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"I kissed a plate... and I liked it."

What do you get when you kiss a Petri dish? Bacteria and yeast colonies that grow into a pretty collage composed of different colors and morphologies. This is an LB agar plate incubated at room temperature for several days. Read More

THESE YEAST CELLS SAY ‘HI’ AND OTHERS RESPOND

Scientists have engineered yeast cells that can “talk” to one another using a versatile plant hormone called auxin.

Typically, these simple fungal cells (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) usually do their jobs—making bread rise or converting sugar into alcohol—without having to communicate or work to... Read More

New resource makes gene-editing technology even more user friendly

Researchers at Harvard University and the University of California, San Diego, have developed a new user-friendly resource to accompany the powerful gene editing tool called CRISPR/Cas9, which has been widely adopted to make precise, targeted changes in DNA. This breakthrough has the potential t... Read More

Tiny Ocean Microbes are Brightening Up the Sky

Phytoplankton may be microscopic, but that doesn’t mean we can’t see them. Just look up: These little critters are brightening up cloudy days around the world. Read More

It takes a village... to ward off dangerous infections? New microbiome research suggests so

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Like a collection of ragtag villagers fighting off an invading army, the mix of bacteria that live in our guts may band together to keep dangerous infections from taking hold, new research suggests. Read More

Prion trials and tribulations: Finding the right tools and experimental models

Prions are fascinating, enigmatic, and might teach us not only about rare prion diseases like Creutzfeld-Jakob disease, mad cow disease, or scrapie, but also about other more common neurodgenerative diseases. Two studies published on July 2nd in PLOS Pathogens report progress with novel tools an... Read More

New understanding of genetic susceptibility to infections by Candida and Mycobacterium

The discovery of bi-allelic mutations in RORC in patients with candidiasis and mycobacteriosis revealed the pivotal role of RORC in mucocutaneous immunity to Candida and in systemic immunity to Mycobacterium in humans. Read More

Stopping Candida in its tracks

Scientists are one step closer to understanding how a normally harmless fungus changes to become a deadly infectious agent. Read More

Scripps research-designed drug candidate significantly reduces HIV reactivation rate

HIV-infected patients remain on antiretroviral therapy for life because the virus survives over the long-term in infected dormant cells. Interruption of current types of antiretroviral therapy results in a rebound of the virus and clinical progression to AIDS. Read More

Researchers develop world's most sensitive test to detect infectious disease, superbugs

Infectious diseases such as hepatitis C and some of the world's deadliest superbugs--C. difficile and MRSA among them--could soon be detected much earlier by a unique diagnostic test, designed to easily and quickly identify dangerous pathogens. Read More

Stopping malaria in its tracks

A new drug acts as a roadblock for malaria, curing mice of established infection, according to a study in The Journal of Experimental Medicine. Treatment was not associated with obvious side effects, suggesting that the drug may also be safe and effective in humans. Read More

Why West Nile virus is more dangerous in the elderly

West Nile virus (WNV) is particularly dangerous in older people, who account for a large number of severe cases and deaths caused by the virus. WNV infection turns serious when the virus crosses the blood-brain-barrier and wreaks havoc among nerve cells in the brain. A study published on July 23... Read More

The next anti-tuberculosis drug may already be in your local pharmacy

Testing thousands of approved drugs, EPFL scientists have identified an unlikely anti-tuberculosis drug: the over-the-counter antacid lansoprazole (Prevacid®). Read More

UGA researchers develop breakthrough tools in fight against cryptosporidium

Athens, Ga. - Researchers at the University of Georgia have developed new tools to study and genetically manipulate cryptosporidium, a microscopic parasite that causes the diarrheal disease cryptosporidiosis. Their discoveries, published in the journal Nature, will ultimately help researchers in... Read More

Diarrhea in cats

Barbara Hinney and her colleagues from the Institute for Parasitology at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, screened 298 faecal samples taken from cats across Austria for single-cell intestinal parasites, so called enteric protozoa. The samples came from private households, catteries... Read More

Mining Marine Microbes for New Drugs

This slideshow outlines the work of WHOI scientists Tracy Mincer and Kristen Whalen in the quest to beat antibiotic resistance through bioprospecting in the ocean. Read More

Malaria's key to the liver uncovered

Scientists uncover a port of liver entry for malaria parasites in a report published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine. If these results hold up in humans, drugs that target this entry protein might help prevent the spread of disease. Read More

Freshman Symbiosis Course and Jack Gilbert!

As my Fall semester approaches, I am reflecting on last Fall. I taught a freshman seminar course revolving around symbioses and parasitism, and was fortunate to have many well known scientists be willing to "virtually visit" my class! Here is my report from last year on the great Jack Gilbert.... Read More

Lingering lymphocytes lash out against Leishmania

Immune cells that hang around after parasitic skin infection help ward off secondary attack, according to a study in The Journal of Experimental Medicine. These skin squatters may prove to be the key to successful anti-parasite vaccines. Read More

A Green Thumb for Ocean Microbes

MIT-WHOI Graduate student Kristen Hunter-Cevera describes the challenges and obstacles involved with growing marine microbes (in her case, Synechococcus) in a laboratory setting, and outlines the value of her research in understanding marine biogeochemistry. Read More
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