Microbial communities are performing important functions all around us -- from the earth in our flowerpots to the human gut. Now researchers have developed a method for studying the metabolic functions of microbial communities in detail. It is now possible for the first time, thanks to a new alg... Read More
Low levels of flu activity across the United States resemble a summer pattern, while globally only sporadic pandemic flu activity is occurring with the most active areas in parts of the Caribbean and Central America, according to updates today.
For the fourth week in a row no US states report... Read More
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus -- or MRSA for short -- is the subject of journalist Maryn McKenna's new book Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA (Free Press, March 2010). She spoke with Reuters Health on Thursday about the bacteria's toll on public health and how we may, unwittingly,... Read More
If you brush, you floss, and your breath still stinks like a steam vent, it could be from last night's garlic-onion-anchovy pizza or, perhaps, from a medical problem.
Or maybe, new research suggests, you happen to be colonized with an especially foul-smelling mix of mouth bacteria.
Yoshih... Read More
A new commentary on the nature of pathogens is raising startling new questions about the role that fundamental science research on evolution plays in the understanding of emerging disease.
Ecological speciation, and specifically speciation that occurs when a subset of a population shifts onto... Read More
You might think bacteria that “invade” trees are there to cause certain destruction. But like the helpful bacteria that live within our guts, some microbes help plants thrive. To find out what makes these microbe-plant interactions “tick,” scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Broo... Read More
Earth's first life-form, floating in the proverbial froth of the primordial seas that eventually gave rise to trees, bees and humans, is not just a popular Darwinian conceit but also an essential biological premise that many researchers rely on as part of the foundation of their work.
In the ... Read More
Bad news for those of you eager to buy a DNA testing kit at Walgreens: The drug store chain has put off plans to carry the controversial product in its stores.
It turns out the Food and Drug Administration has some questions for the kit's manufacturer, San Diego-based Pathway Genomics. Accord... Read More
It was announced today that Ohio company, Amish Wedding Foods, Inc., is recalling all lots of 9, 16, and 18-ounce pumpkin butter, and 16 and 18-ounce sweet potato butter due to possible botulism contamination. Thus far no illness have been reported.
The pumpkin and sweet potato butters were ... Read More
Bisphenol A. Also called BPA, it’s used to make shatter-proof plastic known as polycarbonate, found in everything from water bottles to medical devices to the lining of food packaging. As much as 2.7 million tons of plastics are manufactured each year with BPA. But – it’s also an endocrine disru... Read More
Paul Davies, of Arizona State University, has a provocative article in The New York Times (14 May 2010) on the quest for alternative life, "Life 2.0," in hidden or unexplored niches on Earth. Such life might substitute arsenic for phosphorus, or might be based on reverse handedness of molecules.... Read More
Bovine viral diarrhea virus is an economically important animal pathogen that may cause a fatal gastrointestinal disease in beef and dairy herds. Infection of a fetus with this virus during the first trimester leads to the birth of animals that are persistently infected for life. Some animals re... Read More
Imagine knowing you’ll be too sick to go to work, before the faintest hint of a runny nose or a sore throat. Now imagine that preemptive diagnosis being transmitted to a national, web-based influenza map — simply by picking up the phone.
That’s the impressive potential of an ongoing Pentagon-... Read More
As the recall of tainted romaine lettuce expands, many plates could be devoid of the crisp veggie in an effort to stay healthy. That might be a good idea, according to experts who say that washing produce, even very carefully, may not remove all the bacteria present.
At least 19 people became... Read More
The introduction of the first rotavirus vaccine in the United States in 2006 led to sharp reductions in hospitalizations for gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and intestines that is marked by diarrhea and dehydration, researchers reported Wednesday. Rotavirus is one of the leading ... Read More
In the Nº 105 of the "El podcast del microbio" I resume the emergence of new virulent strains of Scteriaalmonella in HIV patients, and their ... Read More
During his pioneering research career at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, Claude ZoBell laid a scientific foundation that would shape the field of marine microbiology.
The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) will honor ZoBell's accomplishments as part of its week-long ... Read More
A double stranded RNA (dsRNA) viral genome, introduced into a host cell, is met by formidable host defenses. The very presence of dsRNA in a eukaryotic or prokaryotic cell announces a viral infection and elicits effective responses, ranging from silencing of the viral mRNAs to apoptosis. Despite... Read More
Scientists have identified an unusual species of pathogenic algae that causes human skin infections, described in a new study in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. The finding should improve our understanding of how rare species of algae are sometimes able to ... Read More