Marine microbes play an important role in all marine environments. AIMS is investigating the functions they provide in tropical marine ecosystems and what benefits and insights they might offer and what role they play in helping reefs to adapt to threats such as climate change. Read More
Proteins are the most important functional biomolecules in nature with numerous applications in life science research, biotechnology and medicine. So how can they be modified in the most effective way to attain certain desired properties? In the past, the modifications were usually carried out e... Read More
A study transplanting gut bacteria from human twins into mice could help to explain why some malnourished children develop kwashiorkor — a condition that triggers swelling in the belly, fatigue and vulnerability to disease. Researchers hope the work will point the way to better emergency rations... Read More
The Wellcome Trust will be hosting the next meeting of the Genomic Standards Consortium on April 4 - 6 2011, covering the value of standardized and consistent metadata, functional annotation standards and other topics, which will be held near Cambridge in the UK. For info, please visit www.welco... Read More
The March 2011 issue of Microbe magazine is now online—
Bacterial Vectors for Delivering Gene and Anticancer Therapies
by C. Grillot-Courvalin, Sylvie Goussard, and Patrice Courvalin
Engineered bacteria deliver genes or proteins into specific cells to treat tumors
or gen... Read More
Scientists in Israel and California have developed an instrument for rapidly analyzing molecular interactions that take place viruses and the cells they infect. By helping to identify interactions between proteins made by viruses like HIV and hepatitis and proteins made by the human cells these ... Read More
Neena Singh, MD, PhD and colleagues at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have identified the first disease-specific biomarker for sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), a universally fatal, degenerative brain disease for which there is no cure. sCJD is one of the causes of d... Read More
Illicit drug users are at increased risk of being exposed to microbial pathogens and are more susceptible to serious infections, say physicians writing in the Journal of Medical Microbiology. The review, which aims to improve the microbiological diagnosis of drug use-related infections, assesses... Read More
It would take just a small change in DNA to create a mutation of the 2009 H1N1 "swine flu" virus that could spread more easily, concluded US scientists in a recent PLoS ONE paper where they also showed that their method could be used to monitor the evolution of H1N1, particularly that part of it... Read More
Scientists are using salmonella - the bacteria commonly transmitted through food that sickens people - to fight cancers of the gut.
They believe salmonella may be a valuable tool in the fight against cancer in organs surrounding the gut - such as the liver, spleen, and colon - since that's wh... Read More
Lowering cholesterol levels could help the body's immune system fight infections, British scientists said on Tuesday.
A study in mice by researchers at the University of Edinburgh found a direct link between the workings of the immune system and cholesterol levels.
"What we have discovered... Read More
You have to love a scientific commentary that starts this in-your-face:
“Show us the science that use of antibiotics in animal production is causing this antibiotic resistance,” Dave Warner of the National Pork Council told the Washington Post back in June 2010, responding to a Food and D... Read More
Barbara Hyde writes:
In the discussion of copper, it should be noted that copper has long been added to marine bottom paints as an anti-fouling agent. Now however there is concern about deleterious environmental effects from its leaching out into the waters.
Researchers from Spain have identified a strain of probiotic bacteria that may be useful in treating ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori. They report their findings in the February 2011 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
“H. pylori is considered one of the major ri... Read More
It could have been the science story of a lifetime.
A NASA researcher publishes an article claiming to discover fossilized bacteria in a chunk of comet found on Earth. The implications are stunning — life exists not only on planets but even on ancient building blocks of solar systems. Yup, st... Read More
A Japanese drug safety panel found no link between five infants who died this month and the Pfizer Inc. (PFE) and Sanofi-Aventis SA (SAN) vaccines they received, and said more analysis is needed to identify the cause of the deaths.
Japan’s ministry of health temporarily suspended the use of P... Read More
Let’s admit it: Attempts to make ice cream healthier by deleting fat and sugar didn’t work. At least not for true ice cream lovers.
But rather than taking stuff out, what if you could add an array of healthy ingredients to ice cream without wrecking it in the process?
Researchers at the Un... Read More
A research study published this week offers a powerful reminder of the difficulty of using cutting-edge science in the courtroom.
The study, reported in the latest issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, describes the genetic fingerprinting technique that the FBI... Read More
Researchers have identified a critical part of the process by which one of the world's most common and dangerous early childhood infections, respiratory syncytial virus, causes disease. The discovery could lead to badly needed new therapies for RSV, which in 2005 was estimated to have caused at ... Read More