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Global pincer movement could eradicate malaria

Malaria could be eradicated globally, just like smallpox was in 1979, through a global pincer movement, squeezing it closer to the equator from north and south.

"It could take 50 or 60 years," says Richard Feachem of the University of California, San Francisco, and author of "Shrinking the ma... Read More

Bacteria, the anti-cancer soldier

Everyone knows about cancer. According to the World Health Organisation eight million people died of one of the many forms of cancer 2007 and this number is expected to grow to more than 12 million by 2030. However, unlike many other significant diseases, cancer is not confined to a continent or... Read More

How Ancient Plants and Soil Fungi Turned Earth Green

New research by scientists at the University of Sheffield has shed light on how Earth's first plants began to colonize the land over 470 million years ago by forming a partnership with soil fungi.

The research, published in Nature Communications, has provided essential missing evidence showin... Read More

FDA tests confirm listeria at Texas food plant

Tests by federal health authorities have found listeria bacteria at a Texas food processing plant after state health officials linked four deaths to contaminated celery from the facility.

The Food and Drug Administration says the results released Wednesday match testing done by the Texas Depa... Read More

HPV-Positive Cancers Spreading among the Middle-Aged

Head and neck cancer patients were once primarily older heavy smokers and drinkers. Now, the majority who are diagnosed with the disease are closer to middle age (many ages 40 to 55) and developed it not from years of tobacco or alcohol use but rather because they engaged in oral sex.

This sh... Read More

Life on Mars could have soaked in 3 billion year-old hot springs

In recent years, the evidence for extensive water on the surface of Mars has continued to pile up, and, with it, the interest in the possibility that the red planet once supported life. But finding evidence of life that might have died out a few billion years ago poses a significant challenge, t... Read More

Luminous Cells from Jellyfish Could Diagnose Cancers Deep Within Human Body

Scientists in Yorkshire have developed a process that uses the luminous cells from jellyfish to diagnose cancers deep within the human body.

The method has been developed at the Yorkshire Cancer Research Laboratory at The University of York and the man who leads the York team, Professor Norma... Read More

Exercise may reduce colds: study

If you've used up all your sick days, start exercising.

People who are physically fit and active have fewer and milder colds, according to a new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The study, which tracked the respiratory health of 1,000 adults for 12 weeks, found th... Read More

Hospitals Have Hope in Dutch 'Search and Destroy' Strategy

Every day, several people die in German hospitals after being infected with bacteria resistant to most antibiotics. Though the threat is growing, a strategy long-used in the Netherlands is catching on and raising hopes.

When Germans are admitted into Dutch hospitals, they are usually surprise... Read More

Ground zero in a fight for interdisciplinary knowledge: microbiology and immunology

This week, the Editor in Chief and a member of the Board of Editors of mBio weigh in on the relationship between two natural allies in medicine: microbiology and immunology. The two disciplines have a long history that stretches back to when they each emerged in the late 1800s, during which the... Read More

Microbes’ Sulfur Use Keeps Earth Moving

Scientists have sought to learn more about how the Earth’s oceans absorb carbon dioxide and generally exchange gases with the atmosphere so they can better understand the corresponding effects on climate.

To that end, many researchers are turning their attention to the microscopic organisms t... Read More

International Team Tracks Plague Pathogen Patterns Using Sequencing and Phylogenetics

A multi-national team of academic, government and industry scientists from Europe, China and the United States published data reconstructing the global evolutional history of devastating plague pandemics in unprecedented detail. This includes the notorious Black Death epidemic in medieval Europe... Read More

The Scientist's Life Science Salary Survey 2010 -- results announced

This year's Salary Survey saw drops in salaries across the board with almost every speciality suffering a setback, some with dips as large as $20,000 (ecology) and $28,000 (virology).

However, a few select fields, namely bioinformatics, biophysics, biotechnology, and neuroscience, bucked the ... Read More

Nice Germs Finish Last: "Good Samaritan" Bacteria Provide New Clues in Antibiotic Resistance

The world is full of Good Samaritans; you’ll find many of them in your own body. James J. Collins, a biologist at Boston University, has found that small numbers of drug-resistant bacteria help their vulnerable counterparts survive antibiotic onslaughts, even at a cost to themselves.

Collins ... Read More

UV Light Nearly Doubles Vacuum's Effectiveness in Reducing Carpet Microbes

New research suggests that the addition of ultraviolet light to the brushing and suction of a vacuum cleaner can almost double the removal of potentially infectious microorganisms from a carpet's surface when compared to vacuuming alone.

Researchers say the findings suggest that incorporating... Read More

How the immune system destroys viruses in cells

Scientists at Cambridge University believe that the immune system's main assault on viruses takes place inside infected cells, not outside as previously thought.

Click source to view the video. Read More

Small Things Considered blog now on the Kindle

Small Things Considered, the microbe blog, is now available for subscription on Amazon's Kindle.

Small Things Considered is co-authored by Moselio Schaechter, an actively retired microbiologist, currently living in San Diego, California. Schaechter spent most of his research career working o... Read More

Global Advance of Shrimp Virus Follows Evolutionary Biology Predictions

White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) has a devastating impact on shrimp farming throughout the world. What makes the situation even more serious is that the virus seems to become more aggressive as the epidemic spreads, contrary to other viruses, such as flu virus, that gradually die out. Scientists... Read More

Cholera in Haiti Matches Strains Seen in South Asia, U.S. Says

A cholera outbreak that has killed more than 300 people in Haiti matches strains commonly found in South Asia, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.

Researchers identified the strain by analyzing DNA patterns that can be compared with those from other regi... Read More

Tales of Death

Merry Youle of Small Things Considered looks at several bacteria that have borrowed "tail-like particles" from phages and fashioned from it a targeted bacterial killer for their own use.


"These efficient killers are indeed related to phage. One gene cluster in the P. aeruginosa PA... Read More
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