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Immune System, Skin Microbiome 'Complement' One Another

Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania demonstrate for the first time that the immune system influences the skin microbiome. A new study found that the skin microbiome -- a collection of microorganisms inhabiting the human body -- is governed, at least... Read More

Learn "How Microbes can Help Feed the World," by reading the Academy's newest report

In order to feed the growing global population that is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, agricultural yields will need to increase by 70-100%. However, increasing this yield using current methods is not a viable option. Not only is it environmentally damaging, it is also not economically feas... Read More

The Amazing Story of a Mammal Virus That Became a Bird One

This is one the most extraordinary and convoluted evolutionary tales that I have ever heard. It’s the origin story of a group of viruses called REVs. It’s the tale of how naturalists and scientists inadvertently created a bird virus out of a mammalian one through zoo-collecting and medical resea... Read More

Die-off of bottlenose dolphins, linked to virus, is worst in 25 years

A widespread die-off of bottlenose dolphins off the Mid-Atlantic Coast — the worst of its kind in more than a quarter-century — almost certainly is the work of a virus that killed more than 740 dolphins in the same region in 1987 and 1988, marine scientists said Tuesday.

Since the beginning o... Read More

New Zealand botulism scare likely a false alarm

A botulism scare that damaged New Zealand's international reputation for providing top quality and safe dairy products was likely a false alarm.

New Zealand government officials said Wednesday they had found no sign of botulism bacteria after retesting ingredients used in recalled milk produc... Read More

MSF Starts Emergency Rabies Intervention in DRC

The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has started a rabies intervention in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after an alarming number of people were bitten by rabid dogs. With ten deaths already reported, the e... Read More

Randomized Treatments May Be More Effective at Stopping Disease Outbreaks

Mathematicians have found that by varying the timing of treatments, doctors may be able to increase the odds that a disease outbreak will die off suddenly.

Herding cats is a cakewalk compared with getting people to take flu vaccine shots in the last weeks of summer—work, school, limited pharm... Read More

Termite digestive-tract microorganisms: A resource to fuel the future

With increasing attention toward generating cost-effective biochemical conversion methods for producing biofuels, it helps to follow the leaders who have perfected the process. The mere Reticulitermes flavipes, or eastern subterranean termite, a famous feaster of lignocellulosic plant materials ... Read More

Gastroenteritis Hospitalizations in Adults Reduced Since Start of Infant Rotavirus Vaccination

“Implementation of infant rotavirus vaccination in 2006 has substantially reduced the burden of severe gastroenteritis among U.S. children younger than 5 years,” write Paul A. Gastanaduy, M.D., M.P.H., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, and colleagues. “Whether indirect ... Read More

Inadvertent transfer of a mammalian retrovirus into birds

Reticuloendotheliosis viruses (REVs) are retroviruses that cause a rare disease of gamebirds and waterfowl that includes anemia, immunosuppression, neoplasia, runting, and abnormal feathering. Since the first isolation of REV from a turkey in 1957, REVs were believed to be strictly avian viruses... Read More

How quickly can a bacterium grow?

All living things must obey the laws of physics — including the second law of thermodynamics, which states that the universe’s disorder, or entropy, can only grow. Highly ordered cells and organisms appear to contradict this principle, but they actually do conform because they generate heat that... Read More

Genetic susceptibility to cryptococcal disease in HIV-infected patients

HIV-infected people who carry a gene for Fc gamma receptor FCGR3A 158V face a 20-fold greater risk of contracting cryptococcal disease, according to a study in mBio this week. Cryptococcal disease is a risk for everyone with HIV who has a very low level of CD4+ T cells, but those with the gene f... Read More

Study Finds That Apoptosis Triggers Replication of Common Viruses

Washington, DC—Researchers from Children’s National Medical Center have found that an alternate, “escape” replication process triggered by apoptosis—the process of cell death or “cell suicide”—appears to be common in human herpesviruses (HHV). The findings have implications for better understand... Read More

Why aren't there more cancer vaccines? (opinion)

Six years from now, when my daughter turns 11, she will get a three-part human papillomavirus vaccine that will reduce her chances of getting cervical cancer by about 70 percent. Currently a little over half of American girls get the HPV vaccine, a public health intervention that will prevent te... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 132 - Microbes Modify Mitochrondrial Material

This episode: Some bacterial DNA sequence seems to integrate into human cells, especially in cancerous tissue!




Download Episode (11... Read More

Bacteria Study Offers Clues to Typhoid Mary Mystery

Scientists are one step closer to explaining how Typhoid Mary could have infected dozens of New Yorkers over a 12-year career as a cook, killing at least three, without having ever been sick herself.

A new study by scientists at Stanford University’s medical school, published this month in Ce... Read More

Pollutant-eating bacteria not so rare

Dioxane, a chemical in wide industrial use, has an enemy in naturally occurring bacteria that remove it from the environment. Researchers at Rice University have found that these bacteria are more abundant at spill sites than once thought.

They are designing tools to help environmental engine... Read More

New study explores how dengue virus changes mosquito behavior

Biting mosquitoes are not only annoying but can be dangerous, even deadly. A new study involving researchers at the University of Notre Dame explores a potential biological mechanism through which disease virus can alter the behavior of mosquitoes. In a previous study, led by Alexandre Peixoto o... Read More

BT-R3 Mediates Killing of the Malaria Vector Anopheles Gambiae by Bacillus Thuringiensis

Researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), led by Dr. Lee Bulla, have demonstrated for the first time the selective cytotoxicity of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis Cry4B toxin is mediated by BT-R3.

The Cry toxins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis exert their insecticid... Read More

Mycorrhizal Fungi: The World’s Biggest Drinking Straws And Largest Unseen Communication System

Quick, which is the biggest symbiotic association on Earth? Did you guess the mycorrhizae? They are the huge symbioses between fungi and the roots of most terrestrial plants. Their total size is not easy to measure because not all the fungal filaments in soils are mycorrhizal nor are the mycorrh... Read More

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