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How Dogs Might Protect Kids Against Asthma: Gut Bacteria

Scientists studying why pets appear to protect kids against asthma and allergies say the answer might lie in the world of bacteria that live in the gut.

A new study published Monday found that exposing mice to dust from households where dogs were allowed outdoors significantly changed the com... Read More

Harmful bacterial infection grows more common in clinics and doctor’s offices

A serious infection that has been on the rise in hospital patients is being increasingly reported among people who work or spend time in doctor’s offices, clinics and other health-care settings. Caused by the bacterium Clostridium difficile, also known as C. diff, the infection can cause chronic... Read More

FDA: Anti-Bacterial Soaps May Not Curb Bacteria

After more than 40 years of study, the U.S. government says it has found no evidence that common anti-bacterial soaps prevent the spread of germs, and regulators want the makers of Dawn, Dial and other household staples to prove that their products do not pose health risks to consumers.

Scien... Read More

Fixing 'Misfolded' Proteins for New Drug Treatments (NPR Podcast)

Reporting in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers were able to fix "misfolded" proteins and restore their function in mice. Lead researcher Michael Conn discusses how to mend an incorrectly folded protein and what this may mean for developing future therapies for a va... Read More

Fungal pathogen shows profound effects from spaceflight

At Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, Cheryl Nickerson and her team have been investigating the intriguing effects of spaceflight on microbial pathogens.

In a new paper appearing in the current issue of the journal PLOS ONE, the team reports their recent work examining spacefligh... Read More

Mundo de los Microbios - Episodio 106 - Ricardo Santos

Aunque el género Mycobacterium es asociado a infecciones tales como la lepra y la tuberculosis, hay un gran número de especies que son por lo general no patogénicos o patógenos oportunistas. En el episodio de hoy tenemos al Dr. Ricardo Santos del Instituto Superior Técnico de Lisboa, Portugal... Read More

Life under the Microscope: Stunning Photographs from the BioScapes Competition [Slide Show]

In the 1800s English poet William Blake famously challenged his readers to “see a world in a grain of sand.” If only he had owned a modern microscope. Thanks to increasingly powerful optical tools, we now know that beneath the skin of every leaf, inside each speck of dirt, and within our own blo... Read More

Botulism Bacteria Blamed for Deaths of Waterbirds on Lake Ontario

Last year, I wrote about finding the carcasses of dead loons and cormorants on the shores of a Northern Lake Michigan beach. Now officials in New York are reporting similar waterbird deaths from Type E botulism on Lake Ontario.

Sadly, finding type E botulism in waterbirds is becoming an “annu... Read More

NTU scientists discover potential vaccine for malaria

Scientists from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have discovered a key process during the invasion of the blood cell by the Malaria parasite, and more importantly, found a way to block this invasion.

With this new knowledge, NTU is looking to collaborate with the industry on... Read More

Worms and Hot Baths: Novel Approaches to Treating Autism

A new study shows that two unusual treatment approaches may have beneficial effects on the symptoms of autism in children and adults with the disorder. Using a hot bath to raise body temperature and thereby mimic the effects of infection, or using worm eggs to stimulate the production of immunor... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 147 - Clostridium Conquers Colleagues

This episode: Non-pathogenic Clostridium difficile strains can protect hamsters against their disease-causing bacterial siblings!


(7 MB, 7.5 minutes)


When hamsters were colonized with toxin-free strains of C. difficile, they were better able to resist infection b... Read More

Retrospective, December 2013

We continue our semi-annual ritual and post this quick tour of our featured blog posts published since June 2013.

Evolution

Microbial ‘Starstuff’. Associate blogger Gemma Reguera tells us how the remnants of a dying star become transmuted into microbial stuff, including cellular structures... Read More

The Result of the Microbiome Poll

What have we learned?

The various comments confirm that the term microbiome means different things to different people.

Lita points out that in the early days when HMP was formed, the NIH officially defined the human microbiome as “all of the microorganisms and their genes and genomes whic... Read More

A Letter to STC from Julian Davies

Bravo Randy Schekman!

I strongly support your comments on the tyranny of "impact factors" and I will be pleased to join in efforts to prevent the misuse of these ratings.

Impact Factors have become a symbol of terror for scientists in all disciplines and their use in promotion and other ... Read More

USDA Food Tip: Don’t Let Bacteria Crash Your Party

People dressed for a holiday party don’t picture themselves sick in bed shortly after the festivities, but that’s what could happen if food on party buffets isn’t handled and served safely. Bacteria are party crashers, and the only housewarming gift they bring is foodborne illness.

How do bac... Read More

Salmonella Jams Signals from Bacteria-Fighting Mast Cells

A protein in Salmonella inactivates mast cells -- critical players in the body's fight against bacteria and other pathogens -- rendering them unable to protect against bacterial spread in the body, according to researchers at Duke Medicine and Duke-National University of Singapore (Duke-NUS).

... Read More

TWiV 263: Game of clones

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier, Alan Dove Read More

Blood Clots Prevent Deadly Bacterial Toxin from Spreading in Body

New research from the University of California, Davis suggests that blood clots may play an unexpected role in protecting the body from the effects of deadly bacteria.

Bacterial toxins, such as lipopolysaccharide (also known as endotoxin), can cause a variety of negative health effects includ... Read More

Harmless Gut Bacteria Turn Violent When Threatened

E. coli is one of millions of bacterial species that live in our gut. From when we are infants, E. coli dwells peacefully in the lower intestine, maintaining a give-and-take relationship with our body – it helps the gut digest food, and gets energy to live and reproduce in return.

However, th... Read More

Shenzhen Finds H7N9 Flu Virus in Markets Near Hong Kong

More people risk being sporadically infected with bird flu in China’s southern province of Guangdong, the Chinese government said after finding the virus in live poultry markets.

The Guangdong province health authority examined 70 samples from 13 live poultry markets in Shenzhen city, it said... Read More

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