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Supreme Court Strikes Down Human Gene Patents

The Supreme Court said human genes isolated by scientists may not be patented, ruling unanimously today in a dispute weighing intellectual property associated with genes known to detect early signs of breast and ovarian cancer.

The dispute concerned a 2009 lawsuit filed by the American Civil ... Read More

Fine Reading: The gut microbiota of insects – diversity in structure and function

Now that the mammalian intestinal microbiome has been promoted to organ status, might not such stately respectability be granted to the gut microbiota of other metazoans? If looking for a worthy candidate for such recognition, one could not do better than to consider the varied communities dwell... Read More

Virus That Evolved in the Lab Delivers Gene Therapy into the Retina

From millions of random mutations, scientists identify a virus that could make gene therapy for inherited retinal diseases safer and more effective. A new delivery mechanism shuttles gene therapy deep into the eye’s retina to repair damaged light-sensing cells without requiring a surgeon to put ... Read More

Study builds dossier on JC polyomavirus

A new study shows that common mutant forms of the deadly JC polyomavirus are not responsible for the pathogen’s main attack, which causes a brain-damaging disease in immunocompromised patients called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. But that finding raises the ominous question of what... Read More

A potential new target to thwart antibiotic resistance

Viruses in gut confer antibiotic resistance to bacteria. Bacteria in the gut that are under attack by antibiotics have allies no one had anticipated, a team of Wyss Institute scientists has found. Gut viruses that usually commandeer the bacteria, it turns out, enable them to survive the antibiot... Read More

Single cells: Same same but different

If half of a cell population were coloured white and the other half were coloured black, scientists should think all cells are grey. Conventional methods average over thousands of cells, overlooking any cell-to-cell variability. ETH scientists now measured metabolite levels in single yeast cells... Read More

Father-Son Duo Reinvent Drug Testing With ‘Digital Lab Rats’

In 2008, François-Henri Boissel was leading a charmed life. He was a young, successful investment banker working in Tokyo, Japan. And then the market crashed.

He thought of sticking it out, waiting until things improved, but then he remembered a conversation he’d had with his father, Jean-Pie... Read More

FDA gets to grips with faeces

Regulator triggers efforts to standardize faecal transplants. The brown slurry is piped through tubes into the top of the human body — or the bottom. It can even come in pill form. For years, doctors have been transferring faeces into ill people’s intestines to replace resident microbes with a f... Read More

In China, concern shifts from food supply to safety

The Chinese Government seems committed to reforming food safety laws and investing in vital surveillance and monitoring systems, but experts say implementing those efforts could be challenging.

Published in the journal The Lancet, a new study suggests that the rapidly growing Chinese economy ... Read More

You Say Potato, I Say Double-Stranded RNA

Amidst the outrage, puzzlement and theories caused by the finding of genetically-modified wheat in an Oregon field, USDA is considering whether to commercialize another dinnertime staple–the potato.

Last month, Idaho-based J.M. Simplot asked the Agriculture Department to grant a deregulated s... Read More

Luminous bacterial proteins detect chemicals in water

"Pharmaceutical residues are becoming increasingly a problem for the environment. Sewage plants do not decompose these substances completely. The problem will worsen if one considers, for example, the rising proportion of elderly people in our society who actually account for the increased consu... Read More

Mundo de los Microbios - Episodio 104 - Dr. Emilio Fernández



Emilio Fernández


Nuestro invitado de hoy es el Read More

A single amino acid change switches avian influenza H5N1 and H7N9 viruses to human receptors

Two back-to-back papers were published last week that provide a detailed analysis of what it would take for avian influenza H5N1 and H7N9 viruses to switch to human receptors. A single amino acid change in the viral hemagglutinin protein is sufficient to quantitatively change binding of the viru... Read More

'Dark matter' of life: Mysterious bacteria sequenced

The genome of mysterious bacteria that lurk in hospital drains has been sequenced.

Low levels of the bacteria, known only as candidate phylum TM6, have been found in water systems around the world, yet because they could not be cultured in the lab, almost nothing was known about them.

The ... Read More

TB bacteria's trash-eating inspires search for new drugs

When hijacking a garbage truck, one might as well make use of the trash. That logic drives how tuberculosis-causing bacteria feed, say Cornell scientists.
They report that bacteria-infecting macrophages – garbage trucklike immune cells – slow their hosts' trash-processing abilities to snack on ... Read More

Fractal patterns spontaneously emerge during bacterial cell growth

Scientists discover highly asymmetric and branched patterns are the result of physical forces and local instabilities; research has important implications for understanding biofilms and multicellular systems.

Despite bacterial colonies always forming circular shapes as they grow, their cells... Read More

Clearing the BAR to oral vaccines

A new technology under development by an academic–industry partnership protects oral vaccines from destruction by the digestive system. From the mouth to the small intestine, the digestive system presents a series of challenges designed to protect us by killing ingested bacteria. If a microbe su... Read More

Glowing Plants: Crowdsourced Genetic Engineering Project Ignites Controversy

In April three biohackers from a California Do-It-Yourself biology lab, BioCurious, posted a Kickstarter campaign to crowdsource their plan to bioengineer a glowing plant. They asked for $65,000. But by the close of their campaign at midnight on Thursday, June 6, they had raised a remarkable $48... Read More

Adult Vaccination Rates Rise, but Not Enough

Vaccines are just for kids, right? Not any more. U.S. health officials now recommend at least a half dozen vaccines for adults, to prevent pneumococcus virus, hepatitis, shingles and other ailments. And although the portion of adults who get these vaccinations rises slightly each year, the rates... Read More

In India, test a billion people for HIV

Testing every person in India’s billion-plus population every five years for HIV would not only be cost-effective but also could save millions of lives for decades to come, a new study suggests.

In India most people who are HIV positive don’t know it—even though testing and treatment are rela... Read More

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