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Environmental Swab/Bottom of Shoe #2

Close up view of the edges of an unknown bacteria swabbed form the bottom of a shoe, possible Bacillus, on TSA exhibiting spreading and rhizoid growth. The pigment is opaque white-beige with a mucoid surface towards the center of the colony and a matte surface towards the edges. Note: transmit... Read More

Scientists Add Letters to DNA’s Alphabet, Raising Hope and Fear

Scientists reported Wednesday that they had taken a significant step toward altering the fundamental alphabet of life — creating an organism with an expanded artificial genetic code in its DNA.

The accomplishment might eventually lead to organisms that can make medicines or industrial product... Read More

Antibiotics improve growth in children

Antibiotics improve growth in children at risk of undernourishment in low and middle income countries, according to researchers at McGill University who have just conducted a research literature review on the subject. Their results, published in the British Medical Journal, suggest that the youn... Read More

MSF Starts Emergency Rabies Intervention in DRC

The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has started a rabies intervention in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after an alarming number of people were bitten by rabid dogs. With ten deaths already reported, the e... Read More

Risk of dengue fever epidemic in Europe

The risk of dengue fever beginning to spread in Europe is imminent. According to researchers from Umeå University, this is no longer just an issue for the scientific community but also for politicians and policy makers, who need to be prepared and develop preventive measures.

With a changing ... Read More

IDing Livestock Gut Microbes Contributing to Greenhouse Gas Emissions

“Increased to levels unprecedented” is how the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) described the rise of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emissions in their report on the physical science basis of climate change in 2013. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency ... Read More

Yeast Meets West: Yeast Cultivation (video)

In honor of the Bay Area Science Festival, a group of passionate microbrewers, scientists, and yeast cultivators make 3 original brews to compete in a blind tasting at Nerd Nite in San Francisco, California.

Want to learn more about the microbes involved in brewing? Please check out the Micro... Read More

Structure of bacterial nanowire protein hints at secrets of conduction (w/ Video)

Tiny electrical wires protrude from some bacteria and contribute to rock and dirt formation. Researchers studying the protein that makes up one such wire have determined the protein's structure. The finding is important to such diverse fields as producing energy, recycling Earth's carbon and min... Read More

Protecting against Hendra virus

It was discovered in 1994 as a virus 'hosted' by fruit bats and lethal to horses and humans. Watch our profile of the Hendra virus, a zoonotic disease that has claimed the lives of seven people. Read More

Probiotics vs Antibiotics? You're asking the wrong question.

'The question of whether someone should be taking a probiotic or an antibiotic is one I hear fairly frequently. The answer, in short, is that this isn't a question of either / or! At this stage in time, with this level of research on probiotics, it is not right to suggest one stops taking their... Read More

When bacteria fight back

Q&A with Dr. David Hooper on the rising threat from drug-resistant microbes. Read More

Antimicrobial Properties

The emergence of antimicrobial resistance, coupled with the availability of fewer antifungal agents with fungicidal actions, prompted this present study to characterize Candida species in our environment and determine the effectiveness of virgin coconut oil as an antifungal agent on these specie... Read More

FrameBot: a new tool for those pesky sequencing problems

In their paper in mBio this week, Wang et al present FrameBot, a program that combines frameshift correction and nearest-neighbor identification in one Java-based tool. Read More

Botulism Bacteria Blamed for Deaths of Waterbirds on Lake Ontario

Last year, I wrote about finding the carcasses of dead loons and cormorants on the shores of a Northern Lake Michigan beach. Now officials in New York are reporting similar waterbird deaths from Type E botulism on Lake Ontario.

Sadly, finding type E botulism in waterbirds is becoming an “annu... Read More

TB Dogma Upended: Even Uninfected Cells Trigger Immune Defenses

Experimenting with mice, infectious disease experts at NYU Langone Medical Center have found that immune system cells uninfected with the bacterium that causes tuberculosis trigger immune system T cells to fight the disease. The findings upend the long-held scientific belief that only cells, kno... Read More

Lassa Fever Reported in U.S. Traveler to West Africa

A Minnesota man who returned from a trip to West Africa has been diagnosed with Lassa fever, a severe and sometimes deadly viral disease rarely seen in the United States, health officials said.

The man, who was hospitalized with fever and confusion on March 31, was confirmed to have Lassa fev... Read More

Plasmas attack bacterial cells on several levels

As they destroy bacteria very efficiently, plasmas constitute an alternative to chemical disinfectants and potentially to antibiotics, as well. How they achieve this effect has been investigated by biologists, plasma physicists and chemists at the Ruhr-Universität (RUB). Cold atmospheric-pressur... Read More

Retroviruses, the Placenta, and the Genomic Junk Drawer

By now, many of us are aware that a considerable portion (45% or more) of the human genome consists of transposable elements. These are mobile genetic sequences, such as Alu repeats and long and short interspersed nuclear elements (LINEs and SINEs). A whopping 18% of this so-called "dark matter ... Read More

Will Wolbachia help defeat dengue?

One of the Wellcome Trust’s areas of focus for research funding is combatting infectious disease. We have recently agreed a strategic award of over £7.5 million to continue development of an effective and sustainable approach to reducing the transmission of dengue fever. The research is an inte... Read More

Antibiotic-Resistant Germs, Lying in Wait Everywhere

The Lechuguilla Cave in New Mexico is a network of chambers stretching 1,600 feet underground. The bacteria that grow on the walls of its most remote recesses have been living in complete isolation for more than four million years.

In 2010, Gerry Wright, a microbiologist at McMaster Universit... Read More

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