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Easy way to track phytoplankton

It’s now much easier to pinpoint biological hot spots in the world’s oceans where some inhabitants are smaller than, well, a pinpoint.

Researchers have built a device that can count and classify microscopic algae called phytoplankton that range in size from one to hundreds of microns—the smal... Read More

Microbes grow electrifying whiskers

Some bacteria grow electrical hairs, known as nanowires, that let them link up in big biological circuits.The discovery suggests that microbial colonies may survive, communicate, and share energy in part through electrically conducting hairs.

The finding is reported this week in Proceedings ... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 16 - Capturing Costly Catalysts

This episode: Using bacteria to recover precious metals like palladium!

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Top 20 Microscope Photos of the Year (2010)

The subject of this year’s top microscope photo in the 36th annual Nikon Small World competition looks more like neon suspension bridges or sailboats than what it really is: mosquito heart muscle magnified 100 times.

The image, which used flourescence technology to highlight different parts o... Read More

The “Indian Superbug”: Worse Than We Knew

Just about a month ago, the disease-geek world was riveted by news of the “Indian superbug“: common bacteria carrying a newly recognized gene that confers profound multi-drug resistance, and that was linked to travel between Europe and South Asia, especially for medical tourism.

The gene, whi... Read More

First comprehensive survey of gut, mouth and arterial bacteria finds links to heart disease

The same types of bacteria found in arterial plaque, which causes atherosclerosis, are also found in the mouth and gut, according to the first general survey of all bacteria found in plaques from the mouth, gut and blood.

The study, conducted by researchers from Cornell and University of Goth... Read More

Hope for a New Treatment for Bone Cancer: Can 'Friendly' Bacteria Kill Cancer Cells?

Children and young people who are diagnosed with bone cancer could benefit from better treatment in the future, thanks to new research at The University of Nottingham.

The Bone Cancer Research Trust has launched Bone Cancer Awareness Week and has funded a new project at the University which i... Read More

The Catch of the Day: Bacterial Lobster Traps

It’s the kind of microbiology that would make Steve Irwin proud: tracking and trapping the wild Pseudomonas aeruginosa to study its habits. In mBio’s latest paper, the authors describe using “bacterial lobster traps”, picoliter-scale, permeable protein cages, to study quorum-sensing among small... Read More

Gambling on bacteria

Microorganisms offer lessons for gamblers and the rest of us, Tel Aviv University research says

When it comes to gambling, many people rely on game theory, a branch of applied mathematics that attempts to measure the choices of others to inform their own decisions. It's used in economics, pol... Read More

Genomic comparison of ocean microbes reveals East-West divide in populations

Much as an anthropologist can study populations of people to learn about their physical attributes, their environs and social structures, some marine microbiologists read the genome of microbes to glean information about the microbes themselves, their environments and lifestyles.

Using a rela... Read More

How Immune Response in Pregnancy May Lead to Brain Dysfunction in Offspring

A pregnant woman’s immune response to viral infections may induce subtle neurological changes in the unborn child that can lead to an increased risk for neurodevelopmental disorders including schizophrenia and autism. Research published in the online journal mBio® provides new insights into how ... Read More

Eben Bayer: Are Mushrooms the New Plastic?

Product designer Eben Bayer reveals his recipe for a new, fungus-based packaging material that protects fragile stuff like furniture, plasma screens -- and the environment. Read More

Supreme Court to Consider Vaccine Case

The safety of vaccines is at the heart of a case expected to be heard on Tuesday by the United States Supreme Court, one that could have implications for hundreds of lawsuits that contend there is a link between vaccines and autism.

At issue is whether a no-fault system established by Congre... Read More

Scientists have determined the genetic structures of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease

Sceintists have made a major achievement toward better understanding Lyme disease, by determining the complete genetic structures of 13 strains of the bacteria that cause the disease. These new discoveries may accelerate research efforts to diagnose, prevent and treat the disease, which can af... Read More

Swimming microorganisms stir things up, and the LHC takes over

Two separate research groups are reporting groundbreaking measurements of the fluid flow that surrounds freely swimming microorganisms. Experiments involving two common types of microbes reveal the ways that one creature's motion can affect its neighbors, which in turn can lead to collective mot... Read More

William Patrick, at 84; created biological weapons, protections for US

William C. Patrick III made enough germs to kill everyone on earth many times over. Then, after putting aside those living weapons, he worked for nearly four decades to build defenses against them, to protect the United States from biological attack.

A scientist, Dr. Patrick made germ weapons... Read More

Natural Nano Particles En Route to 'Sick Cells'

Wouter Roos and Gijs Wuite, respectively FOM researcher and FOM workgroup leader at VU University Amsterdam, discuss recent developments in the area of 'physical virology' in the journal Nature Physics. This new and rapidly growing discipline studies viruses, which can be viewed as 'natural nano... Read More

Cheap Exports: The Economics of Protein Production

Daniel Smith, a graduate student in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, has a post on the Small Things Considered blog related to his recent paper, Economical Evolution: Microbes Reduce the Synthetic Cost of Extracellular Proteins, ... Read More

Invasive shrub increases risk of human disease (via ticks, deer and bacteria)

There are many ways of fighting disease, but Brian Allan from Washington University has suggested a most unusual one – a spot of weeding. Allan’s research shows that getting rid of a plant called the Amur honeysuckle might be one of the best ways of controlling an emerging human disease called ... Read More

A Very Scary Gene

Urinary tract infections, pneumonia and other common ailments caused by germs that carry a new gene with the power to destroy antibiotics are intensifying fears of a fresh generation of so-called superbugs.

The gene, NDM-1, which is apparently widespread in parts of India, has been identifie... Read More
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