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New method to diagnose sepsis is faster, cheaper

11/19/2013
In managing bloodstream infections, minutes count, and delays in treatment or administering the wrong antibiotic can kill a patient. In mBio today, scientists from bioMérieux, Inc. describe a new method that could cut hours off the time it takes to diagnose blood infections while also eliminating the need for complicated ...

Gut microbiome helps determine risk of tumors

11/05/2013
The gut microbiome plays a role in a number of phenomena, including immunity, metabolism, and disease, but it might also play a role in tumorigenesis. According to the results of a study in mBio this week, transferring the gut microbes from a mouse with colon tumors to germ-free mice makes ...

Microbiome in gut, mouth, and skin of low birth weight infants differentiate over first weeks after birth

10/29/2013
Low birth weight infants are host to numerous microorganisms immediately after birth, and the microbiomes of their mouths and gut start out very similar but differentiate significantly by day 15 according to a study in mBio this week. Researchers from Stanford University and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine ...

In sub-Sahara, foot and mouth disease moves over short distances

10/22/2013
You probably remember foot and mouth disease (FMD) from the 2001 outbreak in the UK that prompted the culling of over 10 million sheep and cattle, but the disease affects livestock all over the world. It's a particular problem in Africa, where wildlife that harbor the picornavirus that causes FMD ...

FrameBot: a new tool for those pesky sequencing problems

09/19/2013
In their paper in mBio this week, Wang et al present FrameBot, a program that combines frameshift correction and nearest-neighbor identification in one Java-based tool.

Mammals harbor ~320,000 viruses. Could $6.3 billion discover them all?

09/03/2013
What will the next big zoonotic virus be? Most emerging infectious diseases are zoonoses, and many, if not most, of them are caused by viruses, but right now we have little idea what viruses are out there in livestock and wildlife, let alone which one might be next in line ...

Genetic susceptibility to cryptococcal disease in HIV-infected patients

08/27/2013
HIV-infected people who carry a gene for Fc gamma receptor FCGR3A 158V face a 20-fold greater risk of contracting cryptococcal disease, according to a study in mBio this week. Cryptococcal disease is a risk for everyone with HIV who has a very low level of CD4+ T cells, but those ...

Canine distemper in rare Amur tigers poses "significant risk to survival"

08/13/2013
Endangered Amur tigers (also called Siberian tigers) face challenges from poaching, decimation of their prey base, and habitat fragmentation, but a disease from domestic dogs may be the straw that broke the tiger's back, according to the authors of a study in mBio this week. A team of scientists from ...

Methamphetamine can make users more susceptible to deadly lung infection

07/30/2013
Need another reason NOT to use Meth? Methamphetamine can make a user susceptible to cryptococcosis, according to a study in mBio this week. Using mice as a model for humans, researchers found that injected methamphetamine (METH) significantly enhanced colonization of the lungs by Cryptococcus neoformans and accelerated progression of the ...

Are pathogens conspiring against you? Bi-directional signaling between different streptococcal species

07/26/2013
Are pathogens conspiring against you? Pathogenesis just got a little more complicated. In their study in mBio this week, Cook et al. show that different pathogenic species of streptococci can respond to one another's quorum sensing signals, an indication that they may well coordinate their actions in the human host. ...

H7N9 influenza strain resistant to antivirals, but tests fail to identify resistance

07/16/2013
Some strains of the avian H7N9 influenza that emerged in China this year have developed resistance to the only antiviral drugs available to treat the infection, but testing for antiviral resistance can give misleading results, helping hasten the spread of resistant strains. The authors of a study in mBio this ...

H7N9 Influenza: History of Similar Viruses Gives Cause for Concern

07/09/2013
The H7N9 avian flu strain that emerged in China earlier this year has been subdued for now, but it would be a mistake to be reassured by this apparent lull in infections. The virus has several highly unusual traits that paint a disquieting picture of a pathogen that may yet ...

New palm-sized microarray grows 1,200 individual cultures

06/25/2013
A new microarray the size of a microscope slide holds 1,200 individual cultures of fungi or bacteria and it could enable faster, more efficient drug discovery, say the authors who created the technology in their paper in mBio this week. Scientists at the University of Texas at San Antonio and ...

New virus discovered in patients with central nervous system infections: an infection from livestock?

06/18/2013
Patients in Vietnam and other locations with central nervous system infections may well be suffering from the effects of a newly discovered virus. Researchers have detected a virus they're calling CyCV-VN in spinal fluid from 4% of 642 patients with central nervous system infections of unknown cause, and in an ...

Metagenomic assembly gives hints about aquatic Spartobacteria

05/30/2013
It's a question we ask about many recently discovered bacteria: What, exactly, do the Verrucomicrobial do in the environment? Since their discovery, representatives of the phylum Verrucomicrobia have been detected in soil and aquatic environments around the world, but we have very few existing isolates to study in the lab. ...

Resistance to last-line antibiotic also makes bacteria resistant to immune attacks

05/21/2013
Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is bad enough, but what if drug resistance also gives bacteria the ability to fend off attacks by the immune system? In a study in mBio this week scientists identify a lose-lose situation with colistin and Acinetobacter baumannii: bacteria resistant to colistin are also commonly resistant ...

Algae capture, store, and release nitrogen to feed reef-building coral

05/14/2013
Symbiotic algae that live within reef-forming corals scoop up available nitrogen, store the excess in the form or uric acid crystals, and slowly feed it to the coral as needed, according to a study in mBio this week. Scientists have known for years that these symbiotic microorganisms serve up nitrogen ...

Protein improves efficacy of tumor-killing enzyme

04/30/2013
Researchers at NIAID have devised a method for delivering tumor cell-killing enzymes in a way that protects the enzyme until it can do its work inside the cell. In their study in mBio this week, researchers assembled microscopic protein packages that can deliver an enzyme called PEIII to the insides ...

Circumcision dramatically alters the penis microbiome

04/16/2013
"Like rolling back a rock and seeing the ecosystem change," says the lead author of a study in mBio this week. It's a classical experiment in grade school ecology, except that the ecosystem is the microbiome of the human penis. And the "rock" is the foreskin, removed in adulthood for ...

New mouse viruses could aid hepatitis research

04/09/2013
Who knew frozen mice could be so useful? Mouse viruses discovered in a bank of frozen rodents could pave the way for future progress in hepatitis research, enabling scientists to study human disease and vaccines in the ultimate lab animal. In mBio this week, authors from Colombia University and elsewhere ...

