A study to be published in the April issue of the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene reports that desserts from restaurants in Mexico are likely to give patients travelers’ diarrhea, and are yet another food to avoid when visiting developing countries where sanitation may not be o... Read More
Certain bacteria have learned to manipulate the proportion of females and males in insect populations. Now Uppsala University researchers have mapped the entire genome of a bacterium that infects a close relative of the fruit fly. The findings, published in PNAS, reveal extremely high frequencie... Read More
Tuberculosis killed one million three hundred thousand people around the world in two thousand seven. In addition, almost half a million people who were infected with tuberculosis and with H.I.V. also died. Those were listed as H.I.V. deaths. Read More
The new blond is bound to be green – that is if chemists at a Japanese beauty company have their way. New research, presented today at the American Chemical Society meeting in Salt Lake City, has uncovered an enzyme that can remove dark pigment from hair. Read More
Even as a child, Peter Hotez held a grown-up's fascination for the tiny creatures living in the creek near his house. Inspired by Paul de Kruif's Microbe Hunters, a popular book on disease detectives, Hotez persuaded his parents to buy him a microscope. He spent hours watching little animals wri... Read More
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have identified the genetic machinery responsible for synthesizing thiostrepton, a powerful antibiotic produced by certain bacteria. Though effective against the dangerous MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and vancomycin-resista... Read More
Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and world-leading gene-synthesis company DNA2.0 have taken an important step toward the development of a cost-efficient process to extract sugars from cellulose--the world's most abundant organic material and cheapest form of solar-... Read More
A study by University of Toledo researchers discovered that nano-titanium dioxide used in personal care products reduced biological roles of bacteria after less than an hour of exposure. The findings suggest that these particles, which end up at municipal sewage treatment plants after being wash... Read More
After producing superlatives like the world’s biggest statue of a jackrabbit and the nation’s most unpopular modern-day president, Texas can now boast what may be its most bizarre and undoubtedly its slimiest topper yet: the world’s largest known colony of clonal amoebas. Read More
A groundbreaking partnership between the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in South Africa will establish an international research center focused on making major scientific contributions to the worldwide effort to control the devastating co-epidem... Read More
What exactly is going on in those Activia ads, anyway? One minute actress Jamie Lee Curtis is talking. Then comes a graphic of a female-looking abdomen with a bunch of yellow dots swarming around in the middle. As 14 calendar pages flip, the dots arrange themselves in the shape of a downward-poi... Read More
When locked in mortal combat with infection, some mature white blood cells have a formidable weapon: they literally cast a DNA net—called a neutrophil extracellular trap (NET)—that captures and kills bacteria that invade the human body. But the ability to form this "death" NET is missing in the ... Read More
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found evidence that houseflies collected near broiler poultry operations may contribute to the dispersion of drug-resistant bacteria and thus increase the potential for human exposure to drug-resistant bacteria. The findings demo... Read More
Today is World Tuberculosis Day.
"World TB Day, 24 March 2009, is about celebrating the lives and stories of people affected by TB: women, men and children who have taken TB treatment; nurses; doctors; researchers; community workers--anyone who has contributed towards the global fight agains... Read More
A recent post from the Small Things Considered blog comments on an interesting paper on how phytoplankton in the ocean use non-phosphorus lipids in response to phosphorus scarcity.
"A recent paper revisits an earlier finding that marine cyanobacteria and small eukaryotes (the “phytoplankton”)... Read More
Exploiting a little-known punch/counterpunch strategy in the ongoing battle between disease-causing fungi and crop plants, scientists in Canada are reporting development of a new class of "green" fungicides that could provide a safer, more environmentally-friendly alternative to conventional fun... Read More
You may scrub your toilet and countertops until they shine, but when it comes to the war between you and germs, consider yourself outnumbered. Germs (the catchall name for bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms) are everywhere — at home, in the office, even in your car. Luckily, about 99 pe... Read More
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have demonstrated how a single-celled organism, living freely in the environment, could be a source of Salmonella transmission to animals and humans.
Salmonella are microscopic living creatures that can contaminate almost any food type, causing diarrh... Read More
Toxic algal blooms are bad enough on the ocean surface, but now it turns out that the toxin in them sinks to the ocean floor – where it persists for weeks.
Far from degrading soon after the bloom, as previously assumed, new research suggests that the neurotoxin that causes shellfish poisoning... Read More