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Viruses and journalism: Poliovirus, HIV, and sperm

In the summer of 1989, two papers about viruses were published in high-profile journals. One described the engineering of a recombinant poliovirus bearing on its surface an antigen from HIV-1. The second paper claimed that transgenic mice could be made by adding DNA to sperm before using them to... Read More

Shining Examples: 10 Bioluminescent Creatures that Glow in Surprising Ways [Slide Show]

Beetles whose flashes punctuate summer skies; killer fish that lure prey with an enticing light; algae that rat out their attackers with a telltale glow. These ominous organisms might seem like creatures from out of this world, but thanks to some clever chemistry, such beings are in fact abundan... Read More

Bacteria survive millennia nibbling on salad

Imagine you were trapped in a room for weeks with nothing to eat but a single leaf of lettuce. Sound like a nightmare in crash dieting?

For microscopic bacteria holed up in ancient buried salt flats in California's Death Valley, that's life. In fact, according to a new study, the fasting bugs... Read More

TB or not TB? Meeting Millenium Development Goals

Two billion people, or one third of the world’s population, are estimated to be infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria which cause tuberculosis (TB). According to WHO’s Global Tuberculosis Control 2009 update report, in 2008 there were approximately 1.3 million TB deaths, and an ... Read More

Microbial sealant blocks infection during c-sections

One in three expectant moms will deliver by c-section. And the last thing a new Mom needs to worry about is surgical site infections. Now, there's something new to keep moms infection-free.

Swapna Reddy is one of the first patients in the country to benefit from the therapy. Swapna and her hu... Read More

Food-Borne Illness: Researchers Redefine the Invasion Mechanism of Salmonella

Bacteria of the genus Salmonella cause most food-borne illnesses. The bacteria attach to cells of the intestinal wall and induce their own ingestion by cells of the intestinal epithelium. Up till now, researchers assumed that Salmonella have to induce the formation of distinctive membrane waves ... Read More

New Healthy Bacteria Found in Kimchi

Scientists have long been able to extract lactic acid bacteria, also known as "friendly bacteria," from kimchi, Korean traditional pickled cabbage, and vegetable juice. Now a group of Korean scientists has discovered two new types of friendly bacteria which offer a number of health benefits.

... Read More

Large-Scale Sequencing: The Future of Genomic Sciences?

Scientists can gain insights into new ways to use microorganisms in medicine and manufacturing through a coordinated large-scale effort to sequence the genomes of not just individual microorganisms but entire ecosystems, according to a new report from the American Academy of Microbiology that ou... Read More

Happy Nerdy Holidays

I recently have come across a blog written by a biological anthropologist who is currently a stay at home mother to her little girl. A favorite hobby of hers is baking and her blog chronicles her culinary adventures, which much to my delight includes science themed baked goods like cookies and ... Read More

Disease Decimating Bats in Northeastern U.S

Disease has killed more than 90 percent of some bat populations in Northeastern states, according to a survey released yesterday by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

The DEC survey in New York, Connecticut and Vermont examined 23 caves that are believed to have once... Read More

Hundreds of Leads Generated in Fight Against H1N1 Pandemic

Scientists have generated hundreds of new leads in the fight against the H1N1 flu pandemic, according to two new studies published online December 17th in the journal Cell. Both research teams took comprehensive approaches to understanding the interaction of H1N1 strains with human cells, yieldi... Read More

Raw sewage filtered onto a nucleopore membrane

Raw sewage filtered onto a nucleopore membrane. Note the filamentous bacterium and various rod-shaped bacteria (2000X) Read More

HHMI Chooses Twelve Schools To Join National Science Education Experiment

Hundreds of students at 24 large universities and small colleges currently participate in a national experiment that aims to change the future of undergraduate science education. Now the Howard Hughes Medical Institute has invited 12 more schools to join the Science Education Alliance to engage... Read More

Researchers Find Human Protein that Prevents H1N1 Influenza Infection

Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have identified a naturally occurring human protein that helps prevent infection by H1N1 influenza and other viruses, including West Nile and dengue virus.

A research team led by Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Stephen J. Elledge and h... Read More

Congress Passes NIH, NSF Funding

The US Congress has passed a spending bill for fiscal year 2010 that would increase funding for the National Institutes of Health by around 2.3 percent over 2009 to $31.2 billion, including an increase of 2.7 percent for the National Human Genome Research Institute to $516 million.

The Consol... Read More

Fort Detrick Lab Employee Released From Hospital

Fort Detrick says a biodefense worker who may have contracted a disease in a base laboratory has been released from a military hospital.

Fort Detrick spokeswoman Caree Vander-Linden says the woman was discharged last week and is recuperating at home. The woman was admitted earlier this month ... Read More

Anaerobic Digesters to Help Cut Dairy Emissions by 25% by 2020

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on December 15 an agreement with U.S. dairy producers to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2020 while turning manure into electricity using anaerobic digesters. Under a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Innovation Center for ... Read More

New Vaccines May Help Thwart E. coli O157:H7

Immunizing calves with either of two forms of a vaccine newly developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists might reduce the spread of sometimes deadly Escherichia coli O157:H7 bacteria. The microbe can flourish in the animals' digestive tracts, yet doesn't cause them to show clini... Read More

How to Find Signs of Life on Mars

Certain environments on Earth that host life are very similar to places on Mars and other terrestrial planets, scientists have found. So if life can exist here, why not there?

Nora Noffke is a geobiologist at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She has found evidence of microbial li... Read More

Bad wine can produce ‘good’ energy

A bottle of spoiled wine could help cut your power bills, as American and Indian scientists have come up with a new technology that generates electricity by using the waste from improper fermentation. According to the scientists, the technology could provide a new and cost effective way to clean... Read More

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