Chitinase: A Swiss Army tool for environmental pathogens

03/22/2013
Humans don't make chitin. So why do many bacterial pathogens require chitinases to maintain an infection? A study in mBio this week reveals that in Listeria monocytogenes, at least, chitinase helps the environmental pathogen live a double life, digesting chitin while the bacterium lives in the soil and attacking the ...

Aromatic amino acids turn Geobacter's pili into nanowires

03/12/2013
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's pili have a ...

Life on a flower is tough: stress-tolerant bacteria part of ecosystem on apple blossoms

02/28/2013
It may well be snowing where you live, but if you're in the Northern Hemisphere, spring isn't far off. Spring means flowers. And what is a flower to a microbiologist? It's a niche. Yes, flowers are a microbial habitat like any other, and though they start out with few microbial ...

Quorum sensing fends off phages

02/22/2013
Offense or defense? Quorum sensing has been tied to a number of bacterial functions, many of them involving virulence, but could quorum sensing also be used in defense? In mBio this week, there's new evidence that E. coli uses quorum sensing to trigger an antiphage mechanism that defends against at ...

Novel Coronavirus Well-adapted to Humans, Susceptible to Immunotherapy

02/19/2013
The new coronavirus that has emerged in the Middle East is well-adapted to infecting humans but could potentially be treated with immunotherapy, according to a study in mBio this week. The study indicates that the virus HCoV-EMC can penetrate the bronchial epithelium and evade the innate immune system as easily ...

Inhibiting key protein halts herpes lytic cycle

02/06/2013
Epigenetic controls like histone modification and chromatin remodeling play important regulatory roles in all cellular processes requiring access to the genome. So when a herpes simplex virus or varicella-zoster virus infects a human cell, one of the first things it does is attack the cell’s epigenetic modifications so it can ...

Tricking iron oxidizers into growing on an electrode

01/29/2013
Iron oxidizing bacteria aren’t exactly rare, but they’re hard to study in the lab because of the copious amounts of oxidized iron (Fe(III)) they produce. In mBio this week, a group at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities describes a new method for growing iron-oxidizing bacteria using a steady ...

Research misconduct: Is it a guy thing?

01/22/2013
It’s not hard to see that men are more likely to engage in risky behaviors than women, or that crime rates are many times higher among men, but this tendency to break the rules also extends to male scientists, according to a study in mBio this week. An analysis of ...

Human Coronavirus EMC Is Not the Same as SARS

01/16/2013
Is the new coronavirus the next SARS? A Commentary in mBio comes on the same week scientists are convening at a WHO meeting in Cairo to share information about the novel coronavirus that is causing alarm in the public health community. In their Commentary, Stanley Perlman and Jincun Zhao of ...

Group A Strep vaccine: designing a toxin to be non-toxic

01/09/2013
In mBio this week, a new study offers hope for a vaccine against group A Streptococcus (GAS). GAS is familiar to most of us as the cause of Strep throat, but it’s more than that. It’s also the cause of some serious and invasive infections, including septic arthritis, impetigo, and ...

Full genome of Pneumocystis jirovecii, fungus that causes pneumonia in immunocompromised patients

12/26/2012
This week in mBio: A (surprisingly small) team of researchers have sequenced the genome of the fungus Pneumocystis jirovecii, an advancement that could help identify new targets for drugs to treat and prevent Pneumocystis pneumonia, a common and often deadly infection in immunocompromised patients. The organism cannot yet be isolated ...

Why don’t vaginal HIV microbicides work? Collateral damage in vagina microbiome may give HIV the edge

12/21/2012
Scientists trying to put HIV-prevention methods in the hands of women have been disappointed so far in their efforts with vaginal microbicides. In the lab, in vitro testing of microbicides like nonoxynol-9, and cellulose sulfate have produced promising results, but when subjected to clinical trials, each of these compounds has ...

New Coronavirus Could Pass from Animals to Humans Repeatedly

12/11/2012
The SARS epidemic of 2002-2003 was short-lived, but the new human coronavirus that is alarming public health authorities can infect cells from humans and bats alike, a fact that could make the animals a continuing source of infection, according to a study to be published in mBio today. The new ...

Heat favors the prepared: CRISPR-Cas immunity more useful under thermophilic conditions

12/07/2012
The adaptive immune system known as CRISPR-Cas (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats and CRISPR-associated genes) is found in 90% of fully sequenced thermophiles, but in less than 50% of mesophilic bacteria. Why the discrepancy? In their study in mBio this week, researchers from Harvard Medical School and from the ...

Lyme disease: White-footed mice reveal why some strains are common, others not

12/04/2012
New clues about the evolution and ecology of Borellia burgdorferi could point the way to a vaccine for immunizing white-footed mice against the bacteria, according to a study in mBio this week. The study sheds some light on how the immune system of the white-footed mouse responds differently to different ...

Copper is golden for preventing the spread of antibiotic resistance

11/30/2012
In mBio this week: some interesting news about horizontal gene transfer on surfaces. E. coli and Klebsiella strains with antibiotic resistance genes not only survive for weeks on dry stainless steel surfaces, they share their resistance genes instantly. But put those same bacteria on a copper alloy surface? “Rapid death, ...

For life in the hospital, Staph drops excess genetic baggage

11/14/2012
Staph infections are common in the hospital setting and in the community, but the strains that are prevalent in these two environments differ somewhat. In their study in mBio this week, a group in Denmark looked at one of these differences and found that pressure from antibiotic use in the ...

Legacy of decades of antibiotic use: honeybees carry many different resistance genes

10/30/2012
Honeybees the world over are susceptible to the bacterial disease called "foulbrood", which can wipe out a hive faster than beekeepers can react to the infection. In the U.S., beekeepers have kept the disease at bay with regular preventive applications of the antibiotic oxytetracycline. Given what we now know about ...

Deepwater Horizon Disaster: Oil and Dispersant Together are Bad for Human Gut Microbes

10/23/2012
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill released roughly 4.9 million barrels of crude oil into the northern Gulf of Mexico in the spring and summer of 2010, and the underwater wellhead continues to leak about 100 gallons of crude every way. One pressing question to arise from the spill is whether ...

