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Mystery bacteria 'cobwebs' found in nuclear cooling tank

Spring cleaning is always a good way to get rid of those hard-to-reach cobwebs that appear around the house. However, when they appear in cooling tanks for spent nuclear fuel and have never been seen there before, special attention is warranted.

Sometime in Fiscal Year 2011, “cobwebs” of bact... Read More

Marine Microbiology, Twitter Friends, and Shrunken Coffee Cups

In this blog entry, I discuss how marine microbiology is fascinating to students, as well as the topic leading me (via social media) to other marine microbiologists. One of those marine microbiologists made me a "shrunken coffee cup" (shrunken due to being carried below a kilometer of depth on ... Read More

Feds blame combination of parasite, virus, bacteria, pesticides for strange bee disappearance

A new federal report blames a combination of problems for a mysterious and dramatic disappearance of U.S. honeybees since 2006.

The intertwined factors cited include a parasitic mite, multiple viruses, bacteria, poor nutrition, genetics, habitat loss and pesticides.

The multiple causes mak... Read More

Chinese scientists slammed for creating mutant influenza virus in laboratory

Chinese scientists are being criticized for their “appalling irresponsibility” after they intentionally developed a new mutant influenza strain in a veterinary laboratory, the Independent reported.

Experts have warned that the new virus strains could potentially escape the lab, which could c... Read More

Now We Know What Early Earth Smelled Like

Early earth had a distinctive aroma. And it wasn't very nice. That's what scientists have now determined, using advanced imaging techniques to examine fossils nearly 1.9 billion years old that were collected from rocks around Lake Superior, Canada.

Their work has revealed spherical and rod-sh... Read More

Fluoride fights tooth decay by making bacteria less sticky

German scientists say fluoride reduces the ability of decay-causing bacteria to stick to teeth so it is easier to wash away when brushing or with saliva.

Karin Jacobs and colleagues said despite a half-century of scientific research, controversy exists over exactly how fluoride compounds redu... Read More

Uncovering Dark Oxidants And The Dangerous Effect They Have On Life

Of all the things that could be hazardous to your health, would you believe breathing oxygen makes the list?

Our bodies produce toxic chemicals in our cells, called oxidants, which we fight naturally and with foods that contain antioxidants like blueberries and dark chocolate. All forms of li... Read More

Discover Your Inner Scientist: Wolbachia In Nashville 2013

A CNN iReport about an integrative lab series known as the Wolbachia in Nashville includes area high school students from School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt with the purpose of bringing real-world scientific research on microbes into high school biology classes. Angela Eeds, director with... Read More

Feeling Blue, Trypanosoma brucei

Trypanosoma brucei, a protozoan parasite, is the causative agent of African sleeping sickness in humans (T. b. gambiense and T. b. rhodesiense) and nagana in cattle (T. b. brucei). These diseases result in much economic hardship and morbidity in Sub-Saharan Africa. The life cycle of these organi... Read More

Re-sensitizing Resistant Bacteria

Researchers use a protein-lipid complex found in human breast milk to increase the activity of otherwise-ineffective antibiotics against drug-resistant pathogens. A protein-lipid complex that naturally occurs in human breast milk can increase the sensitivity of methicillin-resistant Staphylococc... Read More

Malaria: A Vector Infecting Both Apes and Humans

In 2010, a study revealed that the main agent of malaria in humans, called Plasmodium falciparum, arose from the gorilla. Today, the vector which transmitted the parasite from apes to humans has just been identified. A Franco-Gabonese research consortium has determined which species of anopheles... Read More

Decades-old question: Is antibacterial soap safe?

It's a chemical that's been in U.S. households for more than 40 years, from the body wash in your bathroom shower to the knives on your kitchen counter to the bedding in your baby's basinet.

But federal health regulators are just now deciding whether triclosan — the germ-killing ingredient fo... Read More

Saudi Arabia Sars-like virus 'kills five'

Five people in Saudi Arabia have died from a Sars-like virus and two more are seriously ill, officials say. The seven cases were all from al-Ahsa governorate in the east of the country, the Saudi news agency SPA said citing health officials. The novel coronavirus (NCoV) causes pneumonia and some... Read More

Electron Beam Zaps Oysters to Kill Bacteria

Raw oysters, a delicacy for foodies and a purported hangover cure (it isn’t) aren’t always the safest thing to eat. Pathogens such as Vibrio vulnificus, norovirus and Hepatitis A sometimes lurk in oyster flesh. These little nasties can cause food poisoning and norovirus specifically has no treat... Read More

Little Known Glomalin, a Key Protein in Soils

If you had heard of glomalin, you are a better person than I am. Until a couple of months ago I wasn’t aware of its existence, which is close to sinful: it happens to be a very abundant protein in the soil rhizosphere, playing a key role in the soil’s mechanical properties and as repository of s... Read More

The Ins and Outs of Gut Bacteria

Deep in the bowels of our, well, bowels, lurk trillions of microscopic bacteria. But don't be fooled by the big bad "B" word, intractably tied to infections and disease. In fact, these bitty bugs do us a world of good.

"There's a certain 'ick' factor associated with gut bacteria," said Lita P... Read More

Tricky Trichy

Trichomonas vaginalis is a protozoan parasite of the urogenital tract in men and women and causes a sexually transmitted disease, trichomoniasis, in about half of infected women. Infections are associated with pelvic inflammatory disease, adverse pregnancy outcomes, infertility, an increased inc... Read More

Ground Turkey Study Finds More Than Half Of Samples Contaminated With Fecal Bacteria

More than half of ground turkey samples are contaminated with fecal bacteria, according to a new study from Consumer Reports. In addition, the magazine found that more than 90 percent of the ground turkey samples it tested contained at least one of the five bacteria the test was looking for -- s... Read More

Fighting the Impact of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

The resistance of bacteria to antibiotics and similar drugs—called antimicrobials—is considered a major public health threat by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its counterparts around the world.

Antibiotics have transformed health care since they were introduced in the 1940s and ha... Read More

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