Newly tenured biologist Jeroen Saeij wants to know what makes Toxoplasma gondii so unpredictable.
Toxoplasma gondii is a common parasite often spread by cats. Most people who are infected in Europe or North America show no symptoms at all, and only a few suffer from encephalitis or ocular tox... Read More
Polyethylene is one of the most popular and, unfortunately, persistent types of plastics. Bags, bottles, and packaging made from the polymer accumulate in landfills and oceans across the globe. Scientists lament that microbes can’t chew up the plastic to render it harmless. However, a new study ... Read More
A deadly epidemic that could have global implications is quietly sweeping India, and among its many victims are tens of thousands of newborns dying because once-miraculous cures no longer work.
These infants are born with bacterial infections that are resistant to most known antibiotics, and ... Read More
The World Health Organization says it is confident that deaths from malaria could be stopped entirely.
Spread by the bites of infected mosquitoes, the illness is both preventable and treatable.
Global efforts over the last decade have already halved the number of people dying from malaria ... Read More
New nanopore DNA sequencing technology on a device the size of a USB stick could be used to diagnose infection - according to new research from the University of East Anglia and Public Health England.
Researchers tested the new technology with a complex problem – determining the cause of anti... Read More
Scientists have released details of a raft of new chemicals with potent anti-malarial properties which could open the way to new drugs to fight the disease.
A new paper in PNAS is the third published recently by a group at the Australian National University (ANU). The group has collaborated w... Read More
In order to infect a host cell and proliferate, some viruses, such as the hepatitis C virus, infiltrate the ribosomes, the molecular machines that assemble the proteins present in each of our cells. Viral proteins are thus produced to the detriment of cellular proteins. A group of scientists in ... Read More
Recovering viral genomes from ancient specimens can provide information about viral evolution, but not many old nucleic acids have been identified. A study of 700 year old caribou feces reveals that viruses can be protected for long periods of time – under the right conditions. Read More
People may think of the plague as a disease from centuries past, but more than 1,000 people in the United States have become infected with plague in the last 100 years, according to a new study.
The researchers examined cases of plague in the United States from 1900 to 2012. During that time ... Read More
Since the first “catalog” of the normal bacterial makeup of the human body was published in 2012, numerous connections between illness and disturbances in the human microbiota have been found. This week, scientists report yet another: Cancerous tumors in the ascending colon (the part nearest to ... Read More
Scientists review decades of work into bacterial proteins that transform iron and other minerals for energy and growth.
Cleaning up polluted soil and growing crops for biofuels benefit from a deeper understanding of how microbes alter subsurface minerals. Scientists at Pacific Northwest Natio... Read More
Nora Besansky, O’Hara Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame and a member of the University’s Eck Institute for Global Health, has led an international team of scientists in sequencing the genomes of 16 Anopheles mosquito species from around the world.
Anopheles mosq... Read More
While human families are easily illustrated as a tree, bacterial families look more like a heap of branches. Scientists are trying to trace the connections between those branches in an effort to learn more about the bacteria that harm us, and those that do not.
UConn’s Peter Gogarten and Joer... Read More
Wolbachia pipientis is a worldwide bacterial parasite of arthropods that infects germline cells and manipulates host reproduction to increase the ratio of infected females, the transmitting sex of the bacteria. The most common reproductive manipulation, cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), is expre... Read More
Using mathematical modeling, researchers at New York and Vanderbilt universities have shown that commensal bacteria that cause problems later in life most likely played a key role in stabilizing early human populations. The finding, published in mBio, the online open-access journal of the Americ... Read More
Although it is far from unanimous, the great majority of phages studied so far package their genomes for intercellular space travel as linear chromosomes. Why linear rather than circular? Packaging convenience, for one thing. Many phages, including all of the tailed phages, package their chromos... Read More
Human influenza viruses replicate almost exclusively in the respiratory tract, yet infected individuals may also have gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. In mice, intestinal injury occurs in the absence of viral replication, and is a consequence of viral depletion of the gut... Read More
Researchers have made great progress in recent years in the design and creation of biological circuits — systems that, like electronic circuits, can take a number of different inputs and deliver a particular kind of output. But while individual components of such biological circuits can have pre... Read More
The Ebola crisis in West Africa is approaching the one-year mark, with no clear end in sight. At present, fewer than one in five people with Ebola is diagnosed within two days of becoming infectious, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Yet in the absence of a safe and effective vac... Read More
An important study conducted in part at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory may lead to new, more effective vaccines and medicines by revealing detailed information about how a flu antibody binds to a wide variety of flu viruses.
The flu virus infects millions of p... Read More