This article looks at key challenges when using agricultural waste as a sustainable source for biofuels to meet worldwide energy needs. Subjects include dealing with diverse cellulosic sugars and finding ways to recycle carbon dioxide back into useful biomass.
Why plants such as sugar cane and ... Read More
News media registration for the annual infectious disease meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) is now open. The 49th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) will be held September 12-15, 2009 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California.
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The Department of Energy (DOE) is sequencing underwater docomposers. Apparently these fungus-like organisms act much like bacteria in degrading organic matter. Read More
The USDA has approved a new vaccine for dogs. Believed to have jumped from horses to dogs 5 years ago, H3N8 "has been a quiet undercurrent in the United States, rarely discussed except among veterinarians and dog owners in the few areas where it has struck hard: Florida, New York City’s northern... Read More
The National Health Board of Denmark announced that the first known case of pandemic H1N1 flu resistance to Tamiflu. Officials emphasize "there is no evidence" that the resistant virus has spread.
While the case is likely to be isolated, it calls into question the policy in most European coun... Read More
This is an interesting cancer treatment idea.
"Himanshu Brahmbhatt and Jennifer MacDiarmid of the company Engeneic in Sydney, Australia, had already coaxed bacteria such as E. coli into dividing at their ends, rather than in the middle. This way they produce tiny buds of cytoplasm devoid of c... Read More
The slow decay of coral reefs is a major problem and a signal that we are killing our environment. However, there appears to be one organism that doesn't care all that much or at the very least is hardly affected by the change. A sponge, discovered in a coral reef that was dying as a result of a... Read More
There is an interesting report in Nature: Biotechnology on the level of activism against environmental genetic modification:
The potential of forest biotechnology to help address significant social and environmental issues is being "strangled at birth" by the rigid opposition of some groups a... Read More
Carl Zimmer wondered if scientists had tattoos of their science and as it turns out, many do! Check out this great collection of science tattoos. I have to admit I browsed through the whole 23 page collection, fascinated by the art of science and seeing, in some cases, the full colored beauty of... Read More
Dr. Carl Winter, a food toxicologist at University of California, Davis, sings this parody of The Eagles' "Heartache Tonight." Read More
Hast thou considered dirt? This article goes 'deep' into dirt, stuff that's all around us but rarely thought about... Read More
Vincent Racaniello from This Week in Virology has a great post on his site about what happens to the immune system during the initial infection of an influenza virus:
During the earliest stages of a virus infection, cytokines are produced when innate immune defenses are activated. The rapid ... Read More
Legionella pneumophilia in yolk sac of embryonated egg as stained by the Gimenez method Read More
A breakthrough in understanding, if not treatment of, a troublesome infection...
Lyme disease in the U.S. is caused by the tickborne bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi and usually begins with a skin lesion, after which the bacteria spread throughout the body to the nervous system, heart or joints.... Read More
The USDA is on point this year for the Fourth of July with reminding everyone that grilling out often requires special food handling precautions.
The chef of your household might have the skills to cook the perfect burger, but does he or she know the food safety "drills of the grill?" To hel... Read More
An update from the CDC regarding the current status of the recent E. coli outbreak in raw cookie dough. Learn what states have been affected so far, advice for consumers regarding the consumption of these products, and the current status of the investigation of the outbreak. Read More
Researchers from Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Germany, have developed a new method for better diagnostic of diarrhea causing bacteria. Iit now possible to characterize and distinguish hundreds of bacteria strains in a short time. The method is based on the existence of short, repeti... Read More
A newly discovered molecule in the milk produced by mom, in the first few days after birth, apparently contains a very powerful ingredient which helps protect the "lining of a newborn's gut which is particularly vulnerable to damage as it has never been exposed to food or drink." Read More
Microbes obviously don't have a brain and therefore are not capable of conscious thought however, "many bacteria and protists exhibit behavior that looks remarkably intelligent." Check out six of the most interesting examples of intelligent behavior demonstrated by microbes as compiled from the ... Read More