We think of ourselves as individuals — perhaps, in philosophical moments, as the merger of body and soul. Most of us are barely aware of the estimated 10 trillion individual cells that make up the human body or of the 100 trillion or more bacteria that live collaboratively and benignly within an... Read More
The first before-and-after view of an amphibian die-off has just been published by scientists working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.
Like a wave, the fungal disease that wipes out frogs—chytridiomycosis—advances through the Central America highlands at a rate of abo... Read More
Biologists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have demonstrated a connection between multiple sclerosis (MS)—an autoimmune disorder that affects the brain and spinal cord—and gut bacteria. Read More
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center are using computers to identify how one strain of dangerous bacteria might mutate in the same way a champion chess player tries to anticipate an opponent's strategies. Read More
The battle to eliminate polio, which has been more than 99 percent successful and has hovered on the verge of victory for a decade, has sustained new setbacks.
There has been an outbreak of more than 300 cases in Tajikistan this year. (Tajikistan is just north of Afghanistan, and fighting on... Read More
Biofuel producer Solazyme delivered 1,500 gallons of its algae-based jet fuel to the U.S. Navy’s testing and certification program today, helping the military reach its goal of switching half of its fleet to clean fuel by 2020. The Navy will use the fuel to power jets.
Solazyme produces fuel ... Read More
A new vaccine-delivery patch based on hundreds of microscopic needles that dissolve into the skin could allow persons without medical training to painlessly administer vaccines – while providing improved immunization against diseases such as influenza. Read More
A new way of surveying microbes for the metals they contain reveals that biologists have been relying on the equivalent of a 15th century map of the world. Read More
Cool video of a bacteria-powered machine; 20-micrometer device that is powered by bacteria moving around in a narrow groove etched out in silicon (the green line). Read More
Revealing the science behind the homespun advice, a team of researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has identified and measured the molecular forces that enable cranberry juice to fight off urinary tract infections in people.
The data is reported in a paper published in the journ... Read More
Scientists in the US who developed a skin patch that uses hundreds of microscopic dissolvable needles to deliver vaccine into the body have shown it works on animals, perhaps even better than the traditional injection method; they envisage that one day this approach could reduce the cost and adm... Read More
As the 2009 Fenner Award winner, Associate Professor Elizabeth Hartland presented the prestigious Fenner lecture at the Australian Society of Microbiology’s (ASM 2010) annual conference in Sydney in July. Hartland and her team at the University of Melbourne study highly specialised systems used ... Read More
Football players usually worry about wrecked knees, torn hamstrings and concussions. Not staph infections.
"I never think about it," said Green Bay Packers cornerback Tramon Williams. "I don't even know anything about that."
Red Batty would like to keep it that way.
The Packers equipmen... Read More
More than half a century ago, when antibiotics were transforming modern medicine, a now almost forgotten drug was hailed as something close to the miracle of miracles. Doctors rushed to prescribe it for an array of medical problems — that is, until they discovered that the drug, chloramphenicol,... Read More
An international team of researchers has devised a technique to study how ocean-dwelling microbes respond to a compound that signals good foraging patches for fish and mammals, but also contributes to cloud-forming sulfur aerosols. The research offers further insight into the chemical ecology of... Read More
Using ever-growing genome data, scientists with the Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee are tracing the evolution of the bacterial regulatory system that controls cellular motility, potentially giving researchers a method for predicting impo... Read More
Darrick and Scott write:
Hello Professor Racaniello,
We are two graduate students from the University of Guelph in Canada studying oncogenic sheep betaretroviruses and we are big fans of the show. Part of the reason we like the show so much is that we can use ... Read More
On episode #91 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Dickson, Alan, Rich and Welkin discuss the nature, origin, and evolution of endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), and the recent finding of en... Read More
The bursts of rainbow colors in this photograph are mesmerizing, yet microbes are fighting for their lives in the background. Michael P. Zach of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, snapped this image of a salt sample he collected in a hot, arid valley near Death Valley National Park in Ca... Read More
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta put out a loud and definitive proclamation in anticipation of its participation in the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases, held Sunday through Wednesday in Atlanta:
"Report suggests nearly 5 percent exposed to de... Read More