Natural sensory system such as bacteria engineered to detect pollution and placed in a self-contained portable box could be the most effective way to track pollutants. Such devices are being developed as part of BIOMONAR, an EU-funded project which follows on from its predecessors, ECODIS and TO... Read More
“I’m the poet who does the impossible thing. I am the poet who aspires to have the biggest imagination in the room,” Christian Bök says bluntly. Yet his grandiose inventiveness has been focused on the most minuscule attempt at verse. After 11 years of working on what he’s dubbed “The Xenotext,” ... Read More
Anyone still laboring under the mistaken assumption that genes are the most important factor in determining destiny should take a look at research that is being reported in this week’s Science about a particular strain of mice that have a genetic predisposition to develop type 1 diabetes. It tur... Read More
A discovery about the way in which bugs spread throughout the body could help to develop stem cell treatments.
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have found that bacteria are able to change the make-up of supporting cells within the nerve system, called Schwann cells, so that they tak... Read More
Scientists at the Academy of Finland's Centre of Excellence in Computational Inference Research have developed novel computational methods that have yielded essential knowledge of how hospital-acquired bacteria spread and develop. These new methods, based on randomised algorithms, make it possib... Read More
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released early estimates of the effectiveness of this season’s influenza vaccine in preventing influenza infection. Estimated vaccine effectiveness is 62%. But even if you get infected after immunization, you are likely to have reduced illness, ... Read More
Leprosy is a bacterial disease that spreads to muscles and other tissues in the body, causing neurodegeneration and muscle weakness. A new study, published by Cell Press January 17th in the journal Cell, reveals that the bacteria responsible for leprosy spread infection by hijacking specialized ... Read More
Early life exposure to normal bacteria of the GI tract (gut microbes) protects against autoimmune disease in mice, according to research published on-line in the January 17 edition of Science. The study may also have uncovered reasons why females are at greater risk of autoimmune diseases such a... Read More
The flu knows how much time it has to multiply, infect other cells, and spread to another human being before the immune system kills it.
Scientists have discovered that that the flu virus can essentially tell time, thereby giving scientists the ability to reset the virus' clock and combat it ... Read More
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a novel type of flu vaccine, Flublok, which uses an insect virus (baculovirus) expression system. It therefore does not use the traditional method of the influenza virus or eggs in its production allowing for large quantities of the vaccine to b... Read More
The flu vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your family. However, misconceptions about vaccination persist.
Here are 7 common myths about vaccination from The Henry Ford Health System located in Detroit:
Flu Myth #1 A Flu Shot Causes the Flu
No, a flu shot cannot cause f... Read More
A top New York chef teams up with Harvard scientists to explore the role of bacteria in fermentation. He hopes to better understand and tweak the process to create new and unique flavors to entice the palate. Sharon Reich reports. Read More
During my visit to the University of Vermont today I had lunch with seven talented Microbiology Ph.D. students. One of them asked me what was an important quality to have for achieving success in science. I said without hesitation, ‘Be curious’. It’s the answer I always give. Being curious is th... Read More
IF we’re to believe half a century of daytime TV commercials, housekeeping is war — a perpetual battle against the sneaky soldiers of nature. For decades, we’ve armed ourselves with cleaning products to slay bacteria, scrape away fungus and torture mites. As our household organisms move up the e... Read More
Officials have confirmed the presence of a deadly bat fungus in Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. The fungus has already killed millions of bats across the Northeast and in the Midwest.
The fungus, which is harmless to humans and other animals, is known popularly as white nose syndrome ... Read More
El podcast del microbio Nº 373 summarize a recent article published in PLoS ONE on the active extracellular DNA release to the environment by Bacillus subtilis. El podcast del microbio Nº 373... Read More
A piece that I wrote for Elio Schaechter's "Small Things Considered" appeared today. I tried to show what my students last semester "got" out of the course, and the challenges of a "one microbiology course" curriculum. My answer: more micro, earlier, in other classes! Read More
New and more effective strains of the fungus used to produce penicillin could be developed after a team of international scientists unearthed the secret sex life of Sir Alexander Fleming's fungus Penicillium chrysogenum (P. chrysogenum).
The scientists from The University of Nottingham, Ruhr-... Read More
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a menu of 61 new strains of genetically engineered bacteria that may improve the efficacy of vaccines for diseases such as flu, pertussis, cholera and HPV.
The strains of E. coli, which were described in a paper published this mo... Read More
The $15 billion ornamental fish industry faces a global problem with antibiotic resistance, a new study concludes, raising concern that treatments for fish diseases may not work when needed – and creating yet another mechanism for exposing humans to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
The risk to ... Read More