Mass poultry vaccination programmes introduced to combat Salmonella infections have led to a dramatic fall in the number of cases since the late 1990s, according to a researcher at the University of Liverpool.
There are currently around 6 million cases of illness from Salmonella across the EU... Read More
Is the new coronavirus the next SARS? A Commentary in mBio comes on the same week scientists are convening at a WHO meeting in Cairo to share information about the novel coronavirus that is causing alarm in the public health community. In their Commentary, Stanley Perlman and Jincun Zhao of the ... Read More
The matriarch of a hunter-gatherer band might prefer males to be assigned to specialised training in hunting skills. So the subconscious bias probably goes back a couple of million years to the early days of Homo before sapiens.
Face masks help prevent people from getting the flu. But how much protection do they provide?
You might think the answer to this question would be well established. It’s not.
In fact, there is considerable uncertainty over how well face masks guard against influenza when people use them ou... Read More
Very cute animated video about the microbial ecology of the human body. You are your microbes - Jessica Green and Karen Guillemin from TedEd. Read More
Here is a transcript of TWiM episode #49, "Grape-like clusters". Thanks to Frank Shinneman for transcription.
This article covers the history, pros and cons of the Hologenome Theory of Evolution with quotes from Richard Jefferson, Eugene Rosenberg, Seth Bordenstein, Jerry Coyne and others. You can access the article for free in the next 10 days by logging in to the New Scientist site. For more on the ho... Read More
Dr, Francis Su is a mathematician at Harvey Mudd College in Southern California. Last week, he was honored with the prestigious Haimo Teaching Award of the Mathematics Association of America at the Join Math Meetings in San Diego. His acceptance speech is inspiring to any educator and any stud... Read More
The detailed changes in the structure of a virus as it infects an E. coli bacterium have been observed for the first time, report researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UT Health) Medical School this week in Science Expres... Read More
If you would like to have a particularly striking organism named after you, choose your collaborator well. The Harvard rickettsiologist S. Burt Wolbach was lucky to have such a colleague—the entomologist Marshall Hertig. In 1936, Hertig gave the name Wolbachia to the endosymbionts of mosquitoes ... Read More
A compound from the South African toothbrush tree inactivates a drug target for tuberculosis in a previously unseen way.
Tuberculosis causes more deaths worldwide than any other bacterial disease. At the same time as rates are increasing, resistance strains are emerging due, in part, to non-com... Read More
Here is a transcript of TWiM episode #47, "Resistance on the surface". Thanks to Raphael Fernandez and Steve Stokowski for transcription.
The transcript is also available as a pdf file - click here to download.
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Glinting in shimmering shades of blue and green, the emerald cockroach wasp is surely a thing of beauty, but its shimmering exterior masks its cruel nature. The emerald cockroach wasp is one nature’s most impressive neurochemists. At its core, it is a parasite. The female wasp lays her eggs on a... Read More
The United States is seeing its fair share of illness this winter.
The country is in the midst of a particularly bad flu season, the worst outbreak of whooping cough since 1955, and an emerging outbreak of norovirus (a stomach bug that causes diarrhea and vomiting.)
Despite the seeming inu... Read More
Aggregations of the red and black coloured firebugs are ubiquitous under linden trees in Central Europe, where the bugs can reach astounding population densities. While these insects have no impact on humans, their African, Asian, and American relatives, the cotton stainers, are serious agricult... Read More
Scientists have identified the chemical 'fingerprints' given off by specific bacteria when present in the lungs, potentially allowing for a quick and simple breath test to diagnose infections such as tuberculosis.
Publishing their study today in the Journal of Breath Research, the researchers... Read More
Feeding faeces to people with chronic infection can cure them, but who wants to eat poo? A synthetic alternative could provide a more palatable option.
Hospital superbug Clostridium difficile can wreak havoc in the guts of vulnerable people, especially those who have lost some of their protec... Read More