In a classic case of turning an enemy into a friend, scientists have engineered a protein from flesh-eating bacteria to act as a molecular “superglue” that promises to become a disease fighter. And their latest results, which make the technology more versatile, were the topic of a report here to... Read More
When attacking body cells, bacteria, such as salmonellae or Yersinia (plague pathogens), inject specific bacterial proteins through hollow, syringe-like structures – called injectisomes – into the host cells. These substances reprogram the cells and can thus overcome their defense. From then on,... Read More
A research team led by a molecular plant pathologist at the University of California, Riverside has discovered the mechanism by which an aggressive fungal pathogen infects almost all fruits and vegetables.
The team discovered a novel “virulence mechanism” — the mechanism by which infection ta... Read More
But microbes are only part of the story — the effect also depends on a healthy diet. Gut bacteria from lean mice can invade the guts of obesity-prone cage-mates and help their new hosts to fight weight gain.
Researchers led by Jeffrey Gordon, a biologist at Washington University in St. Louis... Read More
Small shifts in agricultural practices can increase or reduce the risk of salmonella and listeria contamination on produce, new research shows.
For example, applying manure within a year of harvesting produce boosts the odds of contaminating a field with salmonella, which is the biggest singl... Read More
The protein LIMP-2 is vital for both humans and animals. If it is absent – due, for example, to a hereditary disease – substances of an unknown nature, probably lipids, accumulate in the organism. Up to now, scientists were unsure what the protein looks like and how exactly it functions. Privatd... Read More
Bacteria have evolved resistance to every known class of antibiotic, creating an urgent need for methods to identify new antibiotics that work by different mechanisms. We have developed a new approach to antibiotic discovery that provides a short cut for identifying antibacterial molecules and ... Read More
Doses of a human gut microbe helped to reverse behavioral problems in mice with autism-like symptoms, researchers report today in Cell. The treatment also reduced gastrointestinal problems in the animals that were similar to those that often accompany autism in humans.
The work builds on prev... Read More
Norman R. Pace, a microbiologist at the University of Colorado Boulder, pioneered the use of DNA to study microbes. He has searched for extremophiles (organisms that can exist in extreme environments) in the hot springs of Yellowstone National Park and once descended in the submersible Alvin to ... Read More
On 3 April 2013, the China Health and Family Planning Commission notified WHO of an additional four cases of human infection with influenza A(H7N9). The four patients are from Jiangsu province in eastern China. There is no link between the cases.
The patients include a 45-year-old woman with ... Read More
When astronauts launch into space, a microbial entourage follows. And the sheer number of these followers would give celebrities on Twitter a run for their money. The estimate is that normal, healthy adults have ten times as many microbial cells as human cells within their bodies; countless more... Read More
Endangered Amur tigers (also called Siberian tigers) face challenges from poaching, decimation of their prey base, and habitat fragmentation, but a disease from domestic dogs may be the straw that broke the tiger's back, according to the authors of a study in mBio this week. A team of scientists... Read More
Many experts believe that chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) has several root causes including some viruses. Now, lead scientists Shara Pantry, Maria Medveczky and Peter Medveczky of the University of South Florida’s Morsani College of Medicine, along with the help of several collaborating scientist... Read More
As a new listener, I don't know whether you've later corrected this or not, but you got several important things wrong in describing the antebellum South in the first episode on Hookworm. They did have machines, and they made g... Read More
A newly discovered fungus that feasts on the skin of amphibians is threatening to decimate a species of salamander in the Netherlands, according to new research.
Fire salamanders are one of the most recognizable salamander species in Europe, and are characterized by their distinct yellow- and... Read More
In their paper in mBio this week, Wang et al present FrameBot, a program that combines frameshift correction and nearest-neighbor identification in one Java-based tool. Read More
A serious infection that has been on the rise in hospital patients is being increasingly reported among people who work or spend time in doctor’s offices, clinics and other health-care settings. Caused by the bacterium Clostridium difficile, also known as C. diff, the infection can cause chronic... Read More
Suppose that one day you have the misfortune to receive a strong dose of radiation in preparation for a medical procedure, say a bone marrow transplant. To your surprise, the physician prescribes that you eat a hefty serving of dark-colored mushrooms about an hour beforehand. Lest you think this... Read More
Depending upon whom you ask, the smell that has plagued La Jolla Cove has been “putrid,” “noxious” or “like the East River used to smell,” for quite a while. Nose-pinching is commonplace.
But now, the stench of bird guano emanating from the cliffs in the seaside neighborhood has become, off... Read More