Looking like a small brown twig on the end of a crinkled yellow worm, the caterpillar fungus is for its believers a lifesaver, a cure for cancer and a potent aphrodisiac sometimes known as "Himalayan Viagra".
In a dirty, dimly-lit room in a backstreet of one of China's poorest rural towns, a ... Read More
By tracking the previously unknown movements of a set of specialized cells, Whitehead Institute scientists are shedding new light on how the immune system mounts a successful defense against hostile, ever-changing invaders.
Central to the immune response is the activity inside structures know... Read More
Chaetoceros debilis (marine diatom), a colonial plankton organism (250x). 1ST PLACE 2013 PHOTOMICROGRAPHY COMPETITION. Credit: Wim van Egmond, Micropolitan Museum, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Wim van Egmond compared Nikon’s Small World competition to “a colorful stained-glass window that opens... Read More
The most important zoos of the future might not house endangered lions or tigers. Instead, they could hold disease-causing bacteria.
Scientists at the University of Texas have begun 3D printing microscopic habitats to study bacterial communities. They say the tiny "cages" are better at repro... Read More
Scientists are reporting an advance in smartphone-based imaging that could help physicians in far-flung and resource-limited locations monitor how well treatments for infections are working by detecting, for the first time, individual viruses. Their study on the light-weight device, which conver... Read More
Just in time for “Get Smart about Antibiotics Week,” I had a refreshing experience recently, working in a different rural hospital. Over that week, I didn’t see one patient with “superbugs” other than the occasional MRSA. No one had the now scarier Gram negative bugs known as ESBLs (extended spe... Read More
In a study published in Nature, the team from University College London and the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology explains how HIV uses molecules inside host cells in an infected person to avoid alerting the body’s innate immune system (IIS) – cells and mechanisms that for... Read More
Our understanding of microbial life is greatly biased by our narrow focus on microbes as they grow in the laboratory. Yet, as discussed previously in this blog, microbes can persist in various dormant forms for extended periods of time. Sporulation (from the Greek “spora” or seed) is perhaps the... Read More
Health officials have been warning us about antibiotic overuse and drug-resistant "superbugs" for a long time. But today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is sounding the alarm in a new way.
For the first time, the CDC is categorizing drug-resistant superbugs by threat level. Tha... Read More
Since its appearance in the U.S. seven years ago, white-nose syndrome has decimated bat populations across eastern North America. Scientists say they've determined the culprit—a soil-dwelling fungus called Pseudogymnoascus destructans—and now they're investigating novel ways to stop it, includin... Read More
While studying for a PhD at the University of Waikato graduate Ron Xavier discovered a passion for communicating complex science to the public.
Thanks to the collaborative work he completed during a University of Waikato Doctoral Scholarship in microbiology, Ron is now employed by AgResearch ... Read More
Bathing all patients daily with a germ-killing soap and swabbing antibiotic ointment in their noses may be the best way to reduce the spread of deadly infections, including MRSA.
In a new study, these measures reduced the bloodstream infections caused by dangerous pathogens, including the dru... Read More
A small cicada-like insect called the Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri) threatens the world's citrus industries, transmitting an incurable and lethal citrus disease. This notorious pest harbors two bacterial species within cells specially prepared for the purpose of symbiosis. Whereas thes... Read More
The students, at the University of California at Santa Barbara, were all sickened within a three-week period last month with the disease, a sometimes fatal illness that can affect the brain or the blood, according to a spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Department of Public Health.
They... Read More
Scientists are reporting progress in the search for the first broad-spectrum drugs to combat human rhinoviruses (HRVs), which cause humanity’s most common infectious diseases. Their study on these potential drugs for infections that include the common cold appears in the journal ACS Medicinal Ch... Read More
An ancient skin fungus that has been killing frogs, salamanders, and other amphibians may be hiding in invertebrates such as insects.
The skin fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), also known as amphibian chytrid, got attention in 1993 when dead and dying frogs began turning up in Quee... Read More
Researchers have discovered why the parasite that causes the deadliest form of malaria only infects humans.
The team recently showed that the interaction between a parasite protein called RH5 and a receptor called basigin was essentially required for the invasion of red blood cells by the par... Read More
Cells that allow helpful bacteria to safely colonize the intestines of newborn infants also suppress their immune systems to make them more vulnerable to infections, according to new research in Nature.
Published online Nov. 6, the study could prompt a major shift in how medicine views the th... Read More
In managing bloodstream infections, minutes count, and delays in treatment or administering the wrong antibiotic can kill a patient. In mBio today, scientists from bioMérieux, Inc. describe a new method that could cut hours off the time it takes to diagnose blood infections while also eliminatin... Read More
In contrast to air, the ocean represents a benign environment for most living organisms: With the exception of some harsh marine environments, the means of physicochemical properties are generally not far off the optimum of most species and their fluctuations are moderate, rarely exceeding biolo... Read More