Several research groups, including a team led by geneticist Erika Sasaki and stem-cell biologist Hideyuki Okano at Keio University in Tokyo, hope to create transgenic primates with immune-system deficiencies or brain disorders. This could raise ethical concerns, but might bri... Read More
This image shows the nematode host Caenorhbaditis elegans encountering the bacterial pathogen S. marcescens. Natural selection imposed by the co-evolving pathogen led to the evolution and maintenance of bi-parental sex in the host population.
The host and the pathogen were experimentally co-e... Read More
A new imaging technique for studying the structure of a childhood disease, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), could provide scientists with the information they need to develop new antiviral drugs and perhaps even a vaccine to prevent severe infections.
By the time they’re two years old, most... Read More
In addition to the known phenomenon by which some bacteria achieve resistance to antibiotics through mutation, there are other types of bacteria, known as “persistent bacteria”, which are not resistant to the antibiotics but simply continue to exist in a dormant or inactive state while exposed t... Read More
Pioneering scientists and engineers are often overlooked in popular retrospectives commemorating the year’s departed. In particular, women in such fields tend to be given short shrift. To counter this regrettable circumstance, I present here a selection of 10 notable women in science who left us... Read More
Epidemiologists and the Centers for Disease Control say the flu virus has become widespread in 10 states, mainly in the Northeast and South, as the 2013-2014 flu season approaches its peak.
In its weekly survey of state epidemiologists, the CDC reported that cases of influenza were widespread... Read More
We have been throwing antibiotics at bacteria for several decades in an attempt to control and ultimately kill them. Our actions have generated an evolutionary paradise within bacteria for independent genetic elements that pick up antibiotic-resistant genes that then hop between different bacter... Read More
The bacteria that cause syphilis and Lyme Disease have something extraordinary in common: they manage to propel themselves through their environment in spite of the fact their tails are located inside their bodies.
For bacteria, they’re also unusually shaped and active. In this movie, you can... Read More
During an infection a certain type of virus forms a tube-like structure to deliver DNA to its host. The tube dissolves when the job is done.
The researchers discovered the mechanism in the phiX174 virus, which attacks E. coli bacteria. The virus, called a bacteriophage because it infects bact... Read More
To intrude into the deeper regions of the lungs, the bacteria that cause tuberculosis appear to mask their identity and hitch a ride on white blood cells.
The findings suggest an explanation for the longstanding observation that tuberculosis infections begin in the comparatively sterile lower... Read More
Four more people in Saudi Arabia have been infected with the SARS-like Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus and one of them - an elderly man - has died, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday.
The new infections, including in two health workers from Riyadh who have not re... Read More
A safe and effective malaria vaccine is high on the wish list of most people concerned with global health. Results published on December 26 in PLOS Pathogens suggest how a leading vaccine candidate could be vastly improved.
The study, led by Sheetij Dutta, from the Walter Reed Army Institute ... Read More
Researchers used a retrovirus to regenerate neurons after a brain injury and in Alzheimer’s models. The method may lead to therapies for an array of neurological disorders.
Gong Chen, a professor of biology, the Verne M. Willaman Chair in Life Sciences at Penn State, and the leader of the res... Read More
The pine-wood nematode is a major pest in the forests of China. The worm, which causes pine-wilt disease, has killed more than 50 million trees and resulted in economic losses of US$22 billion since 1982.
But now, after a study lasting almost a decade, a team of Chinese ecologists has made a ... Read More
Given a choice between dengue fever or another mosquito-borne disease called chikungunya fever, choose dengue every time. Neither has an available vaccine or treatment, but chikungunya (pronounced chik-un-GUHN-ya) is far more severe – it literally means “that which bends up” because patients are... Read More
Cells in complex organisms sometimes respond to pressure and stress by growing in a preferred direction. The phenomenon, called mechanotaxis, helps create multicellular structures such as our organs.
Now a common soil bacterium has been found to change its growth pattern in response to distur... Read More
Numerous scientific studies have concluded that two common bacteria that cause colds, ear infections, strep throat and more serious infections cannot live for long outside the human body. So conventional wisdom has long held that these bacteria won’t linger on inanimate objects like furniture, ... Read More
Wishing every single microbial enthusiast and their families the merriest of microbial holidays! And how better than with bioluminescent ornaments on a Luxmas Tree! Read More
Here's to Microbes Near and Far (to the tune of Hark the Herald Angels Sing) - Happy Holidays from the American Society for Microbiology Read More