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More scary than Halloween: this month in germophobia microbophobia

From microBEnet, by Jonathan Eisen

It seems that any time a holiday comes around in the US, the press starts to ramp up the writing of stories about evil microbes that are lurking all around us. And Halloween appears to be no exception. I am now planning on referring to this attitude as “micr... Read More

Microbial ‘Vaccine’ Helps Keep Mosquitoes Disease-Free

Mosquitoes that harbor a soil microbe called Chromobacterium Csp_P have a harder time catching dengue virus and the malarial parasite. Christopher Intagliata reports.

The human microbiome is the community of tiny organisms that live on us and inside us. These critters play vital roles in our ... Read More

Could copper prevent spread of Ebola?

Research from the University of Southampton has indicated that copper could help to prevent the spread of Ebola.

Hand washing, disinfectants and quarantine procedures alone have been found to be insufficient to contain the spread of the virus. Research by Professor Bill Keevil at the Universi... Read More

Breakdown in gut barriers to bacteria may promote inflammation and craving in alcoholics

Bacteria in the GI tract fulfill many vital functions and are critical for digestion. Yet, these same bacteria can induce strong inflammatory responses by the immune system if they penetrate the gut and enter the bloodstream. Prior research has established the involvement of inflammatory process... Read More

Emerging Disease Could Wipe Out American, European Salamanders

A deadly disease that is wiping out salamanders in parts of Europe will inevitably reach the U.S. through the international wildlife trade unless steps are taken to halt its spread, says University of Maryland amphibian expert Karen Lips.

The recently described fungus, Batrachochytrium salama... Read More

Ebola virus: Genes 'play significant role in survival'

Genetic factors could play an important role in whether people survive the Ebola virus, say US scientists.

A study of mice infected with the virus found they showed a number of different symptoms, with 19% remaining unaffected by the disease.

This could explain why some people recover from... Read More

7 Amazing Scientists and 1 Music Video Raise Hope for Ebola Researchers

A music video making the rounds on YouTube entitled “One Truth,” is dedicated to all of the brave researchers, healthcare workers, and others who have put their lives on the line to save people during the recent outbreak of Ebola virus disease. Pardis Sabeti, MD, DPhil, an NIH-funded New Innovat... Read More

TWiM #90: Think globally, act locally

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello.


Special guests: Laurene Mascola and Read More

Ebola Exacerbates West Africa’s Poverty Crisis

The virus spreading in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone has led to food shortages and neglect of other devastating tropical illnesses.

When Ebola came to Dorcas's home on the outskirts of Freetown in Sierra Leone, the virus spared no one. Her mother brought it home from the clinic where she w... Read More

More attention to measles, vaccine experts urge

Doctors and public health authorities need to renew their attention to measles, researchers from Emory Vaccine Center urge in an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine.

"Because of its high level of contagiousness, measles is the indicator disease for weaknesses of an immunization p... Read More

Koala chlamydia vaccine trial raises hope

Australian scientists say they have successfully tested a vaccine aimed at protecting wild koalas from chlamydia.

The disease has ravaged the native marsupial, which is under increasing threat.

Microbiologists in Queensland now hope to protect some of the remaining population after success... Read More

Ebola and the Vast Viral Universe

Behind the hellish Ebola epidemic ravaging West Africa lies an agent that fittingly embodies the mad contradictions of a nightmare. It is alive yet dead, simple yet complex, mindless yet prophetic, seemingly able to anticipate our every move.

For scientists who study the evolution and behavio... Read More

Epidemiological Study by Penn Vet Professor Investigates Parasite-Schizophrenia Connection

Many factors, both genetic and environmental, have been blamed for increasing the risk of a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Some, such as a family history of schizophrenia, are widely accepted. Others, such as infection with Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite transmitted by soil, undercooked meat and cat... Read More

Small Wonders: 20 Winning Images Depict Life under the Microscope

For the past four decades the Nikon Small World competition has placed photography under the microscope, with eye-catching results. This year’s 20 finalists, announced Thursday, are no exception, zooming in on microorganisms, minerals and even electronic circuitry to find beauty hidden from the ... Read More

Pictures Considered #21. Southern Blot

"... These results, gained with a novel method for blotting (E. M. Southern, manuscript in preparation), have also led to the identification of the Bam Hl recognition sequence". It is rather unusual to find unpublished work referred to in the abstract of a paper, to put it mildly. But this was e... Read More

Microbes After Hours – Ebola: On the Front Lines

The current Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has sickened over 13,000 people and has killed over 4,800. Health workers from around the world are attempting to halt this deadly disease. On November 19th, Microbes After Hours will feature two of these health workers, Dr. Joseph Fair and Dr. ... Read More

Programmable Antibiotics Could Kill Infections While Leaving Your "Good" Bugs Alone

As the world experiences a wakeup call about the rise of drug-resistant infections, a new approach to creating smarter, “programmable” drugs could combat the two major problems with life-saving drugs today.

On the one hand, today’s antibiotics work a little too well. They not only kill infect... Read More

Supportive care may help American Ebola patients survive

Nurse Amber Vinson's discharge from the hospital Tuesday brings to seven the number of American patients who have survived Ebola, leading many people to wonder what has allowed them to beat the odds.

In West Africa, about 70% of patients die from the Ebola virus, according to the World Health... Read More

Crowdsourcing To Solve Microbe Mysteries

Scientists hope to unlock the secrets of millions of marine microbes from waters as far apart as Sydney’s Botany Bay and the Amazon River in Brazil, with the help of an international team of volunteers sharing their spare computer capacity to create a research “supercomputer”.

The project, co... Read More

Hygienic Laboratory in the Marine Hospital, Staten Island, New York

In 1887, Dr. Joseph Kinyoun set up his one-room Hygienic Laboratory in the Marine Hospital on Staten Island in New York to research cholera and other infectious diseases such as diphtheria, typhoid, smallpox, typhus, plague and tuberculosis. This was the beginning of the National Institutes of H... Read More

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