A robin flying over a field sees a juicy caterpillar on a leaf. It dives in for a closer look but it notices something strange: this larva is bright red and glowing slightly. Red means danger – this caterpillar is probably toxic and is best avoided. The robin leaves; the caterpillar apparently l... Read More
El Podcast del Microbio" Nº 144 is based in Merry Youle's post "Microbial Matchmakers" published in the blog "Small Thing C... Read More
A continuación: Bacterias que hibernan, el tracto gastrointestinal infantil como ecosistema microbiano, y parásitos y comunidades de plantas.
The ocean bottom is one of the world’s most important yet enigmatic ecosystems, covered in a thick sludge rich with bacteria that consume and recycle dead algae and animal feces. Somehow those bacteria get the essential oxygen they need to digest, even though very little of it should be able to... Read More
The greater susceptibility of humans to certain infectious diseases when compared to other primates could be explained by species-specific changes in immune signaling pathways, a University of Chicago study finds. The first genome-wide, functional comparison of genes regulated by the innate immu... Read More
On the top floor of an old bank converted into an artist collective, just past prop design for Bjork's next music video, the do-it-yourself biotechnology revolution has begun.
A cadre of science entrepreneurs recently opened Genspace, the world's first government-compliant community biotech l... Read More
With brush-fire speed, Felisa Wolfe-Simon and colleagues of buggy arsenic-eating fame found themselves bogged down in a blogosphere-fueled debate.
After force-feeding phosphorus-loving bacteria an arsenic-only diet and discovering that the bugs didn’t die, Wolfe-Simon and colleagues concluded... Read More
When it comes to infectious disease, who and how many get inoculated isn’t as important as knowing how people interact with each other—whether they’re vaccinated or not.
In order to follow and better understand how viruses spread through real-life social networks, a group of researchers used ... Read More
Cold plasma torches could be a new way to treat drug-resistant infections and heal wounds more quickly, according to new research. The plasma interferes with microbial DNA without harming human tissue, scientists say.
A 10-minute treatment with a low-temperature plasma jet killed about 90 per... Read More
The president’s bioethics commission says there is no need to temporarily halt research or to impose new regulations on the controversial new field known as synthetic biology.
In a report being issued Thursday, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues says that at prese... Read More
In the fight to stay alive, many bacteria, such as MRSA, have developed resistance to commonly used antibiotics. But other bacteria are using a more insidious type of resistance: that imbued by transferable genes, which can spread among commonly circulating strains.
One of these genetic eleme... Read More
Did you ever have a question where you thought microbes were at fault but weren't certain... A group of faculty from Wando High School from Mount Pleasant South Carolina recently visited the laboratory of Dr. Michael Schmidt, a professor of Microbiology at the Medical University of South Caroli... Read More
From the New Scientist CultureLab:
This year I was chairman of the judges of the Wellcome Trust prize for books with a medical theme. We awarded the prize to Rebecca Skloot's excellent The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Crown). But also on our shortlist was Angel of Death by Gareth Willia... Read More
Vincent and Dickson continue their discussion of nematodes with the whipworm Trichuris trichiura.
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Scientists have finally found an answer to one of the great mysteries about the most deadly bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus — why it attacks primarily humans and not animals. And they now have an idea of why some humans are particularly susceptible to these bacteria that kill 100,000 Americans a... Read More
Cancers may be wounds that never heal, suggest the first live images of tumours forming.
It seems individual cancer cells send out the same distress signals as wounds, tricking immune cells into helping them grow into tumours. The finding suggests that anti-inflammatory drugs could help to co... Read More
A seemingly unremarkable ocean microbe turns out to be a multitasker -- it can not only photosynthesize, but can also produce large amounts of hydrogen, opening up a potential way to make the gas cheaply for fuel.
The single-celled cyanobacteriumCyanothece 51142 can make hydrogen in air, Hima... Read More
A very unusual blood transplant appears to have cured an American man living in Berlin of infection with the AIDS virus, but doctors say the approach is not practical for wide use.
The man, who is in his 40s, had a blood stem cell transplant in 2007 to treat leukemia. His donor not only was a... Read More
A superbug named C-diff is on the rise, a germ that so ravages some people's intestines that repeated tries of the strongest, most expensive antibiotic can't conquer their disabling diarrhea.
Now a small but growing number of doctors are trying a last-ditch treatment: Using good bacteria to f... Read More