I suppose that most microbiologists and the readers of this blog would split the answer down the middle, the biomass of this planet and the chemical transactions therein being about half microbial, half everything else. However, it’s safe to say that most people, many scientists included, are un... Read More
A 65-year-old Frenchman is hospitalized after contracting France's first case of a deadly new respiratory virus related to SARS, and French health authorities said Wednesday they are trying to find anyone who might have been in contact with him to prevent it from spreading.
It's unclear how o... Read More
Despite the desperate need for new antibiotics to combat increasingly deadly resistant bacteria, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved only one new systemic antibiotic since the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) launched its 10 x ’20 Initiative in 2010 — and that d... Read More
A roller derby tournament seems like a brutal research environment: women crash around a rink in short skirts and skates, slamming their shoulders into members of the opposing team so that their own team’s “jammer” can lap them and score. But it’s perfect for researchers investigating how, throu... Read More
A rumbling tummy is our body's way of telling us "it's time for lunch." Likewise, bacteria need to know when it's time to eat.
Researchers at the Institute of Food Research on the Norwich Research Park have uncovered how the food-borne bacterial pathogen Campylobacter jejuni can change its sw... Read More
Researchers from the University of Toronto and SickKids Research Institute announced today that they have successfully mapped the genes in the fungus that causes Dutch Elm Disease. The researchers believe this is the first time the 30 million DNA letters for the fungus Ophiostoma ulmi have be... Read More
Governments, funders and regulatory authorities must urgently address the risks posed by gain-of-function research, says Simon Wain-Hobson. Barely two months after a small group of influenza virologists lifted a moratorium on work to make the H5N1 avian flu virus as transmissible between humans... Read More
This video describes the role of microbes in the production side of the global food web. Microbes transform essentially inert gaseous nitrogen into active nitrogen compounds, which then go on to make amino acids and proteins. Read More
The Rockefeller University's Luciano Marraffini is interested in understanding how bacteria evolve by incorporating DNA sequences from other bacteria or from the environment into their genomes. His research focuses on the mechanisms that control the traffic of DNA molecules between bacteria.
Like humans, mice can become infected with Borrelia. However, not all mice that come into contact with these bacteria contract the dreaded Lyme disease: Animals with a particular gene variant are immune to the bacteria, as scientists from the universities of Zurich and Lund demonstrate. Wild mic... Read More
Amoeba eat bacteria and other human pathogens, engulfing and destroying them – or being destroyed by them, but how these single-cell organisms distinguish and respond successfully to different bacterial classes has been largely unexplained.
In a report in the journal Current Biology, research... Read More
New research in The FASEB Journal suggests that a network of steroid molecules found in the brain is disrupted during HIV infection, and treatment with the steroid DHEA-S prevents brain damage.
A team of scientists from Canada, Thailand and Morocco have found that DHEA-S may prevent neurocogn... Read More
Of all the things that could be hazardous to your health, would you believe breathing oxygen makes the list?
Our bodies produce toxic chemicals in our cells, called oxidants, which we fight naturally and with foods that contain antioxidants like blueberries and dark chocolate. All forms of li... Read More
A new analysis pokes holes in a widely accepted theory that connects biodiversity abundance with a reduced disease risk for people. More than three quarters of new, emerging, or re-emerging human diseases are caused by pathogens from animals. The dilution effect—considered to be one of the most... Read More
Beijing confirmed that a 7-year-old girl has H7N9 avian influenza and Henan province reported its first two cases, opening a new front in the spread of the virus in the world’s most populous nation. Shanghai said today two people infected with the strain of bird flu died, taking the country’s de... Read More
LOS ALAMOS, N. M., March 29, 2013—A new study by Los Alamos National Laboratory and University of Pennsylvania scientists defines previously unknown properties of transmitted HIV-1, the virus that causes AIDS. The viruses that successfully pass from a chronically infected person to a new individ... Read More
In the summer of 1968, a new strain of influenza appeared in Hong Kong. This strain, known as H3N2, spread around the globe and eventually killed an estimated 1 million people.
A new study from MIT reveals that there are many strains of H3N2 circulating in birds and pigs that are genetically ... Read More
The cyanobacterium Synechocystis produces toxins that often lead to its own demise. The biologists Stefan Kopfmann and Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hess from the University of Freiburg have determined the logic governing this mechanism. The cyanobacterium Synechocystis produces several toxins. However, mo... Read More