Just try to wrap your head around this impossible task: if each gram of soil holds thousands of different species of microorganisms, how can you detect and describe how those various members interact? A new study just released by mBio offers up one way to approach the problem, using a conceptua... Read More
A strain of a drug-resistant skin disease that has afflicted sports teams, prisons and military units is now proving a persistent pest among lobstermen and their families on a Maine island.
Over the past two summers, more than 30 people on Vinalhaven have come down with painful and persistent... Read More
Hi Vincent and Dickson,
I want to correct a statement you made in the trypanosomes episode. Apolipoprotein L-I in human blood kills only the subspecies Trypanosoma brucei brucei, whereas the East African subspecies Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense and the... Read More
Vincent and Dickson continue their discussion of protozoan parasites that cause diarrhea with a review of amebic dysentery caused by Entamoeba histolytica.
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Public health officials have issued a rabies warning to American travelers after a 42-year-old psychiatrist from Virginia died from exposure to a rabid dog while he was jogging in India.
It was one of seven cases of rabies acquired abroad from 2000 to 2009, out of 31 human cases in the Unit... Read More
In a move that gave official American backing to the controversial idea of a “patent pool,” the National Institutes of Health last week became the first entity to license its patent on a new AIDS drug to an entity loosely affiliated with the World Health Organization.
The rights to the N.I.H... Read More
Drafting cyclists have nothing on spore-spewing fungi. Using an aerodynamic technique, a fungus can reduce drag on its spores—sending them high and far.
One fungus, the destructive Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, spews thousands of spores nearly simultaneously to form a plume that reduces drag to n... Read More
With the worrying rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs like MRSA, scientists from a wide range of disciplines are teaming up to identify alternative therapies to keep them at bay.
One long-considered solution is the use of lytic enzymes which attack bacteria by piercing their cell walls. Ly... Read More
Headed by the Kiel zoologist Professor Thomas Bosch, a team of scientists from Germany and Russia succeeded in deciphering the mechanisms, for the first time, with which embryos of the freshwater polyp Hydra protect themselves against bacterial colonization. The paper is published this week in t... Read More
Möbius strips are special loops that only have one continuous side. Now we've built the smallest Möbius strips ever - out of DNA. Here you can see the nanometer-sized DNA loops, folded like origami.
The ability to create complex structures on the tiniest of scales is one of the great challeng... Read More
The first scientific description of measles dates from the ninth century, and the disease was first mentioned in The New-York Daily Times on Oct. 14, 1851, when the newspaper was not yet one month old.
A front-page “Weekly Report of Deaths” that day noted that the disease had killed two peo... Read More
Scientists, who are set to launch a mission to search for bacteria, believe they could be close to discovering alien life forms much closer to home - on the outer fringes of Earth's atmosphere.
British scientists, working with the European Space Agency, would launch a balloon carrying instrum... Read More
The prospect of ingesting pesticides and other contaminants can make supermarket produce seem less than appetizing. Buying organic lowers the risk, but is no guarantee against food-borne pathogens.
Scientists have found some effective household measures that can eliminate germs and pesticid... Read More
More cases of Eastern equine encephalitis have been reported in horses in Michigan.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture told the Kalamazoo Gazette that through Thursday there have been 130 cases this year. Officials have called this year's outbreak the worst in 30 years. Read More
In France, roughly 40,000 HIV-infected persons are unaware of their HIV infection. Although previous studies have evaluated the cost-effectiveness of routine HIV screening in the United States, differences in both the epidemiology of infection and HIV testing behaviors warrant a setting-specific... Read More
Virus-like particles called gene transfer agents (GTAs) are produced by alpha-proteobacteria and pass from one microbe to another, taking random pieces of genetic material up to 1,000 bases long with them. The high frequency with which this has been found to occur may provide a mechanism by whic... Read More
Common frogs, which are the most widespread species of frog in Britain, have suffered declines of around 80 per cent in the areas worst hit by the disease, known as ranavirus.
Research by biologists at the Zoological Society of London also fear that the virus could be having an equally devast... Read More
An experiment (N = 28) tested the hypothesis that the mere visual perception of disease-connoting cues promotes a more aggressive immune response. Participants were exposed either to photographs depicting symptoms of infectious disease or to photographs depicting guns. After incubati... Read More
A UC Irvine infectious disease specialist has received a three-year, $10 million grant to explore the effectiveness of new methods to prevent staph infections in people who harbor MRSA bacteria when they're discharged from the hospital.
The UCI study, led by Dr. Susan Huang - medical directo... Read More
Exacerbations in cystic fibrosis (CF) may be linked to chronic infection with a bacterium called Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, which was previously thought to simply colonize the CF lung. The finding that chronic infection with S. maltophilia is independently linked with an increased risk of ex... Read More