Viruses are supposed to be small and simple—not even alive, just mobile genetic material after all. So what do we make of giant double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) viruses, one of which—the newly discovered Pandoravirus salinus—has an even larger genome than a hunky parasitic eukaryote called Encephalit... Read More
When attacking body cells, bacteria, such as salmonellae or Yersinia (plague pathogens), inject specific bacterial proteins through hollow, syringe-like structures – called injectisomes – into the host cells. These substances reprogram the cells and can thus overcome their defense. From then on,... Read More
Researchers at Singapore's Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) and California's IBM Research -- Almaden (IBM) have discovered a new, potentially life-saving application for polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is widely used to make plastic bottles. They have successfully con... Read More
On the continental margins, where the seafloor drops hundreds of meters below the water’s surface, low temperatures and high pressure lock methane inside ice crystals. Called methane hydrates, these crystals are a potential energy source, but they are also a potential source of global warming if... Read More
In May 1984, readers of an article by Schwartz and Cantor in the prestigious journal Cell were to stumble upon pictures of DNA agarose gels that were among the lousiest of such ever published after the method was introduced in the early 70s. Why did the editors of Cell risk their reputation? Or ... Read More
Scientists have long believed that microorganisms that produce methane swim toward the hydrogen gas they need to stay alive, but it has been too hard to prove in the lab.
Montana State University researchers have now overcome those challenges, allowing them to verify it for the first time, sa... Read More
Darwin and the 20th century pioneers of biology would have been astonished to see the countless roles that microbes play in shaping eukaryotic life. From the origins of eukaryotic cells to pharmaceutical products, Life as we know it would be unrecognizable without microbes. Integrating microbes ... Read More
Blood clots play an unexpected role in protecting the body from the deadly effects of bacteria by absorbing bacterial toxins, researchers at the University of California, Davis, have found. The research was published Dec. 2 in the journal PLoS ONE.
"It's a significant addition to the short li... Read More
Saudi Arabia says one more person has died from a new respiratory virus related to SARS, bringing to 55 the number of deaths in the kingdom at the center of the outbreak.
The Health Ministry said Sunday that the 37-year-old man died in Riyadh. He was among 130 people who have been infected wi... Read More
Scientists at Emory Vaccine Center have found a link between immunity induced by vaccination and an ancient way that cells adapt to scarcity, a link that could help researchers develop vaccines against challenging infections such as HIV or malaria.
Researchers studying immune responses to the... Read More
Two studies published in the December issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology show antibiotic resistance patterns for children have held stable over a seven-year period and surgical patients in U.S. children's hospitals account for 43 percent of all antibiotic use in children's hosp... Read More
Cambridge scientists have uncovered the mechanism by which bacteria build their surface propellers (flagella) – the long extensions that allow them to swim towards food and away from danger. The results, published this week in the journal Nature, demonstrate how the mechanism is powered by the s... Read More
One would assume offhand that the pathways for synthesis and assembly of the major constituents of a bacterial cell “talk to each other,” i. e. they are tightly interwoven processes. Tampering with the biosynthesis of one should affect all the others, right? Wouldn’t you expect, for instance, th... Read More
Evolution is relentless process that seems to keep going and going, even when creatures live in a stable, unchanging world.
That's the latest surprise from a unique experiment that's been underway for more than a quarter-century.
Evolution is so important for biology, medicine and a genera... Read More
There is no approved medicine to treat polyomaviruses, which afflict people with weakened immune systems, but scientists have found that a chemical compound called Retro-2 is able to reduce significantly the infectivity and spread of the viruses in lab cell cultures. Now they are working to impr... Read More
Oman's first MERS coronavirus patient died in hospital on Sunday from lung failure, state news agency ONA said.
The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which can cause coughing, fever and pneumonia, emerged in Saudi Arabia last year and has been reported in Qatar, France,... Read More
Seafloor-dwelling bacteria may hitch a ride on methane bubbles seeping from deep-sea vents, preventing the methane from reaching the atmosphere by eating it up, new research suggests.
The findings, presented here today (Dec. 9) at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union, could he... Read More
Eat candy and fight tooth decay. What a sweet concept, right?
Well, microbiologists in Berlin are trying to make that dream a reality.
They've created a sugarless mint that's aimed at washing out cavity-causing bacteria from your mouth. And the candy works in a curious way: It's spiked wit... Read More
As a new listener, I don't know whether you've later corrected this or not, but you got several important things wrong in describing the antebellum South in the first episode on Hookworm. They did have machines, and they made g... Read More
As the year closes out, we enter into the giving seasons of a variety of traditions. Lurking among the more pleasant types of giving is the 2013 – 2014 flu season, a viral gift that often keeps on giving. To combat this, reminders about the potential dangers of influenza and the importance of va... Read More