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Worm sperm motility

Two worm sperm shimmy across a microscope slide. Unlike most cells that rely on motor proteins to propel themselves forward, worm sperm use tiny fibers at their front ends. Putting the fibers together and taking them apart sets the cells in motion. In a new advance, researchers disassembled the ... 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

Red blood cell infected with malaria parasites

Colorized electron micrograph of red blood cell infected with malaria parasites (blue). The small bumps on the infected cell show how the parasite remodels its host cell. Uninfected cells (red) have smoother surfaces.

Related story: "Scientists Find Genetic Basis for Key Pa... 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 Use for Well-known Algae

Shock! Horror! Some treasured molecular paleoenvironmental tools of organic biogeochemists—namely the alkenones, an esoteric group of long-chained compounds made by aquatic microalgae—are being put forward by O’Neil et al.1 as candidates for conversion to jet fuel on an industrial scale! (See... Read More

Stanford researchers genetically engineer yeast to produce opioids

For thousands of years, people have used yeast to ferment wine, brew beer and leaven bread. Now researchers at Stanford have genetically engineered yeast to make painkilling medicines, a breakthrough that heralds a faster and potentially less expensive way to produce many different types of pla... Read More

Northeastern University researchers discover new path to antibiotics

Scientists at Northeastern University have taken a major step towards being able to grow previously uncultivable bacteria in the lab, the potential key to developing a new generation of highly effective antibiotics.

Examining bacterial communities enveloping particles of sand, the Northeaster... 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

Rhizopus microsporus

Rhizopus microsporus
It causes human mucormycosis and bovine mycotic abortion.
It is distinguished from R.arrhizus by its shorter stalk, and smaller sporangia and spores.
Variant forms
Var.oligosporus : has elongated columellae ; spores less obviously striated.
Var.rhizopodiformis : has ... Read More

Aspergillus restrictus

Aspergillus restrictus from generalized aspergillosis. Note radiating hyphae in granuloma Read More

Chip-based technology enables reliable direct detection of Ebola virus

A team led by researchers at UC Santa Cruz has developed chip-based technology for reliable detection of Ebola virus and other viral pathogens. The system uses direct optical detection of viral molecules and can be integrated into a simple, portable instrument for use in field situations where r... Read More

"Never Really Alone" with Seth Bordenstein (Including Current News!)

This blog post describes a "video meeting" between Seth Bordenstein and my freshman writing class in the Fall of 2014. My freshman class revolved around ideas in symbioses and parasitism, so Seth's ideas regarding holobionts and the hologenome were particularly apt. Furthermore, last week Seth... Read More

Bacillus subtilis

Streak plate isolation showing colonial morphology of Bacillus subtilis on trypticase soy agar (TSA) incubated for 24 hours at 37oC. Note the rough and dry/matte texture characteristic of this organism’s growth. Read More


Microorganisms reside everywhere, yet they are too small to be seen with the human eye. New York City (NYC) is a melting pot of cultures - both human and microbial - and every citizen has a personalized microbiome. Collectively, we shape NYC’s microbiome by our lifestyle choices, and this unseen... Read More

Aspergillus spp.

(Eurodium) Sexual phase of Aspergillus spp. Asci and ascospores Read More

Chickenpox vaccination does increase shingles cases, but mainly in young adults

Vaccinating one-year-olds against chickenpox could temporarily nearly double the incidence of shingles in the wider population, but in younger adults than previously thought. Read More

Paracoccidioides brasiliensis tissue

Paracoccidioides brasiliensis tissue or parasitic form grown in vitro at 37 C Read More

Extreme Life Thrives Where the Livin’ Ain’t Easy

Wired magazine has put together an 8-part image gallery that matches the extremophile microbe with it's environment.

"Once upon a time, scientists routinely found life in places where it wasn’t supposed to exist. That doesn’t happen anymore, and not because the pace of discovery has s... Read More

Absidia sp.

Absidia sp. Unstained, interference phase Read More

Vaccination on the horizon for severe viral infection of the brain

Researchers from the University of Zurich and the University Hospital Zurich reveal possible new treatment methods for a rare, usually fatal brain disease. Thanks to their discovery that specific antibodies play a key role in combating the viral infection, a vaccine against the disease "progress... Read More
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