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Scientists Debate If It's OK To Make Viruses More Dangerous In The Lab

Imagine that scientists wanted to take Ebola virus and see if it could ever become airborne by deliberately causing mutations in the lab and then searching through those new viruses to see if any spread easily through the air.

Would that be OK?

The question was posed by David Relman, a mic... Read More

Latest research by NTU discovers reasons for malaria’s drug resistance

Scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have discovered exactly how the malaria parasite is developing resistance towards the most important front-line drugs used to treat the disease.

Malaria is a mosquito-borne parasite which affects over 60 million people worldwide and in se... Read More

Life Under the Microscope: The Year’s Best Biology Close-Ups

Life is pretty interesting, and at the microscopic scale, it can also be beautiful, strange, intriguing, frightening and gross. The winning photos and videos from this year’s Olympus BioScapes competition span the whole range.

From rat brains to butter daisies to weevils and barnacle appendag... Read More

Faster, more sensitive imaging of live cells – Biotech’s future

Developing new drugs means researchers must observe how cells react to those drugs over extended periods of time. NSF-funded small business Phi Optics has developed an optical microscope that lets scientists do just that -- study living cells in their natural environments.

Click "source" to r... Read More

CDC: Flu shot less effective this year because current virus has mutated

Scientists are concerned about what they're seeing so far this flu season, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday, a day after the agency advised doctors this year's flu vaccine is not as effective because the current strain of the virus has mutated.

Dr. ... Read More

Alien Life on Mars? NASA Rover Spots Methane, a Possible Sign of Microbes

NASA's Curiosity rover team reported on Tuesday surprising spikes in methane gas, raising the possibility of microbial alien life on the red planet. On Earth, most methane, better known as natural gas, is released by microbes that belch out the gas as they digest food. The rover mission scientis... Read More

Promising compound rapidly eliminates malaria parasite

An international research collaborative has determined that a promising anti-malarial compound tricks the immune system to rapidly destroy red blood cells infected with the malaria parasite but leave healthy cells unharmed. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists led the study, which ap... Read More

Small Things Considered Retrospective, December 2014

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.

Structure and Function

Chromosome Org... Read More

Injectable 3D vaccines could fight cancer and infectious diseases

New findings show programmable biomaterials can be delivered using needle injection to induce an immune response and fight deadly diseases.

One of the reasons cancer is so deadly is that it can evade attack from the body's immune system, which allows tumors to flourish and spread. Scientists ... Read More

Patient with exposure to Ebola arrives safely at NIH Clinical Center

A patient with exposure to the Ebola virus while in Sierra Leone has arrived safely at the NIH Clinical Center for observation and to enroll in a clinical protocol. Read More

A positive step forward on the road to mitochondrial donation

A new IVF technique, developed by scientists at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research at the University of Newcastle, could prevent mitochondrial disease being passed from mother to child, enabling families to have healthy genetically related children.

Click "source" to read mo... Read More

H1N1 Influenza Virus Particles

Colorized transmission electron micrograph showing H1N1 influenza virus particles.

Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Read More

Nanotechnology Against Malaria Parasites

Malaria parasites invade human red blood cells, they then disrupt them and infect others. Researchers at the University of Basel and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute have now developed so-called nanomimics of host cell membranes that trick the parasites. This could lead to novel tr... Read More

Antibodies discovery could lead to universal dengue vaccine

A major new class of antibodies that can make the four different types of dengue virus (DENV) non-infectious has been discovered by a group of international researchers, including from the University of Melbourne.

The discovery could lead to the development of better vaccines and laboratory t... Read More

Genome sequencing traces MRSA spread in high transmission setting

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a common cause of hospital-acquired infections, with the largest burden of infections occurring in under-resourced hospitals. While genome sequencing has previously been applied in well-resourced clinical settings to track the spread of MRSA, transm... Read More

Developing global expertise in medical mycology and fungal immunology

As part of the Wellcome Trust Strategic Award for Medical Mycology and Fungal Immunology (WTSA MMFI), ten international students are awarded scholarships to complete a Masters of Research (MRes) at the University of Aberdeen, followed by a three-year PhD at any UK institution with expertise in t... Read More

Discovery aims to fight destructive bee disease

Researchers hope their new discovery will help combat a disease killing honeybee populations around the world. The researchers have found a toxin released by the pathogen that causes American foulbrood disease -- Paenibacillus larvae -- and developed a lead-based inhibitor against it.

Click "... Read More

colonies picture of candida spp.

Colonies of candida species:

Media: HiCrome Candida Differential Agar
principle: Perry and Miller (1) reported that Candida albicans produces an enzyme b -N-acetyl- galactosaminidase and according to
Rousselle et al (2) incorporation of chromogenic or fluorogenic hexosaminidase substrates ... Read More

Life would go on if all bacteria disappeared

Microbes: They're everywhere, including inside our bodies. But are they really necessary? Not to life, scientists argue in a new paper — but certainly to life as we know it.

For starters, microbiologists Jack Gilbert and Josh Neufeld had to put aside the internal cell structures that were pro... Read More

Bacterial Motors Come in a Dizzying Array of Models

Bacteria that can swim propel themselves with corkscrew tails anchored in rotary motors. That may seem surprisingly mechanical for a microbe, but it is a system that has been wildly popular and conserved across billions of years of evolution.

To see what I mean, I encourage you to visit this ... Read More
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