In the two days since the second U.S. Ebola patient was diagnosed, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has assembled a new team to battle the threat of Ebola. This team has no steady lineup, but it will be deployed anywhere in the country that sees a new case of Ebola, CDC ... Read More
New research into a rare pathogen has shown how a unique evolutionary trait allows it to infect even the healthiest of hosts through a smart solution to the body’s immune response against it.
Scientists at the University of Birmingham have explained how a particular strain of a fungus, Crypto... Read More
"If you want to find unique diversity and if you want to find a wide range of different below-ground organisms, you don't have to travel around the world. You can walk across Central Park."
That statement comes from Noah Fierer, an ecology and evolutionary biology professor at the University ... Read More
High-resolution cryo-electron microscopy has now revealed in unprecedented detail the structural changes in the bacterial ribosome which results in resistance to the antibiotic erythromycin.
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Scientists have announced that for the first time, they have determined the precise atomic structure of the Hepatitis A virus. In an unprecedented step forward, a team of scientists from Beijing and Oxford have been able to map the exact construction of Hepatitis A, down to the individual atoms.... Read More
(Re-)Introducing the Pseudomonads. Despite the somewhat murky provenance of their name, pseudomonads are everything but "pseudo-" in terms of their metabolic versatility: they are bacterial omnivores, heterotrophs yet far from picky. Members of the family Pseudomonadaceae (Gammaproteobacteria) a... Read More
Just in time for flu season, a new Michigan State University study of “the mother of all pandemics” could offer insight into infection control measures for the flu and other epidemic diseases.
Siddharth Chandra, director of MSU’s Asian Studies Center and professor in MSU’s James Madison Colle... Read More
Mineral coatings on sand particles actually encourage microbial activity in the rapid sand filters that are used to treat groundwater for drinking, according to a paper published ahead of print in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. These findings resoundingly refute, for the first time, the... Read More
Physicists report that they've used a new imaging technique, electrostatic force microscopy, to resolve the biological debate with evidence from physics, showing that electric charges do indeed propagate along microbial nanowires just as they do in carbon nanotubes, a highly conductive human-mad... Read More
We have lived with the discovery of small RNAs as regulatory molecules for nearly 30 years, so for most readers of this blog this is old hat. But some of us oldsters are still reeling from the novelty and importance of the findings. It seems odd that a subject of this significance, one that has ... Read More
New results from a safety and immunogenicity study, which included a challenge phase to test efficacy, indicate that a live attenuated enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) vaccine candidate, given in combination with a novel adjuvant, provided significant protection against disease. This repr... Read More
Extreme adaptations of species often cause such significant changes that their evolutionary history is difficult to reconstruct. Zoologists have now discovered a new parasite species that represents the missing link between fungi and an extreme group of parasites. Researchers are now able to und... Read More
A protein in ticks that protects them against the cold could inspire a new class of antibiotics for humans, according to a Yale University study.
Scientists discovered that IAFGP, an antifreeze protein in ticks that kicks in during winter, also fights infection. Synthesizing such a protein ma... Read More
Studying chromosome organization in bacteria. Over the last twenty years, molecular biologists developed and refined a downright cute method to study bacterial chromosome organization in live cells. Briefly, a cluster of binding sites for a DNA-binding protein is introduced at a chosen locus of ... Read More
Us government ban on research into enhanced pathogens also affects flu surveillance and vaccine work.
US researchers are worried that a temporary government ban on 'gain-of-function' experiments that boost the infectious properties of dangerous viruses may also cover less-extreme forms of the... Read More
As the world experiences a wakeup call about the rise of drug-resistant infections, a new approach to creating smarter, “programmable” drugs could combat the two major problems with life-saving drugs today.
On the one hand, today’s antibiotics work a little too well. They not only kill infect... Read More
Two closely related viruses that have been introduced to northern Spain in recent years have already led to the collapse of three different species of amphibian -- the common midwife toad, the common toad, and the alpine newt -- in the protected area of Picos de Europa National Park. In all, six... Read More
Is complex life rare in the cosmos? The idea that it could be rests on the observation that the existence of life like us – with large, energy hungry, complicated cells – may be contingent on a number of very specific and unlikely factors in the history of the Earth. Added together they suggest ... Read More
In an ideal world, health care workers returning from West Africa would get a quick blood test to prove they aren't carrying the Ebola virus. A test like that would likely put to rest some of the anxiety surrounding these doctors, nurses and scientists.
Unfortunately, even the best blood test... Read More
The DNA of a virus once thought confined to the cells of algae may in fact invade the biological kingdom of mice and men, according to a new study from researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The researchers, whose paper appeared Oct. 27 in... Read More