You’ve heard of Sputnik, that little tiny antenna-clad chunk of metal heaved into low orbit on October 4, 1957, effectively kicking off the Space Age?
Well, make way for Gutnik. A news release issued by NASA’s Ames Research Center foretells the launch into space of a satellite inhabited by a ... Read More
Hi Drs. Despommier and Racaniello,
This week you wondered why the immune-activating receptor for Toxoplasma gondii, TLR11, is present in mice but not in humans. You noted that it looks like there's no selective pressure keeping it around in us an... Read More
Viruses are obligate intracellular parasites, which means that they must enter a cell to reproduce. As virions are too large to diffuse passively across the plasma membrane, cellular pathways for uptake of extracellular materials provide entry routes. The first step in entry is adherence of viru... Read More
The US government has taken delivery of the first drug said to cure smallpox. It was developed under a government plan to buy biodefence drugs that would otherwise stall in development for lack of a market. The country plans to buy enough to treat two million people, for $410 million.
On the ... Read More
Treating people with HIV rapidly after they have become infected with the virus that causes Aids may be enough to achieve a "functional cure" in a small proportion of patients diagnosed early, according to research.
Scientists in France who followed 14 patients who were treated swiftly with H... Read More
Diseases transmitted by mosquitoes have a devastating impact on global health and the situation is complicated due to difficulties with both existing control measures and the impact of climate change. Genetically modified mosquitoes that are refractory to disease transmission are seen as having ... Read More
For the first time we are close to creating artificial life from scratch. So says Craig Venter, founder of the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Maryland, and famed for creating the first cell with a synthetic genome.
"We think we're close, but we've not submitted a paper yet," he said ... Read More
There is still time to ward off medical disaster - but we need to think two steps ahead, not one
IF YOU'RE reading this article, antibiotics have probably saved your life – and not once but several times. A rotten tooth, a knee operation, a brush with pneumonia; any number of minor infections... Read More
A large-scale study of a biomedical intervention that potentially offers novel options for women to protect themselves from HIV infection has, to the surprise of many researchers, failed. But the results say more about the participants’ behavior than the effectiveness of the products being teste... Read More
The first analysis of powder samples drilled out from the inside of once water-soaked rock shows Mars was a suitable place for microbial life to evolve, scientists with NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity mission said Tuesday.
Among the chemicals discovered inside the rock, called “John Klein,” were ... Read More
A potentially lethal fungal infection appears to gain virulence by being able to anticipate and disarm a hostile immune attack in the lungs, according to findings by researchers at Duke Medicine.
Defense mechanisms used by the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans enable it to lead to fatal meningit... Read More
What do cancer cells, weeds, and pathogens have in common? They all evolve resistance to the treatments that are supposed to eliminate them. However, researchers developing the next generation of antibiotics, herbicides, and anti-cancer therapeutics rarely come together to explore the common evo... Read More
Our bodies are made up by cells containing our own DNA. Plus 10 times as many with foreign DNA. The bacteria found on our skin, and inside our organs (intestine, vagina, mouth, nose, etc.) are referred to as our “microbiome”, outnumber our own cells by 10 to 1, and make up a vital organ with ind... Read More
For a little over four months in 2003, the world was gripped in the clutches of an alarming new disease, one that spread at jet speed to at least 30 countries. Then, as quickly as it emerged, SARS vanished.
The World Health Organization declared severe acute respiratory syndrome contained on ... Read More
Late last week, a Russian news outlet reported that scientists at Antarctica's Lake Vostok, buried under miles of ice, said they had found bacteria that appeared to be new to science. Now, the head of that lab has said the signature is actually just contamination, leading outside researchers to ... Read More
When Jessica Green competed in roller derby, she wondered how training, socializing and colliding with other roller girls could be affecting her health in invisible ways.
As a member of the Emerald City Roller Girls, Green went by "Thumper Biscuit" on the track, but she is also the director o... Read More
Geobacter's pili conduct electrons along their length using the rings on aromatic amino acids, according to a study in mBio this week. Contrary to all other known forms of biological electron transport, in which electrons are carried by discrete entities and passed from one to another, Geobacter... Read More
This is the first episode in the MicroMinutes series on YouTube. MicroMinutes provides science entertainment and education for everyone, especially those with little exposure to classroom microbiology. The primary audience are Nerdfighters and fans of the Vlog Brothers, which means that all a... Read More