University of British Columbia researchers have uncovered the unique survival mechanisms of a marine organism that may be tiny, but in some ways has surpassed sharks in its predatory efficiency.
“Our study shows that Oxyrrhis marina has picked up a gene commonly used by marine bacteria for ph... Read More
Bacteria often attack with toxins designed to hijack or even kill host cells. To avoid self-destruction, bacteria have ways of protecting themselves from their own toxins.
Now, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have described one of these protective mechanis... Read More
Doctors hope to treat this year's severe flu epidemic in Hong Kong by harvesting antibodies from patients who have recovered, medical experts said on Tuesday.
The experts said they hoped to treat more than 70 severely ill flu patients with certain antibodies taken from patients who have recov... Read More
Government regulators could more realistically assess the value of improving food safety if they considered the fact that consumers typically want to avoid getting sick -- even if it means they have to pay a little extra for safer food, researchers say.
The researchers conducted such a nation... Read More
The nation’s bat population is under serious assault by a deadly fungus that first appeared in New York State in 2006.
“If we lose bats, we lose keystone species in some communities, predators that consume enormous numbers of insects, and beautiful wildlife species that are important parts of... Read More
New experiments at the University of California, Berkeley, may one day lead to anti-viral treatments that involve swallowing Salmonella bacteria, effectively using one bug to stop another.
Researchers at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health have reprogrammed Salmonella, the same foodborne pa... Read More
Leave it to Darpa, the Pentagon’s advanced-research arm, to bring synthetic biology to a new level of creepiness.
For 2011, Darpa has dedicated $6 million to a new program called BioDesign, which according to the agency’s budget is an attempt to eliminate “the randomness of natural evolution... Read More
Elio Schaechter and Mark Martin of Small Things Considered asked friends and colleagues to point to papers published in 2010 that tickled their fancy.
Margaret McFall-Ngai - I'd vote for the paper on Drosophila microbes affecting the fly's mating behavior. The story from Eugene R... Read More
There are signs that one bid to create a universal flu vaccine that would provide protection against all strains of flu is working. And this one might pack some extra evolutionary aces up its sleeve.
The flu vaccines humanity now has at its disposal work only against a few kinds of flu, for a... Read More
In the article, Trends in Microbiology - Time to recognise that mitochondria are bacteria?, Pallen argues for giving mitochondria their own family w/in bacteria.
I think that would be a good idea as they are really just a highly reduced form of bacteria. We give endosymbionts, even those wit... Read More
The primitive, predatory lamprey has a surprisingly sophisticated immune system, possessing structures within its gills that play the same role as the thymus, the organ where T cells develop in mammals, birds, and fish.
The finding suggests that in vertebrate evolution, having two separate or... Read More
If you or your child came down with influenza during the H1N1, or swine flu, outbreak in 2009, it may not have happened the way you thought it did.
A new study of a 2009 epidemic at a school in Pennsylvania has found that children most likely did not catch it by sitting near an infected clas... Read More
The world’s first hard X-ray free-electron laser is taking remarkable “snapshots” of the inner life of proteins and viruses.
Two studies published in the journal Nature demonstrate the unique capabilities of the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), located at the Department of Energy’s SLAC Na... Read More
Three people who contracted cholera at a wedding in the Dominican Republic before returning to New York have recovered, and the risk of their infecting anyone else is low, officials said Sunday.
None of the three adults had to be hospitalized, said Erin Brady, spokeswoman for New York's Healt... Read More
Federal regulators are considering whether to tighten food safety rules for cheese made with unpasteurized milk — and the possibility has cheesemakers and foodies worried that the result will be cheese that is less tasty and not much safer.
The new proposals, which are expected in the next s... Read More
A preliminary report from Finnish health officials today said the link between narcolepsy in children and the Pandemrix 2009 H1N1 vaccine appears to be real, but more study is needed to explore the possible role of other factors.
The investigators from Finland's National Narcolepsy Task Forc... Read More
Australian scientists have successfully cleared a HIV-like infection from mice by boosting the function of cells vital to the immune response.
A team led by Dr Marc Pellegrini from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute showed that a cell signaling hormone called interleukin-7 (IL-7) reinvigorat... Read More
After decades of delay, government officials are beginning to crack down on cargo ships that allow foreign invasive species to hitchhike to U.S. waters, where they have turned ecosystems upside down and caused billions of dollars in economic losses.
Organisms as large as adult fish and as sma... Read More
This month we talked with Dr. Christine Salomon, Assistant Professor at the Center for Drug Design in the University of Minnesota. Dr. Salomon’s work intersects chemistry and microbial ecology in the hunt for interesting new natural products with far reaching potential applications. While much... Read More