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How Does a Pathogen go From Temp to Full-time? Parallel Evolution in P. aeruginosa

Once Pseudomonas aeruginosa colonizes the lungs of a cystic fibrosis patient, it begins transforming itself from a squatter into a fully-invested resident, eventually establishing a chronic airway infection. A study just released by mBio tracked the gene expression patterns of P. aeruginosa dur... Read More

Scientists uncover process enabling toxoplasmosis parasite to survive homelessness

Parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii invade host cells, replicate and then must exit to find new host cells to invade. Traveling outside their host cell exposes the parasites to environmental stresses that limit how long they can remain viable while searching for new host cells.

The researcher... Read More

Dirty money? No, plastic cash means fewer bacteria, researchers say

Researchers from the Australia’s University of Ballarat have dispelled an urban myth by showing banknotes do not carry dangerous levels of bacteria.

But they found polymer banknotes, such as those used in Australia, carry the least quantity of contamination.

Australia's notes are manufactu... Read More

United States: Decrease in Bubonic Plague Cases May Be an Effect of Climate Change

Global warming may have one minor but previously unknown benefit, scientists said this month: it may be cutting down cases of bubonic plague in the United States.

About 10 to 20 Americans catch plague each year, and 1 to 3 die of it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventio... Read More

Possible 'Persistence' Switch for Tuberculosis Found: Computer Model Finds Probable Genetic Mechanism for TB Dormancy

An examination of a portion of the tuberculosis genome that responds to stress has allowed Rice University bioengineers Oleg Igoshin and Abhinav Tiwari to zero in on a network of genes that may "switch" the disease into dormancy.

The bacteria that cause tuberculosis (TB), Mycobacterium tuberc... Read More

Life Is Tough, Especially for Microbes

The list of ways for life to make a living keeps getting longer. There are the obvious: like turning light into chemical energy like plants do. Or eating plants like many animals do.

Then there are more specialist methods: for example, pairing the hydrogen produced by radioactive decay with s... Read More

How a gene turns a bug into a superbug -- and what to do about it

There's been a lot of talk recently about NDM-1, a gene that gives many bacteria a weapon against carbapenems, an important class of antibiotics. Because many of these bacteria are already resistant to other classes of antibiotics, NDM-1 renders them immune to almost anything we throw at them. ... Read More

Got Operons? Big Economic Gain in Co-transcribing Proteins in Complexes

Every choice has its trade-offs, and while the advantages of many choices are easy to discern, other situations require closer analysis. In a paper just released by mBio, scientists have modeled the economic trade-offs involved in putting genes in an operon, and they’ve shed some light on why i... Read More

Warrior worm parasites with huge mouths could be the future of biomedicine

Parasitic worm colonies are known to invade and castrate a tiny California horn snail, spawning thousands of tiny soldiers that take up 25% of the snail's body weight. These tiny warriors could actually revolutionize how we fight infections in humans.

As much as these colonies are bad news fo... Read More

Researchers developing way to distinguish between salmonella strains

As scientists with the federal government search for the source of the salmonella that made thousands of people sick this summer and trace how it spread, researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences are developing a new and more accurate method of acquiring the bacteria's identit... Read More

Study: Flu shot may help reduce heart attacks

A flu shot can do more than just fight against influenza, a new study suggests. It may also fight against heart attacks.

Adults who take the flu vaccine may be less likely to get their first heart attack the next year, researchers say.

The study, published Monday in the Canadian Medical As... Read More

Vaccine Research to Protect the Public From Weaponized Plague Bacteria

New research on the immune system’s response to plague could improve efforts to vaccinate the public against the world’s oldest form of biological warfare.

Researchers have been working for several years to develop a vaccine for weaponized forms of plague, which is one of the world’s deadlies... Read More

Seagulls 'may be spreading superbugs'

Scientists fear migratory birds may be spreading hard-to-treat infections after discovering seagulls can carry antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Portuguese researchers analysed 57 samples of droppings from the yellow-legged Caspian Gull Larus Cachinnans. They found that one in 10 harboured bacteria... Read More

Zeros to heroes: Ulcer truth was hard to stomach

Back in 1984, a young Australian doctor called Barry Marshall swallowed a nasty-tasting solution of bacteria. This was no accident. He did it to convince his peers that his suspicions about a highly prevalent disease were not as far-fetched as they thought.

In 1981, Marshall had met patholog... Read More

Obesity in children linked to common cold virus

Childhood obesity is not only an epidemic, it may be an infectious disease transmitted by a common cold virus, a new study suggests.

Children exposed to adenovirus-36 were more likely to be obese than were children who had no evidence of infection, according to a study published online Septem... Read More

Seasonal flu vaccine lowers risk of first heart attack

The seasonal flu vaccine is associated with a 19% reduction in the rate of first heart attack and early vaccination in the fall further increases the benefits, found a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

As heart attacks increase significantly in winter when pneumo... Read More

HIV-like virus that infects monkeys is thousands of years older than previously thought

The HIV-like virus that infects monkeys is thousands of years older than previously thought, according to a new study led by researchers from Tulane University.


Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), which is the ancestor to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is between 32,000 and 75,000... Read More

Drink Up NYC: Meet The Tiny Crustaceans (Not Kosher) In Your Tap Water

New York City is known for having excellent tap water, but why does it taste so good? It might be the microscopic shrimp.

Tiny copepods were discovered after a reddit user uploaded photos of what they found through the other end of a microscope after adding H&E stain to New York tap water. Ac... Read More

ASU receives 2-year, $5.3 million DARPA award to safeguard soldiers from infectious diseases

Scientists at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University have received a 2-year, $5.3 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to protect warfighters in the event of exposure to infectious diseases during deployment.

Dr. Stephen Albert Johnston and his... Read More

Arctic bugs may have the longest life-cycle on Earth

With a hibernation period of up to 100 million years, bacteria discovered on the Arctic sea floor may have longest life cycle of any known organism.

Casey Hubert from the Geosciences Group at Newcastle University, UK, and colleagues came across the bacteria while studying biological activity ... Read More
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