This article was first published in 2013 on the website for the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology.
Many plants do not want to be eaten. They avoid this fate by producing deadly toxins and carcinogenic poisons, such as those associated with the aptly named poison ivy, poison sumac... Read More
Researchers have discovered that a type of white blood cell carries a deadly fungus into the brains of HIV positive patients, causing meningitis which kills more than 600,000 people a year. The discovery could lead to more effective ways of tackling the deadly fungus as it infects the human body... Read More
Modern Earth is nothing like it was in its early days. Our planet was formed some 4.56 billion years ago when a giant stellar cloud collapsed on itself due its massive size and gravitational force. The explosion also generated the sun and many other planetary bodies, including those that would e... Read More
Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine studying a potentially deadly parasitic infection have discovered a previously unknown way that human cells are killed, with the parasitic amoeba essentially nibbling cells to death – as a piranha might attack its prey.
Until now, r... Read More
Fighting malaria in today’s world will require a new, targeted approach, and Virginia Tech researchers are out for blood.
The parasites responsible for the mosquito-borne infectious disease are increasingly resistant to current drug approaches, and almost half of the world is at risk of cont... Read More
Beer drinkers know that hops are what gives the drink its bitterness and aroma. Recently, scientists reported that the part of hops that isn’t used for making beer contains healthful antioxidants and could be used to battle cavities and gum disease. In a new study in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural... Read More
Scientists working to understand the devastating bat disease known as white-nose syndrome (WNS) now have a new, non-lethal tool to identify bats with WNS lesions —ultraviolet, or UV, light.
If long-wave UV light is directed at the wings of bats with white-nose syndrome, it produces a distinct... Read More
A scientist with a swab and a microscope could tell what school you went to. Trillions of microbes live in and on our body. We don’t yet fully understand how these microbial ecosystems develop or the full extent to which they influence our health. Some provide essential nutrients, while others c... Read More
Acinetobacter species are among the most common nosocomial pathogens that are notorious for multi-drug resistance. Their immense ability to acquire or upregulate antibiotic drug resistance determinants has established them as a successful pathogen, causing wide range of infections such as wound ... Read More
A virus not known to cause disease kills triple-negative breast cancer cells and killed tumors grown from these cells in mice, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. Understanding how the virus kills cancer may lead to new treatments for breast cancer.
Adeno-associated virus... Read More
The fungal pathogen Candida albicans causes yeast infections, diaper rashes and oral thrush, and is the most common fungal pathogen to infect humans. Researchers have identified a protein that the fungus uses to defend itself against the human body. Another concern with the fungus is that it can... Read More
India is scrambling to protect its beleaguered tiger population after several big cats tested positive for a virus common among dogs but deadly to other carnivores, experts said.
In the last year, canine distemper virus has killed at least four tigers and several other animals across northern... Read More
US doctors are warning of an emerging polio-like disease in California where up to 20 people have been infected.
A meeting of the American Academy of Neurology heard that some patients had developed paralysis in all four limbs, which had not improved with treatment.
The US is polio-free, b... Read More
A mathematical model that replicates Ebola outbreaks can no longer be used to ascertain the eventual scale of the current epidemic, finds research conducted by the University of Warwick.
Dr Thomas House, of the University’s Warwick Mathematics Institute, developed a model that incorporated da... Read More
A University of Florida research team is cautiously optimistic after finding a possible treatment in the lab for citrus greening, a disease devastating Florida’s $9 billion citrus industry. It is the first step in a years-long process to bring a treatment to market.
Claudio Gonzalez and Graci... Read More
When most people look at soil, they just see dirt. When I look at soil, I see billions of microorganisms crawling atop one another, consuming the dead in a feasting frenzy that stops for nothing save a deep freeze. I see microbes and their enzymes, the digestive juices that break down, transform... Read More
A few weeks ago, I came across a new paper in BioScience called “Natural History’s Place in Science and Society” that contained the following graph.
On the right axis and indicated by the line surrounded by dots is the proportion of introductory biology texts devoted to natural history since ... Read More
Over the last few weeks, the numerous outbreaks of measles in Canada have led many public health officials and microbiologists to shake their collective heads. The reason is simple: this should not be happening. Of all the pathogenic viruses, this one has been on our radar for nearly 200 years a... Read More
At Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, Cheryl Nickerson and her team have been investigating the intriguing effects of spaceflight on microbial pathogens.
In a new paper appearing in the current issue of the journal PLOS ONE, the team reports their recent work examining spacefligh... Read More
A four-year EU-funded project has identified new ways of cultivating marine microorganisms and screening them for potentially useful marine bio-compounds. This could have implications for the healthcare, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries, which are just a few of the sectors that are eager ... Read More