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Adoption of the fist bump as a greeting could substantially reduce the transmission of infectious disease between individuals

07/28/2014
Could a fist bump be a cleaner, better way for people to greet each other, especially in germy hospitals? British researchers have done an experiment that seems to say yes. They tested just how many bacteria are transferred hand to hand during a handshake, a high-five and a fist bump. Handshakes ...

The unseen power of microbes - Ozgur Sahin, Ph.D (video)

07/17/2014
This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. How can we possibly harness evaporation and say, run the engine of a car, lift heavy weights, and generate electricity? While investigating the mysterious wrinkles seen in the protective coats of bacterial spores, researchers noticed ...

We Are Our Bacteria

07/14/2014
Like ecosystems the world over, the human microbiome is losing its diversity, to the potential detriment of the health of those it inhabits. Dr. Martin J. Blaser, a specialist in infectious diseases at the New York University School of Medicine and the director of the Human Microbiome Program, has studied the ...

MoMA PS1's Mushroom Tower | Hy-Fi by The Living

07/01/2014
For MoMA PS1's Young Architect Program, David Benjamin and the architecture firm, The Living, utilized cutting-edge bio-design technologies to create a completely organic, compostable tower. The winning structure is composed of discarded cornstalks and mushroom material, and used zero energy in the construction process.

Should We Destroy Our Last Living Samples of the Virus That Causes Smallpox?

05/02/2014
This month the World Health Organization (WHO) will meet to decide whether or not to destroy the last living strains of the variola virus, which causes smallpox. Since the WHO declared the disease eradicated in 1979, the scientific community has debated whether or not to destroy live virus samples, which ...

JMBE Profiles - Samantha Elliott - Editor-In-Chief

04/30/2014
JMBE Profiles with Kari Wester is an interview series that highlights the volunteers that comprise the Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (JMBE) Editorial Board, the authors who contribute their work, and the education innovations that bring them together. In this first episode of the series, Kari introduces Dr. Samantha Elliott, ...

Oldest Living Things In the World (video)

04/17/2014
For nearly a decade, Brooklyn-based artist, photographer, and Guggenheim Fellow Rachel Sussman has been traveling the globe to discover and document its oldest organisms — living things over 2,000 years of age. Her breathtaking photographs and illuminating essays are now collected in The Oldest Living Things in the World (public ...

Stanford bioengineer develops a 50-cent paper microscope

04/09/2014
The Foldscope is a fully functional microscope that can be laser- or die-cut out of paper for around 50 cents. This bookmark-sized microscope can be assembled in minutes, includes no mechanical moving parts, packs in a flat configuration, is extremely rugged and can be incinerated after to safely dispose of ...

Microbes in Space

04/08/2014
Microbes collected from Northern California and throughout the nation will soon blast into orbit for research and a microgravity growth competition on the International Space Station (ISS). This citizen science project, known as Project MERCCURI, is led by UC Davis microbiologists, who are investigating how microbes from different places on ...

"Crowdsourced" Microbes Heading to the Space Station

04/07/2014
NASA Public Affairs Officer Dan Huot talks with Dr. David Coil about Project MERCCURI, which will study a "crowdsourced" collection of microbial samples scheduled to launch to the International Space Station aboard the SpaceX-3 mission. Follow along with Project MERCCURI at: http://spacemicrobes.org/

Tiny Lens Attachment Turns Smartphones Into Microscopes

04/04/2014
We’ve seen mobile phone lens attachments and hacks that help you to take macro photos with your smartphone, but never before have we seen one that helps capture micro images. It attaches to any smartphone or tablet via an adhesive backing and — using the slides provided in combination with a ...

One in 25 patients battling hospital-acquired infections: CDC

03/26/2014
On any given day, one in 25 hospitalized patients - 4 percent - is battling an infection picked up in a hospital or other healthcare facility, according to a new survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That translates to more than 600,000 hospital patients each year. Roughly ...

Fighting for oral dominance: Good fungi keep bad ones in check in healthy mouths

03/14/2014
Human mouths contain a balanced mix of microbes which, when disrupted, can lead to oral diseases. A study published on March 13th in PLOS Pathogens compares the bacteria and fungi present in the mouths of healthy individuals with those from patients infected with HIV, and illustrates why oral candidiasis (aka ...

Immune Cells Need Each Other to Combat Deadly Lung-Invading Fungus

03/14/2014
Although long recognized as an essential defense against the lung-invading fungus Asperfillus fumigatus, Neutrophils actually require a little help from fellow immune cells, according to a study by Amariliz Rivera, her colleagues at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. The environmental ...

Using Microbes to Generate Electricity

02/19/2014
Dr. Lenny Tender, research chemist at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), has co-invented a microbial fuel cell that persistently generates electrical power in marine environments.The fuel cell draws electricity from the sea floor, creating an interface between the sediment on the bottom of a marine environment and the overlying water. ...

Stopping Microbes Not Missiles: U.S. Plans For Next Global Threat

02/18/2014
Spot the next plague before it arrives. Predict the next swine flu outbreak before it makes headlines. Even detect a biological weapon before it's launched. These are the goals of an ambitious initiative, launched Thursday, to build a worldwide surveillance system for infectious diseases. Spearheaded by the U.S. government, the Global Health ...

