preserving the microbes' natural gene expression has yielded an unexpected boon: the presence of many varieties of small RNAs — snippets of RNA that act as switches to regulate gene expression in these single-celled creatures.
... Read More
Put your tinfoil hat on people! Virologist Adrian Gibbs, a developer of Tamiflu, suspects swine flu may have escaped from a lab. His effort to trace the virus's origins by decoding its genetic blueprint has led him to consider the possibility. In fact, the World Health Organization is taking his... Read More
If your toupe or wig is not feeling so fresh, finally there is a product for you. This has got to be one of the cheesiest commercials I have ever seen for a sanitizing product. Thankfully I still have a full head of hair! Read More
Scientists at Edinburgh University have found a "strong" suggestion the bacteria is able to hamper the body's fight against bowel cancer.
They now hope the findings from their pilot study will lead to more research into the causes of the disease.
"Our laboratory work does strongly suggest... Read More
Pregnant women who get swine flu are at such high risk of complications like pneumonia, dehydration and premature labor that they should be treated at once with the antiviral drug Tamiflu — even though it is not normally recommended in pregnancy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sa... Read More
Contrary to the prevailing view, cereal crops derive the majority of their nitrogen from the soil, not fertilizer. Soils differ considerably in microbial activities that determine nitrogen-supplying power, and these differences must be taken into account if nitrogen fertilizers are to be used ef... Read More