IF we’re to believe half a century of daytime TV commercials, housekeeping is war — a perpetual battle against the sneaky soldiers of nature. For decades, we’ve armed ourselves with cleaning products to slay bacteria, scrape away fungus and torture mites. As our household organisms move up the e... Read More
Two back-to-back papers were published last week that provide a detailed analysis of what it would take for avian influenza H5N1 and H7N9 viruses to switch to human receptors. A single amino acid change in the viral hemagglutinin protein is sufficient to quantitatively change binding of the viru... Read More
Hilary Koprowski flanked by Vincent Racaniello and Richard Kessin on the occasion of Dr. Koprowski's 'History of Science' lecture at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, April 2005. Read More
Placement of copper objects in intensive care unit (ICU) hospital rooms reduced the number of healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) in patients by more than half, according to a new study published in the May issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, in a special topic issue focused ... Read More
One of the big mysteries of AIDS is why some HIV-positive people take more than a decade to progress to full-blown AIDS, if they progress at all. A group of investigators from the Multi-Center AIDS Cohort Study (MACS), housed within the UCLA AIDS Institute, may have uncovered the key to this var... Read More
Viruses in gut confer antibiotic resistance to bacteria. Bacteria in the gut that are under attack by antibiotics have allies no one had anticipated, a team of Wyss Institute scientists has found. Gut viruses that usually commandeer the bacteria, it turns out, enable them to survive the antibiot... Read More
The arms race between bacteria and viruses just got a microscopic bit hotter.
The phenomenon, which was published in Nature this week, was discovered by Kimberly Seed and colleagues when they looked at bacteriophages who usually infect and kill the bacterium responsible for cholera Vibrio cho... Read More
What is more commonplace than saying that prokaryotic cells possess a nucleoid? It is implicit in the term prokaryote itself. Still, it was not shown definitively until the 1940s that bacteria and archaea have such differentiated structures made up of condensed DNA. It was the careful work of “b... Read More
A newly discovered rodent virus that resembles hepatitis C could give research chimps a break.
The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) is expected to make a decision imminently on how many of its 360 research chimps should be retired on the grounds that most studies can be done in other an... Read More
More than 30 years after the discovery of the AIDS virus, experts are optimistic that a cure for the disease will be found, and that an end to the AIDS epidemic is possible.
But they caution there is still a lot of work to be done.
Since the first cases of AIDS were reported in 1981, more ... Read More
Few people check into a hospital expecting to come down with a severe case of diarrhea while undergoing care for an entirely unrelated problem. And even fewer expect to die of the hospital-acquired intestinal infection that causes the watery stools. Yet for approximately 14,000 Americans each ye... Read More
A new study led by researchers from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the UK has, for the first time, used genome sequencing technology to track the changes in a bacterial population following the introduction of a vaccine. The study follows how th... Read More
Radioactive iron may be first fossil imprint of a nearby cosmic explosion. Sediment in a deep-sea core may hold radioactive iron spewed by a distant supernova 2.2 million years ago and preserved in the fossilized remains of iron-loving bacteria. If confirmed, the iron traces would be the first b... Read More
Researchers from the University of Tübingen have been able to show for the first time how microorganisms contributed to the formation of the world's biggest iron ore deposits. The biggest known deposits -- in South Africa and Australia -- are geological formations billions of years old. They are... Read More
Sandia National Laboratories is developing a suite of complementary technologies to help the emerging algae industry detect and quickly recover from algal pond crashes, an obstacle to large-scale algae cultivation for future biofuels. The research, which focuses on monitoring and diagnosing alga... Read More
For decades, health officials have battled malaria with insecticides, bed nets and drugs. Now, scientists say there might be a potent new tool to fight the deadly mosquito-borne disease: the stench of human feet.
In a laboratory study, researchers found that mosquitoes infected with the tropi... Read More
On this Mothers' Day, I reflect on the role my late mother had on my own decision to become a scientist. We all owe are mothers a great deal, and not just for the mitochondria! So hurray for mothers everywhere! Read More
Bioengineers at the University of California, San Diego have developed a computational model of 1,366 genes in E. coli that includes 3D protein structures and has enabled them to compute the temperature sensitivity of the bacterium's proteins. The study, published June 7 in the journal Science, ... Read More
The Polio virus has been found in a sewage sample from Israel for the first time since 2002, the World Health Organization announced on Monday. But no children or adults newly paralyzed by polio have been identified in Israel or in Gaza or the West Bank.
The sample was from Rahat, a city in t... Read More