There’s a microscopic fungus that can starve nations and punch through Kevlar. It causes disease on such as scale that its blight can be seen from space. It’s called Magnaporthe oryzae and it causes a disease known as rice blast. The fungus doesn’t infect humans, but it does kill rice. It kills ... Read More
Only a few key mutations could cause the avian influenza virus to become airborne and transmissible among mammals, according to a controversial new paper publishing online today. In detailed research involving ferrets, researchers at the Erasmus Medical Centre in the Netherlands engineered a pot... Read More
The second of two papers on avian influenza H5N1 virus that caused such a furor in the past year was published today in the journal Science. I have carefully read the paper by Fouchier and colleagues, and I assure you that it does not enable the production of a deadly biological weapon. The resu... Read More
The more controversial of two papers describing how the lethal H5N1 bird flu could be made easier to spread was published on Thursday, six months after a scientific advisory board suggested that the papers’ most potentially dangerous data be censored.
The paper’s publication, in the journal S... Read More
A coating of selenium nanoparticles significantly reduces bacteria growth on polycarbonate, a material common in implanted medical devices.
Selenium is an inexpensive element that naturally belongs in the body. It is also known to combat bacteria. Still, it had not been tried as an antibiotic... Read More
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed a new diagnostic test to detect the presence of dengue virus in people with symptoms of dengue fever or dengue hemorrhagic fever. The test, called the CDC DENV-1-4 Real Time RT PCR Assay, has been authorized by the Food and Drug Admini... Read More
The authors of a study in mBio this week examined the genomes of two Bd isolates to find clues about its pathogenicity, reasoning that the Bd genome must bear the marks of restructuring to adapt to its new environmental niche and exploit its amphibian hosts. Compared with its fellow phylum membe... Read More
A number of variables can cause signficant changes in the human microbiome early in life including birth method and antibiotic exposure. Understanding these shifts is important because new research suggests that shifts in the microbiome of infants could make them more prone to gain weight as adu... Read More
The NIH Human Microbiome Project has been a 5-year endeavor to produce community resources to support the field of human microbiome research. Although the HMP has already produced hundreds of peer-reviewed publications, in the past week 2 major HMP Consortium papers as well as 20+ companion pap... Read More
Canadian researchers are reporting a potential advance in the treatment of Ebola virus infection, one of the most deadly pathogens known to humankind.
Researchers from the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg are reporting that monkeys deliberately infected with Ebola were successfull... Read More
It was an experiment with bacteria that emboldened Novozymes A/S (NZYMB) into stepping up disclosures about its work to pressure groups. The openness paid off, and now the manufacturer is part of a growing club pushing transparency worldwide.
The maker of enzymes for chemical reactions was us... Read More
For a century, doctors have waged war against bacteria, using antibiotics as their weapons. But that relationship is changing as scientists become more familiar with the 100 trillion microbes that call us home — collectively known as the microbiome.
“I would like to lose the language of warfa... Read More