Using two yeasts that have been used to brew tea and beer for centuries, researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have revealed how reproductive barriers might rapidly arise to create species boundaries. Schizosaccharomyces pombe has been used to brew beer in Africa, whereas its clo... Read More
Corralling desperados with names like bacillus and paenibacillus will require ingenuity and an arsenal of weapons. These outlaws aren't rustling cattle—they're making milk sour and cheese soft and crumbly.
For more than a century, milk has been heated to kill any bacteria or pathogens that ca... Read More
Prokaryotes are by far the most successful superkingdom in terms of both biochemical diversity and the variety of environments conquered. Bacteria can be found living in all kinds of adverse conditions; from high alkaline lakes, to below freezing temperature, to hot volcanic vents which in some ... Read More
About 6,000 years ago, a bacterium underwent a few genetic changes. These allowed it to expand its habitat from the guts of mice to that of fleas. Such changes happen all the time, but in this particular instance the transformation eventually resulted in the Black Death that wiped out a third of... Read More
What have we learned?
The various comments confirm that the term microbiome means different things to different people.
Lita points out that in the early days when HMP was formed, the NIH officially defined the human microbiome as “all of the microorganisms and their genes and genomes whic... Read More
Bravo Randy Schekman!
I strongly support your comments on the tyranny of "impact factors" and I will be pleased to join in efforts to prevent the misuse of these ratings.
Impact Factors have become a symbol of terror for scientists in all disciplines and their use in promotion and other ... Read More
The fungal pathogen Candida albicans causes yeast infections, diaper rashes and oral thrush, and is the most common fungal pathogen to infect humans. Researchers have identified a protein that the fungus uses to defend itself against the human body. Another concern with the fungus is that it can... Read More
Vanderbilt University researchers have now discovered how intestinal cells build this specialized structure, which is critical for absorbing nutrients and defending against pathogens. The findings, published April 10 in the journal Cell, reveal a role for adhesion molecules in brush border assem... Read More
One genome at a time can be exciting, but two even more so. I’m not entirely sure why this is, although it may explain our fascination with sex. And what if more than two entities were involved? What if the intimacy were not just between two individual organisms, but between a greater number of ... Read More
One way to avoid getting sick while traveling is to only eat fruit that you peel yourself, since plants can filter out bacteria and prevent it from traveling throughout their tissues. Well, why not apply this principle to filtering water directly? A team of scientists have done just that, testi... Read More
Dr. Tom Solomon is Director of the Institute for Infection and Global Health at the University of Liverpool. In this video he speaks with Vincent Racaniello about the 2014 outbreak of Zaire ebolavirus in West Africa. Dr. Solomon discusses why the epidemic has spread, how it might be curtailed, t... Read More
We continue our semi-annual ritual and post this quick tour of our featured blog posts published since June 2013.
Microbial ‘Starstuff’. Associate blogger Gemma Reguera tells us how the remnants of a dying star become transmuted into microbial stuff, including cellular structures... Read More
Nearly 40 years ago, a young Belgian scientist travelled to a remote part of the Congolese rainforest - his task was to help find out why so many people were dying from an unknown and terrifying disease.
In September 1976, a package containing a shiny, blue thermos flask arrived at the Instit... Read More
Antibiotic resistance mechanisms of clinically important bacteria. Read More
How often have you heard of two or more bacterial species coexisting within the same cell of a host? It’s known to happen with some frequency in some amebas, insects and other invertebrates (including the strange case of the mealybug bacteria, which have an endosymbiotic bacterium that carries a... Read More
Cells, biological circuits, and individual biomolecules organize themselves and interact with the environment. Use of these capabilities in flexible and economically efficient biotechnological production systems is in the focus of the "Molecular Interaction Engineering" (MIE) project. It is the ... Read More
MIT study finds ocean bacteria follow predictable patterns of daily activity.
We are all creatures of habit, and a new MIT study finds ocean bacteria are no exception.
In a paper published this week in Science, researchers from MIT and elsewhere report that microbes in the open ocean follo... Read More
This article discusses the famous pump handle that John Snow may or may not have had removed ... read the article to get the true story. From medical historian Peter Vinten-Johansen. Read More
If you happened to be reading state health departments’ outbreak announcements this past weekend, you might have seen something interesting.
(You don’t do this? Hmm.)
Three states — Rhode Island, North Carolina and Tennessee — all said that they have identified residents who have been diag... Read More
The "danger zones" in Asia which are vulnerable to a deadly bird flu have been mapped by scientists.
The virus, called H7N9, has infected 433 people mostly in China and has killed 62.
The study, published in Nature Communications, showed parts of Bangladesh, India and Vietnam could easily ... Read More