Andrew Anthony sent his stool off to have its bacteria sequenced. In the future, such techniques could help assess our susceptibility to conditions from diabetes, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's to autism, depression and cancer.
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That word "microbiome" — describing the collection of bacteria that live in and on our bodies — keeps popping up. This time, researchers say that children whose parents clean their pacifiers by sucking them might be less likely to develop allergic conditions because of how their parents' saliva ... Read More
For a little over four months in 2003, the world was gripped in the clutches of an alarming new disease, one that spread at jet speed to at least 30 countries. Then, as quickly as it emerged, SARS vanished.
The World Health Organization declared severe acute respiratory syndrome contained on ... Read More
When you purchase chicken eggs at the market, they usually have white or brown shells. But some breeds of chicken produce blue or green eggs. The blue color is caused by insertion of a retrovirus into the chicken genome, which activates a gene involved in the production of blue eggs. Read More
As the deadly MERS virus continues to infect people throughout the Middle East and Europe, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has begun to prepare for the disease’s potential spread to the United States.
Currently, the U.S. has had no confirmed cases of the MERS virus, a respi... Read More
Vincent and friends,
While driving around a field cutting hay lost in my science podcast playlist the episode of TWIM #61 came up and I had to listen intently as salmonella typhimurium came up as this is a common enteric issue in agriculture. When ... Read More
The disruption of the human microbiome through use of antimicrobials is a topic of growing interest among healthcare epidemiologists, not only because it is a major risk factor for C. difficile infection (CDI), but also because it could be a driving force behind the introduction and proliferatio... Read More
During the April 2013 avian influenza A (H7N9) outbreak, more than 130 human infections with H7N9 were reported. Most patients had severe respiratory illness and 44 people have died. Studies suggest that the H7N9 virus has developed resistance to oseltamivir. A human interferon already in use fo... Read More
Earlier this month the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) published the DNA sequence of the genome of HeLa cells, the cell line that is widely used for research in virology, cell biology, and many other areas. This cell line was produced from a tumor taken from Henrietta Lacks in 1951.... Read More
Florida health officials are encouraging the state’s residents not to be alarmed following another death from the flesh-eating bacteria Vibrio vulnificus. The rare bacteria that thrives in saltwater has killed 10 people in Florida this year, while 31 people in all have been infected with the ... Read More
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today allowed marketing in the U.S. of the first mass spectrometer system for automated identification of bacteria and yeasts that are known to cause serious illness in humans. The VITEK MS can identify 193 different microorganisms and can perform up to 192 ... Read More
Scientists at the University of Texas and the University of Iowa have created a synthetic bacteria that grows thanks to one of humankind's favorite stimulants — caffeine. According to a report from Quartz, this bacteria can be added to any caffeinated beverage and it'll grow according to the lev... Read More
Proteases are vital proteins that serve for order within cells. They break apart other proteins, ensuring that these are properly synthesized and decomposed. Proteases are also responsible for the pathogenic effects of many kinds of bacteria. Now chemists at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen ... Read More
Thanks to a rare bacteria that grows only on rocks in the Swiss Alps, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and the Pasteur Institute in France have been the first to identify how alcohol might affect key brain proteins.
It’s a major step on the road to eventually developing drugs ... Read More
The most abundant photosynthetic organism in the world sheds countless little sacs into the oceans, which could be having a dramatic impact on marine ecosystems, according to a new study. These microbial buds contain proteins and genetic material, which may influence the growth of other marine m... Read More
Researchers use a protein-lipid complex found in human breast milk to increase the activity of otherwise-ineffective antibiotics against drug-resistant pathogens. A protein-lipid complex that naturally occurs in human breast milk can increase the sensitivity of methicillin-resistant Staphylococc... Read More
A new class of molecules called acyldepsipeptides—ADEPs—may provide a new way to attack bacteria that have developed resistance to antibiotics.
Researchers have discovered a way to increase the potency of ADEPs by up to 1,200 times. Their findings appear in the Journal of the American Chemica... Read More
Geobacter's pili conduct electrons along their length using the rings on aromatic amino acids, according to a study in mBio this week. Contrary to all other known forms of biological electron transport, in which electrons are carried by discrete entities and passed from one to another, Geobacter... Read More