Viral DNA in Birds: Viruses Taste Like Chicken

10/17/2012
Like other organisms, the genomes of birds are riddled with DNA sequences from retroviruses. A study mBio this week examined the genomes of three species of birds for these proviruses and followed the expression of genes during development. What role these viral proteins might play in bird biology is not ...

Should the Moratorium on Enhancing H5N1 Transmissibility End?

10/09/2012
How can scientists safely conduct avian flu research if the results could threaten or save millions of lives? A series of Commentaries in mBio this week presents some important perspectives on the type of H5N1 influenza research that started (the ongoing) widespread controversy among both scientists and the public one ...

Teaching tolerance: E. coli ‘shocked’ into tolerating a life in solvents

10/04/2012
A bacterium that makes biofuels also needs to tolerate living in a solvent soup. The authors of a study in mBio this week amped up promoters for various heat shock proteins (HSPs) in E. coli and created a system they say could be used to create tailor-made organisms for producing ...

mBiosphere: Could viruses be used to treat acne?

09/25/2012
The latest from the online journal mBio brings you the genomes of 11 viruses that infect the acne-causing bacterium Propionibacterium acnes and pulls back the curtain on some of the microscopic predator-prey struggles that play out on the surface of human skin. The authors say the results could help pave ...
09/18/2012
A study in mBio this week shows that contrary to previous findings, new research proves there is no link between chronic fatigue syndrome and the viruses XMRV (xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus) and pMLV (polytropic murine leukemia virus). The authors say research that reported patients with chronic fatigue syndrome carried ...
09/06/2012
It makes me itchy just thinking about it: the genomes of seven skin-infecting fungi have revealed some surprising facts about these common but little-understood pathogens. The results, published in mBio this week, show these 7 dermatophytes all have one surprising feature that could help explain why athlete’s foot and other ...

Antibiotic residues in fermented sausage meat target beneficial bacteria, leave pathogens alone

08/28/2012
It’s a paradoxical lose-lose for food safety: antibiotic residues in uncured pepperoni or salami meat are potent enough to weaken lactic acid bacteria that processors add to acidify the sausage and make it safe for consumption, but not potent enough to kill off foodborne pathogens like Salmonella or E. coli. ...

Cystic fibrosis: the gut leads the way in infancy

08/22/2012
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is most often thought of as a disease of the lung, and most microbiome studies of CF patients begin and end with the respiratory tract. But CF also causes profound complications in the gut and pancreas, problems that can seriously impact growth and nutrition. A study in ...

From one tiny room to a $26 billion budget: Joseph Kinyoun's NIH

06/26/2012
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) today is the world's largest biomedical research institution, but back in 1887 it began its existence as a one-man immigrant quarantine station on Staten Island. The authors of a Minireview in mBio today tell the story of NIH's early growth with a biography of ...

Amphibian-killing fungus: is one gene family responsible for the downfall of frogs?

06/20/2012
The authors of a study in mBio this week examined the genomes of two Bd isolates to find clues about its pathogenicity, reasoning that the Bd genome must bear the marks of restructuring to adapt to its new environmental niche and exploit its amphibian hosts. Compared with its fellow phylum ...

Salmonella gooses the human host to boost its own fitness

06/13/2012
A gene Salmonella got from a virus apparently enables it to tweak the human gut to get what it needs to outcompete its neighbors, according to the latest study published in mBio this week. A multi-drug resistant strain of Salmonella that caused an outbreak among both humans and cattle in ...

Cousins C. neoformans and C. gattii cause different types of disease. Why?

05/10/2012
Cryptococcus gattii and C. neoformans are very closely related fungi, but when it comes to the infections they cause there are some important differences. In their study in mBio this week, Ngamskulrungroj et al. drilled down into those differences using a mouse model and found that C. gatii may be ...

E. coli: can subtractive reverse vaccinology help design a vaccine?

04/11/2012
Escherichia coli is no stranger to the human body. In around 20% of us, E. coli is the predominant species in our gastrointestinal tract, where it lives as a commensal. But when E. coli gets out of hand it can cause anything from gastroenteritis to sepsis to urinary tract infections. ...

The Black Queen Hypothesis: how microbes lose a necessary function and survive to tell the tale

03/27/2012
Pared down genomes are the norm in symbiotic microbes, but how do non-symbionts get away with cutting out functions it would appear that they need? The authors of an Opinion piece in mBio this week explain their ideas about the matter. They say microbes that shed necessary functions may well ...

Meningitis: A protein in spinal fluid is associated with survival

03/13/2012
Bacterial meningitis strikes around 1,000 people in the U.S. every year, according to the CDC, and 10-14% of those cases are fatal. Researchers are drilling down into what happens in the spinal fluid to make a bad case of meningitis and deadly one, but they still know little about the ...

How to balance risk of H5N1 escape with benefits of research?

03/06/2012
Where can you safely work with avian H5N1 influenza? The debate over H5N1 continues, and this week we present two Commentaries that can help stimulate an honest discussion about the most appropriate place to carry out research on newly developed strains. As Arturo Casadevall and Tom Shenk point out in ...

MRSA in livestock acquired drug resistance on the farm, now infects humans

02/21/2012
A strain of MRSA that humans can contract from livestock most likely became drug resistant due to the use of antibiotics on the farm. That's according to the authors of a study in mBio this week, who looked closely at the genetic relationships among strains of the antibiotic resistant bacterium ...

Your urinary tract: a two lane highway for E. coli

02/09/2012
Cranberry juice, anyone? Most everyone has had to deal with a UTI at some point, but as common as the condition is, we still know little about how bacteria progress through the urinary tract. Observations have taught that bacteria may move from the urethra, into the bladder, then up the ...

H5N1 flu studies: Special Commentaries section in mBio today

01/31/2012
mBio is publishing a special series of Commentaries this week in response to recent actions of the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), which recommended that two scientific journals withhold crucial details of upcoming relating to a novel strain of the bird flu virus, H5N1. The Commentaries, written ...

Dead vent, thriving habitat: expired hydrothermal chimneys home to plenty of bacteria

01/26/2012
Hydrothermal chimneys can be found wherever you have a mid-ocean ridge spreading center. Like geysers on the sea floor, chimneys are formed when hot, mineral-laden sea water emerges from beneath the crust and deposits those minerals in a (sometimes towering) column rich in metals and sulfur. Microbiologists have studied these ...

