Bacteria will exploit any opportunity to invade a new living space, in particular taking advantage of any easily-colonisable entrances into other living organisms. In plants one of these entrances is a doorway between the interior of the leaf and the outside air in order to exchange gases. Plant... Read More
Polio, the crippling virus driven to the brink of extinction, may return to Europe as regional conflicts undermine a $10 billion eradication campaign.
Polio’s re-appearance in Syria last month after a 14 year absence raises the risk that the virus will hitch a ride on unsuspecting refugees fl... Read More
When an E. coli cell divides, it must replicate its circular chromosome and pull the resulting circles apart to take up residence in two new cells. It sounds easy enough—like a magician's trick with rings—but actually involves a complicated process of unknotting and unlinking of tangled DNA.
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Robert Donofrio is director of NSF International's Applied Research Center. He contributed this article to LiveScience's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.
Recently, my colleagues and I at NSF International's Applied Research Center (ARC) discovered a new bacterium, Klebsiella michiganensis, lu... Read More
Could the microbes that inhabit our guts help explain that old idea of "gut feelings?" There's growing evidence that gut bacteria really might influence our minds.
"I'm always by profession a skeptic," says Dr. Emeran Mayer, a professor of medicine and psychiatry at the University of Californ... Read More
The gut microbiome plays a role in a number of phenomena, including immunity, metabolism, and disease, but it might also play a role in tumorigenesis. According to the results of a study in mBio this week, transferring the gut microbes from a mouse with colon tumors to germ-free mice makes those... Read More
A Dutch bio-engineer says his lab-produced fungus could someday be used to save the lives of hungry people in the developing world.
But first, it might need some extra Rooster Sauce to make it go down easier.
"It has a very strong taste, a bitter aftertaste," says Hans van Leeuwen, a profe... Read More
Corey Goodman sees financial opportunity in strange places, specifically the human bowel. In 2010 the former president of Pfizer’s innovation center founded Second Genome, a company dedicated to identifying the varieties of bacteria in stool samples and manipulating them to improve human health.... Read More
In many fungi, the DNA storage compartments called nuclei are not prisoners of the cells they reside in, the way they are in animals and plants. Instead, fungal nuclei are free to move about the cabin. They flow through the joined, tube-shaped cells of fungi like busy commuters, and experience m... Read More
The deadliest known outbreak of a measles-like virus in bottlenose dolphins has killed a record number of the animals along the US Atlantic coast since July, officials said Friday.
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Drug resistant bacteria are, justifiably, a serious cause for concern. Most of the attention has focused on mutations or genes that confer resistance to our current repertoire of antibiotics. But bacteria have a second way to avoid being offed by our drugs: a tiny fraction of many bacterial spec... Read More
A single-celled alga has evolved a crude form of multicellularity in the lab – a configuration it never adopts in nature – giving researchers a chance to replay one of life's most important evolutionary leaps in real time.
This is the second time researchers have coaxed a single-celled organi... Read More
Scientists have identified a potential way to improve future flu vaccines after discovering that seasonal flu typically escapes immunity from vaccines with as little as a single amino acid substitution. Additionally, they found these single amino acid changes occur at only seven places on its su... Read More
For most people, a fungal infection like athlete's foot means a simple trip to the drugstore and a reminder to bring shower shoes to the gym. But in very rare cases, fungal infections can spread below the skin's surface and onto the lymph nodes, bones, digestive tract or even the brain. Research... Read More
Johns Hopkins researchers report that the deletion of any single gene in yeast cells puts pressure on the organism’s genome to compensate, leading to a mutation in another gene. Their discovery, which is likely applicable to human genetics because of the way DNA is conserved across species, coul... Read More
This episode: Bacteria could reduce mercury's toxicity in their environment!
(6.5 MB, 7 minutes)
Methanotrophs (bacteria that use methane for their carbon and energy) secrete siderophore-like compounds that are usually used to chelate copper and make it more bioavailable, but ... Read More
Ancient viruses from Neanderthals have been found in modern human DNA by researchers at Oxford University and Plymouth University.
The researchers compared genetic data from fossils of Neanderthals and another group of ancient human ancestors called Denisovans to data from modern-day cancer p... Read More
Slowly over the past year, a novel respiratory virus has claimed victims in the Middle East, primarily in Saudi Arabia. It comes from a species known as coronavirus, which, through an electronic microscope, looks like a spiky blob. The virus has been named Middle East respiratory syndrome, or ME... Read More
Pregnant women may transmit the damaging effects of stress to their unborn child by way of the bacteria in their vagina and through the placenta, suggest new findings from two animal studies presented by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania at Neuroscience 2013, the annual meeting of th... Read More