The swine flu virus that caused a 2009 pandemic has been found in elephant seals off the central California coast, according to new research. The study, published in the journal PLoS ONE, is the first report of the virus H1N1 in any marine mammal. Researchers are now being advised to wear protec... Read More
Back when the Time Lord and I were still engaged, we went shopping for wedding rings. He only had one criteria: he wanted his ring to be made of platinum or a similar material forged in a supernova. It’s not quite as exotic as it sounds: most heavy elements were formed in supernovae, via a proce... Read More
Scientists have long believed that measuring the amount of HIV in a person’s blood is an indicator of whether the virus is actively reproducing.
A University of Delaware-led research team reports new evidence that hidden virus replication may be occurring within the body’s tissue, despite un... Read More
Gram stained slide from oil enrichment culture, samples enriched from soil. I would love to know what the HUGE bacilli are - can anyone help? Read More
Researchers from the University of Tübingen have been able to show for the first time how microorganisms contributed to the formation of the world's biggest iron ore deposits. The biggest known deposits -- in South Africa and Australia -- are geological formations billions of years old. They are... Read More
Plants associated bacteria play a key role in host productivity and health. These bacteria are phylogenetically diverse and form interactions considered neutral, beneficial or detrimental. A better understanding of these interactions will have a direct impact in agriculture by promoting sustaina... Read More
In this blog post, I show how students in my freshman "introduction to cell and molecular biology" course used "creativity"-based approaches to better understand concepts in the course---as they prepare for their upcoming final exam. I believe that this kind of approach truly helps with student... Read More
The emergence of human infections with avian influenza viruses (H7N9 and H5N1) have raised concerns about the virus gaining the ability to spread person-to-person, potentially causing a deadly pandemic. So far the number of human cases has been limited but the mortality rates have been high. In ... Read More
On this Mothers' Day, I reflect on the role my late mother had on my own decision to become a scientist. We all owe are mothers a great deal, and not just for the mitochondria! So hurray for mothers everywhere! Read More
Over the past 30 years, the combined efforts of scientists and clinicians have delivered remarkable successes in HIV therapeutics. Since 1987, the FDA has approved more than 30 antiviral drugs, including 12 HIV protease inhibitors and one integrase inhibitor. These drugs stop ~99% of viral repli... Read More
A new study led by researchers from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the UK has, for the first time, used genome sequencing technology to track the changes in a bacterial population following the introduction of a vaccine. The study follows how th... Read More
Bacteria that glide together… make art together? This contender in the Art of Science competition run by Princeton University in New Jersey, entitled The history of gliding, depicts the squiggly gliding paths of the bacteria Myxococcus xanthus.
M. xanthus are social bacteria that move in coor... Read More
A cocktail of non-pathogenic bacteria naturally occurring in the digestive tract of healthy humans can protect against a potentially lethal E. coli infection in animal models according to research presented today at the 113th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. The researc... Read More
Another major goal of synthetic biology is to engineer unnatural molecules and compounds into systems and tools that mimic those found in biology. For instance, Joanna Aizenberg and her laboratory have pioneered using self-assembling synthetic nanofibers to generate capture-and-release devices t... Read More
Researchers from CNRS, Université Toulouse III -- Paul Sabatier and IRD have elucidated new molecular mechanisms involved in resistance to visceral leishmaniasis, a serious parasitic infection. They have shown that dectin-1 and mannose receptors participate in the protection against the parasite... Read More
I can tell you the exact date that I began to think of myself in the first-person plural — as a superorganism, that is, rather than a plain old individual human being. It happened on March 7. That’s when I opened my e-mail to find a huge, processor-choking file of charts and raw data from a labo... Read More
Scientists at the University of California, Davis have engineered a strain of photosynthetic cyanobacteria to grow without the need for light. They report their findings today at the 113th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.
“In this work, we used synthetic biology appr... Read More
Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States. Each year, it causes about 21 million illnesses and contributes to about 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths. Norovirus is also the most common cause of foodborne-disease outbreaks in the United States. Research... Read More