Over the past year, a viral infection has infected 15 people — killing nine. All lived in the Middle East or Britain. The novel germ doe not yet have a formal name. It causes pneumonia, a type of severe lung infection. On Feb. 27, scientists from around the world met in Washington, D.C., to shar... Read More
An increasing number of bacteria is evolving antibiotic resistance. Much-feared representatives of this steadily growing group include Staphylococci strains. At this point, multi-resistant forms of the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus - the "hospital germ" known commonly by its acronym, MRSA - ca... Read More
Vincent Racaniello of Columbia University did groundbreaking research on reconstructing the DNA of viruses (sort of like microbial Jurassic Park). The method was used to re-create the spectacularly lethal influenza behind the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, which killed between 50 and 100 million peo... Read More
Placement of copper objects in intensive care unit (ICU) hospital rooms reduced the number of healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) in patients by more than half, according to a new study published in the May issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, in a special topic issue focused ... Read More
I have been asked recently to write an article, somewhat along the lines of this one but longer, and with a somewhat different angle, asking a little bit different questions: What makes a science blog? Who were the first science bloggers and how long ago? How many science blogs are there? How do... Read More
The Gulf of Mexico may have a much greater natural ability to self-clean oil spills than previously believed, an expert in bioremediation said here today at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society.
Terry C. Hazen, ... Read More
A potentially lethal fungal infection appears to gain virulence by being able to anticipate and disarm a hostile immune attack in the lungs, according to findings by researchers at Duke Medicine.
Defense mechanisms used by the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans enable it to lead to fatal meningit... Read More
Community ecologist Sunshine Van Bael of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama details her work and role in understanding the world's first known farmers leafcutter ants, plant-insect-fungal interactions, endophytic fungi, and their dynamic relationships with the surrounding envi... Read More
There have been 131 confirmed human infections with avian influenza H7N9 virus in China, but so far there is little evidence for human to human transmission. Three out of four patients report exposure to animals, ‘mostly chickens‘, suggesting that most of the infections are zoonoses. Whether or ... Read More
Not long ago, Elio said in this blog that predation, a major force in evolution, is somewhat neglected in microbiological circles. The full implications of predation are just beginning to be uncovered as more becomes known about the ecology, physiology, and genomics of predators against microbes... Read More
The world's longest-running experiments remind us that science is a marathon, not a sprint. Although science is a long-term pursuit, research is often practised over short timescales: a discrete experiment or a self-contained project constrained by the length of a funding cycle. But some investi... Read More
An alternative treatment for antibiotic-resistant infections that are raising concern nationwide already exists. But there's a big problem. The treatment is not approved for use in the United States.
And it could be a decade or more for the treatment, long used in Russia, former Soviet nation... Read More
Normally we shudder when we think of bacteria, but a new study reveals that some of these microorganisms may be able to help us lose weight.
The study, published in the March 27 issue of Science Translational Medicine, showed that bacteria in the guts of mice changed after they had gastric by... Read More
Whether the microorganisms routinely inhabit the upper troposphere -- perhaps living on carbon compounds also found there -- or whether they were simply lofted there from the Earth's surface isn't yet known. Airborne microbes are of interest to atmospheric scientists, because they could play a r... Read More
An outbreak of high-pathogenicity avian influenza H7N7 virus that took place on 255 poultry farms in the Netherlands during 2003 has been used to provide clues about the current avian influenza H7N9 viruses in China. During the Dutch outbreak 453 humans showed symptoms of illness and 89 were con... Read More
Researchers at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and the Forsyth Institute published a study today that found that a significant proportion of dental bib clips harbored bacteria from the patient, dental clinician and the environment even after the clips had undergone standard disinfecti... Read More
Without the awesome power of microbes, these wonders of the ancient world would never have been built! Everyone knows about the awesome number of stone blocks and huge manpower requirements, but few know the important role that yeast had to play in building the pyramids. Read More