Jeffrey L. Bada, 67, is the distinguished professor of marine chemistry at the University of California, San Diego. He studies how life began. We spoke for an hour during the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting in San Diego last winter and again this month by tel... Read More
Vaccinia immunization, as given to prevent the spread of smallpox, produces a five-fold reduction in HIV replication in the laboratory. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Immunology suggest that the end of smallpox vaccination in the mid-20th century may have caused a loss of pro... Read More
A study appearing in Nature, with the participation of doctors Susana Campoy and Jordi Barbé from the Department of Genetics and Microbiology at UAB, demonstrates that bacteria have a surprising mechanism to transfer virulent genes causing infections. The researchers describe an unprecedented ev... Read More
By linking the odd geometry of bacterial growths to photosynthesis, researchers may have a new way to study Earth’s oldest fossils.
About 85 percent of the history of life on Earth has been solely microbial, meaning that single-celled organisms ruled the planet for billions of years before mo... Read More
A new "tree of life" has been constructed by researchers at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech for the gamma-proteobacteria, a large group of medically and scientifically important bacteria that includes Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, and other disease-causin... Read More
Much of the world's oil reserves lies in giant tar sand stretches in places like Alberta and Venezuela. While the oil industry uses an energy-intensive and fairly dirty process to make steam to cook the oil out of the tar sands, underground bacteria simply eat the crude oil and break it down int... Read More
A drug that blocks the way cancer cells generate energy could lead to a new class of cancer treatments.
The first human trial of the drug, published this week, is reported to have extended the lives of four people with an aggressive form of brain cancer.
The result is preliminary, but it s... Read More
The Nº 109 of the "El podcast del microbio" deals with the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused by the accident in the Deepwater Hor... Read More
Karen Schwarzberg and Mike Gurney, students in the Spring 2010 graduate course in Integrative Microbiology at the University of California at San Diego/San Diego State University Joint Doctoral Program, consider the implications of a paper recently published in Nature by Hehemann et al., that st... Read More
In many places, the country air has become just that little bit quieter. The reason: our bees have stopped buzzing. Over the past few years, honeybees have suddenly and inexplicably disappeared from colonies that once thrived across the northern parts of the American and European continents.
... Read More
Genes that make bacteria resistant to antibiotics can be transferred between humans and other animals, say researchers writing in this month's issue of the Journal of Medical Microbiology. The findings will help health experts to assess how using antibiotics in food-producing animals can affect ... Read More
Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus is a rare but serious human infection that causes internal bleeding, organ failure and ultimately death. Scientists writing in the Journal of General Virology have developed a new model to study CCHF which should enhance the development of vaccines a... Read More
An international team led by a University of Cincinnati (UC) researcher has shown how a bacterial community evolves to survive hostile host defenses in the body.
The team, led by Malak Kotb, PhD, chair of UC's of molecular genetics, biochemistry and microbiology department, analyzed the evolu... Read More
Can we get bugs to do our bidding? Emory chemist Justin Gallivan has moved science another step closer to that possibility. His lab reprogrammed an innocuous strain of the bacterium Escherichia coli to "seek and destroy" the molecules of an herbicide called atrazine.
"Rather than just alterin... Read More
Simple peptides can organize into bi-layer membranes. This recent finding suggests a “missing link” between the pre-biotic Earth’s chemical inventory and the organizational scaffolding essential to life.
“We’ve shown that peptides can form the kind of membranes needed to create long-range ord... Read More
Seasonal flu epidemics account for as many as half a million deaths worldwide each year. And the rapid spread of new strains can cause many more (the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic alone killed more than 16,000 people, according to the World Health Organization). Quickly detecting a regional rise in flu... Read More
In an editorial in The New York Times (17 May 2010) Peter Hotez, Professor of Medicine at George Washington University, President of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, and the author of the book "Forgotten People, Forgotten Diseases" writes that the neglected tropical diseases are found not just in Af... Read More
UCLA researchers and their collaborators have developed a method that could open the door for investigations into the function of half of all proteins in the human body.
The research team has demonstrated nanoscale control over molecules, allowing for the precise study of interactions betwee... Read More
Noroviruses, infamous for causing outbreaks of gastroenteritis on cruise ships, may now be recognized as a common cause of travelers' diarrhea in multiple regions of the world as well. Researchers from the U.S. and abroad detail their findings in the May 2010 issue of the Journal of Clinical Mic... Read More
The Nº 108 of the "El podcast del microbio" is based in the recent finding about bacterial dispersion in the seas (http://www.microbeworld.or... Read More