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New drugs for bad bugs

Washington University in St Louis chemist Timothy Wencewicz says we’ll stay ahead of antibiotic resistance only if we find drugs with new scaffolds, or core chemical structures. One promising candidate, an antibiotic made by a bacterium than infects plants, caught his attention because it contai... Read More

Pig-killing PEDv virus moves into Canada

Canada has discovered its first two cases of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv), which has already killed more than 1 million pigs in the United States, government and industry officials said on Thursday.

The Ontario government is investigating a hog farm in the province's Middlesex C... Read More

Gonorrhea Infections Start From Exposure To Seminal Fluid

Researchers have come a step closer to understanding how gonorrhea infections are transmitted. When Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacteria responsible for gonorrhea, are exposed to seminal plasma, the liquid part of semen containing secretions from the male genital tract, they can more easily move ... Read More

Proof of life: Reevaluating oldest known Archean trace fossil for indications of early biology

In the hunt for early life, geobiologists seek evidence of ancient microbes in the form of trace fossils – geological records of biological activity – embedded in lavas beneath the ocean floor. Filamentous titanite (a calcium titanium silicate mineral) microtextures found in 3.45 billion-year-ol... Read More

New Research on Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, Pressure Ulcers, Severe Alcoholic Hepatitis, and More

Two million people suffer antibiotic-resistant infections yearly, and 23,000 die each year as a result. Most of these infections occur in the community, but deaths usually occur in healthcare settings. Cost estimates vary but may be as high as $20 billion in excess direct healthcare costs.

C... Read More

Salmonella grown on Salmonella-Shigella (S-S) Agar

The following picture shows the isolated black colonies of Salmonella on Salmonella-Shigella (S-S) Agar. S-S Agar is used as a selective and differential medium for the isolation of Salmonella and some Shigella species. The inclusion of bile salts is to inhibit gram-positive organisms. Ferric ci... 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

Metabolomics and microbes - Pseudomonas aeruginosa in cystic fibrosis

Entry for ASM global video challenge - short description of metabolomics work on Pseudomonas aeruginosa Read More

Cancer-Causing HPV Virus Directly Damages DNA

Human papillomavirus (HPV) can damage chromosomes and genes directly, researchers report in a new study. HPV is a virus that can cause anal, cervical, head and neck cancers, and according to experts, it produces two viral proteins (E6 and E7) that are involved in the development of those diseas... Read More

A WORD on the constraints of influenza virus evolution

Evolution proceeds by selection of mutants that arise by error-prone duplication of nucleic acid genomes. It is believed that mutations that are selected in a gene are dependent on those that have preceded them, an effect known as epistasis. Analysis of a sequence of changes in the influenza vir... Read More

How the Body’s Cells Hold on Tight

When I was nine, biology gave me my first existential crisis. If I am built out of trillions of tiny cells, I worried, what’s to keep me from crumbling into a pile like a dried-out sandcastle? Almost two decades later, as a Ph.D. student in mathematics at the University of California, Davis, I’m... Read More

Resurrecting ancient microbes to understand evolution

When you hear the word “resurrection”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Religious miracles? Zombie viruses? The end of the world?

Whatever your mental association, I’m willing to bet it’s not “an emerging scientific discipline." Well, it just so happens a growing community of microb... Read More

Yersinia pestis bacteria

Scanning electron micrograph of Yersinia pestis, which causes bubonic plague, on proventricular spines of a Xenopsylla cheopis flea. Credit: National Institutes of Health/Department of Health and Human Services (NIAID) Read More

2,300 tubes containing SARS virus samples missing in France

A major French biomedical research body, the Pasteur Institute, have launched an investigation into the disappearance of some 2,300 test tubes containing samples of the SARS virus. The loss was discovered during an inventory.

The Pasteur Institute filed a so-called 'complaint against X' on Mo... Read More

The Science Behind Honey’s Eternal Shelf Life

Modern archeologists, excavating ancient Egyptian tombs, have often found something unexpected amongst the tombs’ artifacts: pots of honey, thousands of years old, and yet still preserved. Through millennia, the archeologists discover, the food remains unspoiled, an unmistakable testament to the... Read More

Bacitracin test on Streptococcus pyogenes

Bacitracin test done on a lawn of Streptococcus pyogenes grown on blood agar. The zone of inhibition around the bacitracin disc, approx 14mm measuring the entire length of the zone, indicates sensitivity. The zone of inhibition is red because the red blood cells did not lyse. Grown for 24 hr... Read More

To combat the overuse of antibacterials, stop using the absolutely terrible word, "antibiotic"

There are many reasons why bacteria evolve resistance to antibacterials, but one of the preventable reasons is the over-prescription of antibacterials to patients who don't have bacterial infections. But how to get people to stop asking for antibacterials? My suggestion is to stop using the wor... Read More

New research shows that bacteria survive longer in contact lens cleaning solution than previously thought

Each year in the UK, bacterial infections cause around 6,000 cases of a severe eye condition known as microbial keratitis - an inflammation and ulceration of the cornea that can lead to loss of vision. The use of contact lenses has been identified as a particular risk factor for microbial kerati... Read More

Neanderthal Viruses Found in Modern Humans

Ancient viruses from Neanderthals have been found in modern human DNA by researchers at Oxford University and Plymouth University.

The researchers compared genetic data from fossils of Neanderthals and another group of ancient human ancestors called Denisovans to data from modern-day cancer p... Read More

A Bacterial Bioluminescent Valentine's Day

In this short post, I celebrate Valentine's Day with words of light---using bioluminescent bacteria! Read More

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