The Quest for a Field Guide to the Microbes - a talk by Jonathan Eisen

02/07/2014
A talk by Jonathan Eisen for the "Science in the River City" gathering of science teachers.

Appearance of lyme disease rash can help predict how bacteria spreads through body

02/06/2014
Lyme disease is often evident by a rash on the skin, but infections do not always produce similar rashes. This can make it difficult to detect the disease early, when antibiotic treatment is most effective. Researchers describe a new mathematical model that captures the interactions between disease-causing bacteria and the ...

Scientists create potential vaccine ingredient for childhood respiratory disease (RSV)

02/06/2014
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have invented a new method for designing artificial proteins, and have used it to make key ingredients for a candidate vaccine against a dangerous virus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a significant cause of infant mortality. The virus has been resistant to current vaccine-design ...

When cats bite: One in three patients bitten in hand hospitalized, infections common

02/06/2014
Dogs aren’t the only pets who sometimes bite the hands that feed them. Cats do too, and when they strike a hand, can inject bacteria deep into joints and tissue, perfect breeding grounds for infection. Cat bites to the hand are so dangerous, one in three patients with such wounds ...

Growing bricks (with bacteria), not another brick in the wall: Ginger Krieg Dosier at TEDxWWF (video)

02/03/2014
Imagine a world where bricks are grown instead of fired: this is the world architect-turn-scientist Ginger Krieg Dosier lives every day. Ginger strives to create an alternate building block that will craft a more sustainable future for the construction industry and in turn help to lower the world's ecological footprint. ...

Psychobiotics: How gut bacteria mess with your mind

01/29/2014
Gut bugs can change the way our brains work, offering new ways to relieve problems like stress, anxiety and depression, say two leading professors We acquire our intestinal microbes immediately after birth, and live in an important symbiotic relationship with them. There are far more bacteria in your gut than cells ...

Drug Discovery Potential of Natural Microbial Genomes

01/24/2014
Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have developed a new genetic platform that allows efficient production of naturally occurring molecules, and have used it to produce a novel antibiotic compound. “In my opinion, the new synthetic biology technology we developed—which resulted in the discovery of a ...

Microbes are going to save the world | Bonnie Bassler (video)

01/22/2014
Should we only consider bacteria as harmful to our bodies? Bonnie Bassler is a molecular biologist who has made a stunning discovery: bacteria 'talk' to each other using chemical signals that enable them to act as a unit, mount attacks and coordinate defence. This phenomenon of bacterial communication - known ...

You Are Mainly Microbe - Meet Your Microbiome (video)

01/09/2014
Ever not felt completely like yourself? There's a good reason for that. Because a large part of you . . . isn't you. Our bodies are home to ten times as many microbes as human cells. We are walking ecosystems, each of us home to thousands of different species on ...

H5N1 bird flu death confirmed in Alberta, 1st in North America

01/09/2014
Alberta health officials have confirmed an isolated, fatal case of H5N1 or avian influenza, federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose said Wednesday. But officials repeatedly emphasized that there is no risk of transmission between humans. The infected person, an Alberta resident who recently travelled to Beijing, China, died Jan. 3. The case was ...

New vaccine from University of Iowa protects against lethal pneumonia caused by staph bacteria

01/02/2014
University of Iowa researchers have developed a new vaccine that protects against lethal pneumonia caused by Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria, including drug-resistant strains like MRSA. The research team was led by Patrick Schlievert, professor and chair of microbiology in the UI Carver College of Medicine. The findings are published this week ...

West Nile Virus Blamed for Death of Bald Eagles in Utah

01/02/2014
An unprecedented wintertime outbreak of West Nile virus has killed more than two dozen bald eagles in Utah and thousands of water birds around the Great Salt Lake, state wildlife officials said on Tuesday. At least 27 bald eagles have died this month in the northern and central parts of Utah ...

Infection with the common cold virus: scientists reveal new insights

01/02/2014
The common cold virus (rhinovirus) is a tiny, almost round particle, containing the tightly packed genetic material surrounded by a protein shell (the virus capsid). Details on how the RNA is prepped to exit the capsid and effectively infect us have now been provided by scientists from the Max F. ...

Hebrew U. researchers reach breakthrough on understanding how persistent bacteria are able to avoid antibiotics

12/30/2013
In addition to the known phenomenon by which some bacteria achieve resistance to antibiotics through mutation, there are other types of bacteria, known as “persistent bacteria”, which are not resistant to the antibiotics but simply continue to exist in a dormant or inactive state while exposed to antibacterial treatment. These ...

Virus grows a temporary tube to inject DNA

12/27/2013
During an infection a certain type of virus forms a tube-like structure to deliver DNA to its host. The tube dissolves when the job is done. The researchers discovered the mechanism in the phiX174 virus, which attacks E. coli bacteria. The virus, called a bacteriophage because it infects bacteria, is in ...

