In anticipation of a May 2011vote in which the World Health Assembly (the decision-making body of the World Health Organization) will decide on whether to set a date for the destruction of America and Russia's stockpile of smallpox virus, the journal Nature argues that some of these collections... Read More
In case anyone needs it, I have a copy of the classic 80's tome "The Winner's Book of Video Games" which provides several sure-fire Pac-Man patterns that ensure victory (+ maxi points) on each level. With any luck, those patterns SHOULD hold true at a paramecia level . . . Read More
For the first time, researchers have discovered that some slime molds can carry, seed, and harvest a crop of their bacterial diet, researchers from the University in Houston, Texas, report in this week's issue of Nature.
"While collecting D. discoideum fruiting bodies in the wild, Debra Brock... Read More
Researchers have determined the structure and mechanism of an enzyme that performs the crucial first step in the formation of cholesterol and a key virulence factor in staph bacteria.
Chemists at the Univ. of Illinois and collaborators in Taiwan studied a type of enzyme found in humans, plant... Read More
Over half a million babies are born preterm every year in the U.S. alone, leaving these children to bear significantly elevated risk of death, morbidity, and developmental problems. The way a fetus responds to inflammation in the uterus appear to contribute to the risk of preterm labor, but wha... Read More
After months of speculation about what will happen to the Gulf oil spill, it turns out Mother Nature has rolled up her sleeves and dispatched with a lot of the gas released along with it—in just four months.
Surprisingly, practically all of the methane that accompanied nearly five million bar... Read More
Transferring antibodies from the blood of recovering swine flu patients to those still suffering from the virus could provide a treatment of last resort.
Ideally, those most at risk of flu should be vaccinated, and in mild cases antivirals like Tamiflu can be taken after infection to treat th... Read More
Since this article was first posted on 6 January, Brian Deer has stuck the knife in one last time in the third and final of his investigatory papers. Today he channels his criticism at the role The Lancet and the medical community played in what he claims was an apparent cover-up of the flaws in... Read More
While Florida farmers have lost much of their crop to cold weather for the second year in a row, they say a fast-spreading, incurable bacteria presents a greater threat to their trees and the citrus industry.
Citrus greening has destroyed groves in the U.S., Brazil, Asia and Africa. Detected ... Read More
Dear Dick and Vincent,
My daughter sent me this link to a CDC report on killing cryp... Read More
Vincent and Dickson review the biology and pathogenesis of Ascaris lumbricoides, one of the largest nematodes to infect humans.
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Is bacterial DNA contamination in your whole genome amplification kit a problem? For microbiologists it sure is. WGA is a technique where the complete genomic content of a sample is amplified non-specifically and at a single temperature (isothermically). The presence of any contaminating DNA in ... Read More
A simple, automated method of tracking E. coli uses a laser to detect and monitor the microbe in potentially contaminated bodies of water or waterways. The technique described this month in the International Journal of Computational Biology and Drug Design could reduce the incidence of waterborn... Read More
A profile of Robert Blanchette, professor of plant pathology at the University of Minnesota, and his interesting work on fungi and the degradation archaeological wood. Read More
Students at Hong Kong's Chinese University may be onto a type of memory media that could be a truly secure way to store data -- text, images, music, and video. It takes up almost no space, can be encrypted, and is so gross that it's unlikely many people would attempt to steal it. That is, if the... Read More
With an invention that can be made from some of the same parts used in CD players, University of Michigan researchers have developed a way to measure the growth and drug susceptibility of individual bacterial cells without the use of a microscope.
The new biosensor promises to speed treatment... Read More
A child health expert is urging parents of newborns to take advantage of the government's free whooping cough vaccine program.
Infection rates are at their highest levels in 10 years.
In the last three years 1,416 West Australians contracted the disease, three of whom died.
Associate Pr... Read More
"There is huge excitement and euphoria here," says Makoy Samuel Yibi, phoning from Juba in Southern Sudan. There, this week's referendum vote looks set to divide Sudan into independent north and south countries, potentially ending decades of civil war. The result is largely a foregone conclusion... Read More
An antibody which causes MRSA bacteria to explode rather than divide brings hope for a universal vaccine.
MRSA is a highly antibiotic-resistant form of the bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus which kills about 20,000 people in the US alone each year. Although a small number of antibiotics work aga... Read More
By sequencing the genomes of gut microbes from preemies, researchers hope to learn more about what causes sometimes fatal intestinal problems.
One unresolved question is whether these illnesses in premature newborns are caused by pathogenic strains of bacteria or just an imbalance in the micr... Read More