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Discovery May Aid Vaccine Design for Common Form of Malaria

A form of malaria common in India, Southeast Asia and South America attacks human red blood cells by clamping down on the cells with a pair of proteins, new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has revealed.

The study provides details that will help scientists des... Read More

First fungal farmers found harvesting bacteria

It's a mould breaker. Researchers have discovered the first fungus that behaves like a farmer.

We already know that soil fungi can help bacteria travel quickly from A to B. The fungal filaments provide favourable conditions for the bacteria, and so act as "highways" through the soil. But thes... Read More

Anti-fungal drug increases flu susceptibility

Researchers have found that a commonly used anti-fungal treatment increases susceptibility to severe influenza infection in mice. This treatment deactivates an important protein that protects against viral infections such as influenza.

Amphotericin B is an important anti-fungal treatment for ... Read More

Mating is the kiss of death for certain female worms

The presence of male sperm and seminal fluid causes female worms to shrivel and die after giving birth, Princeton University researchers reported this week in the journal Science. The demise of the female appears to benefit the male worm by removing her from the mating pool for other males.

... Read More

Professor doesn’t overlook the small things in biology

Frog-killing fungi, the methods bacteria use to evade antibiotics, and the hidden microbes deep inside an Antarctic lake: These are just a few of the topics covered in “Small Things Considered,” a microbiology blog run by Moselio Schaechter. Schaechter is former president of the American Society... Read More

In China, concern shifts from food supply to safety

The Chinese Government seems committed to reforming food safety laws and investing in vital surveillance and monitoring systems, but experts say implementing those efforts could be challenging.

Published in the journal The Lancet, a new study suggests that the rapidly growing Chinese economy ... Read More

How a Young Boy, a Cow and a Milkmaid Helped to Conquer Smallpox [Video]

If you aren’t familiar with the TEDEd series of animated videos, you should be. The series pairs professional educators with top-notch animators to create short video “lessons” on a huge variety of topics in science, medicine and history.
 The latest episode features several of the early attempt... Read More

Spaceflight Alters Bacterial Social Networks

When astronauts launch into space, a microbial entourage follows. And the sheer number of these followers would give celebrities on Twitter a run for their money. The estimate is that normal, healthy adults have ten times as many microbial cells as human cells within their bodies; countless more... Read More

Next to You on the Subway

Norman R. Pace, a microbiologist at the University of Colorado Boulder, pioneered the use of DNA to study microbes. He has searched for extremophiles (organisms that can exist in extreme environments) in the hot springs of Yellowstone National Park and once descended in the submersible Alvin to ... Read More

Penicillin equally effective as ‘big gun’ antibiotics for treating less severe childhood pneumonia

Children hospitalized for pneumonia have similar outcomes, including length of stay and costs, regardless of whether they are treated with “big gun” antibiotics such as ceftriaxone or cefotaxime or more narrowly focused antibiotics such as ampicillin or penicillin, according to a Vanderbilt stud... Read More

FIRST OBSERVATION OF A HUMAN HAT, KEY PROTEINS IN NUMEROUS PATHOLOGIES

The researcher Manuel Palacín, head of the Heterogenic and Multigenic Diseases lab at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB), in Barcelona, is among the world’s experts in HATs (heteromeric amino acid transporters).

In humans, there are eight HAT molecules. These are associated, for ... Read More

Staying Healthy May Mean Learning To Love Our Microbiomes

Not so long ago, most people thought that the only good microbe was a dead microbe.

But then scientists started to realize that even though some bugs can make us sick and even kill us, most don't.

In fact, in the past decade attitudes about the bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microbes l... Read More

Progress Against Hepatitis C, a Sneaky Virus

Forty years ago, a beloved neighbor was bedridden for weeks at a time with a mysterious ailment. She knew only that it involved her liver and that she must never drink alcohol, which would make things worse.

It was decades before the cause of these debilitating flare-ups was discovered: a vir... Read More

Evolution Made Easy, Courtesy of E. Coli (blog)

Evolution is one of those enigmatic subjects we simply do not understand fully. We know it is a biological change at the genetic level that changes the overall nature of an organism. We're also sure that it requires a significant number of generations. Unfortunately, that means it is difficult t... Read More

Chile: Owls drafted in to fight deadly hantavirus

Owls are the natural predators of the rats carrying the deadly hantavirus, the Santiago Times newspaper reports. Long-tailed pygmy rice rats transmit the virus to humans as they come into contact with campers in the forest, while foraging for bamboo. But forest fires during Chile's summer months... Read More

Cause of salamander die-off found: Skin-eating fungus

A newly discovered fungus that feasts on the skin of amphibians is threatening to decimate a species of salamander in the Netherlands, according to new research.

Fire salamanders are one of the most recognizable salamander species in Europe, and are characterized by their distinct yellow- and... Read More

Rutgers Scientists Discover Molecules that Show Promise for New Anti-Flu Medicines

A new way to attack flu viruses is taking shape in laboratories at Rutgers University, where scientists have identified chemical agents that block the virus’s ability to replicate itself in cell culture.

These novel compounds show promise for a new class of antiviral medicines to fight much-f... Read More

MRSA declines are sustained in veterans hospitals nationwide

Five years after implementing a national initiative to reduce methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) rates in Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers, MRSA cases have continued to decline, according to a study in the November issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the offi... Read More

History: Great myths die hard

Finding that part of the story of Louis Pasteur's rabies vaccine is false, Héloïse Dufour and Sean Carroll explore how science fables are born, spread and die.

John Snow's ending of London's 1854 cholera outbreak, Joseph Lister's development of antiseptic surgery, Alexander Fleming's inventio... Read More

Annals of the Malaria War: Move over Angelina Jolie

We’re driving on a dirt road and my interpreter, one of the friendliest guys I’ve ever met, is absorbed in a conversation with a health worker in our group. Cornfields and rice paddies paint the landscape chartreuse. Donkey carts and herds of goats swerve into the plants when we rumble past. The... Read More

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