A variety of Bacteria, Archaea, and mobile genetic elements replicate their DNA as a linear chromosome using terminal proteins (TPs) to prime DNA synthesis, thus solving their end replication problem. As described in an earlier post, phage φ29 uses its TPs to also organize the sites of DNA repli... Read More
The fungal pathogen Candida albicans causes yeast infections, diaper rashes and oral thrush, and is the most common fungal pathogen to infect humans. Researchers have identified a protein that the fungus uses to defend itself against the human body. Another concern with the fungus is that it can... Read More
Fighting malaria in today’s world will require a new, targeted approach, and Virginia Tech researchers are out for blood.
The parasites responsible for the mosquito-borne infectious disease are increasingly resistant to current drug approaches, and almost half of the world is at risk of cont... Read More
When most people look at soil, they just see dirt. When I look at soil, I see billions of microorganisms crawling atop one another, consuming the dead in a feasting frenzy that stops for nothing save a deep freeze. I see microbes and their enzymes, the digestive juices that break down, transform... Read More
A trio of Irish high-schoolers nabbed the top prize in this year's Google Science Fair with a project that speeds up crop growth by tapping into the naturally cozy relationship between soil microbes and plants.
After 11 months of experiments, the three 16-year-olds—Ciara Judge, Émer Hickey, a... Read More
Why should we consider this year's Nobel Prize in chemistry, and why in our 'Pictures Considered' section in the first place? A hint comes from one of the many press releases: "... for improving the resolution of optical microscopes." Aha! Microscopes are at the heart of microbiology since Rober... Read More
If a sexually active woman wants to protect herself from unwanted pregnancy and HIV using a single method, she has always been limited to condoms. A new paper, released today in PLOS ONE details a first-of-its-kind device that provides an alternative.
Click on 'source' to read full artlicle.... Read More
A four-year EU-funded project has identified new ways of cultivating marine microorganisms and screening them for potentially useful marine bio-compounds. This could have implications for the healthcare, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries, which are just a few of the sectors that are eager ... Read More
Over the last few weeks, the numerous outbreaks of measles in Canada have led many public health officials and microbiologists to shake their collective heads. The reason is simple: this should not be happening. Of all the pathogenic viruses, this one has been on our radar for nearly 200 years a... Read More
Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine studying a potentially deadly parasitic infection have discovered a previously unknown way that human cells are killed, with the parasitic amoeba essentially nibbling cells to death – as a piranha might attack its prey.
Until now, r... Read More
The first case of Ebola in the United States was announced today, with a patient in Dallas who traveled to the US from Liberia. The resultant hysteria and xenophobia prompts this reminder. There is NO need to panic.
Ebola is NOT transmitted before a patient develops symptoms. Ebola is transmi... Read More
The American Society for Microbiology hosted a live podcast of This Week in Virology with Vincent Racaniello with co-host Alan Dove that includes guests Paul Duprex, Director of Cell and Tissue Imaging Core, Boston University, National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL), and Ju... Read More
A virus not known to cause disease kills triple-negative breast cancer cells and killed tumors grown from these cells in mice, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. Understanding how the virus kills cancer may lead to new treatments for breast cancer.
Adeno-associated virus... Read More
Scientists have identified peptides from parasitic hookworms that can calm the body’s immune response and perhaps pave the way to treat autoimmune diseases.
Experts believe the peptide molecules could help explain why worm infections can effectively treat diseases such as multiple sclerosis, ... Read More
A major new class of antibodies that can make the four different types of dengue virus (DENV) non-infectious has been discovered by a group of international researchers, including from the University of Melbourne.
The discovery could lead to the development of better vaccines and laboratory t... Read More
Bacteria typically thrive in communities where colonies of many different species collaborate and support each other's growth and exchange nutrients.
However, it has not been clear whether they do this only by releasing the metabolites into the cell environment for their neighbors to pick up,... Read More
While I was working on the “H1N-What?” post, I also knew there would soon be questions about MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), just as there were about SARS. So here are the essentials of what we know and don’t know about MERS—which has just been reported in the U.S.—as well as intriguing... Read More
Natural disasters such as earthquakes can have far-reaching effects beyond the damage caused on the day they occur. The 2010 earthquake in Haiti damaged the already limited sanitation systems leading to areas without adequate toilet and washing facilities; perfect for the spread of infection dis... Read More
For practically our whole history of cooking and eating, we've gotten our spices and most flavors (not to mention all of the other basic nutrients that keep us alive) straight from plants.
But researchers and biotech companies are starting to produce some of these nutrients and flavors — espe... Read More
Genetic factors could play an important role in whether people survive the Ebola virus, say US scientists.
A study of mice infected with the virus found they showed a number of different symptoms, with 19% remaining unaffected by the disease.
This could explain why some people recover from... Read More