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Building a Better Malaria Vaccine: Mixing the Right Cocktail

A safe and effective malaria vaccine is high on the wish list of most people concerned with global health. Results published on December 26 in PLOS Pathogens suggest how a leading vaccine candidate could be vastly improved.

The study, led by Sheetij Dutta, from the Walter Reed Army Institute ... Read More

HOW A RETROVIRUS CAN KICK-START BRAIN REPAIR

Researchers used a retrovirus to regenerate neurons after a brain injury and in Alzheimer’s models. The method may lead to therapies for an array of neurological disorders.

Gong Chen, a professor of biology, the Verne M. Willaman Chair in Life Sciences at Penn State, and the leader of the res... Read More

Fungus discovery offers pine-wilt hope

The pine-wood nematode is a major pest in the forests of China. The worm, which causes pine-wilt disease, has killed more than 50 million trees and resulted in economic losses of US$22 billion since 1982.

But now, after a study lasting almost a decade, a team of Chinese ecologists has made a ... Read More

Debilitating Virus Infects Island Paradise

Given a choice between dengue fever or another mosquito-borne disease called chikungunya fever, choose dengue every time. Neither has an available vaccine or treatment, but chikungunya (pronounced chik-un-GUHN-ya) is far more severe – it literally means “that which bends up” because patients are... Read More

Bacteria Could Be Living Structural Sensors (podcast)

Cells in complex organisms sometimes respond to pressure and stress by growing in a preferred direction. The phenomenon, called mechanotaxis, helps create multicellular structures such as our organs.

Now a common soil bacterium has been found to change its growth pattern in response to distur... Read More

Toys, books, cribs can harbor bacteria for long periods, study finds

Numerous scientific studies have concluded that two common bacteria that cause colds, ear infections, strep throat and more serious infections cannot live for long outside the human body. So conventional wisdom has long held that these bacteria won’t linger on inanimate objects like furniture, ... Read More

Merry Microbial Holidays!

Wishing every single microbial enthusiast and their families the merriest of microbial holidays! And how better than with bioluminescent ornaments on a Luxmas Tree! Read More

Here's to Microbes Near and Far (to the tune of Hark the Herald Angels Sing) - Happy Holidays from the American Society for Microbiology

Here's to Microbes Near and Far (to the tune of Hark the Herald Angels Sing) - Happy Holidays from the American Society for Microbiology Read More

‘SUPER-CLONE’ E. COLI COULD BE WORSE THAN HOSPITAL SUPERBUG

Virulent, drug-resistant forms of E. coli that have recently spread around the world emerged from a single strain of the bacteria, not many different strains, as has been widely believed.

The strain—which causes millions of urinary, kidney and bloodstream infections a year—could have a far gr... Read More

Attacking Fungal Infection, One of the World's Major Killers

Ask someone what the term ‘fungus’ brings to mind, and chances are it will be an image of something that smells or looks disgusting. Ask David Perlin, executive director of the Public Health Research Institute at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, and the response will be far more somber – becau... Read More

Fuzzy Frosty

This smiling Frosty is no ordinary snowman—he's made entirely of mold.

The living artwork is the creation of Stephanie Mounaud, an infectious disease researcher at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) in Rockville, Maryland.

For the last several Christmases, Mounaud has used the different ... Read More

Malaria drug target raises hopes for new treatments

Scientists have taken an important step towards new malaria treatments by identifying a way to stop malaria parasites from multiplying.

In a study published in Nature Chemistry, they show that blocking the activity of an enzyme called NMT in the most common malaria parasite prevents mice from... Read More

A Call for Urgent Talks on Mutant Flu-Strain Research

The benefits and risks of "gain-of-function" research into highly pathogenic microbes with pandemic potential must be evaluated, scientists say. A group of over 50 researchers has called on the European Commission to hold a scientific briefing on research that involves engineering microbes to m... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 148 - Engineered Escherichia Enzyme Enhances Environmentalism

This episode: Engineered bacteria could help capture CO2 and convert it into a solid form for storage!


(7.3 MB, 8 minutes)


E. coli engineered to produce the enzyme carbonic anhydrase, which converts carbon dioxide to bicarbonate and then to calcium carbonate,... Read More

TWiV 264: We should do an all email show some day

Unable to embed Rapid1Pixelout audio player. Please double check that:  1)You have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.  2)This web page does not have any fatal Javascript errors.  3)The audio-player.js file of Rapid1Pixelout has been included.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove Read More

"Social" bacteria that work together to hunt for food and survive under harsh conditions (NSF Press Release)

When considering the behavior of bacteria, the word "social" doesn't often come to mind.

Yet some bacteria are quite social, chief among them Myxococcus xanthus, a soil-dwelling bacterium that organizes itself into multi-cellular, three-dimensional structures made up of thousands of cells tha... Read More

Anglers face dangers from vibrio vulnificus bacterium and fish handler's disease

When Charlie Schneider came back one day in June after being out fishing near his Tilghman Island home, he noticed he was getting chills. His left ankle itched and got worse and worse through the evening. It eventually started to throb a bit, and he couldn't sleep. At 2 a.m., he asked his wife t... Read More

The SOS response: how bacteria deal with damaged DNA

DNA is important stuff. It’s present in all living organisms on the planet (or ‘almost all’ if you wish to remain friends with virologists) and contains the information required to produce and organise the proteins within a cell. If the DNA is damaged, the cell will very quickly find itself in d... Read More
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