Early earth had a distinctive aroma. And it wasn't very nice. That's what scientists have now determined, using advanced imaging techniques to examine fossils nearly 1.9 billion years old that were collected from rocks around Lake Superior, Canada.
Their work has revealed spherical and rod-sh... Read More
In this blog entry, I discuss how marine microbiology is fascinating to students, as well as the topic leading me (via social media) to other marine microbiologists. One of those marine microbiologists made me a "shrunken coffee cup" (shrunken due to being carried below a kilometer of depth on ... Read More
Warnings about the emergence of another influenza virus may elicit scepticism, but we should not be complacent, cautions Peter Horby.
Once again an animal influenza A virus has crossed the species barrier to cause an appreciable number of human cases. Now, two months after the first known hum... Read More
Despite the desperate need for new antibiotics to combat increasingly deadly resistant bacteria, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved only one new systemic antibiotic since the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) launched its 10 x ’20 Initiative in 2010 — and that d... Read More
This episode: Green algae's hydrogen production is analyzed and improved!
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This video describes the role of microbes in the production side of the global food web. Microbes transform essentially inert gaseous nitrogen into active nitrogen compounds, which then go on to make amino acids and proteins. Read More
Bacteria on a surface wander around and often organize into highly resilient communities known as biofilms. It turns out that they organize in a rich-get-richer pattern similar to the distribution of wealth in the U.S. economy, according to a new study by researchers at University of California,... Read More
Researchers have more questions than answers about the latest bird flu circulating in China, including whether birds are the only reservoir for the virus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 17 people in China have died of H7N9 infection, and there is no evidence of person-to-per... Read More
They sweep. They swab. They sterilize. And still the germs persist.
In U.S. hospitals, an estimated 1 in 20 patients pick up infections they didn't have when they arrived, some caused by dangerous 'superbugs' that are hard to treat.
The rise of these superbugs, along with increased pressur... Read More
Those who take part in clinical trials often have to do nasty things, from taking new drugs to forgoing sleep. Participants in a trial organised by Stanley Hazen of the Cleveland Clinic, in Ohio, had a decidedly easier task: eating steak. After reading Dr Hazen’s conclusions, though, they may be... Read More
Amoeba eat bacteria and other human pathogens, engulfing and destroying them – or being destroyed by them, but how these single-cell organisms distinguish and respond successfully to different bacterial classes has been largely unexplained.
In a report in the journal Current Biology, research... Read More
A 65-year-old Frenchman is hospitalized after contracting France's first case of a deadly new respiratory virus related to SARS, and French health authorities said Wednesday they are trying to find anyone who might have been in contact with him to prevent it from spreading.
It's unclear how o... Read More
Of all the things that could be hazardous to your health, would you believe breathing oxygen makes the list?
Our bodies produce toxic chemicals in our cells, called oxidants, which we fight naturally and with foods that contain antioxidants like blueberries and dark chocolate. All forms of li... Read More
Pancreatic cancer is a dreadful disease. Even in rich countries, only about 4% of those diagnosed with it are still alive after five years. In America it is the third-most-common cause of cancer deaths among women, after lung and breast cancer; among men it is fourth, after lung, prostate and co... Read More
Reconfiguring the genetics of the food pathogen E. coli produces hydrocarbons indistinguishable from those burned in trucks. Welding bits and pieces from various microbes and the camphor tree into the genetic code of Escherichia coli has allowed scientists to convince the stomach bug to produce... Read More
In the summer of 1968, a new strain of influenza appeared in Hong Kong. This strain, known as H3N2, spread around the globe and eventually killed an estimated 1 million people.
A new study from MIT reveals that there are many strains of H3N2 circulating in birds and pigs that are genetically ... Read More
Los anfibios que actúan como indicadores del estatus del ecosistema; éste es el tema que será discutido en el episodio de hoy con nuestra invitada, la Dra. Read More
Bacteria that grows only on rocks in the Swiss Alps has helped researchers identify how alcohol might affect key brain proteins.
“Now that we’ve identified this key brain protein and understand its structure, it’s possible to imagine developing a drug that could block the binding site,” says ... Read More
Virologist Hilary Koprowski died on 11 April 2013 at the age of 96. His main accomplishments are nicely summarized in the New York Times, but for a more comprehensive overview of his life, I highly recommend his biography Listen to the Music by Roger Vaughan. I did not have many opportunities to... Read More