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Cancer cells dupe the body's immune system

Cancers may be wounds that never heal, suggest the first live images of tumours forming.

It seems individual cancer cells send out the same distress signals as wounds, tricking immune cells into helping them grow into tumours. The finding suggests that anti-inflammatory drugs could help to co... Read More

Hydrogen Production Comes Naturally to Ocean Microbe

A seemingly unremarkable ocean microbe turns out to be a multitasker -- it can not only photosynthesize, but can also produce large amounts of hydrogen, opening up a potential way to make the gas cheaply for fuel.

The single-celled cyanobacteriumCyanothece 51142 can make hydrogen in air, Hima... Read More

Report: Transplant may have cured man of AIDS

A very unusual blood transplant appears to have cured an American man living in Berlin of infection with the AIDS virus, but doctors say the approach is not practical for wide use.

The man, who is in his 40s, had a blood stem cell transplant in 2007 to treat leukemia. His donor not only was a... Read More

Last-ditch method at fighting intestinal superbug

A superbug named C-diff is on the rise, a germ that so ravages some people's intestines that repeated tries of the strongest, most expensive antibiotic can't conquer their disabling diarrhea.

Now a small but growing number of doctors are trying a last-ditch treatment: Using good bacteria to f... Read More

Champion Hydrogen-Producing Microbe

Inside a small cabinet the size of a dorm refrigerator in one of Himadri B. Pakrasi's labs, a blue-green soup percolates in thick glass bottles under the cool light of red, blue and green LEDS. This isn't just any soup, however. It is a soup of champions.

The soup is colored by a strain of bl... Read More

El podcast del Microbio Nº 142. Measles outbreak and vaccination policy in Spain



























El Podcast del Microbio" Nº 142 is dedicated to the recent measles outbreak in a child school from Sevilla due to the the ... Read More

Designer cellulosome unites dream team of enzymes to degrade plant materials

A study published in mBio this week reveals a novel system for turning plant materials into biofuels using a designer cellulosome, an enzyme complex that is like the fantasy football team of biological processes.

Consider the similarities: in fantasy football, participants assemble virtual ... Read More

Parasite and Bacterium Illustrate Convergent Evolution: Both Hijack Cells' 'Post Office'

The protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii and the pathogenic bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis exemplify convergent evolution, the development of a similar biological trait in unrelated lineages, according to research presented December 13 at the American Society of Cell Biology's 50th Annual Meeti... Read More

Poisoned Debate Encircles a Microbe Study’s Result

The announcement that NASA experimenters had found a bacterium that seems to be able to subsist on arsenic in place of phosphorus — an element until now deemed essential for life — set off a cascading storm of criticism on the Internet, first about alleged errors and sloppiness in the paper publ... Read More

The day the algae died

The P-T mass extinction may have been instigated by populations of algae dying. According to one group of scientists, this die-off of large numbers of relatively simple life forms caused a crash in the ocean's entire food web.

The mass extinction at the end of the Permian period almost cleare... Read More

Nuthin' fights STI's like cartoon awareness films

A vintage piece of STI (or VD as they were known back then) education, courtesy of our nation's fighting sailors. Personally, I think Count Spirochete is due for a comeback - he's much cooler than this cartoon spirochete I dug up via G-image search.
Props to the good people @ Wired.com for dig... Read More

Feeling depressed? Get dirty

Disruptions in ancient relationships with healthy microorganisms in soil, food, and the gut may be contributing to the increasing rates of people suffering from depression.

A new study published in Archives of General Psychiatry, finds that the modern world has become so clean, that people ar... Read More

El podcast del Microbio Nº140 and 141. The Arsenic/Phosporus polemic



























El Podcast del Microbio" Nº 140 is dedicated to the recent article about the hypothetic phosphorus substitution by arsenic ... Read More

Genome of Barley Disease Reveals Surprises

Scientists have sequenced the genome of a major fungal disease that affects barley and other cereal crops, a breakthrough that could lead to significant advances in our understanding of how plant diseases evolve. The research, published in the journal Science, suggests that parasites within the ... Read More

Sleeping Sickness Parasites Are Social, Not Solitary

The parasites that cause deadly African sleeping sickness aren't as solitary as once believed, according to a new study. Instead, the single-celled creatures seem capable of communicating and even coordinating their behavior.

If organized armies of parasites seem scarier than loners, never fe... Read More

South Korea confirms more superbug cases

South Korea confirmed two more cases of a new gene in bacteria that turns them into drug-resistant superbugs, bringing the total number of cases to four.

The state-run Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said experts detected the gene, known as NDM-1, in two South Korean men on M... Read More

An AIDS breakthrough courtesy of stem cells

Read it & weep, AIDS virus - your days are numbered Read More

Louis XIV: The science king

When Louis XIV died in 1715, surgeons still belonged to the same profession as barbers and wigmakers in France, and the only functions they were allowed to perform were to shave, bleed and bring babies into the world. When a surgeon was called to remove the king's anal fistula in 1686, he did th... Read More

Haitian cholera strain could dominate the Americas

The DNA of the cholera bacteria ravaging Haiti has been sequenced, and the news is not good. It is carrying a mutation that seems to cause more intense disease. This has already helped the strain to dominate in south Asia, and the Haitian epidemic could spread it still further.

The US Centers... Read More

Unexpected endogenous viruses

During the replication of retroviruses, a double-stranded DNA copy of the viral RNA genome is synthesized by reverse transcription and integrated into the genomes of the infected cell. When retroviral DNA is integrated into the DNA of germ line cells, it is passed on to future generations in Men... Read More
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