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South Korea confirms two cases of NDM-1 superbug

South Korean health authorities are reporting the country's first two cases of a new gene that makes bacteria resistant to most antibiotics.

Health official Lee Yeong-seon says experts detected the gene, known as NDM-1, in two people. The two patients have been hospitalized for a lengthy time... Read More

UCSF team develops 'logic gates' to program bacteria as computers

A team of UCSF researchers has engineered E. coli with the key molecular circuitry that will enable genetic engineers to program cells to communicate and perform computations.

The work builds into cells the same logic gates found in electronic computers and creates a method to create circuits... Read More

USA Science and Engineering Festival - Part 2 (MWV43)

On October 23 2010, MicrobeWorld attended the first annual USA Science and Engineering Festival on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. In part 2 of this two-part video, Read More

Forecasting Flu Pandemics Hinges on Insights into the Virus

Influenza is a crafty opponent. Just when researchers think they might know where it's headed next, it mutates. New strains form constantly, allowing the virus to evade detection by the human immune system, and these new strains can turn into pandemics with little to no warning. In 1918, the H1N... Read More

Cat Disease Threatens Endangered Monk Seals

Hoku endured some rough days before he died last spring. Three dogs chased him off one of his resting beaches, and he battled a minor tsunami that left him wedged between a pair of boulders in a lava field far from shore.

Observers noticed him looking thin in the few months before fishermen f... Read More

Bacteria stir debate about 'shadow biosphere'

All life on Earth - from microbes to elephants and us - requires the element phosphorus as one of its six components.

But now researchers have discovered a bacterium that appears to have replaced that life-enabling phosphorus with its toxic cousin arsenic, raising new and provocative questio... Read More

Life Found Thriving in Porous Rock Deep Beneath the Seafloor

Researchers have found compelling evidence for an extensive biological community living in porous rock deep beneath the seafloor. The microbes in this hidden world appear to be an important source of dissolved organic matter in deep ocean water, a finding that could dramatically change ideas abo... Read More

Haiti: Epidemics of denial must end

As Haiti's deadly cholera epidemic spreads, it may seem irrelevant to ask where the disease came from. The World Health Organization certainly thinks it is, describing the question as "unimportant".

That could not be further from the truth. Haitians themselves care deeply about how their coun... Read More

T-cell suicide stops mice fighting off flu

More bad press for free radicals. Now it seems that too many of them can impair the mouse immune system, making them unable to fight off flu.

The finding could shed light on the cause of many mysterious human immunodeficiency disorders, such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), says Fr... Read More

Bacteria with “force sensors”

If connective tissue fibres are under tension, bacteria do not bind to them so well. However, if the fibres are severed and slackened by a cut, the bacterial adhesion molecules recognise this and attach themselves, which enables them to cause infections.

Cells in living organisms continuously... Read More

TB bacteria use the body's stem cells to protect themselves

Tuberculosis kills around 1.7 million people globally each year, and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates around a third of the human population carries the disease, which becomes active in 10 percent of affected people. The bacteria causing the disease are becoming increasingly resista... Read More

Mundo de los Microbios - Episodio 71

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A continuación: el etanol y la intolerancia a la lactosa, el efecto de la sal y Helicobacter pylori, el MRSA en la frontera, y la bioaumentación del petróleo flotante.

El etanol... Read More

Germ cops help hospitals prevent infection, death

This is no ordinary intensive care unit: Every doctor, nurse, friend or loved one must cover their clothes with a bright yellow gown and don purple gloves before entering a patient's room so some scary germs don't hitch a ride in or out.

It's part of the University of Maryland Medical Center'... Read More

Kids at Day Care Get More Infections Now, but Fewer Later

Young children who attend large day care facilities suffer more respiratory and ear infections as toddlers than kids who spend their days at home, but develop fewer such illnesses during their grade-school years, a new study suggests.

"Overall, all the children got sick the same amount, so th... Read More

Top Ten Microbes in Your Wine

Put your ear up to that glass of wine in your hand. Can you hear the tiny voices shouting, “Hey! How about some credit for us little guys down here?”

From a certain point of view, winemakers don’t make wine; yeast and bacteria do. Juice becomes wine by the miracle that is fermentation, the co... Read More

Pending U.S. Food Safety Bill Promises More Accountability--Backed by Science

Where did your most recent meal come from? Whether or not it was the supermarket, a nice restaurant or nearby drive-through, its contents probably came from not just one U.S. locality but a smattering of states—and countries. Just which ones, though, neither you nor the people who sold, packaged... Read More

Arsenic Microbe's Real Name Revealed

Sometimes the story behind the discovery can be just as fascinating as the finding itself. So is the case with the new life-form announced by NASA this past week.

The microbe, which gobbles arsenic for a living, actually incorporating the toxic element into the backbone of its DNA in place of... Read More

Are We Running Out of Antibiotics?

Hardly any doctors still practicing can remember life before antibiotics, when people were routinely hospitalized for common infections, and the threat of deadly Staphylococcus shadowed even the simplest surgery. But infectious-disease specialists like Brad Spellberg of UCLA’s David Geffen Schoo... Read More

Killing Salmonella and E. Coli on Fresh Produce With Half the Normal Food-Irradiation Levels

A team of Texas AgriLife Research engineers has developed a way to cut by as much as half the amount of irradiation needed to kill 99.999 percent of salmonella, E. coli and other pathogens on fresh produce.

By packing produce in a Mylar bag filled with pure oxygen, Dr. Carmen Gomes, AgriLife ... Read More

Africa's Meningitis Belt Gets First Vaccine Designed For Poor Nations

Public health triumphs like this don't come along every day.

An array of public and private health groups is launching a cheap new vaccine against bacterial meningitis the first ever designed for Africa. Before now, vaccines and most other medicines have been developed for wealthy markets and... Read More
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