For millennia, bacteria and other microbes have engaged in intense battles of chemical warfare, attempting to edge each other out of comfortable ecological niches. Doctors fight pathogens with an arsenal of weapons—antibiotics—co-opted from these microbial wars, but their efforts are frustrated... Read More
Plants that come under attack from pathogens have an automatic immune response. Fungi get around this plant immunity by injecting proteins into the host plant cells. These 'effector proteins' enable the fungi to escape the plant's immune system and allow the fungal cells to enter the plant unrec... Read More
Vincent, Alan, and Kathy continue their coverage of the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, with a discussion of case fatality ratio, reproductive index, a conspiracy theory, and spread of the virus to the United States.
Hosts: Read More
Dhaka City Corporation will engage around 13,000 cleaning staffs and special bacteria to keep the capital clean during Eid-ul-Azha festival.
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This large number of cleaning staff will work round the clock for 48 hours. Apart from that, t... Read More
(Interesting study from PNAS)
It is increasingly apparent that bacteria in the gut are important determinants of health and disease in humans. However, we know remarkably little about how this organ transitions from a sterile/near-sterile state at birth to one that soon harbors a highly dive... Read More
Let's face it: colonoscopies are pretty unpleasant. But what if you could eat a spoonful of yogurt to check for cancer rather than enduring that procedure? MIT professor Sangeeta Bhatia is working on engineered bacteria that detects colorectal cancer. Read More
The arrival in the United States of a Liberian man infected with the Ebola virus shows how easily the disease can travel and how thin the procedures are, relying heavily on the honesty of travelers and the diligence of airport workers. Some experts say that the system, given its inherent weaknes... Read More
In the world of health and medicine, the word tobacco usually brings to mind cancer, emphysema and heart disease. But in recent years the plant's tarnished reputation is getting a makeover from the development of pharmaceuticals through an effective, swift and cost-cutting technique that has bee... Read More
Given the extent of the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, transport of an infected individual to the US was bound to happen. The case is an adult who had contact with an Ebola virus-infected woman in Liberia, then traveled to Dallas. He had no symptoms before arriving in the US and therefore ... Read More
For bacteria, the mammalian gut is like Shangri-La. It’s warm and consistently so, sheltered from the environment, and regularly flooded with a nutritious soup. But what happens when this all-you-can-eat buffet stops serving? What happens to microbes if their host stops eating?
When animals f... Read More
Many double-stranded DNA viruses infect cells by ejecting their genetic information into a host cell. But how does the usually rigid DNA packaged inside a virus' shell flow from the virus to the cell?
In two separate studies, Carnegie Mellon University biophysicist Alex Evilevitch has shown t... Read More
"If you want to find unique diversity and if you want to find a wide range of different below-ground organisms, you don't have to travel around the world. You can walk across Central Park."
That statement comes from Noah Fierer, an ecology and evolutionary biology professor at the University ... Read More
If you multiply the number of bacteria thought exist in one human being, say 1 x 1014 by how many humans there are, about 6.6 x 109, you get close to a familiar number.
And who was Avogadro anyway? Some eponyms fail to do justice to the eponymee. My favorite example is Amerigo Vespucci, whose... Read More
In the photo series "Impermanence," South Korean artist Seung-Hwan Oh creates colorful, otherworldly portraits with a little help from some "friends" — emulsion-consuming microbes, that is.
By immersing an exposed roll of medium-format positive film in water containing these bacteria and lea... Read More
Why a field researcher from America has exposed his colon to the gut microbiome of a tribesman from Tanzania.
It's not often we encounter a story that begins with a line like this:
“AS THE SUN set over Lake Eyasi in Tanzania, nearly thirty minutes had passed since I had inserted a turkey b... Read More
University of Leicester researchers unlock vital new information to improve vaccinations against pneumococcus infection.
Every ten seconds a human being dies from pneumococcus infection, making it the leading cause of serious illness across the globe. New research discovers six unique states ... Read More
IIt’s all over the headlines: Enterovirus D-68 (EV-D68) is making kids sick in what appear to be unprecedented numbers. It might be causing paralysis — or maybe not. It may have infected some adults.
But EV-D68 is nothing compared to the viral killer that really concerns Dr. Paul Checchia of ... Read More
Manned space missions bring with them a plethora of challenges to keep astronauts alive and healthy, especially on long-duration space missions. Astronauts need to breathe, eat, drink, excrete their food and drink, and be kept free of infections to stay healthy enough to do their job. The key to... Read More
The natural photo degradation of diazepam (valium) and similar medicines – followed by bacterial breakdown – may reduce their potentially harmful impact on the UK’s freshwater environment, a team of researchers has said.
Diazepam – used to treat anxiety and other similar conditions – has been... Read More