Bacteria in the gut of autistic children different from non-autistic children

01/10/2012
Individuals with severe autism often suffer from another problem as well: gastrointestinal disturbances. The underlying reason for this apparent link is unknown, but a study in mBio this week reveals that the guts of autistic children differ from other children in at least one important way: many children with autism ...

One at a time, please! One herpes virus per compartment in infected cells

12/20/2011
Even if a cell is bombarded with many different herpes viruses, only a limited number of those viruses are expressed once the cell is blown up. Many types can go in, but only a few types come out. Why? In their paper in mBio this week, Kobiler et al. explain ...

How the body fights dengue fever

12/13/2011
We don’t hear a whole lot about dengue fever here in the U.S., but it is a really big problem: worldwide, dengue fever strikes roughly 50 million people every year and takes the lives of thousands, but there are currently no specific treatments and no vaccine to prevent infection with ...

Needs-Based Assistance for Outer Membrane Proteins

12/07/2011
How do outer membrane proteins (OMPs) make it from the interior of the cell, through the periplasm, and into the outer membrane? In Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bam and Lol proteins are big helpers that get some, but not all, OMPs where they need to go. The authors of a study in ...

New compound to control Listeria

12/02/2011
Cantaloupe contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes killed 29 people in the U.S. this year in the deadliest foodborne outbreak since 1924. The authors of a study in mBio this week screened 57,000 small molecules to find one compound that can stop Listeria in its tracks, a needle-in-the-haystack approach that has turned ...

Antibiotics stimulate gene exchange in swine gut microbes

11/29/2011
Livestock farms in the U.S. use an estimated 24.6 million pounds of antimicrobials for nontherapeutic purposes every year. A study in mBio this week reveals new evidence that adding antibiotics to pig feed stimulates gene exchange in the guts of these animals, a development that could move antibiotic resistance genes ...

Has plant biomass met its match?

11/17/2011
Converting plant biomass into useful products and biofuels inevitably runs up against a big problem: degrading cellulose and other cell wall polymers, which are, by design, tough nuts to crack. Plants need tough cell walls in order to stand tall and compete for sunlight, but the recalcitrance of these polymers ...

How did a Toxoplasma chromosome spread globally?

11/10/2011
A parasite of animals (most notably cats) and humans alike, Toxoplasma gondii can boast a global distribution. But it’s not exactly the same organism the world over: one clonal type predominates in Europe and North America and another leads the pack in South America. One thing they do have in ...

Enzymes act like a switch, turning antibiotic resistance on and off in enterococci

11/03/2011
Enterococcus faecalis isn’t always a deadly pathogen. Normally a friendly resident of the gastrointestinal tract, in individuals who are immune compromised E. faecalis can turn ugly and infect the bloodstream, urinary tract, and surgical sites. Patients who are given cephalosporin antibiotics for other problems are also prone to opportunistic ...

The Anthrax Attacks: Good for Research? Not Really.

10/28/2011
The anthrax attacks that took the lives of five people and infected seventeen others took place ten years ago. What are the repurcussions of the events in the Fall of 2001 for science? That’s the question Mike Imperiale of the University of Michigan and Arturo Casadevall of the Albert Einstein ...

Can antivirulence drugs stop infections without causing resistance?

10/12/2011
Antivirulence drugs disarm pathogens rather than kill them, and although they could be effective in theory, antivirulence drugs have never been tested in humans. A new study to in mBio reveals these drugs have the potential to fight infection while avoiding the pitfalls of drug resistance. Traditional antibiotics aim to ...

New genomes show off the abilities of ocean cyanobacterium

10/07/2011
The cyanobacterium Cyanothece is a resident of the open ocean, where it fixes nitrogen and carries out photosynthesis. But five new genome sequences of reveal that Cyanothece is equipped for a lot more than just plain-old nitrogen fixation. It has versatile metabolic pathways – an asset that makes it a ...

Point mutation makes gonorrhea resistant to antibiotics easily, efficiently

09/27/2011
Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacterium behind “the clap”, has several tools in its shed to help it evade antibiotics. One such tool is the multidrug efflux pump MtrC-MtrD-MtrE, which shuttles low concentrations of antimicrobials out of the cell before they can take their toxic toll. In mBio this week, researchers describe ...

2009 H1N1 pandemic flu: damages lungs, opens opportunities for pneumonia

09/20/2011
Why did so many of the people who died from the new strain of H1N1 influenza that broke out in 2009 also get infected with pneumonia? The authors of a study in mBio this week found out how the two infections, pandemic flu and pneumonia, interact to make to make ...

Antibody creates a Greek tragedy among pneumococci: it gets the bacteria to kill their own “brother” cells

09/16/2011
The current vaccines for pneumococcal disease have succeeded in some ways and failed in others, and we still have a lot to learn about vaccine-mediated protection. A study out in mBio this week reveals that some antibodies instigate a Greek tragedy among pneumococci: they get the bacteria to kill their ...

Commensal E. coli mutates one gene, becomes invasive

09/09/2011
E. coli K-12 is a lot like your average lab rat: predictable, well-understood, and tame. However, there’s one important difference between a white rat and K-12: the rat can’t mutate and become a voracious, man-eating scourge. Okay, maybe that characterization is a little overblown. But it demonstrates the point of ...

Why Do Influenza Virus Subtypes Die Out? A Hypothesis

09/01/2011
When a new strain of flu takes hold, why does the old strain die out? Why doesn’t it continue making people sick every year? The authors of a new Opinion piece in mBio have an idea. They say the secret’s in the stalk. Novel flu strains arise in those folks ...

New sequence data: UN Peacekeepers brought cholera to Haiti

08/23/2011
New evidence published in mBio this week provides strong evidence that United Nation’s peacekeepers brought a cholera epidemic to Haiti. Haiti has had a terrible history of hardship, but 2010 was an annus horribilis. In January of that year, an earthquake laid flat many parts of Haiti killed hundreds of ...

New approach for diagnostics: identify antigens in blood using amplification, arrays

08/17/2011
Despite the great strides medicine has made in the past century, diagnosing infectious disease remains a difficult – and often impossible – task. One major barrier in diagnosis is knowing what to look for. Which of the millions of potentially antigenic products that a pathogen makes can actually be found ...

