A hinge in the RNA genome of the virus that causes hepatitis C works like a switch that can be flipped to prevent it from replicating in infected cells. Scientists have discovered that this shape is shared by several other viruses—among them one that kills cancer cells.
That’s Seneca Valley v... Read More
DURHAM, NC - Within each strand of DNA lies the blueprint for building an organism, along with the keys to its evolution and survival. These genetic instructions can give valuable insight into why pathogens like Cryptococcus neoformans -- a fungus responsible for a million cases of pneumonia and... Read More
Killer swine flu attacks India. It’s H1N1, the same strain which was responsible for 1918 Spanish and 2009 flu pandemic that was the deadliest natural disasters in human history. More than 11,000 cases have been reported in India. The death toll has risen to more than 700. Number of death and in... Read More
Federal officials today announced the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S. The male patient was admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and placed in strict isolation on September 28 after flying from Liberia to visit family in north Texas. The patient left Liberia on Septembe... Read More
Two of the four known groups of human AIDS viruses (HIV-1 groups O and P) have originated in western lowland gorillas, according to an international team of scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Montpellier, the University of Edinbur... Read More
The typical Escherichia coli, the laboratory rat of microbiology, is a tiny 1-2 thousandths of a millimeter long. Now, by blocking cell division, two researchers at Concordia University in Montreal have grown E. coli that stretch three quarters of a millimeter. That's up to 750 times their norma... Read More
About 50 years ago, electron microscopy revealed the presence of tiny blob-like structures that form inside cells, move around and disappear. But scientists still don’t know what they do — even though these shifting cloud-like collections of proteins are believed to be crucial to the life of a c... Read More
Humans are not the only primates ravaged by the deadly Ebola virus. Chimps and gorillas are also susceptible to the disease. The current Ebola epidemic, the biggest in human history, may have started with the butchering of an infected fruit bat. But it just as easily could have come from a chimp... Read More
Switchgrass successfully removed up to 40 percent of the PCBs from contaminated soils in lab experiments. When a PCB-oxidizing microorganism joined in, the removal rate reached 47 percent.
The researchers investigated how adding an aerobic PCB-oxidizing microorganism could enhance the oxidati... Read More
Drawing from his engineering background, Princeton University researcher Alexandre Persat had a notion as to why the bacteria Caulobacter crescentus are curved — a hunch that now could lead to a new way of studying the evolution of bacteria, according to research published in the journal Nature ... Read More
A fast-sensitive “electronic-nose” for sniffing the highly infectious bacteria C-diff, that causes diarrhoea, temperature and stomach cramps, has been developed by a team at the University of Leicester.
Using a mass spectrometer, the research team has demonstrated that it is possible to ident... Read More
Designer Wei Lei poses a challenging, and fascinating question: Would you lick a delicious treat that resembles a prickly cactus or a deadly E. coli bacterium?
The Chinese designer’s collection of sweets, Dangerous Popsicles, transforms frozen sugar water into colorful spiny treats inspired b... Read More
Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli grown on EMB agar. The organism was isolated from smallholdings' cattle, Bangladesh. Read More
Remember that worrisome new form of botulinum toxin we told you about in late 2013, the one that supposedly had to be kept secret out of fear it could be used as a bioweapon that would evade all of our medical defenses?
Well, as it turns out, it's not that scary after all. The antitoxin store... Read More
Scientists at the University of East Anglia have made a breakthrough in the race to solve antibiotic resistance.
New research published today in the journal Nature reveals an Achilles’ heel in the defensive barrier which surrounds drug-resistant bacterial cells.
The findings pave the way f... Read More
As is our custom at this time of year, we go over the material that has appeared in this blog over the last six months. Seems like a lot of stuff, but it’s the result of the work of quite a number of dedicated people, all of whom deserve our gratitude.
Structure and Function
Chromosome Org... Read More
A second American aid worker in Liberia has tested positive for Ebola, according to the Christian humanitarian group she works for.
Nancy Writebol is employed by Serving in Mission, or SIM, in Liberia and was helping the joint SIM/Samaritan's Purse team that is treating Ebola patients in Monr... Read More
Scientists cleaning out an old laboratory on the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Md., last week came across a startling discovery: vials labeled "variola" — in other words, smallpox.
Under international convention, there are supposed to be only two stashes of this deadly vir... Read More
Scientists report that compounds they hoped would "wake up" dormant reservoirs of HIV inside immune system T cells -- a strategy designed to reverse latency and make the cells vulnerable to destruction -- have failed to do so in laboratory tests of such white blood cells taken directly from pati... Read More