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Plasmobot Computer Runs on Slime Mold

It's probably the nastiest, slimiest computer in the world. Powered by oat flakes instead of electricity, scientists in the UK have developed a rudimentary computer using a slime mold they have affectionately named Plasmobot.

"Most people's idea of a computer is a piece of hardware with softw... Read More

Lens-less Microscopy aka Kryptonian Vision

Jennifer Gutierrez is a microbiology graduate student in the Joint Doctoral Program of San Diego State University and University of California at San Diego. In her guest blog post on Small Things Considered she describes a new imaging technique dubbed "lens-less microscopy."

As part of the di... Read More

Sex infection gonorrhoea 'becoming drug-resistant'

The growing resistance of antibiotics threatens to make gonorrhoea extremely difficult to treat, a Health Protection Agency official has warned. Current drugs are still effective but signs of emerging resistance mean treatments may soon need to be revised, Professor Catherine Ison says.

It co... Read More

Microbes to Be Used for Breaking Up Plastics

According to new data presented March 28 at the spring meeting of the Society for General Microbiology, held in Edinburgh, it may be that using microbes to break up plastic is the way to go. Most people tend to consider plastic objects as being disposable, but in fact they can take up to several... Read More

How immune cells 'sniff out' bacteria

Scientists are learning how our immune system senses and tracks down infection in the body by responding to chemical "scents" emitted by bacteria. Studying how immune cells manipulate their movement in response to external signals could shed light not only on how our immune system functions but ... Read More

New Details about Bacteriophage T7-Host Interactions

Researchers are showing renewed interest in learning how phages interact with bacterial hosts, adapting to and overcoming their defenses. The abundance of phages and their importance to evolution and to ecology provide an incentive to study them. The golden era for studying phages stretched from... Read More

Renew your Knowledge of Microbiology

Enjoy this scientific spring scavenger hunt and find the answers to these 10 questions on the history of microbiology. The birth of microbiology revolved around many key discoveries beginning around the mid to late 1600’s. These discoveries were at the cutting edge of science at the time and th... Read More

Swine flu activity in the Southeast raises fears of a third wave of pandemic

PigContinuing activity of pandemic H1N1 influenza in the Southeast, particularly in Georgia, is raising fears of a third wave of swine flu, federal officials said Monday. They urged people to continue getting vaccinated as a preventive measure in case a new outbreak occurs.

Although swine flu... Read More

Halliburton Hunts New Bacteria Killer to Protect Shale-Gas Boom

Halliburton Co. and Schlumberger Ltd., trying to forestall a regulatory crackdown that would cut natural-gas drilling, are developing ways to eliminate the need for chemicals that may taint water supplies near wells.

At risk is hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a process that unlocked gas de... Read More

Actinomyces israelii

Actinomyces israelii. Molar tooth colony Read More

Revealing the secrets of the Périgord black truffle

Amy Maxmen reports over at Nature News that a team of European researchers has decoded the genome of the Périgord black truffle. Francis Martin, at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research in Nancy, and his colleagues have found that "within its nucleotides reside secrets to the f... Read More

Scientists Uncover Vast Microbial Diversity of Carnivorous Pitcher Plant

The microbial ecosystem inside the carnivorous pitcher plant is vastly more diverse than previously thought according to research published in the March 2010 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Researchers from Louisiana State University used genomic fingerprinting t... Read More

Universal vaccine could put an end to all flu

it is not a nice way to die. As the virus spreads through your lungs, your immune system goes into overdrive. Your lungs become leaky and fill with fluid. Your lips and nails, then your skin, turn blue as you struggle to get enough oxygen. Basically, you drown.

Flu can kill in other ways, too... Read More

Study Finds Surgical Masks Provided Effective Protection of Health Care Workers Against H1N1

The effectiveness of ordinary surgical masks as opposed to respirators in protecting health care workers against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus has been the subject of debate. An observational study published in the April 1, 2010 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, available online, suggests t... Read More

Deep sequencing reveals viral vaccine contaminants

Use of the rotavirus vaccine Rotarix in the US has been temporarily suspended because the vaccine was found to be contaminated with porcine circovirus 1 DNA. The discovery was made in the laboratory of Dr. Eric Delwart, who has provided insight into what was found in Rotarix, and why he was anal... Read More

Luring Out The Missing Biosphere

Most of life on Earth is a mystery to us. The bulk of biomass on the planet is made up of microbes. By some estimates, there may be 150 million species of bacteria, but scientists have only formally named a few thousand of them. One of the big causes of this ignorance is that scientists don’t kn... Read More

Microbes thrive in harsh, Mars-like lakes

Life not only survives but thrives in Australian lakes where conditions may be as harsh as those on ancient Mars, a new DNA analysis suggests.

Minerals on Mars studied by the NASA rovers suggest water once flowed on the planet's surface, but was very salty and acidic, raising doubts about whe... Read More

Farmers fear ruin as Rift Valley Fever spreads

Sixty-three South Africans are infected, according to the latest figures released by the Department of Health yesterday. This number went up from 52 on Thursday, to 60 on Friday and then to 63 yesterday. Two people in the Free State have also died in recent weeks. Rift Valley Fever causes diseas... Read More

Fat clue to TB awakening

The factors instrumental in triggering latent tuberculosis (TB) infection to progress into active disease have long remained elusive to researchers. New insight into the mystery is provided by Professor David Russell, speaking at the Society for General Microbiology's spring meeting in Edinburgh... Read More

'Hormone therapy' for food poisoning bacteria

Pathogenic bacteria in the gut recognise their surroundings by detecting hormone signals from the host, which can prompt them to express lethal toxins. Intercepting these hormonal messages could be a better way to treat serious food-borne infections where antibiotics do more harm than good, expl... Read More
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