Spotlight: Cryptococcus neoformans

08/12/2011
Two new papers describe insights into how the pathogen interacts with the body’s macrophages, those big eaters of the immune system that should (but often don’t) gobble up C. neoformans before it can do real harm. In chronic C. neoformans infections, the pathogen is often found inside macrophage phagosomes where ...

High impact factor journals have more retractions

08/11/2011
In their article published ahead of print in IAI this week, Arturo Casadevall and Ferric Fang examined retractions in 17 journals between 2001 and 2010 and plotted the retraction index against the impact factor of the journal. Considering the far-from-random correlation they uncovered, Casadevall and Fang point say the scientific ...

Grace under fire: when stressed, Candida mutates and adapts

08/02/2011
When Candida albicans encounters stressful conditions, does it curl up and die? No! According to a paper just published in mBio, this crafty pathogen gets to work on its inventory of genes, slashing away until it finds a winning combination that can get it through the tough times. (I’ve written ...

One from many: single 'species' biofilms differentiate into multiple roles

07/28/2011
The Lost City hydrothermal fields in the mid-Atlantic are pulsing with microbial life thanks to the process of serpentinization, which generates heat and hydrogen and methane from rocks and seawater. So how is it that a single “species” of archaea comprises the bulk of the biofilms lining these hydrogen-rich carbonate ...

Who’s using up the fertilizer? Nitrate reduction linked to breakdown of soil humics

07/13/2011
Maintaining soil nitrogen is crucial for growing crops, but erosion and the microbial conversion of nitrate to nitrogen gas can continually undermine a farmer’s efforts. A new study in mBio has identified several types of bacteria that can live off of that valuable nitrate by breaking down a ubiquitous soil ...

No vacation from tuberculosis: pausing drug therapy encourages resistance

07/12/2011
Tuberculosis is no picnic, but taking the required medicines to treat the disease is a long slog: it takes six months, at least, to treat TB. To prevent patients from quitting treatment too soon, many doctors insist on “directly observed therapy”, where patients take their antibiotics under the watchful eye ...

Novel nidovirus also offers lessons on evolutionary ecology

06/15/2011
In the hunt for new organisms, sometimes you just get lucky. The authors of a paper in mBio this week found a virus that offered two discoveries for the price of one: it’s a novel organism that also reveals lessons in evolutionary ecology. The Cavally virus (CAVV) is the first ...

Shuffling the deck: chromosomal rearrangement in Salmonella driven by life in host

06/08/2011
To get around host defenses, Salmonella enterica serovars that specialize in a single type of host are known to shuffle their genomic decks by recombining their chromosomes, rearrangements that result in inversions, translocations, duplications, or deletions of various sizes. But what drives these rearrangements, exactly? Scientists have proposed two possible ...

Is it getting crowded in here? Bacterial competition for space goes from deadly to detente

06/01/2011
When a successful bacterium begins to outgrow its physical niche, things can get ugly. Paenibacillus dendritiformis, for instance, turns on its brothers and produces a toxic protein called Slf, which kills cells of encroaching sibling colonies. The bacterium senses when space gets tight, then deploys its toxic protein on nearby ...

Strep pneumoniae survives weeks on surfaces, remains infectious

05/27/2011
S. pneumoniae is one of the leading culprits behind ear infections, pneumonia and meningitis, and it often makes its home in the nasopharynx (way in the back of your sinuses), where it can get along as a commensal or switch over to the pathogenic way of life. Although other respiratory ...

Unwelcome guest: C. albicans changes your pH to suit its needs

05/20/2011
Candida albicans can make a home for itself almost anywhere on or in the human body, and the range of pH the pathogen can cope with is impressive. Whether it’s in the highly acidic stomach, where the pH gets down to around 2, or the mildly acidic skin or vagina, ...

New test opens the door to routine testing for prion diseases

05/11/2011
A study in mBio this week describes a new test for detecting prions in blood and blood products that could enable doctors to detect prion diseases in patients before they become symptomatic. It could also help put healthy individuals back in those Red Cross blood donation buses. The technique, called ...

What’s worse than one strain of Chlamydia trachomatis? A combination of two strains of C. trachomatis

05/06/2011
A novel strain of Chlamydia trachomatis is actually a combination of two well-known strains –one of them a harmless symbiont. Reading about Chlamydia is not for the squeamish. In the U.S. alone, as many as 2.8 million people are afflicted with diseases caused by C. trachomatis every year, conditions that ...

Stomach damage by H. pylori under partial control of Mua protein

04/21/2011
Helicobacter pylori’s own heartburn remedy may be a good means for preventing the damage the stomach-ulcer pathogen causes. H. pylori lives happily in the stomachs of about half of the world’s population, where it relies heavily on the enzyme urease to break down urea in stomach acid into carbon dioxide ...

How to train your microbe: metatranscriptomics as a care and feeding guide

04/07/2011
If you work in microbiology, you know the statistics: as many as 99% of bacterial species have yet to succumb to science’s best efforts to cultivate them. In mBio this week, a new approach to cultivating these reluctant microbes reads the metatranscriptome – the RNA a community of bacteria makes ...

Epigenetic control on transcription of viral genes

03/31/2011
Viruses like human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) use your own cell machinery against you by hijacking your RNA polymerase machinery, among other things, to turn their genes into viral proteins. A study published in mBio this week reveals new information that could help in designing drugs to fend off these cellular pirates: ...

Microbial hydrogen: circumventing the Calvin cycle gives better yields

03/25/2011
Microbially-produced biofuels are big business – even Google is getting in on the act http://goo.gl/20DXU. Because biofuels have such great potential for widespread use and profit, incremental advancements that eke out a few more milliliters of fuel from a process have the potential to have a big impact in the ...

Bacillus subtilis plays a game of “Telephone"

03/15/2011
Without the benefit of sex to help them ensure their genetic legacy, bacteria employ horizontal gene transfer to move genes from one cell to another. One way to get this done between cells in contact with one another is using integrative and conjugative elements (ICEs), DNA segments that normally reside ...

Gut microbes: silent partners in liver metabolism

03/02/2011
A recent boom in research on the gut microbiota is revealing that these communities are even more integral to human health than previously thought. And now a study published in mBio yesterday draws more links between gut microbes and metabolism. Colonizing the guts of germ-free mice with bacteria stimulated significant ...

First pathogen with a human gene: N. gonorrhoeae plays the field, accepts DNA from bacteria AND humans

02/15/2011
Of the many things that have been said about gonorrhea, here’s one thing no one ever guessed: gonorrhea is a little bit human. A study published in mBio today reveals that the genomes of some strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae carry a piece of the human long interspersed nuclear element (LINE) ...

