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Defensive proteins kill bacteria invading mouse cells by delivering deadly sacs of antimicrobial chemicals

Researchers have identified the function of an obscure but large family of proteins whose function in cellular immune responses had been unknown.

Guanylate-binding proteins, Gbps for short, protect cells from pathogens that have snuck into a cell by activating cellular degradation machinery,... Read More

It takes a community of soil microbes to protect plants from disease

Those vegetables you had for dinner may have once been protected by an immune system akin to the one that helps you fight disease. Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the Netherland's Wageningen University found that plants rel... Read More

Could bacterial hitchhikers influence formation of new host species?

Literature tells us that "no man is an island entire unto itself," but science reveals that we are in fact a walking, talking colony of microscopic creatures.

Every plant and animal species carries its own set of bacterial fellow travelers. Since the early 20th century, scientists have argue... Read More

The Clinical Push (Genome Web article)

Tracy Vence of GenomeWeb summarizes the connection between the Human Microbiome Project research, metagenomics and clinical implications and applications. Read More

Just when you thought it was safe to make a nice open-faced turkey sammich

Thankfully I'm not over 50 yet (just feel like it!) but this still gives me pause - in addition to all the other things that meat packers & such already spray or inject into my Smithfield Deli ham slices, now I gotta worry about Listeria?
Furthermore, how will I know that the meat has achieve... Read More

Formidable Fungal Force Counters Biofuel Plant Pathogens

Fungi play significant ecological and economic roles. They can break down organic matter, cause devastating agricultural blights, enter into symbiotic relationships to protect and nourish plants, or offer a tasty repast. For industrial applications, fungi provide a source of enzymes to catalyze ... Read More

Worm discovery could help 1 billion people worldwide

Scientists have discovered why some people may be protected from harmful parasitic worms naturally while others cannot in what could lead to new therapies for up to one billion people worldwide.

Parasitic worms are a major cause of mortality and morbidity affecting up to a billion people, pa... Read More

The private market for tuberculosis drugs

Tuberculosis (TB) is widely considered a public health concern and its treatment a public sector responsibility. But according to a study published today in the journal PLoS ONE, the private sector for TB treatment is ignored at our peril. Across 10 high-burden countries, there is as much TB dru... Read More

Ila Singh finds no XMRV in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome

Since the first association of the retrovirus XMRV with chronic fatigue syndrome in 2009 in the US, subsequent studies have failed to detect evidence of infection in patients from the US, Europe, and China. These studies were potentially compromised by a number of factors, such as differences in... Read More

El podcast del microbio Nº203: Antiguos eucariotas no marinos (earliest non-marine eukaryotes)



























El podcast del Microbio Nº203 is dedicated to Earth’s earliest non-marine eukaryotes, a discovery published in Nature journ... Read More

Wrestling with Recurrent Infections - Clostridium difficile

Clostridium difficile is evolving more robust toxicity, repeatedly attacking its victims, and driving the search for alternative therapies to fight the infection.

As infectious bacteria go, Clostridium difficile may be one of the most vexing for researchers, clinicians, and patients alike. It... Read More

Meet the species whose DNA has recently been sequenced

Crop-threatening fungus - A pathogenic fungus, Leptosphaeria maculans;
Attack of the killer algae - A golden alga, Aureococcus anophagefferens;
A tricki parasite - Trichina worm, Trichinella spiralis;
An algal chloroplast - Chloroplast of a green alga, Bryopsis hypnoides;
Two pathoge... Read More

Bacterial guests double as bodyguards

The bacterium Escherichia coli can be a scientist’s best friend when it’s being used as a tool for biological research, but some strains of it are better known for their nasty effects on humans as a causative agent in food poisoning.

Infection with the O157:H7 strain of E. coli usually occur... Read More

TWiM #6: Antibacterial therapy with bacteriophage: Reality or fiction?

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Cliff Mintz, Read More

TWiM 6 Letters

Don writes:


I was intrigued by the comments on the antimicrobial effects of Cu, having used silver sutures in contaminated cases in the 60s. It struck me that an easy and cheap test would be to copper plate [which uses very little ] the door .faucet and toilet ha... Read More

Link found between H1N1 and low birth weight

A link between a lower birth weight and H1N1 has been found by US researchers.

According to the study, which was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, women who contracted swine flu were more likely to have a child with a low birth weight when compared to mothers who... Read More

Hartmannella vermiformis as it entraps a Legionella pneumophila bacterium

This electron micrograph depicts an amoeba, Hartmannella vermiformis (orange) as it entraps a Legionella pneumophila bacterium (green) with an extended pseudopod.

After it is ingested, the Legionella pneumophila bacterium can survive as a symbiont within what then becomes its protozoan host. ... Read More

Sacred Heart attacks dangerous bacteria in water system

Workers performed a chlorine flush of Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center’s water system Tuesday in hopes of killing clusters of bacteria that can cause Legionnaire’s disease.

Some patients have gone days without showers and baths and the hospital has served and sold bottled water to staff... Read More

Inexpensive, Easy-To-Use Cotton Candy-Like Glass Fibers Appear To Speed Healing In Initial Venous Stasis Wound Trial

Imagine a battlefield medic or emergency medical technician providing first aid with a special wad of cottony glass fibers that simultaneously slows bleeding, fights bacteria (and other sources of infection), stimulates the body's natural healing mechanisms, resists scarring, and-because it is q... Read More

Scientists track evolution and spread of deadly fungus, one of the world's major killers

New research has shed light on the origins of a fungal infection which is one of the major causes of death from AIDS-related illnesses. The study, published today in the journal PLoS Pathogens, funded by the Wellcome Trust and the BBSRC, shows how the more virulent forms of Cryptococcus neoforma... Read More
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