Within the human digestive tract is a teeming mass of hundreds of types of bacteria, a potpourri of microbes numbering in the trillions that help us digest food and keep bad bacteria in check.
Now scientists have found that the vitamin D receptor is a key player amid the gut bacteria – what s... Read More
Bacteria, which can thrive in places where humans wouldn't dare linger, can be friends or foes. Take E. coli. Some strains are harmless and settle comfortably in animals' lower intestines. Others take free rides in lettuce and end up causing kidney failure and other serious ailments for salad lo... Read More
Claire Fraser-Liggett, Director of the Institute for Genome Sciences and professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, gives the June 2, 2010 keynote at the "Sequencing, Finishing, Analysis in the Future" meeting in Santa Fe, NM. Read More
Scientists studying the so-called "superbug" MRSA have identified one of the components responsible for making it so deadly.
Staphylococcus aureus is a type of bacteria commonly found on the skin that is relatively harmless unless it gets into the bloodstream, where it can cause blood poisoni... Read More
The swine flu situation continues to be serious in four of India's southern states and the western state of Maharashtra, which have reported 366 of the 370 H1N1 infections in the last week, official figures show.
Kerala remains the worst affected state with 222 confirmed reports of swine flu.... Read More
An unspecified number of Rangoon residents have been diagnosed with plague, a contagious disease primarily transmitted by rodents (mostly rats), according to the Burmese Ministry of Health (MOH) in Naypyidaw.
An epidemiologist at MOH who asked to remain anonymous told The Irrawaddy that some ... Read More
In 2007, an estimated 656 million fevers occurred in African children aged 0-4 years, with 78 million children of the 183 million attending a public health care facility likely to have been infected with P. falciparum (range 60-103 million), the parasite that causes the most dangerous form of ma... Read More
Wyss researchers have engineered photosynthetic bacteria to produce simple sugars and lactic acid, an innovation that could lead to new, environmentally friendly methods for producing commodity chemicals in bulk. Because the production methods use photosynthesis -- the process by which living th... Read More
Having an intimate relationship with photosynthetic microbes is a widespread strategy adopted by numerous unicellular and multicellular organisms. Some eschew a committed relationship, and simply nab the plastids, sequestering them inside vacuoles where they continue to photosynthesize for a whi... Read More
As the U.S. struggles with the after effects of the oil spill on tourism, animal health, and food safety due to the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history, microbiologists are stuggling to determine the scope of damage to microbial diversity in the ocean water and sediment.
The explos... Read More
Ear infections caused by more than one species of bacteria could be more persistent and antibiotic-resistant because one pathogen may be communicating with the other, encouraging it to bolster its defenses. Interrupting or removing that communication could be key to curing these infections. Re... Read More
A team of Spanish scientists has studied the bacteria -- micro organisms that are "essential" for important processes such as nitrogen and carbon-fixing and decomposition of matter -- in the Tablas de Daimiel National Park. The scientists discovered 265 new phylum groups by using DNA analysis.
... Read More
This time of year, allergies and the promise of air-conditioning tend to drive people indoors.
But for those who can take the heat and cope with the pollen, spending more time in nature might have some surprising health benefits. In a series of studies, scientists found that when people swap ... Read More
Sewage that overflows into urban creeks and streams during periods of heavy rain can promote the spread of West Nile Virus, an Emory study finds.
The analysis of six years of data showed that people living near creeks with sewage overflows in lower-income neighborhoods of Southeast Atlanta ha... Read More
Empa researchers have demonstrated how they can adjust process conditions to influence the properties of novel plasma polymer coatings containing silver nanoparticles. Tailor-made films can be generated through a one-step plasma process. The scientists developed these new coatings, which kill ba... Read More
New research reveals the unusual structure of a key protein complex that allows a herpes virus to invade cells. This close-up of the herpes virus’s “cell-entry machinery” sheds light on how herpes viruses work and provides a promising new target for antiviral drugs. The study was published onlin... Read More
The deaths of nearby relatives have a curious effect on the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus—surviving cells lose their stickiness.
Harmless Caulobacter live in nutrient-poor, aqueous environments like lakes, rivers, and even tap water. Like many other bacteria, Caulobacter form biofilms, agg... Read More
The concept of pregnancy makes no sense—at least not from an immunological point of view. After all, a fetus, carrying half of its father's genome, is biologically distinct from its mother. The fetus is thus made of cells and tissues that are very much not "self"—and not-self is precisely what t... Read More
Flu viruses mutate rapidly, meaning that vaccines against the flu have to be continually updated to target the latest strains. Moreover, antiviral medications to combat flu sometimes become ineffective because of viral mutations. Thus, finding a so-called universal flu vaccine that could be used... Read More