Chronic wasting disease (CWD) — an infectious disease caused by prions — affects North American elk and deer, but has not been observed in humans. Using a mouse model that expresses an altered form of the normal human prion protein, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Me... Read More
In a recent study, scientists at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), demonstrate for the first time that ocean acidification could have negative impacts on diatoms in the Southern Ocean. In laboratory tests they were able to observe that under chan... Read More
The ancestors of a large family of parasites—including those that cause malaria—were equipped to become parasites much earlier in their lineage than previously assumed, according to University of British Columbia (UBC) research.
The work, published in PNAS, traces the emergence of parasitism ... Read More
Unidentified soil microbes on SDA plates; most colonies are producing compounds (droplets can be seen on top of the colonies; possibly antibiotic producers). This picture was taken by me, Kaitlynn Fenley. The plate is from the class that I am a teaching assistant for at Louisiana State Universit... Read More
Mycorrhizal fungi live in the roots of host plants, where they exchange sugars that plants produce by photosynthesis for mineral nutrients that fungi absorb from the soil. They include some of the most conspicuous forest mushrooms, including the iconic, flaming red “fly agaric,” Amanita muscaria... Read More
An experimental compound empowers an enzyme to help process acetaldehyde, a toxic metabolite of alcohol, according to new research supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). The findings, now online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), ... Read More
Call for Stories
Caring for People Infected with Ebola: Stories from the Frontlines
Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics will publish a collection of personal stories from individuals who have been at the frontlines of healthcare for Ebola patients—whether as healthcare workers, family caregivers,... Read More
Rob Knight is a pioneer in studying human microbes, the community of tiny single-cell organisms living inside our bodies that have a huge — and largely unexplored — role in our health. “The three pounds of microbes that you carry around with you might be more important than every single gene you... Read More
While it’s easy to think about mosquitoes as a mere portal for shuttling malaria and other diseases from one person to another, the insects have their own immune response to infection.
After sucking down a blood meal, mosquitoes ramp up production of immune system proteins to fight off potent... Read More
When exposed to nitrogen fertilizer over a period of years, nitrogen-fixing bacteria called rhizobia evolve to become less beneficial to legumes – the plants they normally serve, researchers report in a new study.
These findings, reported in the journal Evolution, may be of little interest to... Read More
Most would choose the cuddly gerbil over the much-maligned rat. But the latter's bad reputation may not be fully deserved. Central Asian rodents, not rats, prospering under warm variations in climate, could have been to blame for the arrival of the Black Death in Europe in 1347 and for repeated ... Read More
If ever there was proof of the power of small things, surely this is it. Last year, came the suggestion that sponges transformed Earth's deep oceans 750 million years ago, turning them into an oxygen-rich haven for life. Now it seems tiny bacteria living inside the sponges also played a part in ... Read More
This episode: Bacteria living in plants could help plants clean up cancer-causing pollutants!
(6.9 MB, 7.5 minutes)
Malaria: shaking chills & fever (followed by sweats, not specifically mentioned in this case), is a characteristic of malaria that is unforgettable once one has had it (I had malaria four times).
Thick blood smears is de rigueur.
Vincent, Dickson, and Daniel present a new case study, and discuss the effect of chronic malaria infection on wild warbler life span and telomere degradation.
In the northeastern United States, warmer spring temperatures are leading to shifts in the emergence of the blacklegged ticks that carry Lyme disease and other tick-borne pathogens. At the same time, milder weather is allowing ticks to spread into new geographic regions. Findings were published ... Read More
Henry Ford Hospital researchers say that breastfeeding and other factors influence a baby’s immune system development and susceptibility to allergies and asthma by what’s in their gut.
The striking findings from a series of studies further advance the so-called hygiene hypothesis theory that ... Read More
Close up image of the edge of an unknown fungal contaminant showing concentric rings of black spore formation (center of colony) and nonspore forming white hypae on the outer edge of the colony. Fungal contaminant was found on TSA after a month of refrigerated temperatures, presumably an air bo... Read More
Bacteria may not have brains, but they do have memories, at least when it comes to viruses that attack them. Many bacteria have a molecular immune system which allows these microbes to capture and retain pieces of viral DNA that they have encountered in the past, in order to recognize and destro... Read More