In order to track norovirus, UK authorities would like you to tweet the color of your vomit

12/12/2013
The phrase "Twitter feed" is about to take on a troubling hue. The Food Standards Authority would like all British citizens... to keep it up to date with the color of their vomit and much more. The government wants to keep abreast of the norovirus. This virus -- known in the ...

First Real-Time Flu Forecast Successful

12/04/2013
Scientists were able to reliably predict the timing of the 2012-2013 influenza season up to nine weeks in advance of its peak. The first large-scale demonstration of the flu forecasting system by scientists at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health was carried out in 108 cities across the United ...

Four California students sickened with meningitis bacteria

12/04/2013
The students, at the University of California at Santa Barbara, were all sickened within a three-week period last month with the disease, a sometimes fatal illness that can affect the brain or the blood, according to a spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Department of Public Health. They were stricken by ...

What makes the deadliest form of malaria specific to people?

12/04/2013
Researchers have discovered why the parasite that causes the deadliest form of malaria only infects humans. The team recently showed that the interaction between a parasite protein called RH5 and a receptor called basigin was essentially required for the invasion of red blood cells by the parasite that causes the deadliest ...

1950s pandemic influenza virus remains a health threat, particularly to those under 50

12/04/2013
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists have evidence that descendants of the H2N2 avian influenza A virus that killed millions worldwide in the 1950s still pose a threat to human health, particularly to those under 50. The research has been published in an advance online edition of the Journal of ...

A Living Desert Underground - diverse communities of bacteria, fungi and archaea on the surface of Kartchner stalactites

12/04/2013
In the perpetual darkness of a limestone cave, UA researchers have discovered a surprisingly diverse ecosystem of microbes eking out a living from not much more than drip water, rock and air. The discovery not only expands our understanding of how microbes manage to colonize every niche on the planet ...

More than bread and beer: The National Collection of Yeast Cultures (video)

12/02/2013
Do you eat bread? Or drink beer? If so you've probably consumed yeast products from the National Collection of Yeast Cultures. Yeasts are one of the earliest, if not the earliest, biological tools used by people. Brewers' yeast, Saccharomyces cerivisae, features widely in products we consume daily in our billions ...

New study of human blood fluke parasites identifies drug resistance mutations

11/21/2013
An international group of scientists led by Tim Anderson Ph.D., at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute and Philip LoVerde Ph.D., at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio has identified the mutations that result in drug resistance in a parasite infecting 187 million people in South America, ...

Research reveals details of how flu evolves to escape immunity

11/21/2013
Scientists have identified a potential way to improve future flu vaccines after discovering that seasonal flu typically escapes immunity from vaccines with as little as a single amino acid substitution. Additionally, they found these single amino acid changes occur at only seven places on its surface – not the 130 ...

Rare New Microbe Found in Two Distant NASA Clean Rooms

11/07/2013
A rare, recently discovered microbe that survives on very little to eat has been found in two places on Earth: spacecraft clean rooms in Florida and South America. Microbiologists often do thorough surveys of bacteria and other microbes in spacecraft clean rooms. Fewer microbes live there than in almost any other ...

Unnecessary TB deaths to be thing of the past thanks to new mobile drug resistance test device

11/06/2013
Thousands of deaths from tuberculosis (or TB), an infectious bacterial disease, could be prevented using a new hand-held device that is being developed to detect potentially fatal drug resistance in less than 15 minutes. Currently neither the TB infection itself, nor those people with strains of the disease that are resistant ...

New antifungal composition effectively inhibits a wide variety of fungi

11/06/2013
In order to overcome resistance to antifungal variety of pathogenic fungi and yeast, researchers from the University of Alicante have developed a novel and efficient antifungal composition with pharmacological applications in agriculture and food industry, among others. The composition, developed and patented by the UA Research Group in Plant Pathology, ...

Japanese superfood prevents flu infection

11/06/2013
Scientists have discovered that bacteria found in a traditional Japanese pickle can prevent flu. Could this be the next superfood? The research, which assesses the immune-boosting powers of Lactobacillus brevis from Suguki – a pickled turnip, popular in Japan – in mice that have been exposed to a flu virus, is ...

Alga takes first evolutionary leap to multicellularity

11/06/2013
A single-celled alga has evolved a crude form of multicellularity in the lab – a configuration it never adopts in nature – giving researchers a chance to replay one of life's most important evolutionary leaps in real time. This is the second time researchers have coaxed a single-celled organism into becoming ...

Study uncovers new explanation for infection susceptibility in newborns

11/06/2013
Cells that allow helpful bacteria to safely colonize the intestines of newborn infants also suppress their immune systems to make them more vulnerable to infections, according to new research in Nature. Published online Nov. 6, the study could prompt a major shift in how medicine views the threat of neonatal infections ...

Yeast Meets West: Yeast Cultivation (video)

11/06/2013
In honor of the Bay Area Science Festival, a group of passionate microbrewers, scientists, and yeast cultivators make 3 original brews to compete in a blind tasting at Nerd Nite in San Francisco, California. Want to learn more about the microbes involved in brewing? Please check out the Microbes After Hours: ...

Scientists discover why newborns get sick so often

10/31/2013
If you think cold and flu season is tough, trying being an infant. A new research finding published in the November 2013 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology sheds new light on why newborns appear to be so prone to getting sick with viruses—they are born without one of ...

