Sea stars are lovely marine invertebrates with a round central body connected to multiple radiating legs (photo credit). In the past year millions of sea stars in the west coast waters of North America have melted into piles of slime and ossicles. Sea star associated densovirus might be the caus... Read More
Common gut bacteria prevent sensitization to allergens in a mouse model for peanut allergy, paving the way for probiotic therapies to treat food allergies.
The presence of Clostridia, a common class of gut bacteria, protects against food allergies, a new study in mice finds. By inducing immun... Read More
Bacteria may not have brains, but they do have memories, at least when it comes to viruses that attack them. Many bacteria have a molecular immune system which allows these microbes to capture and retain pieces of viral DNA that they have encountered in the past, in order to recognize and destro... Read More
Humans are increasingly dependent on algae to suck up climate-warming carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sink it to the bottom of the ocean. Now, by using a combination of satellite imagery and laboratory experiments, researchers have evidence showing that viruses infecting those algae are d... Read More
EURAC and University of Vienna discover an opportunistic pathogen in an Iceman tissue biopsy
Ötzi’s human genome was decoded from a hip bone sample taken from the 5,300 year old mummy. However the tiny sample weighing no more than 0.1 g provides so much more information. A team of scientist... Read More
A large community of microorganisms calls the human digestive tract home. This dynamic conglomerate of microscopic life forms - the gut microbiome - is vital to how people metabolize various nutrients in their food, how their immune systems react to infection, and how they respond to various med... Read More
There are bacteria in wine that may be beneficial for people's health, new research finds.
In the study, researchers in Spain isolated 11 strains of bacteria from wine, including strains of Lactobacillus, which are also found in yogurt, as well as Oenococcus and Pediococcus bacteria, which ar... Read More
When viruses such as influenza and Ebola jump from one species to another, their ability to cause harm can change dramatically, but research from the University of Cambridge shows that it may be possible to predict the virus's virulence by looking at how deadly it is in closely-related species Read More
Several wounded Battle of Shiloh soldiers sat in the mud for two rainy days and nights waiting for the medics. As dusk fell the first night, some of them noticed something very strange: their wounds were glowing, casting a faint light into the darkness of the battlefield. Even stranger, when the... Read More
A new study suggests that Saharan dust played a major role in the formation of the Bahamas islands. Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science showed that iron-rich Saharan dust provides the nutrients necessary for specialized bacteria to pr... Read More
The love affair between industrial agriculture and the antibiotic industry has come into an uncomfortable spotlight of late. In 2011, 7.7 million pounds of antibiotics were sold to treat sick people in the United States. This compares with a whopping 29.9 million pounds of antibiotics fed to cat... Read More
For hospital workers an outbreak of harmful bacteria in the wards is a nightmare, but what gives bacteria nightmares?
Perhaps the prospect of being eaten alive by a kind of viral parasite called a bacteriophage (bacteria eater): unlike antibiotics, which some bacteria have evolved a resistanc... Read More
After studying unusual skin lesions seen in two orphaned sea otter pups, University of Florida scientists and their collaborators have identified a previously unknown poxvirus in the infected animals.
“To our knowledge, this is the first report of a poxvirus in a mustelid, the group of mammal... Read More
Pampering leafcutter ants with fragrant rose petals and fresh oranges may seem an unlikely way to rescue modern medicine, but scientists at a lab in eastern England think it's well worth trying.
As the world cries out for new antibiotics, researchers at the John Innes Center (JIC) in Norwich ... Read More
In the world of health and medicine, the word tobacco usually brings to mind cancer, emphysema and heart disease. But in recent years the plant's tarnished reputation is getting a makeover from the development of pharmaceuticals through an effective, swift and cost-cutting technique that has bee... Read More
Scientists have traditionally studied bacteria in large numbers, not individually. Working with tens of millions of cells in a culture flask, they tracked their growth by looking at how much the cells dimmed light passing through a tube.
Using this method, scientists learned that populations ... Read More
Microbiota buffs repeat it often these days, proudly reminding the public that the microbial cells associated with humans outnumber their host cells by a ratio of ten-to-one. In his letter in the February 2014 Microbe, however, Judah L. Rosner of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) makes a s... Read More
Explorations of how the microscopic communities that inhabit the human body might contribute to health or disease have moved from obscure to ubiquitous. Over the past five years, studies have linked our microbial settlers to conditions as diverse as autism, cancer and diabetes.
This excitemen... Read More
Genetically manipulated yeast can produce morphine, which could help get around the problems with poppy crops, which include climate, disease and war. Karen Hopkin reports.
Yeast. They already participate in producing some of the most popular pain-killing substances around: beer and wine. Now... Read More
New research shows that the whip-like appendages on many types of cells are able to synchronise their movements solely through interactions with the fluid that surrounds them.
Many different types of cell, including sperm, bacteria and algae, propel themselves using whip-like appendages know... Read More