In his second expedition to South America, Darwin discovered many new species of animals and plants. The field observations obtained throughout this 5-year expedition provided the intellectual framework for the maturation of his ideas on evolution. It also introduced the world to a tiny (2-3 cm ... Read More
One of the world's oldest known disinfectants – and favorite salad dressings – may prove even stronger than previously thought.
An international research team has found that vinegar – or, more specifically, the active ingredient in vinegar – can kill mycobacteria, including a highly drug-resi... Read More
A talk by Jonathan Eisen for the "Science in the River City" gathering of science teachers. Read More
OpenBiome, a company based in Cambridge, Mass., has opened a facility that collects stool samples from healthy, pre-screened individuals. It then processes those "donations" and readies them for shipment to hospitals, where they are put into the colons of people with the deadly gut infection Cl... Read More
Virulence, the capacity to cause disease, varies markedly among viruses. Some viruses cause lethal disease while others do not. For example, nearly all humans infected with rabies virus develop a disease of the central nervous system which ultimately leads to death. In contrast, most humans are ... Read More
Dogs aren’t the only pets who sometimes bite the hands that feed them. Cats do too, and when they strike a hand, can inject bacteria deep into joints and tissue, perfect breeding grounds for infection. Cat bites to the hand are so dangerous, one in three patients with such wounds had to be hospi... Read More
Chefs from top-notch restaurants are reaching out to microbiologists, seeking advice that goes beyond traditional food safety or conventional food-processing concerns. With or without professional scientific advice, some chefs and food producers are doing their own microbiological experiments, s... Read More
Public health officials issued a warning Thursday that thousands of Bay Area residents were potentially exposed to measles last week when a UC Berkeley student with the virus attended classes in Berkeley and rode on BART.
The student, a Contra Costa County resident whose name was not released... Read More
Communication is vital to any successful relationship. Researchers from the Institute of Food Research and the University of East Anglia have discovered how the beneficial bacteria in our guts communicate with our own cells.
This is a key step in understanding how our bodies maintain a close ... Read More
In a first-of-its-kind study for Lyme disease, researchers have used live, disease-free ticks to see if Lyme disease bacteria can be detected in people who continue to experience symptoms such as fatigue or arthritis after completing antibiotic therapy. The technique, called xenodiagnosis, attem... Read More
To my great delight, I just discovered your podcasts twiv, twim and twip.
The first twip I heard, about Strongyloides stercoralis, although informative and interesting, seemed to have several inaccuracies. I w... Read More
After 26 years of workdays spent watching bacteria multiply, Richard Lenski has learned a thing or two.
He's learned that naturalist Charles Darwin was wrong about some things. For one, evolution doesn't always occur in steps so slow and steady that changes can't be observed.
Lenski also lea... Read More
Teaming beneath Sweden's thawing permafrost is a previously undiscovered microbe known as methanongen (Candidatus Methanoflorens Stordalenmirensis). As its name suggests, the microbe does one thing really well: release methane into the atmosphere, presenting a feedback loop of gas production tha... Read More
Like animals, plants are susceptible to infections from bacteria, viruses and fungi. While animals have a wide variety of immune cells and in some cases an interconnected immune system plants must rely on other methods to fight infection. A recent news bulletin from the Howard Hughes Medical Ins... Read More
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have invented a new method for designing artificial proteins, and have used it to make key ingredients for a candidate vaccine against a dangerous virus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a significant cause of infant mortality. The virus has ... Read More
Scientists have deciphered the 3-D structure of a protein that confers antibiotic resistance from one of the most worrisome disease agents: a strain of bacteria called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which can cause skin and other infections. The team's findings may be an imp... Read More
The rise of drug-resistant bacteria and other biological threats has pushed the Pentagon to seek help developing small molecules that can stop some of the world's most dangerous pathogens.
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency, which seeks ways to stop or limit the effects of weapons of mass de... Read More
When confronted with a new bacteria there are a series of simple tests that can be carried out to give a rough idea of the properties of the bacteria you are dealing with. One of the simplest and most useful tests is known as “Gram staining” which is a process of staining cells either purple or ... Read More
The death of a woman in China from a strain of bird flu previously unknown in humans is a reminder of the ever-present potential pandemic threat from mutating animal viruses, scientists said on Wednesday.
The new strain, called H10N8, has so far infected only two people - a fatal case in a 73... Read More