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Cancer fighter found in marine microbes

A chemical compound made from a type of bacteria discovered in the Florida Keys appears to be effective in fighting colon cancer in preclinical experiments.

The compound—known as largazole because it was first found near Key Largo—inhibits human cancer cell growth in cultures and rodent model... Read More

Three Share 2010 Chemistry Nobel

Three scientists shared this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing techniques to synthesize complex carbon molecules including medicines.

The winners are Richard F. Heck, 79, a retired University of Delaware professor now living in the Philippines; Ei-ichi Negishi, 75, a chemistry p... Read More

When moms get flu shots, babies reap benefits

Newborn babies whose mothers got a flu shot while pregnant are less likely to get the flu or to be admitted to the hospital with a respiratory illness in the first six months of life, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

During most flu seasons, babies under six months tend to have fewer cases of... Read More

Make Sense of it All: a Framework to Identify Networks Among Microbial Communities

Just try to wrap your head around this impossible task: if each gram of soil holds thousands of different species of microorganisms, how can you detect and describe how those various members interact? A new study just released by mBio offers up one way to approach the problem, using a conceptua... Read More

Virulent skin germ grates on Maine lobstering isle

A strain of a drug-resistant skin disease that has afflicted sports teams, prisons and military units is now proving a persistent pest among lobstermen and their families on a Maine island.

Over the past two summers, more than 30 people on Vinalhaven have come down with painful and persistent... Read More

TWiP 17 Letters

Bjorn writes:

Hi Vincent and Dickson,

I want to correct a statement you made in the trypanosomes episode. Apolipoprotein L-I in human blood kills only the subspecies Trypanosoma brucei brucei, whereas the East African subspecies Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense and the... Read More

TWiP 17: Entamoeba histolytica

Unable to embed Rapid1Pixelout audio player. Please double check that:  1)You have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.  2)This web page does not have any fatal Javascript errors.  3)The audio-player.js file of Rapid1Pixelout has been included.

Vincent and Dickson continue their discussion of protozoan parasites that cause diarrhea with a review of amebic dysentery caused by Entamoeba histolytica.

Download <... Read More

Rabies Alert for Travelers to Africa and Asia

Public health officials have issued a rabies warning to American travelers after a 42-year-old psychiatrist from Virginia died from exposure to a rabid dog while he was jogging in India.

It was one of seven cases of rabies acquired abroad from 2000 to 2009, out of 31 human cases in the Unit... Read More

National Institutes of Health Licenses Its Patent on a New Drug for AIDS

In a move that gave official American backing to the controversial idea of a “patent pool,” the National Institutes of Health last week became the first entity to license its patent on a new AIDS drug to an entity loosely affiliated with the World Health Organization.

The rights to the N.I.H... Read More

How fungal spores achieve zero drag

Drafting cyclists have nothing on spore-spewing fungi. Using an aerodynamic technique, a fungus can reduce drag on its spores—sending them high and far.

One fungus, the destructive Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, spews thousands of spores nearly simultaneously to form a plume that reduces drag to n... Read More

Identifying Enzymes to Explode Superbugs

With the worrying rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs like MRSA, scientists from a wide range of disciplines are teaming up to identify alternative therapies to keep them at bay.

One long-considered solution is the use of lytic enzymes which attack bacteria by piercing their cell walls. Ly... Read More

Protecting embryos against microbes

Headed by the Kiel zoologist Professor Thomas Bosch, a team of scientists from Germany and Russia succeeded in deciphering the mechanisms, for the first time, with which embryos of the freshwater polyp Hydra protect themselves against bacterial colonization. The paper is published this week in t... Read More

Chemists fold DNA into Möbius strips

Möbius strips are special loops that only have one continuous side. Now we've built the smallest Möbius strips ever - out of DNA. Here you can see the nanometer-sized DNA loops, folded like origami.

The ability to create complex structures on the tiniest of scales is one of the great challeng... Read More

Measles Vaccine, 1960

The first scientific description of measles dates from the ninth century, and the disease was first mentioned in The New-York Daily Times on Oct. 14, 1851, when the newspaper was not yet one month old.

A front-page “Weekly Report of Deaths” that day noted that the disease had killed two peo... Read More

British scientists search for alien life in Earth's atmosphere

Scientists, who are set to launch a mission to search for bacteria, believe they could be close to discovering alien life forms much closer to home - on the outer fringes of Earth's atmosphere.

British scientists, working with the European Space Agency, would launch a balloon carrying instrum... Read More

The Claim: A Soap-and-Water Rinse Gets Produce Cleanest

The prospect of ingesting pesticides and other contaminants can make supermarket produce seem less than appetizing. Buying organic lowers the risk, but is no guarantee against food-borne pathogens.

Scientists have found some effective household measures that can eliminate germs and pesticid... Read More

Michigan's Eastern equine encephalitis outbreak worst in 30 years

More cases of Eastern equine encephalitis have been reported in horses in Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture told the Kalamazoo Gazette that through Thursday there have been 130 cases this year. Officials have called this year's outbreak the worst in 30 years. Read More

Study suggests voluntary HIV screening should be implemented on a population-wide basis in France

In France, roughly 40,000 HIV-infected persons are unaware of their HIV infection. Although previous studies have evaluated the cost-effectiveness of routine HIV screening in the United States, differences in both the epidemiology of infection and HIV testing behaviors warrant a setting-specific... Read More

Horizontal gene transfer in microbes much more frequent than previoulsy thought

Virus-like particles called gene transfer agents (GTAs) are produced by alpha-proteobacteria and pass from one microbe to another, taking random pieces of genetic material up to 1,000 bases long with them. The high frequency with which this has been found to occur may provide a mechanism by whic... Read More

Frogs on verge of dying out in parts of Britain due to disease

Common frogs, which are the most widespread species of frog in Britain, have suffered declines of around 80 per cent in the areas worst hit by the disease, known as ranavirus.

Research by biologists at the Zoological Society of London also fear that the virus could be having an equally devast... Read More
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