The Geobacter bacterium could be the biofuel-generating machine of the future, producing energy-rich butanol costing as little as $2 per gallon.
A project seeking to accomplish this, headed by Derek Lovley and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, received $1 million in fund... Read More
Aphids, those sap-sucking foes of gardeners, come in a variety of colours. We usually think of them as green, but pea aphids sometimes wear a fetching red ensemble. That may not strike you as anything special; after all, lots of animals are red. But the aphid’s colour is unique in a couple of ex... Read More
Biologists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have found that an altered host–microbe relationship, called dysbiosis, may be linked to inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer as well as to obesity and diabetes. Close to a thousand different species of bacteria reside in the ... Read More
Researchers have found a way to modify viruses so they are able to hunt down and wipe out cancer cells.
Scientists at the University of Leeds used unique markers that appear on the surface of cancer cells to engineer proteins that recognize and attach to these markers, that can be added to a ... Read More
Combination antibiotics effectively treat Chlamydia-induced reactive arthritis – a major step toward management, and possibly cure, of this disease, a federal multicenter clinical trial led by the University of South Florida College of Medicine found.
The trial, sponsored by the National Inst... Read More
Life on Mars, if it ever existed, may be easier to find than previously thought. New research on terrestrial rocks suggests that a type of rock common on Mars can preserve fossilized microbial life, rather than erasing evidence of it as previously thought. Read More
A recent paper published in PLoS One looks at the strategy of manipulating surface proteins on the aquatic bacterium, Caulobacter crescentus, to prevent HIV infection.
The development of alternative strategies to prevent HIV infection is a global public health priority. Initial e... Read More
It is not a secret that the goal of eliminating measles and rubella in Europe will not be met by the targeted year 2010. Over the past 10-12 years, national and international public health authorities have conducted extraordinary efforts that have led to a dramatic reduction in reported measles ... Read More
A newly identified molecular marker of pancreatic cancer may help spot the disease at its earliest stages, when it can be treated more successfully with surgery.
In a report published in the online journal PLoS One, the researchers showed that a specific form of a protein called palladin is p... Read More
When the human body becomes infected with new influenza viruses, the immune system rapidly activates an inborn protective mechanism to inhibit the intruding pathogen. A protein known as Mx plays an important role in this process, keeping the spread of viruses in check. Exactly how Mx accomplishe... Read More
It has been estimated that approximately one hundred trillion bacteria colonize the human intestine. That’s about ten times the number of cells that constitute the entire human body. These bacteria are believed to have a mutualistic symbiotic relationship with their hosts. What is known about th... Read More
Bacteria in the ocean can harvest light energy from sunlight to promote survival thanks to a unique photoprotein.
This novel finding by a team of scientists in Sweden and Spain is published in the online, open access journal PLoS Biology.
"It was long thought that phytoplankton were the on... Read More
An update on a piece of news we brought listeners almost two weeks ago: Lactococcus lactis, the little cheese-maker microbe, has failed to become the Wisconsin state microbe. Though it passed the state Assembly, the bill that would make Lactococcus the state microbe was not picked up by the Sena... Read More
Species: Symbion pandora
Habitat: In the eastern Atlantic Ocean – on the mouthparts of Norway lobsters (also known as Dublin Bay prawns or langoustines)
There's no question that discovering a new species is very cool. But how about discovering a new phylum?
A phylum is a broad division ... Read More
Microscopic fossils from the dried-up seabed of the Mediterranean have led space scientists to seek similar evidence of ancient life in the red sands of Mars, where the rover named Opportunity is now exploring.
The scientists said they are impressed by the unexpected discovery of 6-million-ye... Read More
This article comes from New Scientist writer Debora MacKenzie, winner of the 2010 ASM Public Communications Award. Read more about the award and her winning entry here. And now on to the article...
When Randy Cortright of the University of Wisconsin found an aromatic fluid floating in his beaker that smelled just like gasoline, he thought he had a problem. After all, the chemical engineer wanted to make fuel from plants for the hydrogen economy that was supposed to boom about now. Instead... Read More
Dozens of babies and young children, mostly in Western Australia and Queensland, have suffered adverse reactions after having the flu shot, including fevers and convulsions.
And the Queensland Coroner is investigating the death of a two-year-old Brisbane girl, found dead in her cot a day afte... Read More
Ten people on Oahu recently became ill with a rare type of salmonella after eating imported raw ahi tuna that was previously frozen, state health officials reported.
The salmonella Paratyphi B cases occurred between Feb. 27 and April 6 in people ranging in age from 5 to 35, said Janice Okubo,... Read More
The first whole genome sequencing of a pair of identical twins has uncovered little about the origins of disease - even though only one twin has multiple sclerosis (MS).
Identical twins inherit identical genomes but are exposed to different environmental influences. That means they can be eno... Read More