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Hacking Bacteria To Do Our Bidding: Photos

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

Recalling the Good in the Good Old Days

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

New analysis of 'swine flu' pandemic conflicts with accepted views on how diseases spread

The most detailed analysis to date of the spread of the H1N1 2009 pandemic influenza virus, known informally as ‘swine flu’, has found that short-range travel was likely the primary driver for the 2009 pandemic in the United States, in contrast with popularly accepted views on the way diseases s... Read More

Study of gut microbes, antibiotics offers clues to improving immunity in premature babies

Mothers give a newborn baby a gift of germs -— germs that help to kick-start the infant’s immune system. But antibiotics, used to fight bacterial infection, may paradoxically interrupt a newborn’s own immune responses. A new animal study by neonatology researchers at The Children's Hospital of P... Read More

Mollusk parasite culturing methods drive research

Researchers at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences dug into the last 70 years of peer-reviewed publications about protozoan parasites that infest bivalve mollusks and found that when an organism can be cultured in the laboratory, more papers and greater understanding result. Senior Research S... Read More

Family Tree Of Pertussis Traced, Could Lead To Better Vaccine

Whooping cough was once one of the leading killers of babies around the world. Now that it's largely controlled with a vaccine, scientists have had a chance to figure out how the disease came into being in the first place. That story is told in a study published online this week in the journal m... Read More

Novel vaccine approach to human cytomegalovirus found effective

An experimental vaccine against human cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, which endangers the developing fetus, organ transplant recipients, patients with HIV and others who have a weakened immune system, proved safe and more effective than previous vaccines developed to prevent infection by the ub... Read More

WHO warns against 'post-antibiotic' era

The 'post-antibiotic' era is near, according to a report released today by the World Health Organization (WHO). The decreasing effectiveness of antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents is a global problem, and a surveillance system should be established to monitor it, the group says. There is ... Read More

Home is where the microbes are: Home Microbiome Project announces results of study on household microbes

A person’s home is their castle, and they populate it with their own subjects: millions and millions of bacteria.

A study published tomorrow in Science provides a detailed analysis of the microbes that live in houses and apartments. The study was conducted by researchers from the U.S. Departm... Read More

Scientists Convert Bacteria from Free-living to Nitrogen Fixing

If you pull up a soybean or bean plant and shake off the dirt, you might see odd swellings or bumps, like rheumatic finger joints, on its roots. Inside the cool, soil-covered bumps are bacteria that are making nitrogen with the help of an enzyme, something chemical factories can do only with the... Read More

UNC researchers discover new target for dengue virus vaccine

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

Tiny Algae Responsible for Mysterious Fossil Whale Graveyard?

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

ICAAC 2013 - ICAAC Highlights


Members of the ICAAC Program Committee present highlights by day of the ICAAC meeting and discuss sessions of particular interest.<... Read More

Yes! We have no bananas? It could actually happen

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

Unknown Floor isolate #2

Partial isolate of an unknown organism on trypticase soy agar exhibiting spreading and mounding in an irregular-rhizoid form with lobate margins. The colony exhibited an opaque yellow-orange pigment with a mucoid surface. This sample was obtained from a floor swab and incubated at 37°C. Read More

Reduced glycopeptide and lipopeptide susceptibility in Staphylococcus aureus and the “seesaw effect”: Taking advantage of the back door left open?

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

Research identifies how bacteria produce hydrogen

Making hydrogen easily and cheaply is a dream goal for clean, sustainable energy. Bacteria have been doing exactly that for billions of years, and now chemists at the University of California, Davis, and Stanford University are revealing how they do it, and perhaps opening ways to imitate them.
... Read More

Microbes Defy Rules of DNA Code

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

Gut Bacteria Lose their Tails to Evade Antibodies

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

On Teaching

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

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