Staph infections and eczema: What’s the connection?

10/31/2013
For the millions of people suffering from the intensely red, horribly itchy skin condition known as eczema, the only thing more maddening than their disease is the lack of understanding of what causes it, or makes it flare up from time to time. In a paper published online in Nature, the ...

Bacteria and fat: a 'perfect storm' for inflammation

10/31/2013
Making fat cells immortal might seem like a bad idea to most people, but for a team of University of Iowa scientists it was the ideal way to study how the interaction between bacteria and fat cells might contribute to diabetes. The connection between fat, bacteria, and diabetes is inflammation, which ...

Increasing toxicity of algal blooms tied to nutrient enrichment and climate change

10/30/2013
Nutrient enrichment and climate change are posing yet another concern of growing importance – an apparent increase in the toxicity of some algal blooms in freshwater lakes and estuaries around the world, which threatens aquatic organisms, ecosystem health and human drinking water safety. As this nutrient enrichment, or “eutrophication” increases, so ...

RI Hospital study measures impact of education, information on hand hygiene compliance

10/29/2013
How often do you clean your hands? A study at Rhode Island Hospital observed staff on 161,526 occasions to monitor how often they cleaned their hands (ie, hand hygiene) between July 2008 to December 2012 and found that hand hygiene compliance improved from 60 percent to 89 percent. The study ...

Listeria’s resistance to disinfectants

10/29/2013
Prevention of listeriosis relies on killing the causative agent, normally the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, in dairies and other food-processing facilities. A number of disinfectants are used for this purpose, most often quaternary ammonium compounds such as benzalkonium chloride (BC). Unfortunately, however, many strains of listeria seem to be developing resistance ...

HIV -- Geneticists map human resistance to AIDS

10/29/2013
The key to future HIV treatment could be hidden right in our own genes. Everyone who becomes infected deploys defense strategies, and some even manage to hold the virus at bay without any therapy at all. This immune system struggle leaves its mark within the pathogen itself – genetic mutations ...

U.N. Confirms Polio Outbreak in Syria

10/29/2013
United Nations officials confirmed an outbreak of polio among children in Syria on Tuesday, lending urgency to plans for vaccination campaigns there and in nearby countries to try to halt the spread of the disease. Tests confirmed polio in 10 out of 22 children in Deir al-Zour Province in northeastern Syria ...

MRSA declines are sustained in veterans hospitals nationwide

10/29/2013
Five years after implementing a national initiative to reduce methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) rates in Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers, MRSA cases have continued to decline, according to a study in the November issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in ...

5 Things We Didn't Know About the Fungal Outbreak Last Year

10/24/2013
Health officials are still learning from the fungal outbreak tied to tainted steroid pain injections made at the now-shuttered New England Compounding Company. Researchers now know that most patients' immune systems didn't try to fight off the deadly fungi as it burrowed into their spinal columns – called duras -- and ...

Oral Bacteria Create a ‘Fingerprint’ in Your Mouth

10/24/2013
The bacteria in the human mouth – particularly those nestled under the gums – are as powerful as a fingerprint at identifying a person’s ethnicity, new research shows. Scientists identified a total of almost 400 different species of microbes in the mouths of 100 study participants belonging to four ethnic affiliations: ...

Obesity may increase the risk of Clostridium difficile infection

10/24/2013
Researchers from Boston Medical Center (BMC) and Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have identified obesity as a possible risk factor for clostridium difficile infection (CDI). These findings, which appear online in Emerging Infectious Diseases, may contribute to improved clinical surveillance of those at highest risk of disease. During the past ...

Scientists go with their gut for bacterial bio-fuel

10/10/2013
Scientists in South Korea say they have produced gasoline from genetically modified Escherichia coli, a bacteria more commonly associated with food poisoning in humans. The researchers, from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, say their work could one day lead to a new and sustainable source of clean ...

Researchers discover how microbes survive in freezing conditions

10/10/2013
Most microbial researchers grow their cells in petri-dishes to study how they respond to stress and damaging conditions. But, with the support of funding from NASA, researchers in LSU's Department of Biological Sciences tried something almost unheard of: studying microbial survival in ice to understand how microorganisms could survive in ...

How a ubiquitous herpesvirus sometimes leads to cancer

10/10/2013
You might not know it, but most of us are infected with the herpesvirus known as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). For most of us, the virus will lead at worst to a case of infectious mononucleosis, but sometimes, and especially in some parts of the world, those viruses are found in ...

Working together: bacteria join forces to produce electricity

10/08/2013
Bacterial cells use an impressive range of strategies to grow, develop and sustain themselves. Despite their tiny size, these specialized machines interact with one another in intricate ways. In new research conducted at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, Jonathan Badalamenti, César Torres and Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown explore the relationships of two important ...

The bacterium Brucella pinnipedialis has little effect on the health of the hooded seal

10/08/2013
A doctoral research project studying the bacterium Brucella pinnipedialis, which commonly occurs in hooded seals, found that this bacterium does not cause disease in hooded seals, as other Brucella bacteria do in other species. The occurrence of the bacterium B. pinnipedialis in hooded seals can hence not explain the decline in ...

