In its early days, ca. 1945-1965, molecular biology was a particularly collegial undertaking, characterized by free sharing of research data and a relative lack of egotistical behavior. The reason for this marvel may well have been that there was so much to discover—so many low hanging fruits—th... Read More
Partial isolate of an unknown organism on trypticase soy agar exhibiting spreading and an irregular-rhizoid form with lobate margins. The pigment is opaque white-beige with a mucoid surface over most of the colony. A dry, dull, matte surface appears toward the outer edges of the colony. The s... Read More
Dangerous new pathogens such as the Ebola virus invoke scary scenarios of deadly epidemics, but even ancient scourges such as the bubonic plague are still providing researchers with new insights on how the body responds to infections.
In a study published online Sept. 18, 2014, in the journal... Read More
Researchers have identified the evolutionary origins of human herpes simplex virus (HSV) -1 and -2, reporting that the former infected hominids before their evolutionary split from chimpanzees 6 million years ago while the latter jumped from ancient chimpanzees to ancestors of modern humans -- H... Read More
Using a new technique to track the swimming motion of a single bacterium, researchers have discovered that the movement of the bacterium’s body — not just thrust from the flagellum — allow movement through fluids. The finding could shed new light on the evolution of cell body shape.
Click "so... Read More
A boy with cystic fibrosis develops a chronic and potentially deadly Burkholderia dolosa infection in his lungs. Varieties of genetic mutations allow some strains of the bacteria to survive the dual assaults from his immune system and antibiotics, while others perish. Eventually, the strongest m... Read More
The instructions encoded into DNA are thought to follow a universal set of rules across all domains of life. But researchers report in the May 23 issue of Science that organisms routinely break these rules.
The finding has implications for the design of synthetic life: by designing organisms ... Read More
In Pakistan prevalence and drug resistance of TB is on the rise. Late diagnosis and lack of resources are making the situation worse. In such a scenario molecular techniques such as PCR and hybridization would help in early diagnosis of TB and MDR TB leading to commencement of treatment at the r... Read More
"Clinically Important Drug-Resistant Bacteria” Read More
Inspired by natural materials such as bone — a matrix of minerals and other substances, including living cells — MIT engineers have coaxed bacterial cells to produce biofilms that can incorporate nonliving materials, such as gold nanoparticles and quantum dots.
These “living materials” combin... Read More
Using an experimental technique new to the dengue field, the labs of Ralph Baric, PhD, and Aravinda de Silva, PhD, showed that a molecular hinge where two regions of a protein connect is where natural human antibodies attach to dengue 3 to disable it. The finding, published in the Proceedings of... Read More
Could Ebola go airborne? That’s the fear set off last week by a New York Times op-ed entitled “What We’re Afraid to Say about Ebola” from Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. Although clinicians readily agree that th... Read More
According to CNN,a long-range business jet with an isolation pod left the United States for Liberia, where it will evacuate two Americans infected with Ebola.
Twitter exploded with questions about the deadly virus, which according to the World Health Organization is believed to have killed hu... Read More
Banana lovers take note: The world's supply of the fruit is under attack from a fungus strain that could wipe out the popular variety that Americans eat. "It's a very serious situation," said Randy Ploetz, a professor of plant pathology at the University of Florida who in 1989 originally discove... Read More
Bacillus anthracis bacteria have very efficient machinery for injecting toxic proteins into cells, leading to the potentially deadly infection known as anthrax. A team of MIT researchers has now hijacked that delivery system for a different purpose: administering cancer drugs.
“Anthrax toxin ... Read More
Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) constitutes approximately 50% of clinical S. aureus isolates and is most commonly the result of production of a mutated pencillin-binding protein, PBP2a, which is able to carry out essential cell wall synthesis functions while maintaining a low-affinity for... Read More
Scientists regularly tap into biological systems to find solutions for human problems. Although they work with plants and viruses in the lab, bacteria have many advantages as a starting point. When programmed in certain ways, bacteria can store data, clean dangerous waste, produce film-like imag... Read More
Ever since a highway construction crew in Chile uncovered a fossil graveyard of some 40 prehistoric whales in 2010, with skeletons dating back more than five million years, scientists have wondered why so many giant animals died in one place. This week, a team of them proposed an answer: The hug... Read More
A graduate student came to my office recently to say that she was increasingly bothered by anxiety and the ‘terror’ of having to speak at laboratory meetings. She had also learned a month ago that she was expected to lecture to a class organized by her mentor. The thought of having to lecture to... Read More
New research reveals the complex dynamic between gut bacteria and the immune system that keeps proteins from flagellin—bacterial tails—under control.
In healthy individuals, the only thing that separates the lining of the human gut from the some 100 trillion bacterial cells in the gastrointes... Read More