The resistance of bacteria to antibiotics and similar drugs—called antimicrobials—is considered a major public health threat by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its counterparts around the world.
Antibiotics have transformed health care since they were introduced in the 1940s and ha... Read More
Kal Penn has a pretty unusual resume: He has starred in Harold and Kumar, the most successful series of stoner movies made in the past decade; and has served in the White House as the Obama administration's liaison to youth. Now he's hosting a new show, The Big Brain Theory, on the Discovery Cha... Read More
Bacteria on a surface wander around and often organize into highly resilient communities known as biofilms. It turns out that they organize in a rich-get-richer pattern similar to the distribution of wealth in the U.S. economy, according to a new study by researchers at University of California,... Read More
A 65-year-old Frenchman is hospitalized after contracting France's first case of a deadly new respiratory virus related to SARS, and French health authorities said Wednesday they are trying to find anyone who might have been in contact with him to prevent it from spreading.
It's unclear how o... Read More
Think about the type of animal that would make an ideal host for a virus. It would gather in large dense groups, making it easier for the virus to jump into fresh hosts. It should have a relatively long lifespan, so any single individual has many chances of becoming infected. It would certainly ... Read More
Warnings about the emergence of another influenza virus may elicit scepticism, but we should not be complacent, cautions Peter Horby.
Once again an animal influenza A virus has crossed the species barrier to cause an appreciable number of human cases. Now, two months after the first known hum... Read More
Amoeba eat bacteria and other human pathogens, engulfing and destroying them – or being destroyed by them, but how these single-cell organisms distinguish and respond successfully to different bacterial classes has been largely unexplained.
In a report in the journal Current Biology, research... Read More
Of all the things that could be hazardous to your health, would you believe breathing oxygen makes the list?
Our bodies produce toxic chemicals in our cells, called oxidants, which we fight naturally and with foods that contain antioxidants like blueberries and dark chocolate. All forms of li... Read More
In the summer of 1968, a new strain of influenza appeared in Hong Kong. This strain, known as H3N2, spread around the globe and eventually killed an estimated 1 million people.
A new study from MIT reveals that there are many strains of H3N2 circulating in birds and pigs that are genetically ... Read More
Researchers have found a strain of bacteria that can infect mosquitoes and make them resistant to the malaria parasite. The study, in the journal Science, showed the parasite struggled to survive in infected mosquitoes. Malaria is spread between people by the insects so it is hoped that giving m... Read More
Robert Koch is one of the key figures in early bacteriology, helping develop culture techniques (e.g. solid media), critical reasoning (e.g. Koch’s postulates), and disease etiology (e.g. cholera and tuberculosis). He also published the first photomicrographs of bacteria (Figure 1A) in his 1877 ... Read More
They sweep. They swab. They sterilize. And still the germs persist.
In U.S. hospitals, an estimated 1 in 20 patients pick up infections they didn't have when they arrived, some caused by dangerous 'superbugs' that are hard to treat.
The rise of these superbugs, along with increased pressur... Read More
Medical implants like catheters and pacemakers can be a hotspot for bacteria, which grow in hard-to-treat films on the surface of such devices. Scientists and engineers are taking different approaches to changing the surface of implants so bacteria can’t take hold. For example, some groups are d... Read More
French health officials said Friday they are investigating three suspected cases of a deadly new respiratory virus related to SARS, in people who had close contact in the hospital with France's only confirmed case.
Beatrice Degrugillers, a spokeswoman for the regional health agency in France'... Read More
Reconfiguring the genetics of the food pathogen E. coli produces hydrocarbons indistinguishable from those burned in trucks. Welding bits and pieces from various microbes and the camphor tree into the genetic code of Escherichia coli has allowed scientists to convince the stomach bug to produce... Read More
Pancreatic cancer is a dreadful disease. Even in rich countries, only about 4% of those diagnosed with it are still alive after five years. In America it is the third-most-common cause of cancer deaths among women, after lung and breast cancer; among men it is fourth, after lung, prostate and co... Read More
The phrase "gut bacteria" might sound icky and repulsive, but modern science may have you soon thinking differently about the bugs that live in your intestinal system. Top researchers around the globe are exploring the bacteria that naturally reside in the bowels of both people and animals, and ... Read More
Deep in the bowels of our, well, bowels, lurk trillions of microscopic bacteria. But don't be fooled by the big bad "B" word, intractably tied to infections and disease. In fact, these bitty bugs do us a world of good.
"There's a certain 'ick' factor associated with gut bacteria," said Lita P... Read More
Bacteria that grows only on rocks in the Swiss Alps has helped researchers identify how alcohol might affect key brain proteins.
“Now that we’ve identified this key brain protein and understand its structure, it’s possible to imagine developing a drug that could block the binding site,” says ... Read More