Can you create an extremophile? The microbes living and thriving at the fringes of the biosphere manage to get by in spite of extreme temperatures, radiation levels, and pressures (did I miss any?) that most other life forms would choke on. But how easy would it be for an organism that prosper... Read More
The type of bacteria that colonize the placenta during pregnancy could be associated with preterm birth and other developmental problems in newborns according to research published in the current issue of the online journal mBio®.
"The fetal inflammatory response appears to contribute to the ... Read More
Google and the iPhone are American inventions. But the first mass-produced gas-electric hybrid car was made in Japan.
And although the United States now fosters a nascent commercial space industry, if you want to speed from city to city on a smooth, fast train, you have to head to Europe.
... Read More
They give you joy. They give you loyalty. They give you sloppy kisses.
But before you allow Fido or Fluffy to climb into bed with you at night, as an increasing number of Americans are doing, know that they can also give you something else: zoonoses.
In the United States, the most common p... Read More
Sometimes natural selection gets a helping hand from humans. A new study tracing the genetic history of a nasty strain of pneumonia-causing bacteria shows that antibiotics and vaccines helped shape the microbe’s evolution.
In a technical tour de force, an international team of researchers dec... Read More
You may have heard the proclamation before: The next generation of biofuels will be derived from cellulosic plant material. And, in theory, this makes sense. Whereas ethanol can be produced via the fermentation of simple sugars in food crops such as corn or sugarcane, it would be more economical... Read More
As last year's Salmonella outbreak and the unethical practices of egg mogul Jack DeCoster proved, our food supply is not always as safe as expected. One problem is that numerous systems exist for reporting foodborne illnesses on a state by state basis, and the difficulty of analyzing the data ma... Read More
En el capítulo de e... Read More
A workhorse of modern biology is sick, and scientists couldn't be happier.
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, the Jacques Monod Institute in France and Cambridge University have found that the nematode C. elegans, a millimeter-long worm used extensively for ... Read More
It's commonly known, at least among microbiologists, that microbes have an additional option to living or dying -- dormancy.
Dormant microbes are less like zombies and more like hibernating bears. What isn't known, however, is how large numbers of dormant microorganisms affect the natural env... Read More
A strain of bacteria found in soil is being studied for its ability to convert glycerol - waste from the biodiesel process - into several useful materials. Keerthi Venkataramanan, a student in the University of Alabama in Huntsville's biotechnology Ph.D. program, is developing biological tools t... Read More
Bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes can cause mild food-poisoning symptoms in healthy individuals, but some strains have an enhanced ability to invade the heart, a new study finds.
The ability to infect the heart, possibly causing serious heart disease, may be due to particular proteins on... Read More
Implante writes, "I'm a TA for a first year med school class and made this module on how antibiotics have driven the development of the MRSA 'superbug' that you hear about in the news. Nothing like making a module for medical students at a 3rd grade reading level. Enjoy!"
And enjoy I did! I h... Read More
On the most recent nationwide science test, about a third of fourth graders and a fifth of high school seniors scored at or above the proficiency level, according to results released Tuesday.
Only one or two students out of every 100 displayed the level of mastery that the federal panel gover... Read More
After finding evidence in feral hogs of the bacteria that causes tularemia, researchers at The Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH) at Texas Tech University are warning hunters and ranchers to use caution when handling wild game.
Steve Presley, a zoonotic disease researcher at ... Read More
Superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics, long known to create life-threatening infections in hospital patients, could also be originating from animal farms where antibiotics are used to promote growth, potentially threatening human health, new research suggests.
It's not the pigs causing ... Read More
Ludek Zurek and collaborators from Kansas and North Carolina State Universities isolated bacteria from farm pig feces and compared them to the bacteria present in the intestines of the house flies and German cockroaches caught on those farms.
They subjected the bacteria to a range of differe... Read More
Researchers at National Jewish Health and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have discovered a new method to fight bacterial infections associated with contact lenses. The method may also have applications for bacterial infections associated with severe burns and cystic fibrosis... Read More
A new study into Staphylococcus aureus, the bacterium which is responsible for severe chronic infections worldwide, reveals how bacteria have developed a strategy of hiding within host cells to escape the immune system as well as many antibacterial treatments. The research, published by EMBO Mol... Read More
Babies in this country and in Europe are given several immunizations during the first two years of life, and one vaccine that has made a big dent in infant mortality rates is PCV7 – the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. A study coming out in mBio this week shows that the vaccine cuts down... Read More