The heel-stick test commonly used for screening newborns for a variety of genetic disorders is not a good way to test for cytomegalovirus infections, the most common nongenetic cause of hearing loss, researchers reported Tuesday. About 20,000 to 30,000 infants in the U.S. are born with cytomegal... Read More
Fluorescence-tagged Escherichia coli cells can be made to "blink" in unison by means of a constructed network of genes and proteins that coordinates oscillations within the growing cell population, according to Jeff Hasty and colleagues from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in La J... Read More
Bad company: Cryptococcus neoformans is responsible for an estimated 1 million cases of cryptococcal disease every year, predominantly meningoencephalitis. These cases are often fatal. So, what’s worse than an infection with one kind of Cryptococcus? A new paper selected for the inaugural iss... Read More
A new online global map could soon help scientists better track and predict outbreaks of infectious diseases like H1N1 much the same way meteorologists can study and forecast the weather. The "Supramap" application illustrates the spread of pathogens and key mutations across time, space and vari... Read More
Indiana University has received more than $1.8 million from the National Institutes of Health to collaborate on a $12.2 million, seven-university project designed to network researchers around the country.
While the proposed new networking system will contain authentication mechanisms to prot... Read More
Hydrogen gas is today used primarily for manufacturing chemicals, but a bright future is predicted for it as a vehicle fuel in combination with fuel cells. In order to produce hydrogen gas in a way that is climate neutral, bacteria are added to forestry or household waste, using a method similar... Read More
Deep sequencing – which identified a viral contaminant of the rotavirus vaccine Rotarix - could have revealed the presence of simian virus 40 (SV40) in the poliovirus vaccine, had the technique been available in the 1950s. Exposure of over 100 million Americans to SV40, and many more worldwide, ... Read More
To feed an exploding global population, scientists have called for a doubling of food production over the next 40 years. Genetic manipulation might seem the best way to quickly boost characteristics essential to plant growth and crop yields. New findings from different laboratories, however, sug... Read More
Cytomegalovirus in human foreskin cell culture. Showing dark staining intranuclear inclusion bodies. Gimesa stain Read More
The human mouth is home to an estimated 800 to 1,000 different kinds of bacteria. The warm and moist environment, along with hard tooth surfaces and soft tissues, prove to be optimal factors in boosting germ growth. Many of these bacteria are harmful and can form a film on teeth called "dental p... Read More
Tracing the origin of an outbreak is a critical clue in curing a disease. But how can scientists track the beginnings of malaria, a disease that has been around for millions of years? Watch researcher Read More
Porphyran, a polysaccharide present in the cell walls of a red algae that is used notably in the preparation of sushi, is broken down specifically by an enzyme called porphyranase. This new enzymatic activity has been identified in marine bacteria and, surprisingly, in the bacteria that populate... Read More
Reading this reminded me of a guiding principle often espoused by my father: KISS - Keep It Simple, Stupid! Read More
Important advances in the fight against cancer have come as researchers proved that viruses and cancers interact in ways that were previously unknown to scientists.
A new study led by UNC scientists shows that a common cancer drug can activate a viral infection that, paradoxically, can help a... Read More
Welkin Johnson, Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School and an Associate Blogger for Small Things Considered, ponders the "fossil record" of viruses:
"As a scientist fascinated with the evolutionary interplay between viruses and their hosts, I admi... Read More
A bacteria commonly found in probiotic yogurt has been shown to be a safe and effective way to deliver gene therapies to treat cancer. Research, to be published by a team in UCC today, shows that harmless bacteria (bifidobacteria) have a natural ability to travel through the body and grow inside... Read More
One of the difficulties of diagnosing tuberculosis is that there is no simple blood or urine test. Instead, a laboratory technician must take a sample of sputum coughed up from the lungs, stain it and inspect it under a microscope for the telltale bacteria, which resemble long-grain rice. It tak... Read More
Microbe magazine's Jeff Fox speaks with Michael and Becky Terns of the University of Georgia, who study microbial clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats- better known as "CRISPR"-systems that enable bacteria and archaea to fend off phages and other forms of invasive DNA. The T... Read More
Corynebacterium - Tissue section. H & E stain. Diphtheritic tonsillitis Read More
A new study led by the scientific director of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research has uncovered for the first time how bacteria recognize and develop resistance to a powerful antibiotic used to treat superbug infections.
Gerry Wright, a professor in the Departmen... Read More