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Scientists and Soldiers Solve a Bee Mystery

It has been one of the great murder mysteries of the garden: what is killing off the honeybees?

Since 2006, 20 to 40 percent of the bee colonies in the United States alone have suffered “colony collapse.” Suspected culprits ranged from pesticides to genetically modified food.

Now, a uniqu... Read More

Study links fish pens to hardier bacteria

Bacteria around open-net pen salmon farms are developing a resistance to antibiotics, a two-year study in the Broughton Archipelago has found.

"They are not actually resistant, but if we do these special tests, we can see the [tolerance for antibiotics] is higher than you would expect it to b... Read More

Bacteria Identified as New Foe for Cystic Fibrosis Patients

A new study links flare-ups of cystic fibrosis to a chronic bacterial infection, a finding that could give physicians new insight into the disease and offer a new target for medication.

The germ in question is called Stenotrophomonas maltophilia.

"Our study showed that chronic infection wi... Read More

Clean Living in the Henhouse

The stuff doesn’t even smell that bad.

In Henhouse No. 1 at the Hi-Grade Egg Farm here, the droppings from 381,000 chickens are carried off along a zig-zagging system of stacked conveyor belts with powerful fans blowing across them.

The excrement takes three days to travel more than a mil... Read More

MTS59 - Charles Ofria - Digital Life

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Environmentalists fret about Plum Island's future

Researchers since the 1950s have studied dangerous animal diseases here that if unleashed could imperil the nation's livestock. Cold War germ warfare testing also occurred on Plum Island, and for decades the U.S. Army used it as a coastal defense post.

Nevertheless, many environmentalists cha... Read More

Antibody reverses final throes of cancer in mice

For the first time, a treatment in mice has shown promise against the final, metastatic stages of terminal cancer. Unusually, the antibody targets healthy tissue, not tumour cells, suggesting normal cells play an unwitting role in terminal cancers.

The mouse treatment uses an antibody that bi... Read More

Whether for plane or train, microbe produces alkane!

The pursuit of renewable sources of energy just hit a crucial breakthrough. Since the stores of fossil fuel are diminishing as we speak, researchers are trying to exploit the machinery of microorganisms for the production of diverse chemical compounds, which can be consumed by themselves or late... Read More

Virulent skin germ grates on Maine lobstering isle

A strain of a drug-resistant skin disease that has afflicted sports teams, prisons and military units is now proving a persistent pest among lobstermen and their families on a Maine island.

Over the past two summers, more than 30 people on Vinalhaven have come down with painful and persistent... Read More

"Immediate" NDM-1 screening needed

Worldwide screening should begin "immediately" for New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-1, or NDM-1, an enzyme that renders bacteria resistant to a broad range of beta-lactam antibiotics.

On Sept. 15, France began screening all patients admitted to French hospitals who had been hospitalized abroa... Read More

Cancer fighter found in marine microbes

A chemical compound made from a type of bacteria discovered in the Florida Keys appears to be effective in fighting colon cancer in preclinical experiments.

The compound—known as largazole because it was first found near Key Largo—inhibits human cancer cell growth in cultures and rodent model... Read More

Three Share 2010 Chemistry Nobel

Three scientists shared this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing techniques to synthesize complex carbon molecules including medicines.

The winners are Richard F. Heck, 79, a retired University of Delaware professor now living in the Philippines; Ei-ichi Negishi, 75, a chemistry p... Read More

When moms get flu shots, babies reap benefits

Newborn babies whose mothers got a flu shot while pregnant are less likely to get the flu or to be admitted to the hospital with a respiratory illness in the first six months of life, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

During most flu seasons, babies under six months tend to have fewer cases of... Read More

Make Sense of it All: a Framework to Identify Networks Among Microbial Communities

Just try to wrap your head around this impossible task: if each gram of soil holds thousands of different species of microorganisms, how can you detect and describe how those various members interact? A new study just released by mBio offers up one way to approach the problem, using a conceptua... Read More

Virulent skin germ grates on Maine lobstering isle

A strain of a drug-resistant skin disease that has afflicted sports teams, prisons and military units is now proving a persistent pest among lobstermen and their families on a Maine island.

Over the past two summers, more than 30 people on Vinalhaven have come down with painful and persistent... Read More

TWiP 17 Letters

Bjorn writes:

Hi Vincent and Dickson,


I want to correct a statement you made in the trypanosomes episode. Apolipoprotein L-I in human blood kills only the subspecies Trypanosoma brucei brucei, whereas the East African subspecies Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense and the... Read More

TWiP 17: Entamoeba histolytica

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Vincent and Dickson continue their discussion of protozoan parasites that cause diarrhea with a review of amebic dysentery caused by Entamoeba histolytica.


Download  Read More

Rabies Alert for Travelers to Africa and Asia

Public health officials have issued a rabies warning to American travelers after a 42-year-old psychiatrist from Virginia died from exposure to a rabid dog while he was jogging in India.

It was one of seven cases of rabies acquired abroad from 2000 to 2009, out of 31 human cases in the Unit... Read More

National Institutes of Health Licenses Its Patent on a New Drug for AIDS

In a move that gave official American backing to the controversial idea of a “patent pool,” the National Institutes of Health last week became the first entity to license its patent on a new AIDS drug to an entity loosely affiliated with the World Health Organization.

The rights to the N.I.H... Read More

How fungal spores achieve zero drag

Drafting cyclists have nothing on spore-spewing fungi. Using an aerodynamic technique, a fungus can reduce drag on its spores—sending them high and far.

One fungus, the destructive Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, spews thousands of spores nearly simultaneously to form a plume that reduces drag to n... Read More
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