If you were a science professor, and you received two equally strong applications for the position of laboratory manager, one from a female, one from a male, which one would you pick? The answer may surprise you.
It is well known that women are underrepresented in many fields of science. Whet... Read More
In a new study, iron-oxidizing microbes give fresh meaning to the phrase "living off the grid," and provide fresh hope as a potential biofuel.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, have coaxed a species of bacteria into trading their usual diet of partially-oxidized iron for a... Read More
Public health crises of the past decade — such as the 2003 SARS outbreak, which spread to 37 countries and caused about 1,000 deaths, and the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic that killed about 300,000 people worldwide — have heightened awareness that new viruses or bacteria could spread quickly across the... Read More
Multiple RNA sequences can code for the same amino acid, but differences in their respective "optimality" slow or accelerate protein translation. Stanford biologists find optimal and non-optimal codons are consistently associated with specific protein structures, suggesting that they influence t... Read More
Bruce Walker, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT and Harvard, talks about his article in the July issue of Scientific American magazine called Controlling HIV, about rare individuals who never develop AIDS af... Read More
During my visit to the University of Vermont today I had lunch with seven talented Microbiology Ph.D. students. One of them asked me what was an important quality to have for achieving success in science. I said without hesitation, ‘Be curious’. It’s the answer I always give. Being curious is th... Read More
Nearly half of the world's population is at risk of infection by the dengue virus, yet there is no specific treatment for the disease. Now a therapy to protect people from the virus could finally be a step closer, thanks to a team at MIT.
In a paper published today in the Proceedings of the N... Read More
IDRI (Infectious Disease Research Institute), a Seattle-based non-profit research organization that is a leading developer of adjuvants used in vaccines combating infectious disease, and Medicago Inc. (TSX: MDG; OTCQX: MDCGF), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing highly effective an... Read More
Despite the pointless political assassinations of vaccine workers or the police officers who guard them in a few deeply troubled areas, enough progress has been made against polio in the past year that health experts are now planning for the grand finale—its complete eradication by 2018. The off... Read More
Applied to the hull of a ship like paint, a new material could shake off scum by moving in response to an electric current.
Bacterial buildup on ships increases drag and reduces the energy efficiency of the vessel, as well as blocking or clogging undersea sensors.
The material works by phy... Read More
In the February issue of New Phytologist, Tulane University biologists examine why leaf-cutting ants target some plants and avoid others, concluding that high levels of friendly fungi in the leaves of some plants protect them from destruction by ants.
Leaf-cutting ants are major defoliators, ... Read More
Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States. Each year, it causes about 21 million illnesses and contributes to about 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths. Norovirus is also the most common cause of foodborne-disease outbreaks in the United States. Research... Read More
Another major goal of synthetic biology is to engineer unnatural molecules and compounds into systems and tools that mimic those found in biology. For instance, Joanna Aizenberg and her laboratory have pioneered using self-assembling synthetic nanofibers to generate capture-and-release devices t... Read More
Michael Pollan, food author, activist and journalism professor, wrote this week’s cover story about the organisms with which we share our bodies — and how we’re dependent on them. His book “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation” came out last month. His last article for the magazine was ab... Read More
Researchers seeking to improve production of ethanol from woody crops have a new resource in the form of an extensive molecular map of poplar tree proteins, published by a team from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Populus, a fast-growing perennial tree, holds potenti... Read More
A long-forgotten candidate for antiviral therapy is undergoing a renaissance: Since the 1970s, the small molecule CMA has been considered a potent agent against viral infections, yet it was never approved for clinical use. Scientists at the Bonn University Hospital have now deciphered how the mo... Read More
Researchers from CNRS, Université Toulouse III -- Paul Sabatier and IRD have elucidated new molecular mechanisms involved in resistance to visceral leishmaniasis, a serious parasitic infection. They have shown that dectin-1 and mannose receptors participate in the protection against the parasite... Read More
What do cancer cells, weeds, and pathogens have in common? They all evolve resistance to the treatments that are supposed to eliminate them. However, researchers developing the next generation of antibiotics, herbicides, and anti-cancer therapeutics rarely come together to explore the common evo... Read More
In my newest blog post, I discuss how taking a "beginner's mind" approach leads to creativity, real learning, and enthusiasm. I tie together Suzuki's "Beginner's Mind" concept with Elio Schaechter's "Talmudic Questions," and give an example from one of my first seminars. Read More