Giving babies "good" bacteria may help ease incessant fussing and crying.

10/08/2013
Giving babies "good" bacteria may help ease incessant fussing and crying, says a fresh look at past studies. But researchers say it's too soon to recommend the bacteria, known as probiotics, for colicky babies. "There is some promise in probiotics, but we need further research to clarify it," said Dr. Valerie Sung. ...

Nanotechnology and Learning to Talk to Bacteria: Reginald C. Farrow, Ph.D. at TEDxNJIT

10/08/2013
The most well-known advances in nanotechnology have led to dramatically smaller devices that provide us very fast, compact and "smart" electronics including computers, cellphones, and games. In the process we have transformed the way that we communicate with each other. Along with these advances, multidisciplinary teams of scientists and engineers ...

How quickly can a bacterium grow?

08/27/2013
All living things must obey the laws of physics — including the second law of thermodynamics, which states that the universe’s disorder, or entropy, can only grow. Highly ordered cells and organisms appear to contradict this principle, but they actually do conform because they generate heat that increases the universe’s ...

Study Finds That Apoptosis Triggers Replication of Common Viruses

08/27/2013
Washington, DC—Researchers from Children’s National Medical Center have found that an alternate, “escape” replication process triggered by apoptosis—the process of cell death or “cell suicide”—appears to be common in human herpesviruses (HHV). The findings have implications for better understanding of viruses and of disease conditions and treatments, like chemotherapy, that ...

Luminous bacterial proteins detect chemicals in water

06/12/2013
"Pharmaceutical residues are becoming increasingly a problem for the environment. Sewage plants do not decompose these substances completely. The problem will worsen if one considers, for example, the rising proportion of elderly people in our society who actually account for the increased consumption of medicine," notes Dr. Katrin Pollmann, Team ...

Bacteria may contribute to premature births, STDs

04/23/2013
New research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis points to a common species of bacteria as an important contributor to bacterial vaginosis, a condition linked to preterm birth and increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases. The condition affects one in every three women, making it more common than ...

Despite Superbug Crisis, Progress in Antibiotic Development 'Alarmingly Elusive'

04/22/2013
Despite the desperate need for new antibiotics to combat increasingly deadly resistant bacteria, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved only one new systemic antibiotic since the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) launched its 10 x ’20 Initiative in 2010 — and that drug was approved two ...

Solar-powered nano filters remove harmful antibiotics from water

04/19/2013
New research, just published, details how University of Cincinnati researchers have developed and tested a solar-powered nano filter that is able to remove harmful carcinogens and antibiotics from water sources – lakes and rivers – at a significantly higher rate than the currently used filtering technology made of activated carbon. In ...

Random walks on DNA

04/19/2013
Scientists have revealed how a bacterial enzyme has evolved an energy-efficient method to move long distances along DNA. The findings, published in Science, present further insight into the coupling of chemical and mechanical energy by a class of enzymes called helicases, a widely-distributed group of proteins, which in human cells ...

Treatment for novel coronavirus shows promise in early lab tests

04/18/2013
National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists studying an emerging coronavirus have found that a combination of two licensed antiviral drugs, ribavirin and interferon-alpha 2b, can stop the virus from replicating in laboratory-grown cells. These results suggest that the drug combination could be used to treat patients infected with the new ...

Humans Share Microbiomes With Their Dogs, Study Finds

04/18/2013
You know you share genes with your biological parents and kids, but what about microbes? A new study finds that families share skin, tongue and gut microbes with each other... and their dogs. The study shows how the people and pets you live with affect the microscopic bacteria, fungi and other ...

Eric Stebbins - Understanding Bacterial Proteins (video)

04/17/2013
Background on structural analysis of bacterial proteins, from Erec Stebbins, speaker at the 2012 Holiday Lecture "Bacteria's Deadly Design: How Earth's most prevalent life-form uses a microscopic syringe to invade and attack."

Everyday Bacteria (video)

04/15/2013
The Embarrassing Bodies team investigate how bacteria spreads.

Gene swapping makes new China bird flu a moving target

04/15/2013
A new bird flu virus that has killed 13 people in China is still evolving, making it hard for scientists to predict how dangerous it might become. Influenza experts say the H7N9 strain is probably still swapping genes with other strains, seeking to select ones that might make it fitter. If it ...

DNA Tests Offer Quicker Results for Beach Bacteria

04/15/2013
Just in time for swimsuit season, federal researchers are touting a faster, more accurate water-quality test to keep beaches open and people healthy. “Water quality can change significantly in 24 hours. This way we’re identifying threats to human health almost immediately,” said Meredith Nevers, a research ecologist with the U.S. Geological ...

Lab Profile: Luciano Marraffini - Laboratory of Bacteriology (video)

04/09/2013
The Rockefeller University's Luciano Marraffini is interested in understanding how bacteria evolve by incorporating DNA sequences from other bacteria or from the environment into their genomes. His research focuses on the mechanisms that control the traffic of DNA molecules between bacteria.

