Have you ever wondered why mozzarella bubbling and stretching between pizza slices is so different from the earthy flavors of blue-veined gorgonzola? The diversity of cheeses we love are created by encouraging and manipulating the growth of specific microbes. The American Socie... Read More
This episode: Ambient temperature seems to affect how much insect bacteria can interfere with transmission of malaria!
(7.85 MB, 8.5 minutes)
This educational drama was created by the International Health Board (later the International Health Division of the Rockefeller Foundation) in order to teach Southern rural communities in the United States about hookworm. Shown at fairs and other public events, "Unhooking the Hookworm" provides... Read More
Several wounded Battle of Shiloh soldiers sat in the mud for two rainy days and nights waiting for the medics. As dusk fell the first night, some of them noticed something very strange: their wounds were glowing, casting a faint light into the darkness of the battlefield. Even stranger, when the... Read More
The Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research, Bioforsk, has tested and implemented a set of methods for the detection of fecal pollution in Norwegian watercourses. The methods, which combine microbial and molecular biological techniques, can give answers as to whether the ... Read More
As is our custom at this time of year, we go over the material that has appeared in this blog over the last six months. Seems like a lot of stuff, but it’s the result of the work of quite a number of dedicated people, all of whom deserve our gratitude.
Click "source" to read more. Read More
You could call it Seth Bordenstein’s “Frankenstein” moment. A little over a year ago, Bordenstein, a biologist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and his then-graduate student, Robert Brucker, mated two incompatible species of wasp in the lab, creating a hardy hybrid that lived wh... Read More
A vaccine matched to a newly emerged pandemic influenza virus would require a production time of at least 6 months with current proven techniques, and so could only be used reactively after the peak of the pandemic. A pre-pandemic vaccine, although probably having lower efficacy, could be produc... Read More
The Twivsters discuss how reverse transcriptase encoded in the human genome might produce DNA copies of RNA viruses in infected cells.
For the first time, doctors have used DNA-sequencing technology to diagnose and treat a boy in an emergency. It's a big step for DNA sequencing—that the technology is able to work so quickly, and to help a patient directly. As useful as DNA sequencing is for research and genetic counseling, befo... Read More
Babies who are exposed to both bacteria and allergens in the first year of life are less likely to develop asthma and allergies, a study finds.
It's the latest wrinkle in the hygiene hypothesis — the notion that exposure to bacteria trains the infant immune system to attack bad bugs and ignor... Read More
Ten years ago this month I wrote the first post at virology blog, entitled Are viruses living? Thanks to EE Giorgi for pointing out the ten year anniversary, and also for publishing an interview with me at her blog, Chimeras. Here is how this blog got started. Read More
By the time babies are two months old, they start to smile. By five months, they usually start picking up objects. By 12 months, they’ve probably said their first word. By 18 months, they’re walking. These milestones are familiar, but growing up isn’t just about moving, speaking and thinking.
... Read More
Public health data in California reveal for every 15 hospital vaccinations, there is one fewer case of flu in the community.
For every 15 healthcare providers who receive the influenza vaccination, one fewer person in the community will contract an influenza-like illness, according to a study... Read More
Hemorrhagic fevers caused by Lassa, dengue and other viruses affect more than one million people annually and are often fatal, yet scientists have never understood why only some virus-infected people come down with the disease and others do not.
But now, virologists and immunologists at The S... Read More
Saudi Arabia says 282 people are now confirmed to have been killed by the Mers virus, almost 100 more than initially thought.
The increase came after a national review of hospital data from the time the virus emerged in 2012.
The deputy health minister, who has been criticised for his hand... Read More
The cause of potato late blight and the Great Irish Famine of the 1840s has been tracked to a pretty, alpine valley in central Mexico, which is ringed by mountains and now known to be the ancestral home of one of the most costly and deadly plant diseases in human history.
Research published t... Read More
A University of Florida research team is cautiously optimistic after finding a possible treatment in the lab for citrus greening, a disease devastating Florida’s $9 billion citrus industry. It is the first step in a years-long process to bring a treatment to market.
Claudio Gonzalez and Graci... Read More
You have heard of the leaf-cutting ants1 that meticulously cultivate "their" fungi2 which provide them with nutrients, and that, in addition, host actinobacteria which prevent bacterial and fungal infections of their fungi as well as their own infection by an entomopathogenic fungus3 Metarhizium... Read More
A little-known virus that can be fatal in young babies has prompted Queensland scientists to undertake urgent medical research.
Parechovirus was first reported in Australia in December last year and there have now been dozens of cases across the country.
There have been 11 confirmed cases ... Read More