A new analysis pokes holes in a widely accepted theory that connects biodiversity abundance with a reduced disease risk for people. More than three quarters of new, emerging, or re-emerging human diseases are caused by pathogens from animals. The dilution effect—considered to be one of the most... Read More
Viruses are biological pirates, invading cells and hijacking their machinery to reproduce and infect again. Research at Harvard Medical School is shedding new light on the battle line where viral and cell membranes meet, and the key role of a protein grappling hook with which the influenza virus... Read More
A genetically modified version of herpes simplex virus type 1, the same virus that causes cold sores, shrank tumors of the deadly skin cancer melanoma in a clinical trial, according to Amgen, which is developing the experimental cancer treatment.
Patients in the trial were in the late stages ... Read More
We continue our series of images that have made a difference in microbiology. This one, published by John Cairns in 1963 has earned a most deserved place in textbooks and reviews. It shows a radioautograph of an intact E. coli chromosome in the act of replicating. From this image, Cairns conclud... Read More
Drug successfully tested in mice; may be major advance as malaria has developed resistance to existing treatments
Scientists at Oregon Health & Science University and the Portland VA Medical Center have developed a drug that may represent one of the world's best hopes for treating and prevent... Read More
The bacterium Photorhabdus luminescens is a constant companion of some roundworms. These worms assault insect larvae, thereby infecting them with the bacteria; the pathogens then attack the cells of their victims with a deadly cocktail of various toxins. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of... Read More
Recently thousands of dead and decaying pigs were pulled from rivers in Shanghai and Jiaxing, China. Apparently farmers dumped the animals into the water after the pigs became ill, and porcine circovirus was subsequently detected in the in pig carcasses and in the water. Porcine circoviruses are... Read More
Infections caused by carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae can be impossible to treat. A family of drug-resistant bacteria that experts say kills up to 50 percent of people infected is spreading in Chicago and elsewhere, prompting doctors and public health officials to step up efforts to prot... Read More
Scientists have cracked a 35-year-old mystery about the workings of the natural motors that are serving as models for development of a futuristic genre of synthetic nanomotors that pump therapeutic DNA, RNA or drugs into individual diseased cells. Their report revealing the innermost mechanisms ... Read More
The first red alga genome has just been sequenced by an international team coordinated by CNRS and UPMC at the Station Biologique de Roscoff (Brittany), notably involving researchers from CEA-Genoscope, the universities of Lille 1 and Rennes 1 and the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle. ... Read More
When a phage invades a host’s premises, it delivers only its genome and perhaps a few specialized proteins needed immediately upon arrival. Its plan is simply to supervise production. The host is relied on to provide not only the raw materials and energy, but also the production equipment needed... Read More
Over the past year, a viral infection has infected 15 people — killing nine. All lived in the Middle East or Britain. The novel germ doe not yet have a formal name. It causes pneumonia, a type of severe lung infection. On Feb. 27, scientists from around the world met in Washington, D.C., to shar... Read More
The world's longest-running experiments remind us that science is a marathon, not a sprint. Although science is a long-term pursuit, research is often practised over short timescales: a discrete experiment or a self-contained project constrained by the length of a funding cycle. But some investi... Read More
For a while, Adam Martiny and some of his fellow scientists had suspected something was not right in how researchers understand the oceans. The object of their suspicion was something called the Redfield ratio, a principle stating that, when nutrients are not limiting, ocean microorganisms alway... Read More
Why should an organism kill itself when it could be having offspring? Now, researchers have shown that in bacteria, suicide can be worthwhile—and has no major downside. Scientists compared two strains of Escherichia coli bacteria, one that self-destructs when infected with a lethal virus and one... Read More
Doylestown Hospital on Tuesday unveiled its newest high-tech weapon, a machine that zaps everything in a room with ultraviolet light 25,000 times brighter than the sun's. It can penetrate the defenses of Clostridium difficile, wily bacteria that produce spores that can live for weeks and are har... Read More
Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have found that nearly 14 percent of land in the continental United States, or roughly the combined area of Texas and New Mexico, could be used for converting algae to transportation fuels.
In 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy estimat... Read More
A tiny molecular machine used by bacteria to kill attacking viruses could change the way that scientists edit the DNA of plants, animals and fungi, revolutionizing genetic engineering. The protein, called Cas9, is quite simply a way to more accurately cut a piece of DNA.
“This could significa... Read More
Researchers have found microbes in the deepest oceanic trench on Earth - the Mariana Trench, which is located at nearly 7 miles or 11 kilometers below sea level in the western Pacific.
The study of life in this inaccessible site revealed a community of bacteria that live in extreme pressures,... Read More
The cyanobacterium Synechocystis produces toxins that often lead to its own demise. The biologists Stefan Kopfmann and Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hess from the University of Freiburg have determined the logic governing this mechanism. The cyanobacterium Synechocystis produces several toxins. However, mo... Read More