Gulf of Mexico has greater-than-believed ability to self-cleanse oil spills

04/09/2013
The Gulf of Mexico may have a much greater natural ability to self-clean oil spills than previously believed, an expert in bioremediation said here today at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society. Terry C. Hazen, Ph.D., said that conclusion has ...

Currently approved drugs found active against bioterror threats in laboratory studies of mice

04/09/2013
In the most extensive screen of its kind, Texas Biomed scientists have demonstrated the feasibility of repurposing already-approved drugs for use against highly pathogenic bacteria and viruses. The pathogens included emerging diseases and potential bioterror threats ranging from anthrax to the Marburg and Ebola viruses. Two drugs were found to be ...

'Pharmaceutical' approach boosts oil production from algae

04/08/2013
Taking an approach similar to that used for discovering new therapeutic drugs, chemists at the University of California, Davis, have found several compounds that can boost oil production by green microscopic algae, a potential source of biodiesel and other "green" fuels. The work appears online in the journal Chemical Biology. Microalgae ...

Global burden of dengue is triple current estimates

04/08/2013
The research has created the first detailed and up-to-date map of dengue distribution worldwide, enabling researchers to estimate the total numbers of people affected by the virus globally, regionally and nationally. The findings will help to guide efforts in vaccine, drug and vector control strategies. With endemic transmission in Asia and ...

Holiday Lectures on Science: Bacteria's Deadly Design (video)

04/08/2013
Lecture by C. Erec Stebbins, Associate Professor, The Rockefeller University When it comes to the evolution of life on earth, those who have been here longest have seniority. And after four billion years, bacteria reign supreme. Unfortunately for us, some of them have been using that time to scheme at invading ...

Hospitals Fail to Take Simple Measures to Thwart Deadly Infections, Says Survey

04/08/2013
Few people check into a hospital expecting to come down with a severe case of diarrhea while undergoing care for an entirely unrelated problem. And even fewer expect to die of the hospital-acquired intestinal infection that causes the watery stools. Yet for approximately 14,000 Americans each year, that is exactly ...

Holey Biofilm!

04/08/2013
In a recent study published in PNAS, Houry and collaborators used time-lapse microscopy to monitor the biofilms formed by the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis and noted that a small subset (0.1 to 1%) of all the cells in the biofilm were motile. The rest of the cells were sessile and immobile ...

Bird flu mutation study offers vaccine clue

04/08/2013
So far there have only been isolated cases of bird flu in humans, and no widespread transmission as the H5N1 virus can’t replicate efficiently in the nose. The new study, using weakened viruses in the lab, supports the conclusions of controversial research published in 2012 which demonstrated that just a ...

Dental Bib Clips Can Harbor Oral and Skin Bacteria Even After Disinfection

04/02/2013
Researchers at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and the Forsyth Institute published a study today that found that a significant proportion of dental bib clips harbored bacteria from the patient, dental clinician and the environment even after the clips had undergone standard disinfection procedures in a hygiene clinic. Although ...

Symbiotic bacteria program daily rhythms in squid using light and chemicals

04/02/2013
Glowing bacteria inside squids use light and chemical signals to control circadian-like rhythms in the animals, according to a study to be published on April 2 in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. The Hawaiian bobtail squid, Euprymna scolopes, houses a colony of Vibrio fischeri ...

New instrument will quickly detect botulinum, ricin, other biothreat agents

04/02/2013
Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories are developing a medical instrument that will be able to quickly detect a suite of biothreat agents, including anthrax, ricin, botulinum, shiga and SEB toxin. The device, once developed, approved by the Food and Drug Administration and commercialized, would most likely be used in emergency rooms ...

Lake Erie’s Record-Breaking Algae Bloom May Become the Norm

04/01/2013
In 2011, Lake Erie experienced the largest algae bloom in its recorded history. At its peak in October, the mat of green scum on the lake’s surface was nearly four inches thick and covered an area of almost 2,000 square miles. That’s three times larger than any other bloom in ...

UC Davis researchers discover how cells distinguish friend from foe

04/01/2013
Researchers at UC Davis have shown how the innate immune system distinguishes between dangerous pathogens and friendly microbes. Like burglars entering a house, hostile bacteria give themselves away by breaking into cells. However, sensing proteins instantly detect the invasion, triggering an alarm that mobilizes the innate immune response. This new ...

No sign of human transmission in new bird flu appearance: WHO

04/01/2013
The World Health Organization says no evidence has emerged to show that a type of bird flu which has killed two Chinese men can be transmitted between people. Two men in Shanghai, aged 87 and 27, fell sick in late February. A woman in Anhui province also contracted the virus in ...

New antimicrobial cable eliminates more than 99% of bacteria, fungus and mold

04/01/2013
TPC Wire & Cable Corp. ( www.tpcwire.com) announces the launch of their first antimicrobial cable product called DEFENDER® for the industrial food and beverage market. The DEFENDER antimicrobial cable jacket eliminates greater than 99% of bacteria (e.g. E. Coli, Salmonella) and fungus (e.g. Aspergillus) within 24 hours of exposure. DEFENDER antimicrobial ...