Hunted: Vibrio cholerae is followed by a bacteriophage

02/09/2011
You are an ecosystem. Think of your body as a microscopic Serengeti – a wild place where the strong prey upon the weak and “survival of the fittest” is the law of the land. To a microbe, the human body is just another place they try to eke out a ...

Bait-and-switch to fight tuberculosis bug: Find out what it needs, then give it something else

02/02/2011
A study published in mBio this week highlights a novel approach to developing new antibiotics for tuberculosis and other infections using high-throughput bioinformatics. Lamichhane et al. generated and genotyped over 5,000 strains of M. tuberculosis and used statistical analysis to find putative essential genes. By cross-listing these essential ...

Directed Evolution: E. coli gets off the couch, becomes an extremophile

01/28/2011
Can you create an extremophile? The microbes living and thriving at the fringes of the biosphere manage to get by in spite of extreme temperatures, radiation levels, and pressures (did I miss any?) that most other life forms would choke on. But how easy would it be for ...

When a baby gets a vaccine, who reaps the benefits?

01/26/2011
Babies in this country and in Europe are given several immunizations during the first two years of life, and one vaccine that has made a big dent in infant mortality rates is PCV7 – the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. A study coming out in mBio this week shows that the ...

Preterm birth: different bacteria in placenta elicit different responses in fetus

01/19/2011
Over half a million babies are born preterm every year in the U.S. alone, leaving these children to bear significantly elevated risk of death, morbidity, and developmental problems. The way a fetus responds to inflammation in the uterus appear to contribute to the risk of preterm labor, but what ...

Candida albicans puts one set of proteins to work in two different jobs

01/11/2011
Reduce, reuse, recycle? Candida albicans is a reuser. No, it doesn’t use its old grocery bags over and over – it puts one set of proteins to work in two different jobs. To mate, C. albicans must switch its cells from white to opaque (see inset). ...

Designer cellulosome unites dream team of enzymes to degrade plant materials

12/15/2010
A study published in mBio this week reveals a novel system for turning plant materials into biofuels using a designer cellulosome, an enzyme complex that is like the fantasy football team of biological processes. Consider the similarities: in fantasy football, participants assemble virtual dream teams of players from the ...

Cytomegalovirus protein pUL71 works like a microscopic UPS Store

12/06/2010
It’s the leading infectious cause of birth defects: every year in the U.S., infection with human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) leaves more than 5,000 children with permanent problems like hearing loss or developmental disabilities, according to the CDC (http://www.cdc.gov/cmv/trends-stats.html). Researchers working to understand the ins and outs of how the virus ...

Feeling queasy? Rotavirus punches holes in organelles

12/02/2010
Stomach flu season is upon us, and if you or your kids have suffered through a bout of what doctors call “viral gastroenteritis”, rotavirus may well be the culprit: it is the leading cause of the illness in children. One of the virus’ secrets of success lies in how ...

Bioluminescent E. coli leaves a glowing path in the bloodstream

11/29/2010
Many urinary tract infections (UTIs) can be cleared up with a big bottle of cranberry juice, but when these infections go bad, they can be really, really bad. Uropathogenic E. coli is the leading cause of uncomplicated UTIs, and if left untreated it can proceed right up the urinary ...

Keeping the fungi away: did warm bodies put mammals on top in evolutionary history?

11/11/2010
Did a warm body put mammals at the head of the evolutionary rat race? Aviv Bergman and Arturo Casadevall present evidence in an Observation piece in mBio this week that the warm mammalian body is no accident and our relatively high body temperature could represent the perfect evolutionary compromise ...

ZAP! Manipulating Bacterial Metabolism With an Electrode

11/10/2010
Humans have been getting microbes to do our bidding for millennia, but a study appearing in the latest issue of mBio reveals an electrifying new way to get what we want from bacteria: researchers were able to manipulate bacterial metabolism by pulling excess electrons out of the mix and ...

Down with cooperation! Better to make methanogens do all the work

11/04/2010
Mutually-beneficial cooperation is a high ideal, but for bacteria and archaea, working together isn’t always a good solution. Now a team at Pennsylvania State University has worked out a system that could work better than inter-domain cooperation: by putting genes from a bacterium into an archaeon, they got the ...

Ground zero in a fight for interdisciplinary knowledge: microbiology and immunology

11/03/2010
This week, the Editor in Chief and a member of the Board of Editors of mBio weigh in on the relationship between two natural allies in medicine: microbiology and immunology. The two disciplines have a long history that stretches back to when they each emerged in the late 1800s, ...

Open-access science publishing: reaching beyond academia?

11/01/2010
Who benefits when scientists publish articles in open-access journals? I talked recently with someone who thinks a lot about open-access publishing, and he had some surprising things to say. Phil Davis, a postdoctoral associate at Cornell University, studies the use and dissemination of open-access content, applying scientific methods ...

When it comes to DNA replication, archaea look like eukaryotes

10/29/2010
Could it be another nail in the coffin for the term “prokaryotes”? Patterns of inheritance are complicated, and the microbial world is no exception. Take the Archaea: since they’re small, we often assume they have more in common with bacteria than with eukaryotes. We even lump archaea ...

Proteins get the glory, but are non-protein-coding RNAs doing the work?

10/26/2010
When it comes to biology, the proteins get all the glory. A new study coming out in mBio might change this, though: the results show that, in the immune response, non-protein-coding RNAs may deserve some credit for what they do, too. Peng et al. used whole transcriptome analysis ...

Making biofilms: what role for enzymes that act on biofilm signaling molecule?

10/22/2010
Biofilms: whether it’s coating the opening of a geyser in Yellowstone Park or lining the surface of your shower curtain, the signaling molecule cyclic diguanylate (c-di-GMP) essentially tells bacteria in these ecosystems when to get-up-and-go or when to settle down and get comfortable. By regulating this transition between motile ...

Coronaviruses cut down interferons. How to get around it?

10/21/2010
When confronted with a virus, several cell types in the immune system go about producing interferons, which get the ball rolling, so to speak, and mobilize the innate immune system against the invader. Unfortunately for us, coronaviruses, which include SARS-CoV and many cold viruses, inhibit interferon production in some ...

