The millions of bats succumbing to a deadly fungal infection across the country will leave massive ecological holes in their wake--prime predators of insects are disappearing, for one, and cave flora and fauna that depend on bats could be in danger of collapsing. But research on the animals’ imm... Read More
In a new essay, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., and David Morens, M.D., reflect on what has been learned about emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) in the two decades since a major report from the U.S. Institute of Medicine rekindled interest... Read More
As the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant infections continue to rise around the world, a hospital in Canada detected the presence of New Delhi Metallo-ß-lactamase-1-Producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (NDM1-Kp), a multidrug resistant bacteria that is resistant to carbapenems, one of the last lines ... Read More
I've spent most of the week with the flu. I'd heard flu season was starting early this year, but I wasn't prepared for it to be this early, in part because predictions for flu outbreaks are still not that precise—especially in germy places like here in New York City.
But a new approach, borro... Read More
Although both cooperation and conflict are decisive forces in evolution, some of the most successful microbial strategies for survival have arisen from cooperation. At times, two or more microorganisms can even come together to breathe as one. Breathing, or respiration, accomplishes a most chal... Read More
The SARS epidemic of 2002-2003 was short-lived, but the new human coronavirus that is alarming public health authorities can infect cells from humans and bats alike, a fact that could make the animals a continuing source of infection, according to a study to be published in mBio today. The new c... Read More
Last week (November 27), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced a proposal that would require that some grant applications involving the H5N1 avian influenza virus—which became the source of much debate earlier this year when researchers evolved the deadly virus to be transmissible be... Read More
The widespread use of antibiotics in hospitals triggered the emergence of two resistant strains of the Clostridium superbug that has killed thousands of people worldwide over the past two decades, a study has shown.
A genetic analysis of about 300 samples of Clostridium difficile bacteria col... Read More
Diagnostic tests for the novel coronavirus (CoV) that recently emerged in the Middle East are being deployed rapidly in Europe, and about 250 patients have already been tested for the virus, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
An ECDC survey revealed th... Read More
Does beer have anti-virus powers? According to a new study funded by Japanese beer company Sapporo Breweries, a "key ingredient" found in the world's most popular alcoholic beverage may very well help stave off winter sniffles.
Researchers at Sapporo Medical University found that humulone, a ... Read More
I am always looking for microbe-themed art; I keep a list of my findings at Microbe Art. I’ve just discovered a new artist: Jane Hartman of Trilobite Glassworks. From her website: Trilobite Glassworks features stained glass and fused glass decorative as well as functional pieces all designed and... Read More
Scientists have found a soil bacteria that not only resists the toxic effects of antibiotics -- it makes a meal out of them.
Many bacteria can protect themselves from antibiotics by modifying the compounds to make them harmless or by pumping the compounds out of their cells entirely. And othe... Read More
Nickel-eating bacteria may have worsened the world's worst mass die-off by producing huge amounts of methane, a new study suggests.
The study is the latest attempt to explain how most of the world's ocean species died off in just a few hundred thousand years at the end of the Permian era, abo... Read More
We all have E. coli bacteria in our gut but each of us carries a version that is genetically slightly different. The same can be said of most gut microbes: our own gut metagenome, that is the sum of all the genomes of all our gut microbes, appears to be really specific to each of us, and to rema... Read More
The adaptive immune system known as CRISPR-Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats and CRISPR-associated genes) is found in 90% of fully sequenced thermophiles, but in less than 50% of mesophilic bacteria. Why the discrepancy? In their study in mBio this week, researchers ... Read More
University at Buffalo senior Courtney Szyjka has been awarded the American Society for Microbiology's 2012 Undergraduate Research Fellowship.
The award is made to highly competitive students who wish to pursue graduate careers in microbiology. Szyjka is one of 56 fellows selected from a field... Read More
It's well known how bacteria exposed to antibiotics for long periods will find ways to resist the drugs -- by quickly pumping them out of their cells, for instance, or modifying the compounds so they're no longer toxic.
Now new research has uncovered another possible mechanism of antibiotic "... Read More
Toxoplasma is a common 'cat parasite', and has previously been in the spotlight owing to its observed effect on risk-taking and other human behaviours. To some extent, it has also been associated with mental illness. A study led by researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden now demonstrate... Read More
Using new software developed at HHMI’s Janelia Farm Research Campus, a computer can be trained to recognize characteristic animal behaviors like an experienced biologist. Rather than scrutinizing hours of video to catalog how often fruit flies chase one another, for example, scientists can quick... Read More