THE world's largest known virus just got bigger, and analysis of its genome supports the controversial idea that giant viruses shaped the cells of all animals and plants.
Armed with almost 1000 genes, the mimivirus is a monster compared with classic viruses such as HIV or the flu virus, which... Read More
Andre Blackman (aka @mindofandre on Twitter and author of the Pulse + Signal blog) recently shared a presentation on Slide Share that reviews the CDC and the public health community's innovative use of soc... Read More
Americans love potatoes, consuming about 130 pounds per person annually. But it's a wonder the spuds even make it to the dinner table, given the many fungal diseases that attack the tuber crop -- powdery scab and black dot among them.
Now, five new potato breeding lines being tested by Agricu... Read More
Genetic engineering for the public good? No one's suggesting that, but researchers have found a way to genetically engineer the tick-borne bacteria that causes Lyme disease in humans so that it can't infect mice.
The discovery that might hold a key for how to develop a vaccine against the dev... Read More
Two zygospores of Basidiobolus haptosporus. Lactophenol cotton blue stain Read More
The next time you order sushi in a Japanese restaurant, raise a glass of sake to the countless marine microbes that might be clinging to it.
Bugs that live on the seaweed used to wrap sushi have given some of their genes to bacteria that live in the human gut, and in doing so, help them to di... Read More
Xenotropic murine leukemia virus related virus (XMRV) has been implicated in prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Because XMRV is a retrovirus, it might be susceptible to antiviral drugs that are licensed for the treatment of AIDS. AZT (azidothymidine) was previously found to bloc... Read More
Deep under the Mediterranean Sea, small animals have been discovered that live their entire lives without oxygen and surrounded by 'poisonous' sulphides. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Biology report the existence of multicellular organisms (new members of the group Loricifer... Read More
Four drugs that are used to treat the AIDS virus HIV can also inhibit the replication of xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV), a mouse virus that has been found in some patients with prostate tumors and chronic fatigue syndrome. Now all researchers have to do is show that XMVR i... Read More
The traditional seasonal flu vaccine may have increased the risk of infection with pandemic H1N1 swine flu, according to the results of four new studies by Canadian researchers.
In one study, the researchers used an ongoing sentinel monitoring system to assess the frequency of prior vaccinati... Read More
Jonathan Eisen (@phylogenomics on Twitter) has a new post on his The Tree of Life blog that looks at why the paper "Phylogenetic structure of the prokaryotic domain: The primary kingdoms" by Carl Woese and George Fox may be the most important paper (see http://www.pnas.org/content/74/11/5088.ful... Read More
An infectious virus linked to two diseases is drawing the attention of public-health officials, who are investigating the potential threat to the nation's blood supply.
It isn't clear if the virus, known as XMRV, poses a danger, and public-health officials say there isn't evidence of spreadin... Read More
Merry Youle of Small Things Considered fame has a new post on the site that looks at the Acidianus two-tailed virus.
"Why two tails? Why such long tails? The researchers note that ATV is the only virus of an acidophilic hyperthermophile known to lyse its host, albeit only under st... Read More
Detecting one of the world's most common pathogens in drinking water soon may no longer be bottle-necked under a laboratory microscope.
Pathogens, meet technology. A new system developed by Texas AgriLife Research automatically scans a water sample and points to potential pathogens much faste... Read More
How would this affect hypochondriacs I wonder? Probably degrade their mental state whilst simultaneously boosting their immune response. Maybe videos of sick people should be shown in hospitals too, unless there is a point where the positive effect drops off. Either way, interesting stuff. ... Read More
Fascinating piece, something I had never really considered before - the idea that bacteria can get sick, similar to the idea can soap get dirty eh? Hopefully the anti-vaccine crowd won't get all up in arms about this, they've done enough damage in the human population already. Also begs the qu... Read More
A new fast-acting disinfectant that is effective against bacteria, viruses and other germs could help stop the spread of deadly infections in hospitals, German scientists said on Wednesday.
Researchers from the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin said they had developed a fast-acting, practical f... Read More
The mysterious life cycle of a sheep virus that causes malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) has been discovered by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their university collaborators -- the first step in developing a vaccine against the disease.
Microbiologist Hong Li and veterinary ... Read More