In her blog for the New York Times, evolutionary biologist Olivia Judson muses on the nature of genomics and sequencing:
Here’s a game for a rainy afternoon. If you could pick any organism to have its whole genome sequenced — what would it be?
I played this recently, and it made me ponder.... Read More
The federal government is reintroducing a powerful weapon in the fight against the H1N1 flu virus: Elmo.
The popular Sesame Street character will be featured in a series of public service advertisements meant to encourage better hygiene among young children, the Department of Health a... Read More
Scientists are beginning a large-scale effort to identify and analyze the vast majority of cells in or on your body that aren't of human origin.
Only about 10 percent of the trillions of cells that make up a person are truly human, researchers say. The other 90 percent are bacteria, viruses a... Read More
Want to know what illnesses are flourishing nearby without getting sick yourself? The builders of HealthMap, an online service that collects and maps various reports of infectious diseases such as the H1N1 swine flu, have launched a similarly ill application for the iPhone.
Outbreaks Near Me,... Read More
Using genetic analysis, scientists discover that a type of germ used for cleaning up toxic sites is actually many types of germs that gobble up different kinds of crud. This suggests that a smorgasbord of microbes could be customized for different applications – ranging from cleaning nuclear dum... Read More
Biotransformation of the blueberry juice was achieved with a new strain of bacteria isolated from the blueberry flora, specifically called Serratia vaccinii, which increases the fruit's antioxidant effects. "The identification of the active compounds in biotransformed blueberry juice may result ... Read More
Even if recognizing that microorganisms cause bad breath and "most" other bad odors, microbiologists who study odor makers have "never gotten together, and we're not sharing information on how to sample and characterize [these phenomena]," says Mel Rosenberg of Tel-Aviv University in Tel-Aviv, I... Read More
All primary school-age children in New York City will be offered free vaccines for seasonal and H1N1 flu this year under a plan announced on Tuesday by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The vaccines are part of the city's strategy to combat the new H1N1 swine flu strain that hit the city hard during t... Read More
In the fight against tooth decay, an Australian native plant’s antibacterial properties could provide a natural alternative to medicated mouthwashes.
Research conducted at Swinburne University’s Environment and Biotechnology Centre has found that extracts from the emu bush (Eremophila longifo... Read More
In Room 519 of Kindred Hospital, Linda Rivera can no longer speak.
Her mute state, punctuated only by groans, is the latest downturn in the swift collapse of her health that began in May when she curled up on her living room couch and nonchalantly ate several spoonfuls of the Nestlé cookie d... Read More
This essay, by Donald McNeil Jr, examines the historical need for societies to place blame in the aftermath of an epidemic.
“When disease strikes and humans suffer,” said Dr. Liise-anne Pirofski, chief of infectious diseases at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and an expert on the history... Read More
In case we have not seen enough articles on H1N1, the Washington Post has a short article with answers to several common questions. Nothing groundbreaking, but this may be useful with flu season rapidly approaching. Read More
Batteries made with microbes could help generate power by cleaning up organic waste at the same time.
Sewage is loaded with energy-rich sugars that researchers have struggled for years to convert into useful power. To do so, investigators have experimented with nature's experts on breaking do... Read More
Swiss scientists say a mosquito capable of spreading the deadly West Nile virus has been detected in central Europe for the first time.
Zurich University researchers say the Asian rock pool mosquito has colonized an area of 1,400 square kilometres (540 square miles) in central Switzerland.
... Read More
After searching through hundreds of potential chemicals, German immunologist Paul Ehrlich discovers a compound that can selectively kill the parasitic spirochete that causes syphilis. The following year, he sends 65,000 free samples of the drug, now known as the first modern chemotherapy agent, ... Read More
The St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1959 to great fanfare. The system of canals connecting the Atlantic Ocean and the five Great Lakes cut a lucrative international trade route through the heartland and gave the United States a refuge and staging ground for ships and submarines in case of war with... Read More
Oxygen is made possible in part by ocean viruses. The viruses which infect single-celled algae called cyanobacteria, are hyperefficient photosynthesisers thanks to a unique set of genes.
"Previous work had shown that cyanophage viruses have some photosynthesis genes, apparently used to keep t... Read More
In 2000, researchers from the University of Washington's toxicology department published a paper that looked at the validity of "auto-brewery syndrome," a tactic lawyers apparently have used to get their clients off of a DUI charge.
"The concentration of ethanol in blood, breath or urine cons... Read More