We have the dubious privilege of observing a new disease in the midst of being born. The disease could go on to spread around the world, stall out as a minor, local blight, or disappear altogether. Scientists have been observing its emergence for a year now, and while they know more than they di... Read More
The lack of data on the effectiveness of medicines available to doctors and researchers is "of extreme concern" say a group of MPs.
The Public Accounts Committee is calling for all data on drugs being prescribed in the UK to be made available.
It also says the government spent £424m stockp... Read More
An ancient skin fungus that has been killing frogs, salamanders, and other amphibians may be hiding in invertebrates such as insects.
The skin fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), also known as amphibian chytrid, got attention in 1993 when dead and dying frogs began turning up in Quee... Read More
A group of researchers enlist fungi and E. coli to make the first biofuel of its kind. It is an obvious idea—in fact, it’s how nature disposes of trees after they die. Yet before researchers at the University of Michigan tried it, no one had paired bacterium with fungus to make cellulosic biofue... Read More
DNA carries out its activities "diluted" in the cell nucleus. In this state it synthesises proteins and, even though it looks like a messy tangle of thread, in actual fact its structure is governed by precise rules that are important for it to carry out its functions. Biologists have studied DNA... Read More
History has repeatedly shown that contagion makes an easy bedfellow with human conflict.
Take the poliovirus outbreak in Syria - and Israel and Egypt too - caused by related strains that can be traced back to Pakistan.
War and insurgency provide the ideal conditions for bacteria and viruse... Read More
An international study led by The University of Queensland has tracked a potentially devastating multi-drug resistant E. coli strain that is only one gene away from being resistant to almost all antibiotics.
UQ Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre scientist Dr Nouri Ben Zakour said ... Read More
Our bones are remarkable feats of engineering; strong and yet light, shot through with holes and yet able to bear incredible loads. This super-strong natural material is built as cells incorporate hard minerals like calcium into living tissue. Now, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Te... Read More
The gut microbiota contains a vast number of microorganisms from all three domains of life, including bacteria, archaea and fungi, as well as viruses. These interact in a complex way to contribute towards both health and the development of disease — interactions that are only now being elucidate... Read More
Bathing all patients daily with a germ-killing soap and swabbing antibiotic ointment in their noses may be the best way to reduce the spread of deadly infections, including MRSA.
In a new study, these measures reduced the bloodstream infections caused by dangerous pathogens, including the dru... Read More
Gram-negative bacteria pose a particular challenge to any enterprising phage. First the phage is met by the outer membrane (OM)—a barrier to surmount that also can be used as a convenient handgrip for adsorption. Next hazard is the nuclease-infested periplasm with its jungle of peptidoglycan. An... Read More
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
Scientists have a promising new approach to combating deadly human viruses thanks to an educated hunch by University of California, Riverside microbiology professor Shou-Wei Ding, and his 20 years of research on plants, fruit flies, nematodes and mice to show the truth in his theory.
Research... Read More
In 2008 researchers from the University of Southern Denmark showed that the drug thioridazine, which has previously been used to treat schizophrenia, is also a powerful weapon against antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as staphylococci (Staphylococcus aureus).
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria is... Read More
I entered the bacterial chromosome field in 2004 as a fresh Ph.D. trained in theoretical physics. Ten years is not long enough for one to gain the depth and breadth of a scientific discipline of long history, certainly not for an early career scientist to write an essay of the status of A Mathem... Read More
Antibiotics are valuable, potentially life-saving tools that have significantly reduced human morbidity and mortality. Unfortunately, antibiotics may also have unintended consequences from their off-target effects that may increase the risk of many long-term conditions. Recent epidemiologic stud... Read More
Slime molds may not have brains, but that isn't preventing some computer scientists from investigating them for their potential as novel, unconventional computers. A slime mold consists of a single cell containing millions of nuclei, and forms a network of protoplasmic tubes to move toward its f... 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
There is more carbon dioxide stored in the ground than in the air around us. If those all that greenhouse gas escapes, it could be catastrophic for the earth. Now, a researcher at the University of Texas at Austin thinks he’s found the key that keeps much of it locked away. It’s research that co... Read More
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and their Danish colleagues have monitored HPV-vaccinated girls via patient data registries in order to examine the incidence of a wide range of diseases and thus determine if there are any serious adverse effects of the vaccine. Their results show ... Read More