The bug lives harmlessly in the noses of about a third of us. But it can turn rogue, causing skin infections—or worse. Heavy use of antibiotics since the middle of the last century has prompted the evolution of deadly superbug strains. Photograph by Martin Oeggerli, with support from School of L... Read More
For the majority of history, germs were an unknown entity. Their effects, from fermentation to illness were known, and yet no one exactly knew the cause. Then, nearly 350 years ago, Antoine van Leeuwenhoek, a one-time draper, looked through a flat lens made of ground glass and saw for the very f... Read More
Honey from bees kept in the Highlands is effective in treating infections, according to new research.
Glasgow University's School of Veterinary Medicine, which did the testing, said it could potentially be used for treating humans and animals.
Manuka honey, which is largely exported from N... Read More
How rare 'words' in bacterial genes boost protein production. Scientists routinely seek to reprogram bacteria to produce proteins for drugs, biofuels and more, but they have struggled to get those bugs to follow orders. But a hidden feature of the genetic code, it turns out, could get bugs with... Read More
Activating a mother’s immune system during her pregnancy disrupts the development of neural cells in the brain of her offspring and damages the cells' ability to transmit signals and communicate with one another, researchers with the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience and Department of Neurology h... Read More
Whether inhabiting soil, fresh water, or marine ecosystems, bacteria are constantly facing the threat of numerous and effective predators such as protists, nematodes, or phages. To defend against such predation, bacteria have evolved a number of strategies, including getting larger in size, movi... Read More
This episode: Pathogen's CRISPR-Cas system (for defense against viruses) can be modified to change gene expression in mammals!
A sophisticated genetic analysis of Clostridium difficile cases is challenging the conventional wisdom that symptomatic patients are responsible for most transmission in hospitals.
Whole-genome sequencing of C. difficile isolates from more than 1,200 patients found that only 35% were related ... Read More
If the government shuts down in the absence of a budget agreement, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would be unable to support its seasonal influenza program that monitors the spread of flu, the Obama administration has announced.
The program is part of a series of initiati... Read More
Veterinarians, health officials and dog owners are alarmed by the mysterious recent deaths of four dogs in Ohio. Some experts suspect the dogs may have died a few days after exposure to a virus that's normally found in pigs.
Three dogs in the Cincinnati area and a fourth dog near Akron died i... Read More
The report by scientists of a new hepatitis virus earlier this year was a false alarm, according to UC San Francisco researchers who correctly identified the virus as a contaminant present in a type of glassware used in many research labs.
Their finding, they said, highlights both the promise... Read More
The National Institutes of Health has launched the first phase of the Microbiome Cloud Project, or MCP, a collaborative project with Amazon Web Services that aims to improve access to and analysis of data from the Human Microbiome Project.
In this phase, five terabytes of genetic information ... Read More
Smartphone cameras are getting better and better. But how about one that can photograph a single virus?
It won't come with the latest iPhones, but it does exist thanks to electrical engineer Aydogan Ozcan and his team at the University of California, Los Angeles. Using 3-D printing, they've c... Read More
Researchers at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech have developed a new large animal model to study how the immune system interacts with the stomach bacterium Helicobacter pylori, the leading cause of peptic ulcer disease.
The discovery in the October edition of the journal... Read More
Readers of this blog will remember the furor sparked by Fouchier’s experiments in 2011 in which he developed an avian influenza H5N1 isolate that could transmit among ferrets by aerosol. When Fouchier was ready to publish the results, the Dutch government required that Fouchier apply for an expo... Read More
I'll start by saying this was a study from my own lab which provided insight into why multi-species bacterial infections are more severe than mono-culture infections. The idea of 'polymicrobial synergy' has been around for some time, but the reasons behind synergy have been elusive. I follow TWi... Read More
Our vaccine unit here at NIH did a study of malaria vaccine with some promising results. I know Dickson has been a champion of conquering malaria.
We have the dubious privilege of observing a new disease in the midst of being born. The disease could go on to spread around the world, stall out as a minor, local blight, or disappear altogether. Scientists have been observing its emergence for a year now, and while they know more than they di... Read More