The announcement that NASA experimenters had found a bacterium that seems to be able to subsist on arsenic in place of phosphorus — an element until now deemed essential for life — set off a cascading storm of criticism on the Internet, first about alleged errors and sloppiness in the paper publ... Read More
The P-T mass extinction may have been instigated by populations of algae dying. According to one group of scientists, this die-off of large numbers of relatively simple life forms caused a crash in the ocean's entire food web.
The mass extinction at the end of the Permian period almost cleare... Read More
A vintage piece of STI (or VD as they were known back then) education, courtesy of our nation's fighting sailors. Personally, I think Count Spirochete is due for a comeback - he's much cooler than this cartoon spirochete I dug up via G-image search.
Props to the good people @ Wired.com for dig... Read More
Disruptions in ancient relationships with healthy microorganisms in soil, food, and the gut may be contributing to the increasing rates of people suffering from depression.
A new study published in Archives of General Psychiatry, finds that the modern world has become so clean, that people ar... Read More
El Podcast del Microbio" Nº 140 is dedicated to the recent article about the hypothetic phosphorus substitution by arsenic ... Read More
Scientists have sequenced the genome of a major fungal disease that affects barley and other cereal crops, a breakthrough that could lead to significant advances in our understanding of how plant diseases evolve. The research, published in the journal Science, suggests that parasites within the ... Read More
The parasites that cause deadly African sleeping sickness aren't as solitary as once believed, according to a new study. Instead, the single-celled creatures seem capable of communicating and even coordinating their behavior.
If organized armies of parasites seem scarier than loners, never fe... Read More
South Korea confirmed two more cases of a new gene in bacteria that turns them into drug-resistant superbugs, bringing the total number of cases to four.
The state-run Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said experts detected the gene, known as NDM-1, in two South Korean men on M... Read More
Read it & weep, AIDS virus - your days are numbered Read More
When Louis XIV died in 1715, surgeons still belonged to the same profession as barbers and wigmakers in France, and the only functions they were allowed to perform were to shave, bleed and bring babies into the world. When a surgeon was called to remove the king's anal fistula in 1686, he did th... Read More
The DNA of the cholera bacteria ravaging Haiti has been sequenced, and the news is not good. It is carrying a mutation that seems to cause more intense disease. This has already helped the strain to dominate in south Asia, and the Haitian epidemic could spread it still further.
The US Centers... Read More
During the replication of retroviruses, a double-stranded DNA copy of the viral RNA genome is synthesized by reverse transcription and integrated into the genomes of the infected cell. When retroviral DNA is integrated into the DNA of germ line cells, it is passed on to future generations in Men... Read More
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has requested a last-minute delay in the release of a report on the bureau’s anthrax investigation by the National Academy of Sciences, prompting a congressman to say that the bureau “may be seeking to try to steer or otherwise pressure” the academy’s scientif... Read More
Scientists have discovered how a network of repair proteins enables bacteria to prioritise the repair of the most heavily used regions of the DNA molecules that carry the instructions necessary for living cells to function.
The research, carried out by academics at the University of Bristol a... Read More
Why did the 2009 swine flu pandemic kill so many more young adults than children? Paradoxically, it might be because of past exposure to seasonal flu.
When Fernando Polack of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and colleagues studied 75 adults with swine flu they found severe cases... Read More
J. Craig Venter, biologist and entrepreneur, reports his favorite book of 2010. Read More
Science Weekly takes an extended look at the worldwide reaction to the "arsenic bacteria" research published by Science, which doesn't just have implications for that particular study, but also peer review and the way science is conducted in the internet age.
We have assembled a panel of thos... Read More
I am based in Hong Kong and there has been a local outbreak of dengue among the international community here. This is the first local transmission of dengue in 7 years! Several students at my children's school have taken off of school with ap... Read More
On episode #111 of the podcast This Week in Virology, the TWiV crew meets with members of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District at Florida Gulf Coast University to discuss dengue in F... Read More
Johns Hopkins scientists have identified a previously unrecognized step in the activation of infection-fighting white blood cells, the main immunity troops in the body's war on bacteria, viruses and foreign proteins.
"It's as if we knew many of the generals, colonels and majors and now we hav... Read More