Despite the pointless political assassinations of vaccine workers or the police officers who guard them in a few deeply troubled areas, enough progress has been made against polio in the past year that health experts are now planning for the grand finale—its complete eradication by 2018. The off... Read More
Nearly half of the world's population is at risk of infection by the dengue virus, yet there is no specific treatment for the disease. Now a therapy to protect people from the virus could finally be a step closer, thanks to a team at MIT.
In a paper published today in the Proceedings of the N... Read More
In the February issue of New Phytologist, Tulane University biologists examine why leaf-cutting ants target some plants and avoid others, concluding that high levels of friendly fungi in the leaves of some plants protect them from destruction by ants.
Leaf-cutting ants are major defoliators, ... Read More
Over the past 30 years, the combined efforts of scientists and clinicians have delivered remarkable successes in HIV therapeutics. Since 1987, the FDA has approved more than 30 antiviral drugs, including 12 HIV protease inhibitors and one integrase inhibitor. These drugs stop ~99% of viral repli... Read More
Applied to the hull of a ship like paint, a new material could shake off scum by moving in response to an electric current.
Bacterial buildup on ships increases drag and reduces the energy efficiency of the vessel, as well as blocking or clogging undersea sensors.
The material works by phy... Read More
IDRI (Infectious Disease Research Institute), a Seattle-based non-profit research organization that is a leading developer of adjuvants used in vaccines combating infectious disease, and Medicago Inc. (TSX: MDG; OTCQX: MDCGF), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing highly effective an... Read More
Researchers seeking to improve production of ethanol from woody crops have a new resource in the form of an extensive molecular map of poplar tree proteins, published by a team from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Populus, a fast-growing perennial tree, holds potenti... Read More
A long-forgotten candidate for antiviral therapy is undergoing a renaissance: Since the 1970s, the small molecule CMA has been considered a potent agent against viral infections, yet it was never approved for clinical use. Scientists at the Bonn University Hospital have now deciphered how the mo... Read More
Plants associated bacteria play a key role in host productivity and health. These bacteria are phylogenetically diverse and form interactions considered neutral, beneficial or detrimental. A better understanding of these interactions will have a direct impact in agriculture by promoting sustaina... Read More
What do cancer cells, weeds, and pathogens have in common? They all evolve resistance to the treatments that are supposed to eliminate them. However, researchers developing the next generation of antibiotics, herbicides, and anti-cancer therapeutics rarely come together to explore the common evo... Read More
In my newest blog post, I discuss how taking a "beginner's mind" approach leads to creativity, real learning, and enthusiasm. I tie together Suzuki's "Beginner's Mind" concept with Elio Schaechter's "Talmudic Questions," and give an example from one of my first seminars. Read More
It may well be snowing where you live, but if you're in the Northern Hemisphere, spring isn't far off. Spring means flowers. And what is a flower to a microbiologist? It's a niche.
Yes, flowers are a microbial habitat like any other, and though they start out with few microbial members, these ... Read More
Another major goal of synthetic biology is to engineer unnatural molecules and compounds into systems and tools that mimic those found in biology. For instance, Joanna Aizenberg and her laboratory have pioneered using self-assembling synthetic nanofibers to generate capture-and-release devices t... Read More
Bacteria that glide together… make art together? This contender in the Art of Science competition run by Princeton University in New Jersey, entitled The history of gliding, depicts the squiggly gliding paths of the bacteria Myxococcus xanthus.
M. xanthus are social bacteria that move in coor... Read More
An important predictor of the severity of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in infants may be what their mothers ate during pregnancy.
Fernando Polack, M.D., Cesar Milstein Professor of Pediatrics, is lead author of an article in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine... Read More
As many San Franciscans have noticed, sourdough bread stays fresher longer than the regular stuff. Sourdough’s extended freshness is due to extra fermentation that traps more moisture in the dough. But now we know that sourdough’s longevity is also because it can ward off mold. Because bacteria ... Read More
Researchers from CNRS, Université Toulouse III -- Paul Sabatier and IRD have elucidated new molecular mechanisms involved in resistance to visceral leishmaniasis, a serious parasitic infection. They have shown that dectin-1 and mannose receptors participate in the protection against the parasite... Read More
An increasing number of bacteria is evolving antibiotic resistance. Much-feared representatives of this steadily growing group include Staphylococci strains. At this point, multi-resistant forms of the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus - the "hospital germ" known commonly by its acronym, MRSA - ca... Read More
Vincent Racaniello of Columbia University did groundbreaking research on reconstructing the DNA of viruses (sort of like microbial Jurassic Park). The method was used to re-create the spectacularly lethal influenza behind the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, which killed between 50 and 100 million peo... Read More
Over the past year, a viral infection has infected 15 people — killing nine. All lived in the Middle East or Britain. The novel germ doe not yet have a formal name. It causes pneumonia, a type of severe lung infection. On Feb. 27, scientists from around the world met in Washington, D.C., to shar... Read More