A vital gene that defends us against cancer has been found in one of the simplest of animals – a flat, amoeba-like creature called a placozoan. The discovery shows that p53, sometimes described as the "guardian of the genome", has been around for over 1 billion years.
The Placozoa are among t... Read More
Athletes be warned: the way illegal doping is detected is on the cusp of a radical change.
On 2 December, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) released guidelines on the long-awaited "athlete biological passport", a way to spot cheats by monitoring them for suspicious changes in normal physiol... Read More
A cluster of seven people infected with a Tamiflu-resistant strain of pandemic H1N1 influenza has been identified by researchers in Vietnam and reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The cases show the ability of Tamiflu-resistant pandemic H1N1 to spread among healthy people who are... Read More
What's gotten into you? In this hour we explore nature's moochers - the good, the bad, and the hideous. We have stories of lethargic farmers, zombie cockroaches, and even mind-controlled humans (kinda, maybe). Could parasites be the shadowy hands that pull the strings of life?
Carl Zimmer pla... Read More
(Editor's note - this blog post complements an earlier one on the Small Things Considered blog; http://www.microbeworld.org/index.php?option=com_jlibrary&view=article&id=2040, it even uses the same picture. It's fascinating, so I hope you enjoy)
In 1896 Scientific American ran an editorial ti... Read More
In fatal cases of 2009 H1N1 influenza, the virus can damage cells throughout the respiratory airway, much like the viruses that caused the 1918 and 1957 influenza pandemics, report researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner.
... Read More
Bacteria use all sorts of cunning to trick hosts into doing their bidding. One con in their bag of tricks: the molecular mimic. In this ruse, bacteria or their agents look for all purposes like some native molecule in a cell, but then do not behave accordingly. Working with H. pylori, the bacter... Read More
The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute will spend up to $11.5 million over four years on grants that use 'omics data and other systems biology approaches to develop computational models for use in studying lung response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis and host-microbe reactions that cause dis... Read More
Scientists studying how bacteria under stress collectively weigh and initiate different survival strategies say they have gained new insights into how humans make strategic decisions that affect their health, wealth and the fate of others in society.
Their study, published this week in the ea... Read More
Federal health officials said Thursday that almost 10,000 people had died of swine flu since April, a significant jump from mortality numbers released last month.
Officials also said that 50 million Americans, one sixth of the country, had caught the disease, and that 213,000 people had been ... Read More
On episode #62 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Dickson, and Alan discuss STEP HIV-1 vaccine failure caused by the adenovirus vector, presence of West Nile virus in kidneys for years a... Read More
In this show, I outline my plans, and then report on three exciting stories: microbial symbiosis with herbivorous ants, self-destructing cyanobacteria, and a bacterial immune system.
<... Read More
Infection with the H1N1 virus, or swine flu, causes more life-threatening complications than seasonal flu in children with sickle cell disease, according to research from Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. The findings, presented Dec. 7 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, ... Read More
Researchers from the UCLA AIDS Institute and colleagues have for the first time demonstrated that human blood stem cells can be engineered into cells that can target and kill HIV-infected cells — a process that potentially could be used against a range of chronic viral diseases.
The study, p... Read More
Greening, a devastating disease that threatens citrus crops worldwide, is almost certainly caused by one species of bacteria, not a combination of bacteria and viral pathogens.
That’s the conclusion reached by researchers at the University of Florida, who used genetic analysis to study the in... Read More
In a long-term study published in The Proceedings of the Royal Society B, U.S. researchers suggest that over-cleanliness could make babies more prone to inflammation later in life, and in turn raise the risk for stroke and heart disease.
Thomas McDade’s team studied more than 1,500 people in ... Read More
Global climate change has prompted efforts to drastically reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas produced by burning fossil fuels.
In a new approach, researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have genetically modified a cyanobacterium to c... Read More
A shortage of flu vaccines may soon become a problem of the past. Researcher Manon Cox has developed an alternative process for producing large quantities of safe and effective vaccines at twice to four times the usual speed. The process is based on using cells in bioreactors instead of fertilis... Read More
Helicobacter pylori infects up to 90 percent of people in the developing world and causes gastric ulcers and cancers of the gut. Now scientists have revealed a subterfuge used by the bacterium to trick stomach cells into playing along. By injecting a protein into the stomach lining that mimics a... Read More