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Animal Farms May Produce Superbugs

Superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics, long known to create life-threatening infections in hospital patients, could also be originating from animal farms where antibiotics are used to promote growth, potentially threatening human health, new research suggests.

It's not the pigs causing ... Read More

Household bugs - a risk to human health?

Ludek Zurek and collaborators from Kansas and North Carolina State Universities isolated bacteria from farm pig feces and compared them to the bacteria present in the intestines of the house flies and German cockroaches caught on those farms.

They subjected the bacteria to a range of differe... Read More

New Method Attacks Bacterial Infections on Contact Lenses

Researchers at National Jewish Health and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have discovered a new method to fight bacterial infections associated with contact lenses. The method may also have applications for bacterial infections associated with severe burns and cystic fibrosis... Read More

Research shows how pathogenic bacteria hide inside host cells

A new study into Staphylococcus aureus, the bacterium which is responsible for severe chronic infections worldwide, reveals how bacteria have developed a strategy of hiding within host cells to escape the immune system as well as many antibacterial treatments. The research, published by EMBO Mol... Read More

When a baby gets a vaccine, who reaps the benefits?

Babies in this country and in Europe are given several immunizations during the first two years of life, and one vaccine that has made a big dent in infant mortality rates is PCV7 – the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. A study coming out in mBio this week shows that the vaccine cuts down... Read More

The Future of Algae Fuels Is … When?

A new study from the Rand Corporation, the global policy think tank based in Santa Monica, Calif., and formed more than 60 years ago to advise the American government on military issues, suggests that Department of Defense is wasting its time exploring alternative fuels.

It raised particular ... Read More

How T cells recognize the bad guys

T cells are the immune system’s guard dogs, attacking pathogens while leaving the body’s own cells alone. Now researchers have mapped the process that T cells use to tell friend from foe.

The process resembles how a person at a party might recognize someone they don’t know well by using that ... Read More

Twitter in Bioinformatics

This is a good demo on how to use the Twitter client TweetDeck to monitor real time information about bioinformatics (or any field for that matter). Read More

Antigen Switching in Malaria - A Classroom Activity

High school students and their teachers participate in a simple activity to demonstrate the interaction between the var antigens malaria parasites display and the patient's immune system. Read More

Bacteria taken to 'doomsday' vault

A WA scientist is flying to the world's "doomsday'' bunker in the Arctic with precious cargo in his luggage - tiny bacteria able to extract nitrogen from air.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, is a coalmine converted into a giant freezer designed to store... Read More

Bad Project (Lady Gaga spoof)

Here's a funny video for anyone who's ever been caught in a bad, seemingly interminable research project... Read More

FDA announces new plan for fighting antimicrobial resistance - effects on pets

Today the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) through their Center for Veterinary medicine announced a comprehensive National Antimicrobial Monitoring System (NARMS) Strategic Plan. Antibiotic resistance among enteric bacteria (those that live in the intestinal tract) has been a major concern for... Read More

Infection rates on the increase

Reported cases of infections such as E.coli have increased by more than a third in the last year, new figures reveal.

There were 4,427 reported blood infections caused by E.coli and other less well-known bacteria such as K pneumoniae and Paeruginosa in 2009, up from 3,207 the previous year.
... Read More

National Academy of Sciences Honors Microbiologists for Major Scientific Contributions

Three members of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) are among the 13 scientists that will be honored by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) with awards recognizing extraordinary scientific achievement in the field of microbiology:

1. Bonnie L. Bassler, Howard Hughes Medical Ins... Read More

Some Like it Hot

A guest post on Small Things Considered by S. Marvin Friedman, Professor Emeritus, Department of Biological Sciences, Hunter College of CUNY, New York City, reviews the various mechanisms thermophiles and hyperthermophiles may use to proliferate at extreme temperatures. Friedman wonders whether ... Read More

The genius of bacteria

IQ scores are used to assess the intelligence of human beings. Now Tel Aviv University has developed a “Social-IQ score” for bacteria ― and it may lead to new antibiotics and powerful bacteria-based “green” pesticides for the agricultural industry.

An international team led by Prof. Eshel Ben... Read More

Outer packaging of chicken "covered in bacteria" study finds

Food standards officials discovered that 40 per cent of packets of chicken in a range of supermarkets, convenience stores and butchers were covered with bacteria on the outside.

Of 20 packets of chicken studied, eight had food poisoning bacteria on their wrapping while seven chickens were con... Read More

Spin-out to apply new technology for tackling infection

A new company has been launched to commercialise an award-winning technology, developed at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, for tackling bacterial infection and contamination, including superbugs such as MRSA.

Fixed Phage Limited has been established to develop products based on its ... Read More

Rats and Plague, from a 1911 issue of Scientific American

Although the recent epidemics of bubonic plague in China, India, and other parts of the world have been always associated with outbreaks of the same disease among rats, the historical study of plague throughout the world reveals the singular fact that previous to 1800 very few references to a co... Read More

Cholera Takes A Breather In Haiti, But Could Surge

The cholera epidemic that has raged across this country is claiming fewer victims, with a sharp drop in new cases everywhere from the shimmering rice fields of the Artibonite Valley to the crowded urban slums.

It is a welcome development, but tinged with doubt: It's not yet known whether the ... Read More
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