As I reported in a feature story in Scientific American last December , some fungi have been behaving badly of late, attacking bats, plants, amphibians, reptiles, and people with gusto, driving many species to extinction and others to the brink. It’s all quite depressing. But today in Scientific... Read More
I’ve written previously about bacteriophages, the viruses that infect bacteria, and I studied them for my first lab project. So I was pretty excited by a lovely little pearl in PLoS Pathogens last month discussing mycobacteriophages; the viruses that specifically attack mycobacteria. Mycobacteri... Read More
Scientists from The University of Manchester have discovered that 'lonely' microbes are more likely to mutate, resulting in higher rates of antibiotic resistance.
The study, published today in Nature Communications and jointly funded by The Wellcome Trust and Engineering and Physical Sciences... Read More
A University of Manchester study examines how skin-dwelling bacteria influence wound healing - findings could help address chronic wounds, a common ailment in the elderly.
We spend our lives covered head-to-toe in a thin veneer of bacteria. But despite a growing appreciation for the valuable ... Read More
A four-year EU-funded project has identified new ways of cultivating marine microorganisms and screening them for potentially useful marine bio-compounds. This could have implications for the healthcare, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries, which are just a few of the sectors that are eager ... Read More
Bacteria could mop up naturally-occurring and man-made leaks of natural gases before they are released into the atmosphere and cause global warming - according to new research from the University of East Anglia.
Findings published today in the journal Nature shows how a single bacterial strai... Read More
Whooping cough was once one of the leading killers of babies around the world. Now that it's largely controlled with a vaccine, scientists have had a chance to figure out how the disease came into being in the first place. That story is told in a study published online this week in the journal m... Read More
This episode: Bacteria symbiotic with sea sponges make many potentially useful compounds!
(8.3 MB, 9 minutes)
The nuclear energy that Frank Benso uses to kill bacteria in fruit and oysters has won widespread support from public health officials and scientists, who say it could turn the tide against the plague of foodborne illness.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of radiation to ... Read More
Most bacteria divide quite precisely and their daughter cells are often the same size. The reason for this accuracy is not really known, but it must be important because it is such a frequent phenomenon. This requires good measuring sticks, systems that calculate distance from the ends and restr... Read More
Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion susceptibility test on coagulase-negative Staphylococcus aureus and E.coli grown on Mueller-Hinton agar with tetracycline (30 µg), cephalothin (30 µg), erythromycin (15 µg), chloramphenicol (30 µg), vancomycin (30 µg), penicillin (10 µg), streptomycin (10 µg), and novo... Read More
Lipid Plate/Tributyrin Agar used to test for an organisms ability to produce the exoenzyme lipase which breaks down the lipids in the agar creating a clear zone around the organism. (A) Serratia marcesens, lipid hydrolysis, indicated by a zone of clearing around the growing colony, as well as th... Read More
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Until we have "action figures" of scientists, I do what I can to recognize scientists that have had a large and lasting influence on my academic career. In this blog post, I praise Dr. Moselio Schaechter for his clear and insightful approaches to microbiology. His enthusiasm, breadth of interes... Read More
Scientists of the Max F. Perutz Laboratories of the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna, together with colleagues of the ETH Zurich, have now shown how double stranded RNA, such as viral genetic information, is prevented from entering the nucleus of a cell. During the immun... Read More
The smallest, most abundant marine microbe, Prochlorococcus, is a photosynthetic bacteria species essential to the marine ecosystem. An estimated billion billion billion of the single-cell creatures live in the oceans, forming the base of the marine food chain and occupying a range of ecological... Read More
A team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) working with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) has discovered a new vulnerable site on the HIV virus. The newly identified site can be attacked by human antibodies in a way that neutralizes the infectivity of a wide... Read More
It’s broadly understood that the world’s oceans play a crucial role in the global-scale cycling and exchange of carbon between Earth’s ecosystems and atmosphere. Now scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have taken a leap forward in understanding the microscopic under... Read More
Big brains do not explain why only humans use sophisticated language, according to researchers who have discovered that even a species of pond life communicates by similar methods. Dr Thom Scott-Phillips of Durham University's Department of Anthropology, led research into Pseudomonas aeruginosa,... Read More
The journal "RNA Biology" just published a memorial issue dedicated to the late, great Carl Woese. The entire issue is open access. I have a small contribution, but the entire issue is filled with great science, wonderful memories, and a fine celebration of a scientist who changed the way we l... Read More