When I drafted my article for TakePart (Don’t Panic – Ebola Isn’t Heading For You), I used the term ‘ebolavirus’ throughout, but the editors changed every instance to ‘Ebola virus’. Understanding which term is correct is far more complicated than you might imagine. Read More
This is a magnified view of an Arabidopsis thaliana leaf eight days after being infected with the pathogen Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis, which is closely related to crop pathogens that cause 'downy mildew' diseases. It is also more distantly related to the agent that caused the Irish potato fa... Read More
Researchers have determined that bacteria are present in the bladders of some healthy women, which discredits the common belief that normal urine is sterile. These findings were published in the April issue of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology by researchers at Loyola University Chicago Strit... Read More
Collaborative investigation efforts of state, local, and federal public health agencies indicate that a frozen raw yellowfin tuna product, known as Nakaochi Scrape, from Moon Marine USA Corporation is the likely source of this outbreak of Salmonella Bareilly infections. Nakaochi Scrape is tuna b... Read More
Prosthogonimus macrorchis, a flatworm poultry parasite.
A digenetic trematode (family Prosthogonimidae) located in the oviduct and bursa fabricii of poultry in North America, particularly common in states bordering the Great Lakes. (http://www.medilexicon.com) Credit: Mr. Spike Walker
2010... Read More
Once upon a time, tasters were employed by the well-to-do, in order to check that their food or drink wasn't poisonous. Today, there are electronic biosensors that can do more or less the same thing. Unfortunately, as was no doubt sometimes the case with the tasters, the biosensors can’t always ... Read More
Kim Ritchie fell into coral research as an undergraduate, got a Ph.D. in genetics and was doing post-doctoral research in Panama when she lost her funding. With the ideal training for biotech, however, she slipped right into a startup. But when the company went bankrupt, she jumped back into res... Read More
It’s an exciting time for ecologists who study microbes. DNA sequencing has grown so cheap and fast that they can run around identifying bacteria living just about anywhere they can reach with a cotton swab. Turns out, bacteria are everywhere, even in the cleanest houses, and scientists are star... Read More
Two papers published this week, and one last month, reveal the pandemic potential of H5N1 "bird flu". One identifies four, another identifies five, genetic changes the virus would have to undergo before it could spread easily in humans, and the third paper suggests some of these changes are alre... Read More
From the Open University, a neat video highlighting seven amazing things microbes do. Read More
Bacteria found in gold mines and frozen caves show the extreme flexibility of life, and hint at where else we might find it in the solar system.
The first time Tullis Onstott ventured underground, he squeezed into an elevator with dozens of South African gold miners and descended a mile into ... Read More
Learn about the bacteria, fungi and other micro-organisms that maintain human health.
The body contains 10 times more bacteria, fungi and other micro-organisms than human cells. Most of these species are harmless—although they can still cause illness if they wind up in the wrong place. In add... Read More
Over 50 percent of bacterial infections in Indian hospitals are resistant to commonly used antibiotics, and surveys show that many widespread bacterial pathogens in India are also resistant to powerful, broad-spectrum antibiotics.
In 2010, a team of South Asian and British scientists analyzed... Read More
Imagine you are a tiny caddisfly pupa. When you emerge from your pupal case, it is dark, but not pitch black, and high above you, you see the faint glow of a starry sky. On new wings, you rise. Cue angelic voices.
Suddenly, you struggle against an invisible barrier. Cue scary cello. You begin... Read More
Influenza A virus reservoirs in animals have provided novel genetic elements leading to the emergence of global pandemics in humans. Most influenza A viruses circulate in waterfowl, but those that infect mammalian hosts are thought to pose the greatest risk for zoonotic spread to humans and the ... Read More
Bacteria can multiply rapidly, potentially doubling every 20 minutes in ideal conditions but this exponential growth phase is preceded by a period known as lag phase, where no increase in cell number is seen. Lag phase was first described in the 19th Century, and was assumed to be needed by bact... Read More
Adding prebiotic ingredients to infant formula helps colonize the newborn's gut with a stable population of beneficial bacteria, and probiotics enhance immunity in formula-fed infants, two University of Illinois studies report.
"The beneficial bacteria that live in a baby's intestine are all-... Read More
Microbial inhabitants outnumber our body's own cells by about ten to one. These residents have become the subject of intensive research, which is beginning to elucidate their roles in health and disease.
Two journal articles by, David A. Relman, Departments of Medicine and of Microbiology and... Read More
Scientists may have found one of the keys to weight loss hiding in the poop of 3,000-year-old mummies. The bacterial DNA found in their guts is very different from our modern intestinal flora.
The reason: chlorinated water and antibiotics.
That's the first hypothesis of Dr. Cecil Lewis. Acco... Read More