When antibiotics first became available, farmers used them indiscriminately—dribbling streptomycin into chicken feed to boost growth and doling out low doses to fatten pigs. Now scientists know that the overuse of antibiotics in livestock can foster drug-resistant bacteria that are dangerous to ... Read More
Two miles below the surface of the ocean, researchers have discovered new microbes that “breathe” sulfate.
The microbes, which have yet to be classified and named, exist in massive undersea aquifers — networks of channels in porous rock beneath the ocean where water continually churns. About ... Read More
Treating surfaces with cold atmospheric pressure plasma (CAPP) may reduce the risk of transmitting norovirus, a contagious virus leading to stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea, according to a new study.
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A new class of compounds may be an effective way to fight a virus that leaves children with serious respiratory infections and might be associated with polio-like symptoms.
Researchers used a technique called X-ray crystallography to learn the precise structure of the original strain of enter... Read More
The development and widespread adoption of so-called “antibiotics”—drugs that kill bacteria and thereby reduce infection—has helped billions of people live longer, healthier lives. But all this tinkering with nature hasn’t come without a cost. The more we rely on antibiotics, the more bacteria d... Read More
One of the difficulties faced by teams responding to the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is identifying individuals and communities residing in remote areas. Existing maps of these regions either do not exist or are inadequate or outdated. This means that basic data like location of houses... Read More
With drug-resistant bacteria on the rise, even common infections that were easily controlled for decades -- such as pneumonia or urinary tract infections -- are proving trickier to treat with standard antibiotics.
New drugs are desperately needed, but so are ways to maximize the effective lif... Read More
As 2014 comes to an end, let’s take a look at the year's biggest outbreaks, pathogens, and technofix dramas.
Ebola was arguably the biggest story of the year. Some of the best coverage, in my opinion, included this epic Washington Post story exploring why the outbreak grew so out of control; Ri... Read More
The room is framed by a small square of transparent plastic, clamped to each of my cheeks and secured with a strap around my forehead. My breathing, growing ever more laboured, sounds like an astronaut’s; the erratic inhale and exhale of someone short on oxygen and trying not to panic. A paper m... Read More
The environmental engineering research community now recognizes that it is important to understand the bacterial ecology of premise (building) plumbing systems to control opportunistic pathogens (OP). Many investigations, including those supported by the Sloan Foundation MoBE program, have begun... Read More
Since the first case, a two-year-old who passed away on 28 December 2013, there have been more than 6,900 deaths.
Outbreaks such as Ebola have an ability to spread fear around the world, often through the prism of sensationalist media reporting.
So how does Ebola actually compare to previo... Read More
The hollow Cola tree growing in a remote area of southeastern Guinea was once home to thousands of bats routinely hunted and killed by the neighborhood children. It was also a popular spot to play. A year ago, one child in particular lived within fifty meters of the tree: a two-year-old boy who ... Read More
Scientists looking for Ebola in bats have identified 16 other viruses in the animal which could jump to humans and potentially cause a disease outbreak on a similar scale to the West African crisis, a health security expert said on Friday.
Humans can contract Ebola from bats, which are carrie... Read More
Mice that are already infected with the pathogen that causes Lyme disease appear to facilitate the spread of a lesser-known but emerging disease, babesiosis, into new areas.
Research led by the Yale School of Public Health and published Dec. 29 in the journal PLOS ONEused laboratory experimen... Read More
A Yale University lab has crafted the first synthetic molecules that have both the targeting and response functions of antibodies.
The new molecules -- synthetic antibody mimics (SyAMs) -- attach themselves simultaneously to disease cells and disease-fighting cells. The result is a highly tar... Read More
Genomes of non-defective viruses range in size from 2,400,000 bp of dsDNA (Pandoravirus salinus) to 1,759 bp of ssDNA (porcine circovirus). Are even smaller viral genomes possible? The subviral agents called viroids provide an answer to this question.
Viroids, the smallest known pathogens, ar... Read More
If thinking about the billions of bacteria taking up residence in and on your body gives you the willies, you probably won’t find it comforting that humans are also full of viruses. These maligned microbes are actually intertwined in the very fibers of our being—about 8 percent of our genetic ma... Read More
Soon, we'll have smarter, more effective vaccines. What does that mean for the future of disease?
Vultures relish rotting meat but how do they survive the deadly bugs that infest their food? It seems they opt for the probiotic approach, enlisting good bacteria to ward off the bad, microbiologists at Aarhus University in Denmark discovered in a study published in Nature Communications.
The... Read More
New research shows an HIV-1 inhibitor and a host protein binding to HIV-1's protective capsule, preventing it from disassembling. Viral genetic information is kept inside. Researchers believe the process can be targeted for therapeutic purposes in HIV-1 infections. Read More