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Salmonella Strain's Path To Virulence Uncovered

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have uncovered genetic evidence about the evolutionary path that transformed Salmonella enteritidis from an innocuous bacterium into a virulent pathogen. S. enteritidis, like many bacteria, reproduces very quickly--every 20 minutes in optimal condit... Read More

Silent Human Cases of H5N1|Avian Flu May be Lurking in Egypt

An unusual pattern of avian flu cases in Egypt — almost all are in toddlers, all of whom have survived — has led some flu-tracking Web sites to speculate that dozens of silent cases are circulating there. However some experts like Dr. Robert G. Webster, say “I hope to hell it’s not happening, be... Read More

New Polio Outbreaks in Africa and India Prompt Aid Organizations to Plea for Cash

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has made an emergency appeal for millions of dollars to fight a new polio outbreak across Africa. Despite more than 20 years of eradication efforts, two strains of polio have spread out from northern Nigeria and northern India ... Read More

Rollover Beethoven Here Comes Hip Hop Darwin

UK microbiologist Mark Pallen has commissioned a rap version of Darwin's theory of evolution by Baba Brinkman, a former English literature student and Canadian hip hop artist. The idea is that the music can serve as a pedagogical tool for students. There is also a nice video of it on YouTube her... Read More

A recipe for sustainable biofuel

Take 1 part brewer's yeast, add a gene from a salt marsh plant, grow it with an obscure microbe from a French landfil and viola! Biofuel. Christopher Voigt, a synthetic biologist at UCSF, "and colleagues had assembled the perfect microbial team – A. fermentans converts cellulose into acetate, w... Read More

Ill From Food? Investigations Vary by State

In just about every major contaminated food scare, Minnesotans become sick by the dozens while few people in Kentucky and other states are counted among the ill. Contaminated peanuts? Forty-two Minnesotans were reported sick compared with three Kentuckians. Jalapeño peppers last year? Thirty-on... Read More

Cell Dance

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First Broad Spectrum Anti-microbial Paint To Kill 'Superbugs'

Scientists in South Dakota are reporting development of the first broad-spectrum antimicrobial paint, a material that can simultaneously kill not just disease-causing bacteria but mold, fungi, and viruses. Designed to both decorate and disinfect homes, businesses, and health-care settings, the p... Read More

The Dances of Algae

Freshwater algae can dance around each other in stable groups, held together only by fluid flows in the surrounding water. In fact they have two dances, the waltz and the minuet. There is a nice video that accompanies this article as well.

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Clostridium botulinum from food 1000x

Clostridium botulinum from food 1000x Read More

Scientists Discover 'Dancing' Algae

Scientists at the Cambridge University have discovered that freshwater algae can form stable groupings in which they dance around each other, miraculously held together only by the fluid flows they create. The researchers studied the multicellular organism Volvox, which consists of approximately... Read More

TWiV 28 - SARS

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Scientists for a Better PCR

Another great science music video find. An amusing take on We are the World from Bio Rad who manufactures PCR machines. This is what I would call a viral science video. Obviously they have the money to make this a stellar production. Best lyric "PCR... When You Wanna Know Who Your Daddy is." Read More

Regulatin' Genes Y'all

This is a very fun video about regulating genes done hip hop style. Read More

New antibacterial paint may provide superior protection from superbugs

I am always skeptical about products that claim to be antibacterial because even though they may have antimicrobial compounds in them, their efficacy is often questionable. Mainly, because their shelf life is limited and no one has really proved how these compounds get out to fight the microbes.... Read More

Closing In On Goat Scrapie

Goats are tough, spirited animals, but they're no match for scrapie, a form of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy. Now, with a "helping hand" from science, the animals' plight could take a turn for the better. Toward that end, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their collabo... Read More

Bacteriophage Can Turn a Harmless E.coli into a more virulent one

A researcher from the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science has found that transmission of bateriophage between bacteria can occur, and that in the case of E. coli it can transform a harmless bacterium into one capable of causing disease in man. Read More

Broccoli Sprouts May Be Germ Fighters

Eating broccoli sprouts may be an effective way to control the germ that causes most peptic ulcers and is strongly associated with stomach cancer, a small study has found. In the study, published in the April issue of Cancer Prevention Research, researchers examined 50 people who were infected w... Read More

Microbe Robots for Biomedical Applications

Researchers from ETH Zurich have built E.coli sized robots that they hope will be used for various biomedical applications. "They look like spirals with tiny heads, and screw through the liquid like miniature corkscrews. When moving, they resemble rather ungainly bacteria with long whip-like ta... Read More

Bacteria Tapped To Battle Crop-Damaging Roundworms

Beneficial bacteria, aided by a "cocktail" of potent natural compounds, may offer a way to biologically control soybean cyst nematodes and other crop-damaging roundworms. That's the implication of ongoing studies by scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the Donald Danforth ... Read More

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