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Honor the best in microbiology by nominating them for an asm2014 award

Recognize an outstanding colleague, student, or mentor by nominating him/her for an asm2014 achievement award. The ASM Awards Program strives to honor the best in research, service, and education, and needs your help to do so! The deadline for awards to be presented at asm2014 is July 1, 2013. P... Read More

Biology Plug N' Play

When you're hard drive fails, you order a new one online and then swap it out. Why can't we do that for biological parts as well? From DNA robots and "organs-on-a-chip" to nanobristles that grab-and-release drugs, this slideshow explores the two major goals of synthetic biology: to build new bio... Read More

Team picks apart structure of HIV’s shell

The first description of the 4-million-atom structure of the HIV’s capsid, or protein shell, could lead to new ways to fight the virus. The findings are highlighted on the cover of the May 30 issue of Nature.

“The capsid is critically important for HIV replication, so knowing its structure in... Read More

MRSA study slashes deadly infections in sickest hospital patients (CDC press release)

Bloodstream infections cut by more than 40 percent in study of over 74,000 patients. Using germ-killing soap and ointment on all intensive-care unit (ICU) patients can reduce bloodstream infections by up to 44 percent and significantly reduce the presence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus ... Read More

New visualization reveals virus particles have more individuality than thought

Virus particles of the same type had been thought to have identical structures, like a mass-produced toy, but a new visualization technique developed by a Purdue University researcher revealed otherwise.

Wen Jiang, an associate professor of biological sciences, found that an important viral s... Read More

Viewpoint: The Aquatic Dance of Bacteria

Researchers apply a new experimental approach to visualize the turbulent motion of swimming bacteria and propose a minimal model that captures their observations.

Bacteria are among the oldest and most abundant living species on Earth, and their activity influences the planet’s environmental ... Read More

Estrogen-Eating Bacteria = Safer Water

Usually, when you mention bacteria in connection with water, it’s a bad thing. But one Texas A&M engineering researcher believes the right bacteria are a natural weapon for fighting an emerging water contaminant: estrogen.

Increasingly sensitive methods of screening water for polluting substa... Read More

Cradle Turns Smartphone Into Handheld Biosensor

Researchers and physicians in the field could soon run on-the-spot tests for environmental toxins, medical diagnostics, food safety and more with their smartphones.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers have developed a cradle and app for the iPhone that uses the phone's buil... Read More

Metagenomic assembly gives hints about aquatic Spartobacteria

It's a question we ask about many recently discovered bacteria: What, exactly, do the Verrucomicrobial do in the environment? Since their discovery, representatives of the phylum Verrucomicrobia have been detected in soil and aquatic environments around the world, but we have very few existing i... Read More

Graduation, Richard Feynman, and Career Choices...

In this blog post, I discuss how students begin to find their "path" to a career that they will love in science. I aIso write about the late, great Richard Feynman. Read More

Salmonella uses protective switch during infection

For the first time, researchers have found a particular kind of molecular switch in the food poisoning bacteria Salmonella Typhimurium under infection-like conditions. This switch, using a process called S-thiolation, appears to be used by the bacteria to respond to changes in the environment du... Read More

All in one shot (press release)

A sugar polymer found on the cell surface of multiple pathogens could be key to developing a broad-spectrum vaccine. Developing new vaccines to protect against diseases that plague humans is fraught with numerous challenges—one being that microbes tend to vary how they look on the surface to avo... Read More

Research shows copper destroys norovirus

New research from the University of Southampton shows that copper and copper alloys will rapidly destroy norovirus – the highly-infectious sickness bug. The virus can be contracted from contaminated food or water, person-to-person contact, and contact with contaminated surfaces, meaning surfaces... Read More

Mapping the Great Indoors

On a sunny Wednesday, with a faint haze hanging over the Rockies, Noah Fierer eyed the field site from the back of his colleague’s Ford Explorer. Two blocks east of a strip mall in Longmont, one of the world’s last underexplored ecosystems had come into view: a sandstone-colored ranch house, cod... Read More

Changing Gut Bacteria Through Diet Affects Brain Function

UCLA researchers now have the first evidence that bacteria ingested in food can affect brain function in humans. In an early proof-of-concept study of healthy women, they found that women who regularly consumed beneficial bacteria known as probiotics through yogurt showed altered brain function,... Read More

Rogue Queens, Sex-Changing Fish, and Rain-Making Bacteria: Nature’s Weirdest Life Cycles

The word 'unnatural' is often used to describe what's considered weird or unusual. But is anything weirder than nature?

Just look at 17-year cicadas, poised to flood the U.S. East Coast after having stayed underground since Bill Clinton was President. And cicadas are just the start: Biology a... Read More

New one-step process for designer bacteria

A simpler and faster way of producing designer bacteria used in biotechnology processes has been developed by University of Adelaide researchers.

The researchers have developed a new one-step bacterial genetic engineering process called ‘clonetegration’, published in the journal ACS Synthetic... Read More

Biology of UAE deserts an untapped fountain of wealth

(op-ed piece from a scientist in the United Arab Emerates)

When we think of vibrant biodiversity, the Amazonian jungles, the American Great Plains and the vast oceans come to mind.

And for good reason. They are a prime source of pharmaceuticals, nutritionals and biomass for energy products... Read More

Max Perutz 1914-2002: 'the godfather of molecular biology' - video

Scientists who worked with the Nobel prize-winning pioneer discuss his legacy alongside footage and previously unseen interviews. Max Perutz, the Austrian-born British molecular biologist, founded the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) at Cambridge University in the postwar years where he... Read More

Opportunity discovers clays favorable to martian biology and sets sail for motherlode of new clues

Now nearly a decade into her planned 3 month only expedition to Mars, NASA's longest living rover Opportunity, struck gold and has just discovered the strongest evidence to date for an environment favorable to ancient Martian biology – and she has set sail hunting for a motherlode of new clues a... Read More

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