How to crack P. aeruginosa open? Tinker with its porins

10/20/2010
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one tough nut to crack, but a new paper sheds some light on how that cracking might be done, and adds to our knowledge of an opportunistic pathogen that strikes in homes and hospital wards every day. Unfortunately for patients, P. aeruginosa is able to resist ...

The Catch of the Day: Bacterial Lobster Traps

10/13/2010
It’s the kind of microbiology that would make Steve Irwin proud: tracking and trapping the wild Pseudomonas aeruginosa to study its habits. In mBio’s latest paper, the authors describe using “bacterial lobster traps”, picoliter-scale, permeable protein cages, to study quorum-sensing among small groups of cells. Unlike the conditions ...

Immune Reaction to Infection Leads to Autism-like Disorders in Mice

10/11/2010
Could an immune reaction to a virus cause autism? We still don’t know the answer to that question, but a new study shows that, in mice, infecting a pregnant mother with an artificial virus can spark a chain of events that leads to autism-like disorders in her offspring. ...

Make Sense of it All: a Framework to Identify Networks Among Microbial Communities

10/06/2010
Just try to wrap your head around this impossible task: if each gram of soil holds thousands of different species of microorganisms, how can you detect and describe how those various members interact? A new study just released by mBio offers up one way to approach the problem, using ...

Lyme Disease Bacterium Collaborates with Accomplices to Evade Immune System

09/29/2010
Warning: the bacterium behind Lyme disease is collaborating with its accomplices to construct a gene that can defeat your immune defenses. That’s what researchers investigating the evolution of a crucial gene in Borrelia burgdorferi found when they compared bacteria found in ticks gathered across the country. The study ...

Perspective: H1N1 will either cause low or moderate mortality or go extinct

09/28/2010
The 2009 swine flu virus faces two probable fates: it will either continue to cause low or moderate mortality or it will go extinct. That’s the judgment of the authors of a new Perspectives piece in mBio, which points out that the impact of the virus this flu season ...

How Does a Pathogen go From Temp to Full-time? Parallel Evolution in P. aeruginosa

09/23/2010
Once Pseudomonas aeruginosa colonizes the lungs of a cystic fibrosis patient, it begins transforming itself from a squatter into a fully-invested resident, eventually establishing a chronic airway infection. A study just released by mBio tracked the gene expression patterns of P. aeruginosa during this transformation in three individual patients ...

Got Operons? Big Economic Gain in Co-transcribing Proteins in Complexes

09/22/2010
Every choice has its trade-offs, and while the advantages of many choices are easy to discern, other situations require closer analysis. In a paper just released by mBio, scientists have modeled the economic trade-offs involved in putting genes in an operon, and they’ve shed some light on why it ...

Flu factory: Influenza makes 100,000 short viral leader RNAs

09/17/2010
We now know MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have big positive and negative impact on replication in DNA viruses, but what about RNA viruses like influenza? The authors of a new study just released by mBio went looking for miRNAs made by the flu virus, but they made an unexpected discovery that ...

Group B Strep: did this newborn infection really come from a cow?

09/10/2010
A family tree can be very illuminating, but there can be some surprises in those branches, too. A recent mBio paper delves into the ancestry of Streptococcus agalactiae, a.k.a. Group B Strep (GBS), and uncovers some unexpected facts about the bacterium’s family history. Sørensen at al. examined 15 ...

More than a sex addiction: pheromones are for more than just gene exchange

09/07/2010
At first glance, you might not think the fungus Candida albicans and the bacterium Enterococcus faecalis would have a lot in common, but mBio’s first Minireview reveals another story: these dissimilar pathogens both use pheromone signaling for mating and for pathogenesis. By probing the environment with chemical messengers, both ...

From unpleasant infection to flesh-eater: Three virulence factors help Group A Strep make the switch

08/31/2010
Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is responsible for infections ranging from “strep throat” to necrotizing fasciitis, aka the “flesh-eating disease”, a severe and invasive condition that has seen a marked increase in incidence in the past 30 years. The increase has been pinned on a single clone of the M1T1 ...

How does E. coli stay so young-looking? Bacteria have fountain of youth

08/30/2010
They say Ponce de Leon looked for the Fountain of Youth in Florida, but he might have saved himself some trouble by looking a bit closer to home. A study just released by mBio links an enzyme present in almost all organisms to the reduction of age-related products called ...

How to make a P. aeruginosa infection: New maps of lipopolysaccharide-making enzymes

08/26/2010
For immune compromised individuals, like those living with AIDS, cancer, and burn wounds, and for cystic fibrosis patients, Pseudomonas aeruginosa can cause serious or even fatal infections. Why is it so devastating? One of the essential elements of P. aeruginosa’s virulence is a slick coating of goo on ...
08/25/2010
Searching for novel viruses in environmental samples is a lot like searching for a needle in a haystack, but harder. Researchers are usually forced to extract genetic material from a sample, then sequence and align those genes against a database of known sequences, but aligning genes is difficult and ...

Making Proteins on the Cheap

08/24/2010
When it comes to building proteins, it’s in a bacterium’s own best interest to use low-cost components. After all, using an energetically expensive amino acid where a cheaper one would suffice gives your more parsimonious competitors an advantage, and prior studies prove that abundant proteins are hit hard by ...

When can a vitamin be bad for you?

08/17/2010
When it’s made by the stomach ulcer-causing bacterium Helicobacter pylori. A study just released by mBio reveals that the enzymes that synthesize vitamin B6 are important virulence factors for this pathogen, possibly because of the role vitamin B6 plays in building fully-functioning flagella to get around the human stomach. ...

A One-Two Punch for Multi-Drug Resistant TB?

08/10/2010
One in ten of the 2 billion people infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis will fall ill with tuberculosis in their lifetime, so finding effective drugs to treat TB and preventing the emergence of drug resistance are public health priorities of the highest order. Treating TB requires a combination of antibiotics, ...

How Salmonella typhimurium gets the inside angle on your cells

08/04/2010
The type III secretion system allows Salmonella typhimurium to get the goods into your cells: bacterial effector proteins travel through the connected inner and outer membrane rings and down a protruding needle-like tube, into the host cell. Despite the importance of S. typhimurium as a human pathogen, we still ...

