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Quality is job one: E. coli signal recognition particle system keeps tabs on synthesis of membrane proteins

E. coli uses its signal recognition particle (SRP) system in membrane protein biogenesis, but there has been some question about its other possible roles. A new paper just released by mBio reveals E. coli’s SRP is also capable of regulating membrane protein synthesis. Read More

Q and A with Amy Gutmann of Presidential Commission for Study of Bioethical Issues

President Obama has appointed a new Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, replacing his predecessor's President's Council on Bioethics. Like the previous entity and similar ones before it, the group will advise the president on a wide range of difficult, controversial scien... Read More

Silent but Not Deadly: Muting Gene Quashes Ebola Infection

In fall 1976 the first recorded Ebola outbreak ravaged a small village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire). The virus, named for the river valley where it was found, causes a deadly hemorrhagic fever. It spread quickly via contact with blood and contaminated needles killing... Read More

Kids Read Science Summer Reading Contest 2010

Joanne Manaster is a woman on a mission. She loves science and she wants to introduce kids to everything there is to love about science.

So this summer, her mission is to stimulate the minds of children and teens everywhere by challenging them to read non-fiction science books. In collaborati... Read More

Infection Control Lacking at Surgical Centers

Lapses in procedures aimed at fighting infections are common in ambulatory surgical centers, a study shows. The lapses include safe hygiene methods and improper handling of medications and equipment.

The study by the CDC is published in the June 9 issue of The Journal of the American Medical ... Read More

How Mast Cells Set Immune Defense on the Right Track

In the event of an infection, the immune system releases messenger substances. These molecules can either activate immune cells to defeat invading pathogens, or inhibit them to prevent an excessive immune reaction. For this, the immune system has to decide very quickly what mixture of activating... Read More

One bad mamma-jamma

The 1918 Spanish flu epidemic was caused by an influenza A (H1N1) virus.
Responsible for more deaths during World War I than all the bombs, bullets, poison gases, & artillery shells used, it killed more than 500,000 people in the United States, and up to 50 million worldwide.
The possible so... Read More

Negative stain smallpox virus

Magnification 65,000X.

Smallpox is a serious, highly contagious, and sometimes fatal infectious viral disease. There is no specific treatment for smallpox disease, and the only prevention is a smallpox vaccination. Read More

Flu experts rebut conflict claims

"Drug firms 'encouraged world health body to exaggerate swine flu threat'," screamed Britain's Daily Mail newspaper on June 4. "2 European reports criticize WHO's H1N1 pandemic guidelines as tainted," headlined The Washington Post the next day. To judge from media coverage last week, a major sc... Read More

Streptococcal bacteria

This image depicts the quantitative difference in hemolytic reactivity seen in a trypticase soy agar culture plate containing 5% sheep’s blood growing group-D Streptococci (left wedge), group-B Streptococci (middle wedge), and group-A Streptococci (right wedge) bacteria. This plate was grown u... Read More

Video Study Finds Risky Food-Safety Behavior More Common Than Thought

How safe is the food we get from restaurants, cafeterias and other food-service providers? A new study from North Carolina State University -- the first study to place video cameras in commercial kitchens to see how precisely food handlers followed food-safety guidelines -- discovered that risky... Read More

New yeast can ferment more sugar, make more cellulosic ethanol

Purdue University scientists have improved a strain of yeast that can produce more biofuel from cellulosic plant material by fermenting all five types of the plant's sugars.

Nathan Mosier, an associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering; Miroslav Sedlak, a research assistant... Read More

For Plants, Resistance to Infection Comes at a Cost

Any gardener has seen it happen. One plant in the backyard thrives, while its neighbor of the same species is plagued with infection. Why?

One reason may be genetic. Researchers have discovered that more resistant mouse ear cress plants have a variant of a gene known as ACD6. Plants with thi... Read More

Migrants on the move with tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is an enormous global public health problem. Migration and failure by governments and the public health community to adequately treat and prevent TB among migrants is an important barrier to TB control.

To reduce the incidence, spread and severity of tuberculosis, government... Read More

On a Mission to Sequence the Genomes of 100,000 People

Traditionally, biology is about taking apart things like cells to better understand them. For the geneticist George M. Church, the main objective is to put the pieces back together.

Strolling through his laboratory, one of the larger ones at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Church, 56, points out... Read More

Highlights from a scientific conference, observed via Twitter - #asmgm

Science blogger Cesar Sanchez of the site Twisted Bacteria (twistedbacteria.blogspot.com) reviews the American Society for Microbiology's use of social media during their general meeting and also highlights several tweets coming from attendees:

"Lots of conferences and meetings on science-rel... Read More

Phialophora richardsiae

Magnified 1125X, this photomicrograph revealed some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by the dematiaceous (pigmented) filamentous fungus, Phialophora richardsiae.

Note the septate hyphae from which sprout the short conidiophores, and still further distally one can see the flask-shap... Read More

How to Store Water Filters for Microbial DNA Analysis

Microbial communities in the Gulf of Mexico have surely been impacted by the oil disaster over the last couple of weeks. Labs are now beginning to assess the damage done by collecting water onto filter membranes and shipping the filters back to their labs for DNA analysis.

A frequent question... Read More

Next in Forensics: Bacterial 'Fingerprints'

While its widespread application in law enforcement is still years away, scientists at the University of Colorado, Boulder have developed a technique that can match the “personal” bacteria on an individual’s hands and fingers with bacteria deposited on computer keyboards and mice. Once perfecte... Read More

Extreme spring points to life on Mars

Researchers at McGill's department of natural resources, the National Research Council of Canada, the University of Toronto and the SETI Institute have discovered that methane-eating bacteria survive in a highly unique spring located on Axel Heiberg Island in Canada's extreme North. Dr. Lyle Why... Read More
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