Oceans May Absorb More Carbon Dioxide

03/20/2013
For a while, Adam Martiny and some of his fellow scientists had suspected something was not right in how researchers understand the oceans. The object of their suspicion was something called the Redfield ratio, a principle stating that, when nutrients are not limiting, ocean microorganisms always have the same ratio ...

Why Bacteria Commit Suicide

03/20/2013
Why should an organism kill itself when it could be having offspring? Now, researchers have shown that in bacteria, suicide can be worthwhile—and has no major downside. Scientists compared two strains of Escherichia coli bacteria, one that self-destructs when infected with a lethal virus and one that doesn’t. An infected ...

Hospitals gain new weapons against deadly bacteria

03/20/2013
Doylestown Hospital on Tuesday unveiled its newest high-tech weapon, a machine that zaps everything in a room with ultraviolet light 25,000 times brighter than the sun's. It can penetrate the defenses of Clostridium difficile, wily bacteria that produce spores that can live for weeks and are harder to kill than ...

A Virus That Steals A Bacterium's Immune System And Uses It As A Weapon

03/04/2013
The arms race between bacteria and viruses just got a microscopic bit hotter. The phenomenon, which was published in Nature this week, was discovered by Kimberly Seed and colleagues when they looked at bacteriophages who usually infect and kill the bacterium responsible for cholera Vibrio cholerae. When looking at samples, they ...

Researchers describe first 'functional HIV cure' in an infant

03/04/2013
A team of researchers from UMass Medical School, the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and the University of Mississippi Medical Center have reported the first case of a so-called “functional cure” in an HIV-infected infant. The finding, the investigators say, may help pave the way to eliminating HIV infection in children. The ...

Global Viral Forecasting Founder Nathan Wolfe Interview (video)

03/04/2013
Global Viral Forecasting Founder Nathan Wolfe explains how his team is searching for humanity's next great plague... so we can stop it before it spreads.

Gut Bacteria Influence Worms’ Lifespans

02/14/2013
It’s not as exciting as El Dorado’s source of eternal youth, but nitric oxide-producing bacteria are extending the lifespan of the humble roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. The worm lacks the enzyme needed to produce nitric oxide. In animals which are capable of manufacturing nitric oxide, it has been shown to increase blood ...

Fungi: Death Becomes Them - CrashCourse Biology #39 (video)

02/08/2013
Death is what fungi are all about. By feasting on the deceased remains of almost all organisms on the planet, converting the organic matter back into soil from which new life will spring, they perform perhaps the most vital function in the global food web. Fungi, which thrive on death, ...

Salmonella - SketchyMicro USMLE Microbiology Review (video)

01/22/2013
SketchyMicro is a unique and effective way to learn high-yield medical microbiology for the USMLE Step 1. Dissatisfied with the current medical microbiology board review resources, SketchyMicro decided to take things into their own hands. Their review course takes the plethora of microorganisms, infectious diseases, and random facts you need to ...

Odd biochemistry yields lethal bacterial protein

01/22/2013
While working out the structure of a cell-killing protein produced by some strains of the bacterium Enterococcus faecalis, researchers stumbled on a bit of unusual biochemistry. They found that a single enzyme helps form distinctly different, three-dimensional ring structures in the protein, one of which had never been observed before. Enterococcus ...

Altering Gut Microbes Protects Against Disease, Supporting The 'Hygiene Hypothesis'

01/22/2013
Early life exposure to normal bacteria of the GI tract (gut microbes) protects against autoimmune disease in mice, according to research published on-line in the journal Science. The study may also have uncovered reasons why females are at greater risk of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ...

Bacteria discovery aids stem cell research

01/18/2013
A discovery about the way in which bugs spread throughout the body could help to develop stem cell treatments. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have found that bacteria are able to change the make-up of supporting cells within the nerve system, called Schwann cells, so that they take on the ...

The Spread Of Hospital-Acquired Bacteria Revealed By Computational Methods

01/18/2013
Scientists at the Academy of Finland's Centre of Excellence in Computational Inference Research have developed novel computational methods that have yielded essential knowledge of how hospital-acquired bacteria spread and develop. These new methods, based on randomised algorithms, make it possible to analyse extensive genomic data significantly faster and more efficiently ...

New insights into how leprosy infection spreads could pave the way for early intervention

01/17/2013
Leprosy is a bacterial disease that spreads to muscles and other tissues in the body, causing neurodegeneration and muscle weakness. A new study, published by Cell Press January 17th in the journal Cell, reveals that the bacteria responsible for leprosy spread infection by hijacking specialized cells in the adult nervous ...

GI tract bacteria may protect against autoimmune disease

01/17/2013
Early life exposure to normal bacteria of the GI tract (gut microbes) protects against autoimmune disease in mice, according to research published on-line in the January 17 edition of Science. The study may also have uncovered reasons why females are at greater risk of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, ...

Researchers Discover How the Flu Tells Time

01/17/2013
The flu knows how much time it has to multiply, infect other cells, and spread to another human being before the immune system kills it. Scientists have discovered that that the flu virus can essentially tell time, thereby giving scientists the ability to reset the virus' clock and combat it in ...

