Elio Schaechter of Small Things Considered asks if there is an evolutionary advantage for budding, where cell division is asymmetrical (yeast is an example), over binary fission, asexual reproduction by cell division?
"Binary fission is a most impressive invention. In one fell swo... Read More
Even as officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are announcing that the epidemic of the H1N1 flu is no longer widespread in any state, no disease expert is willing to say there isn't a third -- or fourth -- wave of swine flu in the country's future.
Influenza transmissio... Read More
A new research suggests that typhoid fever bacteria collect on gallstones to perpetuate the disease.
People who harbour these bacteria in their gallbladders, even without symptoms, can infect others with active typhoid fever, especially in developing areas of the world where sanitation is poo... Read More
Polyurethane plastics used to make a host of products from furniture fillings to shoe soles, cable insulation and paints – and which can be difficult to recycle – could soon be degraded in compost heaps, thanks to a study at the University of Manchester.
Dr Geoff Robson and his team at the Fa... Read More
Since electron micrographs first revealed the bullet-shaped morphology of vesicular stomatitis virus (a virus related to rabies virus), understanding the architecture has been elusive. It was known that the RNA genome is wrapped in a helical structure by the viral nucleocapsid (N) protein, but h... Read More
Norwalk virus, a gut-wrenching fixture of Canadian winters whose source and seasonal nature have long been a mystery, may originate in drinking water drawn from lakes whose cool winter temperatures keep the microbe nicely preserved, suggests a new study.
University of Toronto researchers, co... Read More
Human volunteer received small amount of sterilized, purified exfoliation two hours earlier. Note slight erythema and swelling, as well as easily denuded flaccid bulla Read More
Swine flu may have infected at least 63 million people in the U.S. last year, according to a study in Pittsburgh, where almost every second schoolchild probably caught the pandemic virus.
Blood tests on Pittsburgh residents found 45 percent of people aged 10 to 19 years had antibodies against... Read More
Flightless birds, blind cave shrimp, and other oddities suggest a "use it or lose it" tendency in evolution. In the microbial world, an unusual marine microorganism appears to have ditched several major metabolic pathways, leaving it with a remarkably reduced set of genes.
This metabolic mini... Read More
Australian and American scientists have found evidence that human Chlamydia pneumoniae was originally derived from an animal source
Animals have been found to have infected humans sometime in the past with the common respiratory disease Chlamydia pneumoniae, according to Queensland Univer... Read More
This new 2010 paper from the Journal of Environmental Quality takes a closer look at the presence of a pathogenic amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, in drinking water from various wells and at different times of year from the Phoenix, Arizona area. It was previously determined that the contamination of ... Read More
Markus Covert is close to completing a computer model of the microbe Mycoplasma genitalia, a sexually-trasnmitted parasite. The bug is ideal for virtual re-creation because of its simplicity: only 521 coding regions.
In a purely logistical sense, biology can really get in the way of biologica... Read More
World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for preventing the spread of tuberculosis through air travel are largely a waste of time and resources, an expert said.
The WHO recommendations, set down in 2006 and 2008, urge health watchdogs to trace and screen passengers who have sat for longer t... Read More
So-called 'cryptic' bacterial genes that preside over the production of medically important compounds can be switched on using environmental triggers, German scientists have shown. The researchers used soil extracts to persuade a Clostridium species to produce a hitherto unknown antibiotic that... Read More
Broad spectrum antibiotics are available that act against a wide range of bacteria, including both gram-positive and gram-negative species. In contrast, our antiviral arsenal is exceedingly specific. Nearly all the known antivirals block infection with one or two different viruses. The discovery... Read More
On episode #70 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Dickson, and Alan consider a broad spectrum antiviral against enveloped viruses, how a plant virus induces chemical signals in the host to maximiz... Read More
Vaccination programs against whooping cough may not be fully effective because the bacteria that cause the disease have evolved new strains, a University of New South Wales study has found.
A team of Australian scientists has shown for the first time that two of the most common strains of the... Read More
The FDA announced yesterday a recall by Queseria Bendita of certain cheese products due to fears that the products are contaminated by Listeria monocytogenes. The potentially lethal bacteria has been found at the Queseria Bendita facility and in samples of unopened, recalled product.
Queseri... Read More
Well before she became pregnant, Yulisdey Lopez already knew that gum disease could cause a baby to be born prematurely. As part of her introduction to On-Site Dentistry, where she has long received her dental care, she said dentists and hygienists explained the importance of oral hygiene, citin... Read More
Genome analysis of an important microbe sheds light on the unexplained puzzle of how oceans maintain a healthy balance of nutrients, say scientists at UC Santa Cruz.
While Jonathan Zehr, a marine microbiologist at UCSC, discovered the microbe in 1998 near Hawaii, the tiny organism has proved ... Read More