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Space Forensics Might Point to Martian Ancestry

Our search for life beyond Earth could take us down the road to a shocking look into the mirror -- a climax straight out of a Twilight Zone plot.

A team of researchers at MIT is proposing to apply forensic science testing on the Martian surface. Specifically, the task would be to do DNA and R... Read More

Over 700 Infected with Swine Flu in Venezuela -- 8 Dead

With 6 dead and over 700 cases in just the last two weeks, the rapidly rising numbers are leading experts to think that the latest outbreak could kill more than the 131 who died in the original 2009 emergence.

The outbreak of the AH1N1 flu virus affecting Venezuela since March 17 has caused s... Read More

A/H1N1 flu infects 482, kills 3 in Venezuela

An outbreak of A/H1N1 influenza in Venezuela has infected 482 people and killed three this year, the country’s health ministry reported on Wednesday.


The outbreak of the disease also known as swine flu started in the southeastern state of Merida on March 17 and spread to the capital Caracas... Read More

A Bacterium That Acts Like a Toothbrush

Researchers have identified a new ally in the war against tooth decay: an enzyme produced by a mouth bacterium that prevents plaque formation. The finding could eventually lead to the development of toothpaste that harnesses the body's own plaque-fighting tools.

The human mouth is awash with ... Read More

CDC: Flu season's grip growing weaker

Flu activity in the United States continues to tail off, though newly reported pediatric deaths were twice as high as the week before, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today.

The percentage of deaths from pneumonia and flu, however, remained above the epidemic leve... Read More

When the Drugs Don't Work: Drug Resistant Infections

David Livermore is in a race against evolution. In his north London lab, he holds up an evil-smelling culture plate smeared with bacteria. This creamy-yellow growth is the enemy: a new strain of germs resistant to the most powerful antibiotics yet devised by humankind.

Out on the streets, Ste... Read More

The Human Lake

Science writer Carl Zimmer writes a masterful blog piece tracing the history of the study of ecosystems, from lakes to the human microbiome. Just one interesting fact: In their lifetimes, individual humans will produce about five elephants worth of microbes. Read More

El podcast del microbio Nº185. ¿Qué hacemos con la viruela? (What do we do with smallpox?)



























El podcast del Microbio Nº185 deals with the discussions inside WHO about the fate of the last vials with smallpox virus. E... Read More

Spanish scientists search for fuel of the future

In a forest of tubes eight metres high in eastern Spain scientists hope they have found the fuel of tomorrow: bio-oil produced with algae mixed with carbon dioxide from a factory.

The project, which is still experimental, has been developed over the past five years by Spanish and French resea... Read More

Belly button biome is more than a piece of fluff

"Who has more bacteria in their navel -Carl Zimmer of The Loom or Peter Aldhous of NewScientist? The swabs have been taken, and the cultures were grown." - Miss Cellania

In late February, Peter Aldhous visited Rob Dunn's lab at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, where a team led by J... Read More

Viruses engineer the ecosystem

Last week we discussed the second known virophage, but we didn’t have any explanation of why such viruses might evolve. This week we have the discovery of a third virophage, hints of many more, and a hypothesis for what they might be doing in the global ecosystem. Read More

Getting Electricity From Sewage While Producing Clean Water (video)

Using a microbial fuel cell to produce electricity and clean water. Read More

Revealed: The bacteria eating the ground from under our feet

It is no wonder the roads of Scunthorpe are peppered with potholes.

That is because boffins have revealed residents in the town are having the ground eaten from under their feet by greedy bacteria.

Scunthorpe is built on tonnes of iron ore that experts believe could supply the steel-making... Read More

Hands-Free Faucets Not Germ-Free, Study Finds

Electronic faucets may be touch-free, but they are far from germ-free. In a new study, researchers at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine report finding higher levels of disease-carrying bacteria on hands-free faucets compared to conventional, manually operated faucets. Their discovery led to t... Read More

Aimless Proteins May Be Crucial to Disease

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Stanford University discovered that a supposedly inactive protein actually plays a crucial role in the ability of one the world's most prolific pathogens to cause disease, findings that suggest the possible role of similarly errant proteins in ot... Read More

Toxoplasma gondii Needs ROP5 To Cause Disease

Toxoplasma gondii, an obligate intracellular parasite of the phylum Apicomplexa, has the unusual ability to infect virtually any warm-blooded animal. It is an extraordinarily successful parasite, infecting an estimated 30% of humans worldwide. The outcome of Toxoplasma infection is highly depend... Read More

Engineered protein fragment blocks the AIDS virus from entering cells

In what could be a potential breakthrough in the battle against AIDS and a major development in the rational design of new drugs, scientists have engineered a new protein that prevents the virus from entering cells. This protein is based on a naturally occurring protein in the body that protects... Read More

Probiotic bacteria could help treat Crohn's disease

New research suggests that infection with a probiotic strain of E. coli bacteria could help treat an reduce the negative effects of another E. coli infection that may be associated with Crohn's disease. Researchrs from the University of Auckland, New Zealand publish their results in the April 20... Read More

Interview with Larry Madoff, Editor of ProMED-mail (MWV47)

In episode 47 of MicrobeWorld Video, filmed at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Meeting in Washington, D.C., on February 20, 2011, Dr. Stan Maloy talks with the Editor of ProMED Mail, Read More

Epigenetic control on transcription of viral genes

Viruses like human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) use your own cell machinery against you by hijacking your RNA polymerase machinery, among other things, to turn their genes into viral proteins. A study published in mBio this week reveals new information that could help in designing drugs to fend off th... Read More
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