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A Bacterium's Super Breathing Capability (VIDEO)

Here's a great little video put together by an NPR intern, Ilham Hassan about Geobiologist Kenneth Nealson and what he affectionately calls his bugs—bacteria. Nealson discovered the bacterium Shewanella oneidensis strain MR-1. Or just "MR-1" for short.

He found the microbe in Lake Oneida, bac... Read More

Crohn's blamed on lazy immune cells

A mysterious bowel disease thought to be caused by an over-exuberant immune system may paradoxically be triggered by immune cells that don't do enough in the early stages of bacterial infection.

Since some treatments for Crohn's disease aim to suppress the immune system, it's possible these d... Read More

Cigarettes Harbor Many Pathogenic Bacteria

Cigarettes are "widely contaminated" with bacteria, including some known to cause disease in people, concludes a new international study conducted by a University of Maryland environmental health researcher and microbial ecologists at the Ecole Centrale de Lyon in France.

The research team de... Read More

Deaths following swine flu immunization not linked to vaccine, the WHO says

There have been about 40 deaths worldwide among people who have recently been vaccinated against pandemic H1N1 influenza, but there is no evidence the deaths are related to the vaccine, officials from the World Health Organization said today. At least 65 million people have been vaccinated, and ... Read More

AIDS, malaria eclipse the biggest child-killers

Diarrhea doesn't make headlines. Nor does pneumonia. AIDS and malaria tend to get most of the attention.

Yet even though cheap tools could prevent and cure both diseases, they kill an estimated 3.5 million kids under 5 each a year globally — more than HIV and malaria combined.

"They have b... Read More

Termite Creates Sustainable Monoculture Fungus-Farming

Food production of modern human societies is mostly based on large-scale monoculture crops, but it now appears that advanced insect societies have the same practice. Our societies took just ten thousand years of (mainly cultural) evolution to adopt this habit and we are far from convinced that i... Read More

The Gut Response To What We Eat

A high-fat, high-sugar diet can quickly and dramatically change the population of microbes living in the digestive tract, according to a new study of human gut bugs transplanted into mice.

Trillions of microbes live inside the human gut, and one of their functions is to process parts of foods... Read More

Tooth-Binding Micelles Containing Antimicrobials May Provide Long-Term Cavity Protection

A new study suggests that tooth-binding micelles (or particles) may provide long-term cavity protection by adhering to tooth surfaces and gradually releasing encapsulated antimicrobials. Formulation of a mouthwash-based delivery system is anticipated, ultimately simplifying application and incre... Read More

Ant farmers use bacteria to make their gardens grow

In a new research, scientists have found that ant farmers, like their human counterparts, depend on nitrogen-fixing bacteria to make their gardens grow.

The finding documents a previously unknown symbiosis between ants and bacteria and provides insight into how leaf-cutter ants have come to d... Read More

Beyond the Still: 6 Bioscapes Contest Video

The entrants in the 2009 Olympus BioScapes International Digital Imaging Competition provide fitting tribute to nearly 1,000 years of making the invisible visible. These six videos include one winner and five Honorable Mentions. Read More

Researchers Try to Solve the Mystery of HIV Carriers Who Don't Contract AIDS

More than half a million people in the U.S. have died from HIV infection, and more than a million currently live with the virus, but a relative handful of people infected with HIV never get treatment for it and never get sick from it. The immune systems of this small population—perhaps 50,000 Am... Read More

Activated Sludge

Activated sludge. Stalked ciliates grazing the sludge material (1000X) Read More

Can Harnessed Microbes Meet “Sniff Test” To Compete with Fossil Fuels?

With concerns about global warming and rising oil prices, there is renewed impetus behind efforts to harness microorganisms as a way of reducing worldwide reliance on fossil fuels. Some companies are keen on exploiting photosynthetic microbes, whereas others are counting on other ways to marsha... Read More

A new model system to study fungal infections

WORCESTER, Mass. – A team of researchers at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center at Gateway Park has developed a new model system to study fungal infections. The system can be a powerful tool for screening potential drug targets for conditions like th... Read More

Cold virus may have caused 2007 AIDS vaccine trial failure

One of the biggest disappointments in AIDS research was the failure of Merck & Co.'s STEP trial of an experimental AIDS vaccine, which was terminated prematurely in 2007 when it became apparent that the vaccine seemed to increase the number of people who contracted HIV. Now, British scientists b... Read More

Fears over 'own goal' HIV vaccine revived

A new study has cast fresh doubts on an AIDS vaccine that was abandoned in 2007 because of fears that it made some recipients more susceptible to HIV infection. The new research is at odds with other studies that cleared the vaccine of responsibility.

The finding reopens the question of wheth... Read More

Swine flu cases drop on college campuses for first time

For the first time this academic year, college campuses have reported a significant drop in cases of influenza-like illness, generally assumed to be pandemic H1N1 influenza, according to the American College Health Assn. Unfortunately, the association also recorded the first two deaths from the ... Read More

Hey, Today is World Toilet Day (Big Squat)

Sponsored by the WTO, that's World Toilet Organization, November 19 is World Toilet Day. The event seeks to increase awareness of the importance of toilet sanitation and each individual's right to a safe and hygienic sanitary environment.

One of their activities for this year is The B... Read More

On the Trail of a Vaccine for Lyme Disease: Yale Researchers Target Tick Saliva

A protein found in the saliva of ticks helps protect mice from developing Lyme disease, Yale researchers have discovered. The findings, published in the November 19 issue of Cell Host & Microbe, may spur development of a new vaccine against infection from Lyme disease, which is spread through ti... Read More

Why Bird Flu Has Not Caused a Pandemic

Bird flu viruses would have to make at least two simultaneous genetic mutations before they could be transmitted readily from human to human, according to research published November 19 in PLoS One.

The authors of the new study, from Imperial College London, the University of Reading and the ... Read More

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