London may owe its reputation as the tuberculosis capital of Europe to the UK's TB screening programme. A new study suggests the current policy for screening immigrants from countries with a known TB problem misses 71 per cent of those who carry the disease but do not display symptoms. A policy ... Read More
1918 influenza pandemic (Spanish flu)
In urban communities, less than 1 in 100 inhabitants died from Spanish flu in 1918, but in isolated communities up to 9 out of 10 died. An important explanation for the differences is due to different exposure to influenza in the decades before the Spanis... Read More
The social behaviour of bacteria is something that I get very excited about.
One of the differences of living within a social colony as opposed to alone means that altruistic-type behaviour has to be adopted. Bacteria living within a biofilm need to excrete the sticky goo that holds the biofi... Read More
Call them the Jason Bournes of the bacteria world.
Going “off the grid,” like rogue secret agents, some bacteria avoid antibiotic treatments by essentially shutting down and hiding until it’s safe to come out again, says Thomas Wood, professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engi... Read More
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists are playing a key role in efforts to contain the emerald ash borer's destructive march through the nation's forests.
Researchers with USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) are testing a fungal pathogen that could be used as a biocontrol, a... Read More
It may not be as catchy a combination as "Miss Scarlet in the parlor with a revolver," but "polyester-rayon wipes in the field followed by saline-surfactant extraction and vortexing" is the most efficient solution to an important biological game of "Clue" deduced by researchers at the National I... Read More
Streptococcus suis is an important pathogen in swine, and it also represents an emerging zoonotic agent.
Pigs and mice were used as model for evaluation of virulence of S. suis. However, the concept of virulence may differ depending on the experimental model that is used. Different research ... Read More
El podcast del Microbio Nº200 is dedicated to the memory of Baruch Blumberg (1925-2011). El podcast del Microbio Nº200 está... Read More
Many artists seek to attain immortality through their art, but few would expect their work to outlast the human race and live on for billions of years. As Canadian poet Christian Bök has realised, it all comes down to the durability of your materials. Bök has written a poem, "The Xenotext", whic... Read More
Naturally-occurring bacteria made quick work of tons of methane gas released in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, researchers reported Friday. Science columnist Robert Lee Hotz and University of California Santa Barbara microbiologist David Valentine talk with Kelsey Hubbard about the environment... Read More
“Through our research, we’re understanding that some bacteria go to ‘sleep,’ and that antibiotics only work on bacteria that are metabolically active,” says Thomas Wood, professor of chemical engineering at Texas A&M University.
“You need actively growing bacteria to be susceptible to antibio... Read More
Analysis of mutations of the 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) virus by researchers at the RIKEN Omics Science Center (OSC) has revealed major genetic differences between the virus in its early phase of infection in Japan and in its peak phase. While yielding valuable clues on the genetic origins ... Read More
Proving that you don't have to be big to be tough, some microbes can survive gravity more than 400,000 times that felt on Earth, a new study says.
Most humans, by contrast, can tolerate forces equal to about three to five times Earth's surface gravity (g) before losing consciousness.
The e... Read More
Recently a research paper titled "Expanding the Diversity of Mycobacteriophages: Insights into Genome Architecture and Evolution" was published in PLoS ONE, a peer-reviewed online journal published by the Public Library of Science. The authors included 12 Washington University undergraduates who... Read More
Microorganisms play an important role in global nutrient cycles. A research team led by Christa Schleper, head of the Department of Genetics in Ecology at the University of Vienna, has isolated the first ammonium oxidizing Archaeon from a soil in Vienna and thus proved its activity. The research... Read More
People may advise you to listen to your gut instincts: now research suggests that your gut may have more impact on your thoughts than you ever realized. Scientists from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and the Genome Institute of Singapore led by Sven Pettersson recently reported in the Procee... Read More
Of late, space and bacteria have been in the news for all the wrong reasons. First, there was the wanton speculation about aliens that preceded the “arsenic life” controversy (NASA fanned the hype with a poorly described press conference). Then, the Journal of Cosmology made headlines with claim... Read More
Theoretical physicists have proposed an explanation for how bacteria might transmit electromagnetic signals: Chromosomes could act like antennae, with electrons traveling gene circuits to produce species-specific wavelengths.
It’s just a hypothesis, and the notion that bacteria can generate r... Read More
El podcast del Microbio Nº199 conmemorates the 50th aniversary of Yuri Gagarin spaceflight by describing some "microbial si... Read More
Scientists have identified a key enzyme responsible for destroying lung tissue in tuberculosis (TB), they report today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Drugs that inhibit this enzyme are already available, meaning that the finding could lead quickly to new treatments.
TB is caused by... Read More