The NY Times blog Scientists at Work is a modern version of a field journal which reports on the daily progress of scientific expeditions — adventures, misadventures, discoveries, etc.
Over the next 12 days, Jeffrey Marlow, a graduate student at the California Institute of Technology, will r... Read More
A new evidence-based global distribution map of Plasmodium vivax malaria, published August 3 in the open-access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, is used to estimate that 2.85 billion people lived at risk of infection with this parasite in 2009. The map, created as part of the Malaria At... Read More
Researchers have discovered a mechanism by which Helicobacter pylori, the only known cancer-causing bacterium, disables a tumor suppressor protein in host cells.
The new study, in the journal Oncogene, reports the discovery of a previously unknown mechanism linking H. pylori infection and sto... Read More
The Army’s got a one-two punch to perfect vaccinations and offer scientists the ability to quickly develop inoculations that stave off new dangers. First, they’ll shoot troops up using a “gene gun,” that’s filled with DNA-based vaccines. Then they’ll follow it up with “short electrical pulses to... Read More
This episode: Making spider silk with bacteria!
Scientists have made an important discovery that could lead to new drugs that reduce the severity of blood infections leading to sepsis. Research presented in the August 2010 issue of Journal of Leukocyte Biology (http://www.jleukbio.org) shows how interfering with the function of the cell membr... Read More
The vast majority of pediatricians and family physicians nationally are offering the human papillomavirus (also called HPV) vaccine, though fewer physicians are strongly encouraging it for 11- to 12-year-old girls as recommended by national guidelines, according to a survey in the September issu... Read More
Although individuals who are HIV positive can now expect to live longer because of the availability of anti-retroviral drugs, this advance brings on new health challenges. It is estimated that the majority of the HIV-infected population of the United States will be older than 50 by 2015.
The ... Read More
If you test enough flour you can find some contaminated by the potentially deadly pathogen--E. coli O157:H7--but testing probably is not going to do much when it comes to making flour safe to eat.
So concluded three speakers--Cargill's Joe Shebuski, Nestlé's Tim Jackson, and ConAgra's Ben War... Read More
The bacteria strain responsible for turning thousands mozzarella cheese blue blue earlier this summer does not pose a human health hazard, said German authorities.
The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) said the risk from the family of Pseudomonad bacteria that spoiled up to ... Read More
Researchers have been trying to make artificial spider silk--a lightweight, tougher-than-steel material that could have countless industrial applications--for decades. In an important step toward that goal, researchers at Tufts University have created genetically engineered microbes that produce... Read More
African children who eat a high-fiber diet (and the occasional wood-digesting insect) have gut bacteria that help them digest plant fibers and protect them from diarrhea and inflammatory disease, a new study finds. The research may lead to new probiotics that improve the digestive health of West... Read More
Using chemical "nanoblasts" that punch tiny holes in the protective membranes of cells, researchers have demonstrated a new technique for getting therapeutic small molecules, proteins and DNA directly into living cells.
Carbon nanoparticles activated by bursts of laser light trigger the tiny ... Read More
Basidiobolus haptosporus. Hypha in subcutaneous phycomycosis granuloma. Read More
Elio Schaechter of Small Things Considered describes the work by members of Jill Banfield’s lab at Berkeley on a unique set of mine-dwelling microorganisms dubbed ARMAN (for Archaeal Richmond Mine Acidophilic Nanoorganisms). These microbes illustrate many surprising characteristics such as "thei... Read More
DuPont and USDA will be developing a test for the detection of "Big 6" non-O157 shiga toxin-producing E. coli pathogens in food, which in recent years have been identified as agents of food-borne illnesses. The O157:H7 STEC strain of E. coli is already associated with global food contamination o... Read More
Scientists say this year that the "dead zone" area that forms every summer in the Gulf of Mexico is one of the largest ever measured.
The large area of low oxygen that chokes marine life comes in addition to the massive BP oil spill.
Microbes that eat the oil can deplete oxygen in the wate... Read More
In a bid to search for new drug discoveries, researchers are using one of the world’s most advanced microscopic scanners to study bacteria taken from mud samples recovered from the deepest place on Earth – the Mariana Trench.
The findings could pave the way for the creation of life-saving dru... Read More
At East Diamante volcano (195 m, 640 ft depth), tropical fish swim above boulders covered with bacterial mat, which indicates the presence of hydrothermal venting. These fish live in the reef community above and are about 15 cm long (6 in). Read More