In this video Stephen L. Mayo, Bren Professor of Biology and Chemistry, California Institute of Technology, discusses the challenges of designing new proteins that fold into a particular structure or perform a particular function. One method is to computationally design a protein based solely up... Read More
Evolutionary geneticist Francisco Ayala wasn't always attracted to life in the laboratory. As a young man in Spain, Ayala was ordained as a Dominican priest. Within a year, though, he gave up it up to study genetics at Columbia University. Since then, Ayala's research has focused on parasitic pr... Read More
The title isn't hype - upon reading this an entire world of possibilities stretched out before me. Limitless potential, just hopefully not for SkyNet - from what I've seen that machine is nothing but trouble . . . Read More
Mexico's National Service for Plant Health, Safety and Agri-Food Quality (SENASICA) has confirmed the presence of orange rust of sugar cane in the Municipalities of Villacomaltitlan, Tuzantan, Huehuetan, Mazatan y Huixtla, State of Chiapas; in Othon P. Blanco, State of Quintana Roo and in Ursulo... Read More
The Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune (MRNF) has recently detected the presence of white-nose syndrome (WNS) in certain bat populations in Québec. This infection, although potentially fatal for bats, does not pose a threat to humans, since to date no human infection connected to... Read More
The best way to purify water could be hiding in a cactus. It turns out that an extract from the prickly pear cactus is effective at removing sediment and bacteria from dirty water.
Many water purification methods introduced into the developing world are quickly abandoned as people don't know ... Read More
Showcasing its energy research initiatives for an Earth Day event on April 22 at the Pentagon, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) highlighted the microbial fuel cell, a device that could revolutionize naval energy use by converting decomposed marine organisms into electricity.
These fuel cell... Read More
For the first time researchers at Texas A&M University have successfully incorporated two different noncanonical amino acids into a single protein in E. coli bacteria.
The discovery means that bacteria could soon be genetically engineered to produce proteins that have been modified with vario... Read More
The H1N1 “swine flu” emerged in California and Mexico just about a year ago and made its way around the globe in about two months. Would it have spread more slowly without the benefit of planes, trains and automobiles?
Perhaps, but not by much. That’s the conclusion of a new study examining t... Read More
Two physicians, Dr. Arun Mathews and Dr. Francis Kong, have produced a role-playing fantasy game called, "The Healing Blade." Similar to "Pokemon," "Yu-Gi-Oh" or "Magic: The Gathering," the game is built around a fantasy world, complete with sorcerers, villains and heroines. Characters are divid... Read More
Bacteria common to spacecraft may be able to survive the harsh environs of Mars long enough to inadvertently contaminate Mars with terrestrial life according to research published in the April 2010 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
The search for life on Mars remain... Read More
Carl Zimmer describes how Ed Marcotte at the University of Texas at Austin and his search for therapies that can kill tumors by restricting blood vessel growth found the genes potential new drugs can target in yeast.
"The scientists took advantage of a peculiar feature of our evolutionary hi... Read More
Viruses can be transmitted to completely new host species that they have not previously infected. Usually host defenses stop the infection before any replication and adaptation can take place. On rare occasions, a novel population of viruses arises in the new host. These interspecies infections ... Read More
Elio Schaechter of Small Things Considered ponders a recent discovery that small multicellular animals, members of the Loricifera and metazoa groups, are able to survive in an anoxic environment known as L’Atalante Basin, a brine “lake” at the bottom of the Mediterranean.
"Life without air—a ... Read More
Abstracts submitted for this year's ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators "Microbrew: Mixing Ideas for Successful Teaching Strategies in
Microbiology" sessions are now available.
Just 23 days left until San Diego, hope to see you there!
Chair, ASMCUE 2010 Steering ... Read More
We are not alone—even in our own bodies. The human gut is home to 100 trillion bacteria, which, for millions of years, have co-evolved along with our digestive and immune systems. Most people view bacteria as harmful pathogens that cause infections and disease. Other, more agreeable, microbes (k... Read More
An octopus in miniature is among the hundreds of larvae found in a recent Census of Marine Life survey of the tiniest creatures in the sea. Read More
The use of antibiotics to treat bacterial infections causes a continual and vicious cycle in which antibiotic treatment leads to the emergence and spread of resistant strains, forcing the use of additional drugs leading to further multi-drug resistance.
But what if it doesn't have to be that ... Read More
Heating and squishing microalgae in a pressure-cooker can fast-forward the crude-oil-making process from millennia to minutes.
University of Michigan professors are working to understand and improve this procedure in an effort to speed up development of affordable biofuels that could replace ... Read More