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
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
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
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
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
This episode: Some bacterial DNA sequence seems to integrate into human cells, especially in cancerous tissue!
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
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
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
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
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
What is wrong with this paragraph from today’s New York Times that describes the origin of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus:
Health officials confirmed Wednesday that bats in Saudi Arabia were the source of the mysterious virus that has sickened 96 people in the Middle ... Read More
A clinical trial of an innovative vaccine is occurring. The vaccine could offer hope to patients with advanced ovarian cancer. The vaccine, which is derived from the patient's tumor cells, is designed to jumpstart the patient's immune system to attack and kill cancer cells.
Ovarian cancer is ... Read More
A deadly new bird flu virus in China evolved from migratory birds via waterfowl to poultry and into people, and there are other bird flu viruses circulating that could follow the same path, scientists have found.
The study - an analysis of the evolutionary history of the H7N9 bird flu that ha... Read More
By throwing together a common fungus and a common bacteria, researchers are producing isobutanol — a biofuel that gallon-for-gallon delivers 82 percent of gasoline’s heat energy. The more common ethanol, by contrast, only gets 67 percent of gasoline’s energy, and does more damage to pipelines an... Read More
Females can mount more powerful immune responses than males, but the flip side of this enhanced protection against infections is a greater risk for autoimmune disorders. Shedding light on the underlying causes of the gender bias in autoimmune diseases, a study published by Cell Press August 22nd... Read More
Gut bacteria exert a dramatic, systemic effect on the development of the immune system's B-lymphocytes, according to a new mouse study by researchers at Boston Children's Hospital. While influences of gut bacteria on T-lymphocytes have been noted before, this is the first time that researchers h... Read More
In this post from my blog, I discuss the recent interest in snarky-funny academic hashtags on Twitter, such as #overlyhonestsyllabi. Just like students, educators need to blow off some steam (especially as classes approach!). But it is also important to remember our educational goals, and matc... Read More
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today allowed marketing in the U.S. of the first mass spectrometer system for automated identification of bacteria and yeasts that are known to cause serious illness in humans. The VITEK MS can identify 193 different microorganisms and can perform up to 192 ... Read More