How do cicadas gather the nutrients they need to survive, despite their low-nutrient diet? John McCutcheon, a molecular biologist at the University of Arizona, says that cicadas supplement their diet by maintaining complicated relationships with two species of specialized bacteria that live insi... Read More
The AP is reporting 10% of Connecticut's registered beehive population is seriously infected with the American foulbrood bacterium, Paenibacillus larva, another 40% of hives show a low level exposure in their brood chambers, where eggs develop into adults.
Experts say the findings are troubl... Read More
Despite what the overcrowded, overpriced shelves of your pharmacy might suggest, pharmaceutical companies struggle to find new drugs these days. The low-hanging fruit is long gone, and the main discovery method that served so well in past decades is generating far fewer hits today. But a fresh s... Read More
Thousands of turkeys in Minnesota have been quarantined after a strain of avian flu (H7N9) was found at a poultry farm there. Experts say that the strain is markedly less virulent than H5N1, the Asian strain that has caused more than 250 human deaths and millions of poultry deaths.
"It would ... Read More
Wallace L. Pannier, a germ warfare scientist whose top-secret projects included a mock attack on the New York subway with powdered bacteria in 1966, has died of respiratory failure and other natural causes, his widow said.
He died Thursday in Frederick. He was 81. Read More
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The federal government is advising schools they don't need to close their doors this fall just because a few students come down with swine flu.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Friday that only schools with high numbers of students getting the new flu should consider closing ... Read More
A bacterium normally found in the mouth, skin and intestines might play a role in the still-mysterious cause of colic in babies, a new study says. Researchers found the bacterium Klebsiella along with gut inflammation in the intestines of all babies in their study who had colic, a condition char... Read More
Bone marrow continually makes blood stem cells, which turn into new blood cells to replace spent ones, but the process is not perfect: Some blood stem cells can develop into abnormal versions, although the immune system usually stamps them out. In acute myeloid leukemia, however, the immune syst... Read More
Oral Microbiology is an important emerging field of study. This article is from the Journal of Oral Microbiology (www.JournalofOralMicrobiology.net). All users are granted free access to the article under a Creative Commons License. In this article Lakio et al. investiate the possibility of usin... Read More
The blog www.ncbirofl.com is a great resource for amusing/interesting research papers that have been published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information's website. This week they highlight a paper on the regional differences in the metagenomic data of eukaryotes found in "bug splat."
... Read More
Scientists have identified a genomic "signature" in circulating blood that reveals exposure to common upper respiratory viruses, like the cold or flu, even before symptoms appear.
The tell-tale viral signature reflects a set of subtle but robust changes in genes that are activated as the bod... Read More
A team of researchers from The Wistar Institute has identified a protein that could serve as a target for reprogramming immune system cells exhausted by exposure to chronic viral infection into more effective "soldiers" against certain viruses like HIV, hepatitis C, and hepatitis B, as well as s... Read More
Scientists in Massachusetts are describing successful use of a test that enlists pinhead-sized worms in efforts to discover badly needed new antibiotics. Thestudy appears in ACS' Chemical Biology.
From the abstract:
The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a unique whole animal model system ... Read More
In this activity, each student is provided with a worksheet and three index cards. Each card indicates a different cell part (e.g. LPS, capsule, DNA). Students are placed in small groups and receive a written scenario regarding a bacterium with a certain goal it must carry out. They must work t... Read More
Can anyone please explain why so many infectious diseases ("Spanish" influenza of the 1910's, SARS, the bubonic plague of the middle ages, etc.) seem to have their origins in China/that area of the world? Read More
Predicting the infection patterns of influenzas requires tracking both the ecology and the evolution of the fast-morphing viruses that cause them, said a Duke University researcher who enlists computers to model such changes.
A single mutation can put a flu virus on a new-enough path to re-in... Read More