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Love is a gut (bacteria) feeling for fruit flies

Matchmakers: In Irish they are Babhdóir, in Yiddish they are Sadchen. For fruit flies, the matchmakers might be gut bugs.

Fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) with the same set of intestinal bacteria preferred mating with each other, discovered professors Eugene Rosenberg, Daniel Segel, and ... Read More

As Biodiversity Declines, Disease Flourishes

A study by a group of biologists, ecologists and medical researchers casts new light on a phenomenon farmers have known for years: the less genetic variety in a crop or a herd, the greater the risk that disease will decimate it. Biodiversity in ecosystems, the scientists report in the Thursday’s... Read More

Life electric: microbes wire up to share energy

It's electrifying: bacteria, it seems, can share energy simply through touch.

In a lab in Massachusetts, researchers have evolved a very unusual colony of symbiotic bacteria. The bacteria, which belong to two different species, cannot live without each other and grow biological wires to share... Read More

Senate passes sweeping food safety bill

The Senate on Tuesday approved the biggest overhaul to the nation's food safety laws since the 1930s. The 73-to-25 vote gives vast new authorities to the Food and Drug Administration, places new responsibilities on farmers and food companies to prevent contamination, and -- for the first time - ... Read More

Japanese ministry: Bird flu virus is ‘highly pathogenic’

Genetic tests have confirmed that the case of avian flu recently discovered at a farm in Shimane Prefecture was caused by a highly pathogenic virus, the farm ministry said Thursday.

The virus is also quite similar to that detected from the feces of a wild duck in Hokkaido in October this year... Read More

Holiday Gift Idea: Pandemic

For the infectious diseases specialist who is hard to buy a gift for:

Four diseases have broken out in the world and it is up to a team of specialists in various fields to find cures for these diseases before mankind is wiped out. Players must work together, playing to their characters' stren... Read More

Microbe survives on diet of arsenic

In the New York Times, Dennis Overbye discusses work just published in Science, conducted by a USGS-Menlo Park team, who trained a gammaproteobacterium taken from sediments in Mono Lake to substitute arsenic almost completely for phosphorus. The results have far-reaching consequences for astrobi... Read More

Blame the Environment: Why Vaccines May Be Ineffective for Some People

A new discovery may explain why a tuberculosis vaccine is not as effective for some people as anticipated, and potentially explains why other vaccines do not work as well for some as they do for others. In a research report presented in the December 2010 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology... Read More

Why AIDS doesn’t make headlines

Media coverage of HIV/AIDS has fallen by more than 70 percent in developed countries over the last 20 years, particularly in French- and U.S.-based newspapers.

An international research team looked at approximately 69,000,000 articles in 410,000 newspaper issues. The results are detailed on a... Read More

Thriving on Arsenic, a Microbe May Redefine Life

Scientists said Thursday that they had trained a bacterium to eat and grow on a diet of arsenic, in place of phosphorus — one of six elements considered essential for life — opening up the possibility that organisms could exist elsewhere in the universe or even here on Earth using biochemical po... Read More

Lactococcus lactis - from brie to biofuel

According to researchers from Concordia University, Montréal, Québec, Wisconsin's favorite microbe, Lactococcus lactis, could aid in the production of biofuels by helping break down plant matter.

Scientists discovered that the scaffolding proteins on the surface of the microbe can be metaboli... Read More

Life as we don't know it ... on Earth?

NASA's secret is finally out: Researchers say they've forced microbes from a gnarly California lake to become arsenic-gobbling aliens. It may not be as thrilling as discovering life on Titan, but the claim is so radical that some chemists aren't yet ready to believe it.

If the claim holds up,... Read More

New Findings Detail How a Virus Prepares to Infect Cells

Researchers have learned the atomic-scale arrangement of proteins in a structure that enables a virus to invade and fuse with host cells, showing precisely how the structure morphs with changing acidity to initiate infection.

Findings from a team at Purdue University showed the protein struct... Read More

Do our bodies' bacteria play matchmaker?

Could the bacteria that we carry in our bodies decide who we marry? According to a new study from Tel Aviv University, the answer lies in the gut of a small fruit fly.

Prof. Eugene Rosenberg, Prof. Daniel Segel and doctoral student Gil Sharon of Tel Aviv University's Department of Molecular M... Read More

Close Encounters of the Media Kind

Over the last two days, bloggers at a few of the country’s top news outlets have engaged in wild and wholly unsubstantiated speculation about the discovery of alien life.

The runaway blogging stems from a cryptic press release issued by NASA on Monday, which said that the agency would be hold... Read More

Feeling queasy? Rotavirus punches holes in organelles

Stomach flu season is upon us, and if you or your kids have suffered through a bout of what doctors call “viral gastroenteritis”, rotavirus may well be the culprit: it is the leading cause of the illness in children. One of the virus’ secrets of success lies in how it handles calcium, namely, r... Read More

For the Good of the Gut: Can Parasitic Worms Treat Autoimmune Diseases?

In 2007, parasite immunologist P'ng Loke sat down for lunch at a University of California, San Francisco, cafeteria with an inquisitive man who had called him earlier that week. Their chosen topic of conversation would deprive many people of an appetite, but the scientist and his guest shared an... Read More

Surveying bacteria in the atmosphere

An article by Vanessa Schipani in The Scientist (1 December 2010) points to research indicating that the atmosphere may harbor a microbial diversity comparable to soils, but is vastly less studied. Plans are underway to survey the atmosphere in all states and in various habitats: urban, agricult... Read More

Gram-negative Haemophilus influenzae bacteria

This photograph depicts the colonial morphology displayed by Gram-negative Haemophilus influenzae bacteria, which was grown on a medium of chocolate agar, for a 24 hour time period, at a temperature of 37°C.

Invasive disease caused by Haemophilus influenza type-b can affect many organ systems... Read More

Preterm Infants May Need a Boost to Protect Against Invasitve Pneumococcal Disease

A new study suggests that preterm infants may not be fully protected against invasitve pneumococcal disease under the current United Kingdom immunization schedule.

The findings are reported in the November issue of the journal Clinical and Vaccine Immunology.

The study, conducted by resear... Read More
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