Editor's note - this is an interesting look at the economics behind the seemingly easy decision to close a school for the flu:
Much has been made of the potential difficulties businesses face if numerous employees are out sick with the H1N1 "swine" flu. But there has been little information o... Read More
Functional food is the food industry’s fastest-growing product group, its leading products including dairy products which contain probiotics, that is, bacteria promoting health. Valio’s Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG®) is the most frequently studied and used probiotic.
Under the supervision ... Read More
In what appears to be a warming world, understanding how plants can tolerate and prosper at elevated temperatures is an intriguing topic. Small Things Considered's Associate Blogger Mark O. Martin looks at the symbiosis between panic grass, a virus, an endophytic fungus, and elevated temperature... Read More
And we're off: Swine flu vaccinations begin Monday with squirts in the noses scheduled for some doctors, nurses and other health workers in Indiana and Tennessee, a first step in a hugely ambitious campaign to try to inoculate over half the population in a few months. But don't start bugging you... Read More
Seven new glow-in-the-dark mushroom species have been discovered, increasing the number of known luminescent fungi species from 64 to 71. Reported in the journal Mycologia, the new finds include two new species named after movements in Mozart's Requiem. The discoveries also shed light on the evo... Read More
Evolutionary biologist Paul Ewald discusses germs. Why are some more harmful than others? How could we make the harmful ones benign? Searching for answers, he examines diarrhea. Read More
Dr. Satyajit Rath of India's National Institute of Immunology discusses the recent AIDS vaccine trial being conducted in Thailand and its success. Via Newsclick.in Read More
A panel of university and private-sector scientists urged Congress not to overregulate laboratories that handle deadly pathogens, saying it could have a chilling effect on research. In a 161-page report, a committee of the National Research Council says the best protection against deliberate mis... Read More
ABC News video on the late Malcom Casadaban, a University of Chicago researcher who passed away after exposure to Yersinia pestis.
"The tragic irony is that Professor Casadaban had been trying to develop a vaccine so that thousands of people around the world wouldn't die a painful, ugly death... Read More
If you’ve ever suffered through a bad case of food poisoning, you’ll be glad to know that Naval scientist Patricia Guerry has made a breakthrough that may dramatically reduce the odds that you’ll have to relive this miserable experience. Read More
As scientists work toward making genetically altered bacteria create living "circuits" to produce a myriad of useful proteins and chemicals, they have logically assumed that the single-celled organisms would always respond to an external command in the same way.
Alas, some bacteria apparently... Read More
A powerful fish-killing toxin could have cancer-killing properties as well, according to collaborative research led by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) microbiologist Paul V. Zimba and chemist Peter Moeller of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The toxin, called ... Read More
Stephanie Smith, a children’s dance instructor, thought she had a stomach virus. The aches and cramping were tolerable that first day, and she finished her classes.
Then her diarrhea turned bloody. Her kidneys shut down. Seizures knocked her unconscious. The convulsions grew so relentless tha... Read More
The exact number of bacteria living in or on humans isn't known, though it is estimated to be around a trillion. In any case, the number of microbial cells in the human body outnumbers the human ones by a factor of 10. Those symbiotic microbes endow humans with otherwise unattainable metabolic c... Read More
In a major scientific breakthrough, scientists of the School of Biotechnology, Banaras Hindu University, have isolated a group of
bacteria that degrades lignite coal (low energy producing coal) to produce methane gas for increased fuel efficiency.
While the isolation of the special group of... Read More
Americans Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak won the 2009 Nobel Prize in medicine on Monday for discovering a key mechanism in the genetic operations of cells, an insight that has inspired new lines of research into cancer.
It was the first time two women have been a... Read More
A pathogen is a an organism (bacterium, virus, parasite) that causes disease in another organism. According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), known pathogens account for an estimated 14 million illnesses, 60,000 hospitalizations, and 1,800 deaths each year i... Read More
Researchers have developed a new method for studying bacterial swimming, one that allows them to trap Escherichia coli bacteria and modify the microbes' environment without hindering the way they move.
The new approach, described this month in Nature Methods, uses optical traps, microfluidic ... Read More