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The bleeding glacier

Somewhere around two million years ago, the Taylor Glacier sealed beneath 1,300 feet of ice a body of water that contained a ancient community of microbes. A microbe is a living thing, or organism that is too tiny to be seen without the aid of a microscope. Most, but not all are single cell.

... Read More

A Hidden Trigger of Obesity: Intestinal Bugs

If you're fighting the battle of the bulge, most of your attention — and frustration — is probably aimed at your midsection. It makes sense, since that's where the extra pounds tend to gravitate, especially with the creep of middle age, piling on to form that dreaded spare tire.

But a growing... Read More

How Ocean Bacterium Turns Carbon Into Fuel

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. We hear this mantra time and again. When it comes to carbon‹the "Most Wanted" element in terms of climate change‹nature has got reuse and recycle covered. However, it's up to us to reduce. Scientists at Harvard Medical School are trying to meet this challenge by learning ... Read More

Experimental Vaccine Protects Monkeys Against Mosquito-Borne Chikungunya Virus

Imagine a mosquito-borne virus that has already infected millions of people in recent outbreaks in South and Southeast Asia, the islands of the Indian Ocean, Africa and northern Italy. Although seldom fatal, it causes highly painful arthritis-like symptoms that can linger for months or even year... Read More

Salmonella prompts processed-food recall

Thousands of types of processed foods -- including many varieties of soups, chips, frozen dinners, hot dogs and salad dressings -- may pose a health threat because they contain a flavor enhancer that could be contaminated with salmonella, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday.

Offici... Read More

Adaptation and Evolution: The Life of an RNA Virus (MWV35)

From the flu to HIV, RNA viruses challenge our immune systems like no other infectious agent on the planet. RNA viruses provide unique insights into the patterns and processes of evolutionary change in real time. The study of viral evolution is especially topical given the growing awareness t... Read More

Plasmodium vivax

Plasmodium vivax young trophozoite with Schuffner's stippling Read More

Adaptation and Evolution: The Life of an RNA Virus (MWV35)

From the flu to HIV, RNA viruses challenge our immune systems like no other infectious agent on the planet. RNA viruses provide unique insights into the patterns and processes of evolutionary change in real time. The study of viral evolution is especially topical given the growing awareness t... Read More

Can a Scientific Retraction Change Public Opinion?

When science revises its stance, the field itself follows established protocol to adapt, but public opinion can be slow to catch up. Rather than wiping the slate clean, last month's retraction of a key paper proposing a link between childhood vaccines and autism seem only to have widened the soc... Read More

Applying GeoChip Analysis to Disparate Microbial Communities

Taken from Microbe magazine, this article discusses high-throughput gene arrays, used to analyze microbial communities, and to link their structures to how they affect ecosystems. Read More

Evidence of Increasing Antibiotic Resistance in Soil Microbes

A team of scientists in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands are reporting disturbing evidence that soil microbes have become progressively more resistant to antibiotics over the last 60 years. Surprisingly, this trend continues despite more stringent rules on use of antibiotics in medicine an... Read More

Household Bacteria for Better Cheese

The Norwegian dairy company TINE is now planning an in-depth study that will find out whether household bacteria can be used for their own sake.

When the Norwegian dairy company TINE makes cheese, it deliberately adds certain organisms to the raw milk. Others get there by chance and shape the... Read More

Tough lessons from Dutch Q fever outbreak

The chief veterinary officer of the Netherlands has defended the country's decision to cull thousands of goats in an effort to control an unprecedented outbreak of Q fever.

The Netherlands "can't take a chance", Christianne Bruschke told Nature after a meeting in Breda -- a city near the hear... Read More

4 student blogs that gladden an old man's heart

Moselio Schaechter at Small Things Considered highlights 4 student blogs that "gladden an old man's heart."

In Catalogue of Organisms, Christopher Taylor, a student of arachnids... Read More

Human gut microbes hold 'second genome'

The human gut holds microbes containing millions of genes, say scientists.

In fact, there are more genes in the flora in the intestinal system than the rest of our bodies. So many that they are being dubbed our "second genome".

A study published in the journal Nature details the analysis o... Read More

Quick reference: Determining DNA Concentration and Purity

The most comprehensive way to evaluate DNA concentration and purity is to use both UV spectrophotometeric measurements and agarose gel eletrophoresis. This quick reference guide gives an overview of the information that can be derived from both.

This article is a clear and concise guide to th... Read More

Grad School is for Life, Not Just for Science

You are going to spend at least 4 years or more in graduate school, and around 3-5 years in a postdoc position. That’s a big chunk of your life, so apart from doing experiments, writing papers or your thesis and maybe doing some teaching, what else are you doing?

To paraphrase one of my favor... Read More

FDA warns about a little something extra in two brands of hand sanitizer

How’s this for irony – the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers to stop using two brands of hand sanitizers because they contain … dangerous bacteria.

That’s right. “Bee-Shield Hand Sanitizer” and “MD Quality Hand Sanitizer” (both made with aloe vera) were found to have high... Read More

TWiP 5 - The nurse cell



Vincent and Dick discuss the nurse cell, a unique structure formed in the host muscle by Trichinella species.


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