Researchers have been trying to make artificial spider silk--a lightweight, tougher-than-steel material that could have countless industrial applications--for decades. In an important step toward that goal, researchers at Tufts University have created genetically engineered microbes that produce... Read More
African children who eat a high-fiber diet (and the occasional wood-digesting insect) have gut bacteria that help them digest plant fibers and protect them from diarrhea and inflammatory disease, a new study finds. The research may lead to new probiotics that improve the digestive health of West... Read More
Using chemical "nanoblasts" that punch tiny holes in the protective membranes of cells, researchers have demonstrated a new technique for getting therapeutic small molecules, proteins and DNA directly into living cells.
Carbon nanoparticles activated by bursts of laser light trigger the tiny ... Read More
Basidiobolus haptosporus. Hypha in subcutaneous phycomycosis granuloma. Read More
Elio Schaechter of Small Things Considered describes the work by members of Jill Banfield’s lab at Berkeley on a unique set of mine-dwelling microorganisms dubbed ARMAN (for Archaeal Richmond Mine Acidophilic Nanoorganisms). These microbes illustrate many surprising characteristics such as "thei... Read More
DuPont and USDA will be developing a test for the detection of "Big 6" non-O157 shiga toxin-producing E. coli pathogens in food, which in recent years have been identified as agents of food-borne illnesses. The O157:H7 STEC strain of E. coli is already associated with global food contamination o... Read More
Scientists say this year that the "dead zone" area that forms every summer in the Gulf of Mexico is one of the largest ever measured.
The large area of low oxygen that chokes marine life comes in addition to the massive BP oil spill.
Microbes that eat the oil can deplete oxygen in the wate... Read More
In a bid to search for new drug discoveries, researchers are using one of the world’s most advanced microscopic scanners to study bacteria taken from mud samples recovered from the deepest place on Earth – the Mariana Trench.
The findings could pave the way for the creation of life-saving dru... Read More
At East Diamante volcano (195 m, 640 ft depth), tropical fish swim above boulders covered with bacterial mat, which indicates the presence of hydrothermal venting. These fish live in the reef community above and are about 15 cm long (6 in). Read More
Accompanying the previous NYT article 'Tracing Oil Reserves to their Tiny Origins" is this graphic which depicts the oil formation process. Read More
In 1913, as the automobile zoomed into American life, The Outing Magazine gave its readers a bit of background on what fueled the new motorcars in “The Story of Gasoline.” After a brief vignette describing the death of “old Colonel Stegosaurus Ugulatus,” the article explained that “yesterday you... Read More
Chanock received his MD in 1947 from the University of Chicago, and after clinical training in pediatrics (note the bowtie), joined Albert Sabin at the University of Cincinnati where he studied arthropod-borne viruses. After a stint in the US Army, he rejoined Sabin’s laboratory in 1954 as an in... Read More
Every day, millions of microorganisms reach Spain from the Sahara Desert and the Sahel region -- by flying. Louis Pasteur demonstrated back in 1861 that germs can move through the air, but it was only recently discovered that bacteria, fungi and viruses can travel thousands of kilometers stuck o... Read More
Blastomyces dermatitidis. Yeast stage from 2-day culture on blood agar at 37 . Note double refractile cell wall Read More
This report provides an update to the international flu situation using data collected through July 18, 2010, and reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) on July 23.
WHO continues to report laboratory-confirmed 2009 H1N1 flu deathsExternal Web Site IconExternal Web Site Icon on its We... Read More
Prospecting for new drugs in the genes of common bacteria could yield a "treasure trove" of therapeutic compounds, an expert has said.
Eriko Takano's team of bug experts already discovered a promising new antibiotic using the "genome mining" approach.
The drug was extracted from the soil b... Read More
Chemists at times look to plants, sea life and other natural sources for the basic ingredients needed to develop the next breakthrough medicine. Unfortunately, nature is not always willing to easily part with its secrets, forcing scientists to rely on sophisticated imaging technology—nuclear mag... Read More
For all the antibacterial products and other weapons in the war against germs, even the cleanest of us still carry about 10 bacterial cells for every human cell.
Most are harmless or even beneficial. Indeed, some scientists believe that the loss of friendly organisms in recent years could be ... Read More
Fears were growing Monday for up to 2.5 million people affected by Pakistan's worst floods in 80 years amid outbreaks of disease after monsoon rains killed more than 1,300 people.
Unprecedented rains triggered floods and landslides, sweeping away thousands of homes and devastating farmland in... Read More
Avian influenza situation in Egypt - WHO update 35
The Ministry of Health of Egypt has announced a new human case of A(H5N1) avian influenza infection. The case is a 20 year-old female from Shobra Elkhima district, Qliubia Governorate. She was... Read More