In the news last week: Two microbes helping us out.
You may think that the world is all about humanity, our place on the evolutionary scale, our position at the top of the food web, and, for better or worse, our domination of the planet. Or, you may view such ideas as being oh-so-terribly ret... Read More
A new automated test to detect tuberculosis infections and the presence of an antibiotic-resistant TB strain can shave days to weeks off the time it takes to identify new infections, allowing treatment to be started immediately to prevent further spread of the bacterium. The new test, which can ... Read More
After a smooth cruise into San Diego, where Atlantis would be embarking on her next expedition, the science teams went their separate ways, cars brimming with cooler-packed samples. We’ve had a couple of weeks to sort things out (a process which involved many brushes with frostbite, as samples w... Read More
Your discarded Christmas tree might help researchers fight the flu. Some evergreen tree leaves bristle with shikimic acid, an important starter material for the antiflu drug Tamiflu, scientists reported August 26 at the American Chemical Society’s fall meeting. The compound is a precursor for ma... Read More
Purdue University researchers have developed a new type of pump for drug-delivery patches that might use arrays of microneedles to deliver a wider range of medications than now possible with conventional patches.
The current "transdermal" patches are limited to delivering drugs that are made ... Read More
Earlier this summer, scientists reported the success of an unusual medical transplant; a woman with a life-threatening Clostridium difficile infection was treated, and apparently cured, with an injection of some of her healthy husband's gut bacteria. Researchers are now exploring the effects of... Read More
Duke University Medical Center researchers have found two genes in mice which might help identify why some people are more susceptible than others to potentially deadly staph infections.
The researchers uncovered important genetic clues that ultimately could help inform patient management and... Read More
It wasn't what you would call a casual get-together.
In February 2009, a popular New York blogger attended a brunch with fellow "frazzled moms." They took in tips from a style expert and listened to a nurse extol the virtues of Mirena, a birth control device sold by Bayer Healthcare.
The n... Read More
There’s been an unexpected development in our understanding of drug resistance in bacteria. The accepted scenario was a simple case of evolutionary selection. In a bacterial population exposed to a killer drug, a few lucky individuals might have a genetic mutation that kept them alive. They sur... Read More
DR. FRIEDEN: Well, good afternoon, everybody. Good afternoon. I-I thought I would just speak informally for just a few minutes, then have time for discussion questions.
The media's role in H1N1 was extremely important because, ultimately, disease response is about human behavior, and human be... Read More
Millions of free malaria drugs are sent to Africa every year by international donors. New research is now providing evidence for what health workers have long suspected: some of the donated medication is being stolen and resold on commercial markets.
During three periods from 2007 to 2010, Am... Read More
The existence of chronic Lyme disease is an issue of sharp debate within the medical community. Some health care workers who call themselves “Lyme literate” insist that chronic Lyme disease is frequently diagnosed and treated by primary care physicians. Others, however, including the American ... Read More
A chemical analysis of the bones of ancient Nubians shows that they were regularly consuming tetracycline, most likely in their beer. The finding is the strongest evidence yet that the art of making antibiotics, which officially dates to the discovery of penicillin in 1928, was common practice n... Read More
A contiuacion: causado por las sales biliares, Una enzima de un fago evita las infecciones de oído, El tétano entre nosotros, Cómo sobrevivir a las reuniones familiares.
Causado po... Read More
Knowing an organism's metabolism can give scientists essential insights into how the organism uses its resources. These insights can then enable them to tweak the metabolism to enhance the microbe's use of these resources in beneficial ways, such as to reduce contamination in soil or to produce... Read More
Mary J. Blige is partnering with NASA to encourage girls and young women to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). NASA released two public service announcements featuring Blige and space shuttle astronaut Leland Melvin this week on NASA TV online. In addition... Read More
Microbes could soon be used to convert metallic wastes into high-value catalysts for generating clean energy, say scientists writing in the September issue of Microbiology.
Researchers from the School of Biosciences at the University of Birmingham have discovered the mechanisms that allow the... Read More
"Potential link between swine flu vaccine and narcolepsy", ran the headlines last week reporting a spate of cases of the rare sleeping disorder in children. But anyone thinking of forgoing their regular flu vaccination as a result is being advised to think again.
Reports of possible links bet... Read More
Like living bone, concrete could soon be healing its own hairline fractures – with bacteria in the role of osteoblast cells. Worked into the concrete from the beginning, these water-activated bacteria would munch food provided in the mix to patch up cracks and small holes.
Concrete reinforced... Read More
In a world where doctors can treat the most devastating illnesses, the common cold remains elusive.
That's because up until recently, scientists knew little about the viruses that spread this seasonal nuisance.
But that may be changing now that researchers have mapped one virus's atomic st... Read More