Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have found that exaggerated responses of the immune system explain why the elderly succumb to viral infections more readily than younger people. Published in the November 19 Cell Host & Microbe, the study bucks the general belief that declining immune respo... Read More
DOE and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on October 12 that they will offer $4 million for genomics research projects to develop new plant feedstocks for biofuels. The new funding continues a commitment, begun in 2006, to conduct a joint fundamental research program in biomass... Read More
Forget cookies and milk. Santa wants the swine flu vaccine.
Many of the nation's Santas want to be given priority for the vaccine and not just because of those runny-nosed kids. There's also the not-so-little matter of that round belly. Research has suggested obesity could be a risk factor.
... Read More
Science cartoonist Jay Hosler drafted this comic for the cover of the program for The Allegheny Branch of The American Society for Microbiology (ABASM) meeting at Juniata College this weekend (November 20th and 21st). Amusing. To see more of Hosler's work visit Read More
It is the perfect way to spoil a vacation, and it has happened 66 times since 2005: an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness aboard a cruise ship. Now a study suggests one possible culprit: dirty restrooms.
Most restrooms on these ships are not being properly cleaned, the authors say, and a sa... Read More
Facing political pressure from the Gulf Coast oyster industry, the FDA has backed off a plan to require raw oysters from the Gulf of Mexico to be treated to rid them of Vibrio vulnificus, a potentially deadly bacteria found in warm-water oysters. Harvesters and politicians had warned that the pl... Read More
Here's a fine Walt Disney Production from 1943 about the Anopheles genus of mosquitos and how it transmits the Plasmodium parasite from human to human. Our heros in this "motion picture" are the seven dwarfs who use a variety of methods to eliminate the "winged scourge." One not-so-green method ... Read More
Published in 1946 as a motion picture, Walt Disney Productions shows how the fly, the mosquito and the louse are carriers of dysentery, malaria and typhus, and tells how to get rid of these carriers through sanitary measures.
This was found by @TwistedBacteria on Twitter Read More
A candid conversation with Larry Brilliant about pandemic bird flu (H5N1), the risks we face, the uncertainties, and to talk about the accuracy and inaccuracies in the mass media. This talk was presented in May of 2006, but it's interesting to watch in light of the current media environment arou... Read More
The Small Things Considered blog has just started a three-part series on oomycetes, also known as water molds.
The first piece (published today) describes oomycete biology, the other two will focus on a particular oomycete: the late potato blight pathogen.
Here's a clip:
"As you know, ... Read More
A well produced university promotional video that takes a look at the daily workings of a microbiologist as well as a lab supervisor. Read More
Infectious organisms that become resistant to antibiotics are a serious threat to human society. They are also a natural part of evolution. In a new project, researchers at the University of Gothenburg are attempting to find substances that can slow the pace of evolution, in order to ensure that... Read More
Researchers at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology and colleagues have found that previous influenza infections may provide at least some level of immunity to the H1N1 "swine" flu."
The question we asked was, 'Is the swine flu more like the seasonal flu or like a totally new strai... Read More
Researchers from Arizona State University have discovered that several species of microbes (cyanobacteria), at least one found prominently in the deserts of the Southwest, have evolved the trait of rope-building to lasso shifting soil substrates.
The study, published Nov. 17 in the journal Pu... Read More
When a woman becomes infected with Chlamydia, the first white blood cells that arrive at the scene to fight the infection are not the most effective. This is shown by a thesis from the Sahlgrenska Academy. This discovery could pave the way for the relatively rapid development of a vaccine agains... Read More
The koala, Australia's star symbol, is dying of stress.
Koalas live in the rolling hills and flat plains where eucalyptus trees grow, because they need the leaves for both food and water. But as people move in, koalas are finding fewer trees, researchers say. As a result, the stress is bringi... Read More
Alan Cann, senior lecturer at the University of Leicester, and colleagues Jo Badge, Stuart Johnson and Alex Moseley, have just published an article/paper on a small experiment involving student use of the microbloging service Twitter and its role in academia. Specifically, Cann and colleagues lo... Read More
Lyme disease is caused by the microbe Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted to humans from feeding ticks. Justin Radolf and colleagues, at the University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, have now visualized the microbe moving through the feeding tick and determined that it has a bi... Read More
The long search for an AIDS vaccine has produced countless false starts and repeated failed trials, casting once bright hopes into shadows of disenchantment. The now familiar swings appeared in high relief this past fall, with news of the most recent, phase III trial in Thailand. Initial fanfare... Read More