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Scientists Turn Dr. Frankenstein, Re-Write Bacteria’s Entire Genome

It may sound like science fiction, but researchers at Yale and Harvard have taken the first steps towards a Dr. Frankenstein-type reality, by fundamentally changing the genetic code of an organism.

The scientists were able to rewrite the genetic alphabet of the common bacteria E.coli, creatin... Read More

Retrospective, June 2014 - Small Things Considered

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.

Click "source" to read more. Read More

ICAAC 2013 - The Role of Vitamin D Supplements in Preventing and Treating Disease

 


There is much interest in the role of nutrients and micronutrients in the support of host defense against infections. How... Read More

ULTRASMALL BACTERIA FROM ANTARCTIC LAKE RAISE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE LIMITS OF LIFE

Imagine you were forced to live in perpetually subzero temperatures, with no oxygen, no light, and way more salt than your system could handle. How would you manage? One way might be to get extremely small. At least, that seems to be what’s happening in a frozen Antarctic lake that’s cut off fro... Read More

ICAAC 2013 - Shingles Vaccine Coverage Low in Elderly Americans


Almost 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles during their lifetime. Despite the approval and recommend... Read More

How a microscopic team alters the course of carbon in the Atlantic ocean - Finalist in Ocean 180 Video Challenge

The Amazon river is the largest river in the world. It drains the entire Amazon rainforest, sending leftover nutrients, detritus, and minerals from the South American jungle out into the tropical Atlantic ocean. This runoff forms a freshwater plume, hundreds of miles across, that profoundly affe... Read More

ICAAC 2013 - Pertussis on Rise in U.S. Elderly


Pertussis, a respiratory illness commonly known as whooping cough, is a very contagious disease caused by a type of bacteria called... Read More

Oddly Microbial: Selfish Genes*

Evolution is largely driven by conflict, not collaboration, according to cell evolutionist Harmit Malik at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC). Mammalian cells are contentious places, he explains, populated by alien and host genomic sequences fighting for dominance. "In the compet... Read More

A bacterium reveals the crucible of its metallurgical activity

An international consortium led by CEA researchers in collaboration with the CNRS, has succeeded in characterizing the structure and function of a protein involved in the production of magnetite nanomagnets in magnetotactic bacteria. This protein, MamP, is crucial to the metallurgical activity o... Read More

Native algae species to blame for 'rock snot' blooms in rivers worldwide

The recent blooms of the freshwater algae known as "rock snot" on river bottoms worldwide are caused by a native species responding to changing environmental conditions rather than by accidental introductions by fishermen or the emergence of a new genetic strain as widely believed, a Dartmouth C... Read More

ICAAC 2013 - This Week in Virology with Vincent Racaniello

 


Hosts:  Read More

Infectious diseases: Smallpox watch

In 2011, while construction workers were digging a foundation at a site in Queens, New York, their equipment struck against something metal. Then a body rolled out of the rubble. Thinking that they might have unearthed the shallow grave of a murder victim, the workers immediately called the New ... Read More

Much breast milk bought online is contaminated, analysis shows

Desperate for breast milk, some new mothers who can't nurse their babies are turning to online sources, typically strangers with ample supplies. But a new study finds that human milk bought and sold on the Internet may be contaminated — and dangerous.

Nearly 75 percent of breast milk bought t... Read More

Innocence by Viral Tagging - Finalist in Ocean 180 Video Challenge

Viruses are the most abundant biological entities on the planet with approximately 1030 in the world’s oceans at any time. As such, they play a central role in global nutrient cycling. Despite their ecological importance, little is known about how viruses interact with their hosts due to the dif... Read More

Tiny microbes = big dollars

Gold!! Gold in them thar microbes . . . Read More

TB infection in lungs decreases diversity of gut bacteria

Johns Hopkins researchers have found evidence in mice that a tuberculosis (TB) infection in the lungs triggers immune system signaling to the gut that temporarily decreases the diversity of bacteria in that part of the digestive tract.

The Johns Hopkins researchers showed that this decrease i... Read More

Methane-Munching Microorganisms Meddle with Metals

On the continental margins, where the seafloor drops hundreds of meters below the water’s surface, low temperatures and high pressure lock methane inside ice crystals. Called methane hydrates, these crystals are a potential energy source, but they are also a potential source of global warming if... Read More

Pictures Considered #18. Pictures of Shigella by Shiga

The journal Zentralblatt für Bakteriologie, Parasitenkunde u. Infektionskrankheiten was one of the leading publication in the early days of Microbiology. Many of the great discoveries of microbial pathogens were published therein. An example is the 1898 Japanese microbiologist Kiyoshi Shiga acco... Read More

Oman says first MERS-coronavirus sufferer dies in hospital

Oman's first MERS coronavirus patient died in hospital on Sunday from lung failure, state news agency ONA said.

The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which can cause coughing, fever and pneumonia, emerged in Saudi Arabia last year and has been reported in Qatar, France,... Read More

Pictures Considered #17. The Meselson-Stahl Experiment

Described as the “Most Beautiful Experiment In Biology” the demonstration by Meselson and Stahl that DNA replicates semiconservatively is one of the major landmarks in the genesis of modern biology. And indeed it is most pleasing, both visually and cerebrally.

By semiconservative is meant tha... Read More

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