A sugar-coated vaccine: antigens wrapped up in glucans

07/20/2010
Sometimes a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down; or in this case, the vaccine. A new study released by mBio shows that combining β-(1-3)-D-glucans (long chains of the sugar glucose) with an antigen creates a potent vaccine platform that could eventually be put to clinical use. ...

Go! Fight! Win! Are bacterial cheerleaders making your ears hurt?

07/13/2010
Ear infections: almost every kid has suffered through them at least once, making otitis media the most common reason for pediatric visits and new antibiotic prescriptions in children. But those little bottles of sweet pink antibiotics don’t always clear up ear infections. Bacteria often form mixed-species biofilms inside ...

Riling up the immune system: P. aeruginosa polysaccharide facilitates inflammation

06/30/2010
Being wrong isn’t always a bad thing. Take Christopher Columbus: he set out on his voyage expecting to find a shortcut to India, but landed an extended vacation in the Bahamas instead. The authors of an Observation piece just released in mBio were wrong about their assumptions, too, and although ...

Watery relatives of crop pathogen P. syringae discovered in rivers

06/29/2010
Summer’s here, and many vacationers face the question of where to spend these halcyon days: by the water or in the country? The plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae may be in the same predicament, according to a new paper released by mBio. Morris et al. examined the genetic diversity and traits ...

Microbiota of the nose and throat: phylum-level similarities, species-level differences

06/25/2010
There’s more than one way to skin a cat. The latest paper from mBio reveals that although the bacterial phyla in the nose and throat are somewhat consistent from person to person, the individual species vary a great deal, indicating there is more than one ideal community for these niches, ...

Why does an electronic journal have page limits?

06/21/2010
When it comes to a research article, how many pages is enough? How many is too many? These are matters mBio has wrangled with over the last year, and after much deliberation we’ve come up with a policy for page limits: http://mbio.asm.org/site/misc/authors.xhtml. But why should mBio set page ...

Q: What do British Petroleum and M. vanbaalenii have in common?

06/16/2010
A: Both BP and M. vanbaalenii make a living from oil. The oil spill in the gulf is going to need the skills of a few good microbes, and Mycobacterium vanbaalenii might be a perfect candidate for the job. It was originally isolated from oil-contaminated estuary sediment in Texas, ...

Quality is job one: E. coli signal recognition particle system keeps tabs on synthesis of membrane proteins

06/09/2010
E. coli uses its signal recognition particle (SRP) system in membrane protein biogenesis, but there has been some question about its other possible roles. A new paper just released by mBio reveals E. coli’s SRP is also capable of regulating membrane protein synthesis.

Electrons In, Biofuel Out

05/31/2010
Is “microbial electrosynthesis” the future of biofuel? Corn fermentation is one oft-used way to make biofuel, but making ethanol this way is often criticized as inefficient, and since it requires corn (or some other crop), it requires farm land and other farming resources that might otherwise be directed toward ...

mBio Releases Inaugural Issue

05/19/2010
There’s no place like home. Just like Dorothy, today mBio will click its heels and end up right where it started, but with a whole new look (and in Technicolor!). The journal has launched its official website AND its inaugural issue at the familiar old URL it has ...

21st Century Vaccines: Kill More Birds With Fewer Stones

05/10/2010
Change is a-coming. Thats what Rino Rappouli (of Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics in Siena, Italy) and Antonio Cassone (of the Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immunomediated Diseases at the Istituto Superiore di Sanita Rome) argue in a new Perspectives piece accepted for the inaugural issue of mBio: the days ...

Cholera: Simple Sari Solution is Sustainable, Successful

05/06/2010
Preventing cholera could be as easy as straining water. In a new study accepted for the inaugural issue of mBio, researchers show that when you teach villagers how to filter their drinking water, some (but not all) of them still follow the guidance years later and reap the benefits ...

New blog by ASM's open-access journal, mBio

04/16/2010
Brace yourself - you are about to enter the mBiosphere... mBio's new blog, "mBiosphere", is now live and ready to burn some information onto your impressionable mind. mBio's Social Media Editor, Dr. Merry Buckley, interviews mBio staff, editors, and authors to get the stories behind the developing journal and its most ...

Bad company: Mixed Infections of Cryptococcus neoformans

04/14/2010
Bad company: Cryptococcus neoformans is responsible for an estimated 1 million cases of cryptococcal disease every year, predominantly meningoencephalitis. These cases are often fatal. So, what’s worse than an infection with one kind of Cryptococcus? A new paper selected for the inaugural issue of mBio shows many ...

Inositol or bust: genes reveal importance of inositol for Cryptococci

04/01/2010
When Bacillus subtilis gets the chance, it establishes thick, gluey biofilms held together by a matrix of exopolysaccharides and protein. Once cells sense that there’s enough extracellular matrix, they switch over to sporulating and tend to localize themselves in aerial protrusions so they can spread to new locations. ...

Got RNA? 1,000 Antisense RNAs Discovered in E. coli

03/18/2010
When a bacterium goes over the top with making a particular gene transcript, it needs a way to degrade that mRNA before it invests too much energy and resources in creating unneeded proteins. A new Observation piece accepted for the inaugural issue of mBio reveals that antisense RNAs may ...

Sigh of relief: Mutations don’t help H1N1

03/16/2010
The H1N1 pandemic hasn’t been the devastating and deadly global event the WHO once feared it might be, but public health officials worry that a more virulent form of the virus could emerge and cause a second, more lethal wave of cases. Mutations in genes that encode the viral ...

Heating up the climate may light a fire under fungal diseases

03/15/2010
Will global warming make fungal infections a bigger problem for humans? Fungi usually prefer to keep the thermostat turned down around 12ºC to 30ºC, a bit colder than the human body. This preference for cooler temperatures is part of the reason relatively few fungi have emerged as human ...

Dysentery amoeba gets a boost from a transcription factor

03/08/2010
Every year, the parasite Entamoeba histolytica causes an estimated 40 million cases of amoebic dysentery and liver abscesses and 100,000 deaths, mainly in developing countries. A new paper accepted for publication in mBio shows that a transcription factor called Upstream Regulatory Element 3-Binding Protein (URE3-BP) promotes the expression of ...

Cholera - a model problem solved?

03/01/2010
Studying cholera just got a little easier, thanks to a new (old) animal model. For years, cholera research has relied on some less than ideal animal models: infant mice, which don't develop the diarrhea characteristic of severe cholera infection, and infant rabbits, which require surgery to infect them with ...

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