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
Avian influenza (H5N1) outbreaks in Europe during the winter of 2005-2006 occurred at the edge of cold weather fronts, according to researchers from Princeton University and the Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Their results, published April 8 in the open-access journal PLoS P... Read More
Pathogens can now be easily tracked in time and space as they evolve, an advance that could revolutionize both public health and inform national security in the fight against infectious diseases. Developed by researchers that include scientists at the American Museum of Natural History, Supramap... Read More
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have discovered that dangerous strains of Salmonella are beginning to emerge in people infected with HIV in Africa.
Their research has found that, in adults with HIV, new African Salmonellae can cause severe disease by invading cells in the blood and ... Read More
On tiny keypads and greasy touch screens, doctors, nurses, NPs and physicians assistants these days are doing a lot more than checking email and phone messages. Increasingly, health care workers are using their iPhones and other smart phones to track patient information, take vital statistics an... Read More
HIV infects women by weakening a cell barrier in the reproductive tract that normally keeps viruses out, Canadian researchers have discovered. HIV breaks down the tight bonds between epithelial cells, which usually form a protective layer that prevents viruses from infecting other cells.
This... Read More
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have found a novel way to mimic the process by which plants use sunlight to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. They used a modified virus as a "biological scaffold" that can assemble the nanoscale components needed to split a water molec... Read More