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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Researchers have found a strain of bacteria that can infect mosquitoes and make them resistant to the malaria parasite. The study, in the journal Science, showed the parasite struggled to survive in infected mosquitoes. Malaria is spread between people by the insects so it is hoped that giving m... 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
French health officials said Friday they are investigating three suspected cases of a deadly new respiratory virus related to SARS, in people who had close contact in the hospital with France's only confirmed case.
Beatrice Degrugillers, a spokeswoman for the regional health agency in France'... Read More
Deep in the bowels of our, well, bowels, lurk trillions of microscopic bacteria. But don't be fooled by the big bad "B" word, intractably tied to infections and disease. In fact, these bitty bugs do us a world of good.
"There's a certain 'ick' factor associated with gut bacteria," said Lita P... Read More
Medical implants like catheters and pacemakers can be a hotspot for bacteria, which grow in hard-to-treat films on the surface of such devices. Scientists and engineers are taking different approaches to changing the surface of implants so bacteria can’t take hold. For example, some groups are d... 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
New research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis points to a common species of bacteria as an important contributor to bacterial vaginosis, a condition linked to preterm birth and increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases.
The condition affects one in every three wo... Read More
Trypanosome Lytic Factor (TLF) has emerged as a novel arm of innate immunity that is only present in humans and select non-human primates. TLF was originally discovered in human blood as a minor form of High-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as a good cholesterol, that rapidly kills the Afri... Read More
Trichomonas vaginalis is a protozoan parasite of the urogenital tract in men and women and causes a sexually transmitted disease, trichomoniasis, in about half of infected women. Infections are associated with pelvic inflammatory disease, adverse pregnancy outcomes, infertility, an increased inc... Read More
(via Wired's Superbug blog) In my last post 36 hours ago, I raised questions about Saudi Arabia’s apparent delay in reporting new cases of the novel coronavirus that has been causing low-level unease since last summer. (For the full history of that, check these posts.) So it’s only fair to say t... Read More