The human gut is home to a teeming ecosystem of microbes that is intimately involved in both human health and disease. But while the gut microbiota is interacting with our body, they are also under constant attack from viruses. In a study published online in Genome Research , researchers have an... Read More
This episode: Scientists use a modified rabies virus to map brain connections!
Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Vanessa Cowton, Mary Holton, Mark Robinson, Swetha Vijayakrishnan, and Gavin Wilkie
Vincent returns to t... Read More
Convulsions in children immunized with a CSL Ltd. (CSL) flu shot probably were caused by an excessive immune response to viral components in the vaccine, according to preliminary findings of a two-year study.
Use in children younger than 6 years of CSL’s Fluvax vaccine, to protect against the... Read More
Scientists may have hit gold in their fight against dengue. They have located a human antibody that can neutralise and kill its virus within two hours.
Significantly, they have also identified a way to reproduce this antibody in large quantities, potentially opening the door to a cure for den... Read More
Last weeks post on the changing composition of bacteria in the vagina generated a lot of interest, and as there’s been quite a of talk about the human microbiome (all the bacteria that live on the human body) at the moment I thought I’d stick with the theme. This weeks post is about how bacteria... Read More
Scientists in the US have used an optical-frequency comb – a laser that emits light at a range of equally spaced frequencies, like the teeth on a comb – to monitor how well a device designed to kill dangerous bacteria does its job. The comb was used to measure the concentrations of ozone, hydrog... Read More
Some lessons and notes from the ASM meeting from Jonathan Eisen on "The Tree of Life" Read More
Notes and links relating to meeting of the Genomics Standards Consortium (GSC13) session on microbiology of the built environment. Read More
A collection of links to blogs and podcasts that either focus entirely on microbes or partially on microbes. Other suggestions wanted. Read More
Last week, scientists reported on a 5-year study of all the bacteria that inhabit the human body – 100 trillion of them, weighing 2 to 6 pounds total (in a 200-pound person) – and of 10,000 different types, though not all of them will reside in any one particular person.
This week, an interes... Read More
It is invisible to the naked eye and originated in the uninhabitable climes of Antarctica. This humble bacteria — known as Psychrophile — holds the potential to solve India's sanitation problem in the years to come. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is using these bacteria... Read More
Two papers published this week, and one last month, reveal the pandemic potential of H5N1 "bird flu". One identifies four, another identifies five, genetic changes the virus would have to undergo before it could spread easily in humans, and the third paper suggests some of these changes are alre... Read More
The Gulf of Mexico’s dead zone for 2012 is expected to be the second smallest on record—but not because of any cutback in nitrogen use.
Farmland runoff containing fertilizers and livestock waste—some of it from as far away as the Corn Belt—is the main source of the nitrogen and phosphorus tha... Read More
A team of scientists at Washington University in St. Louis has been keeping a wary eye on emerging tick-borne diseases in Missouri for the past dozen years, and they have just nailed down another part of the story.
They knew from earlier work that the animal reservoirs for the diseases includ... Read More
Two specific strains of bacteria that appear linked to indoor mold caused by water damage have been identified by researchers.
Bacterial contamination in water-damaged buildings can cause health problems such as infection and respiratory conditions such as asthma. But until now, no specific b... Read More
A rare type of deadly bacteria was found in two patients in a Rhode Island hospital in 2011, but swift treatment and infection control measures stopped any further spread, a new government report shows.
The bacterium -- called New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM)-producing Klebsiella pneumo... Read More
There’s a microscopic fungus that can starve nations and punch through Kevlar. It causes disease on such as scale that its blight can be seen from space. It’s called Magnaporthe oryzae and it causes a disease known as rice blast. The fungus doesn’t infect humans, but it does kill rice. It kills ... Read More
Only a few key mutations could cause the avian influenza virus to become airborne and transmissible among mammals, according to a controversial new paper publishing online today. In detailed research involving ferrets, researchers at the Erasmus Medical Centre in the Netherlands engineered a pot... Read More
The second of two papers on avian influenza H5N1 virus that caused such a furor in the past year was published today in the journal Science. I have carefully read the paper by Fouchier and colleagues, and I assure you that it does not enable the production of a deadly biological weapon. The resu... Read More