Flu Outbreak 2013: Flu Myths vs. Flu Facts

01/17/2013
The flu vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your family. However, misconceptions about vaccination persist. Here are 7 common myths about vaccination from The Henry Ford Health System located in Detroit: Flu Myth #1 A Flu Shot Causes the Flu No, a flu shot cannot cause flu illness. The influenza ...

Chef turns to microbiology to enhance cuisine (video)

01/17/2013
A top New York chef teams up with Harvard scientists to explore the role of bacteria in fermentation. He hopes to better understand and tweak the process to create new and unique flavors to entice the palate. Sharon Reich reports.

Bat Fungus Spreads in Kentucky

01/17/2013
Officials have confirmed the presence of a deadly bat fungus in Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. The fungus has already killed millions of bats across the Northeast and in the Midwest. The fungus, which is harmless to humans and other animals, is known popularly as white nose syndrome for its ...

The secret sex life of the penicillin-producing fungus could make it more productive

01/16/2013
New and more effective strains of the fungus used to produce penicillin could be developed after a team of international scientists unearthed the secret sex life of Sir Alexander Fleming's fungus Penicillium chrysogenum (P. chrysogenum). The scientists from The University of Nottingham, Ruhr-University Bochum, The University of Göttingen, and Sandoz GmbH ...

Designer Bacteria May Lead to Better Vaccines

01/16/2013
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a menu of 61 new strains of genetically engineered bacteria that may improve the efficacy of vaccines for diseases such as flu, pertussis, cholera and HPV. The strains of E. coli, which were described in a paper published this month in ...

Ornamental fish industry faces increasing problems with antibiotic resistance

01/16/2013
The $15 billion ornamental fish industry faces a global problem with antibiotic resistance, a new study concludes, raising concern that treatments for fish diseases may not work when needed – and creating yet another mechanism for exposing humans to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The risk to humans is probably minor unless they frequently ...

Vaccination responsible for dramatic fall in Salmonella infections

01/16/2013
Mass poultry vaccination programmes introduced to combat Salmonella infections have led to a dramatic fall in the number of cases since the late 1990s, according to a researcher at the University of Liverpool. There are currently around 6 million cases of illness from Salmonella across the EU each year, the majority ...

H. Pylori May Protect Against Stroke

01/10/2013
A new study by NYU School of Medicine researchers reveals that an especially virulent strain of the gut bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) isn't implicated in the overall death rate of the U.S. population, and may even protect against stroke and some cancers. The findings, based a nationwide health survey ...

Death On a Nanometer Scale: Study Measures Holes Antibacterials Create in Cell Walls

01/10/2013
The rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has initiated a quest for alternatives to conventional antibiotics. One potential alternative is PlyC, a potent enzyme that kills the bacteria that causes strep throat and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome. PlyC operates by locking onto the surface of a bacteria cell and chewing a hole ...

Fake Feces To Treat Deadly Disease

01/10/2013
In the US alone, more than 500,000 suffer and 15,000 die every year from uncontrollable diarrhea caused by infection with Clostridium difficile. These rod-shaped bacteria are commonly found in the environment and even in our bodies, but have lately become a major concern in hospitals where antibiotics leave patients without ...

Study identifies infants at highest risk of death from pertussis

01/10/2013
A study released today from the upcoming issue of the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (JPIDS) found that taking early and repeated white blood cell counts (WBC) is critical in determining whether infants have pertussis and which of those children are at highest risk of death from the ...

Haiti can quell cholera without vaccinating most people, UF researchers estimate

01/10/2013
Cholera could be contained in Haiti by vaccinating less than half the population, University of Florida researchers suggest in a paper to be published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports. The work places UF's Emerging Pathogens Institute in the pro-vaccination camp in an ongoing international debate over how best to contain ...

International study suggests human genes influence gut microbial composition

01/07/2013
New research led by the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden and the University of Glasgow, Scotland, has identified a link between a human gene and the composition of human gastrointestinal bacteria. In a study published as a letter to the journal Gut, the team outline new evidence suggesting that the human ...

Norovirus: The winter vomiting bug that is hard to conquer (video)

01/03/2013
'Vomiting Larry' is busy being sick over and over again in an experiment to test just how far the winter vomiting bug can travel when it makes you ill. Lucky for Larry, he is not a constantly retching human - but a simulated vomiting system that shows the virus can travel ...

Staphylococcus aureus: Why it just gets up your nose!

12/28/2012
A collaboration between researchers at the School of Biochemistry and Immunology and the Department of Microbiology at Trinity College Dublin has identified a mechanism by which the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) colonizes our nasal passages. The study, published today in the Open Access journal PLOS Pathogens, shows for the ...

Amazon deforestation brings loss of microbial communities

12/28/2012
An international team of microbiologists led by Klaus Nüsslein of the University of Massachusetts Amherst has found that a troubling net loss in diversity among the microbial organisms responsible for a functioning ecosystem is accompanying deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. Nüsslein, an expert in tropical rain forest microbial soil communities, says, ...

Even in same vineyard, different microbes may create variations in wine grapes

12/28/2012
Choosing the perfect wine may soon involve more than just knowing the perfect vintage and chateau. Differences in the microbes present on grapes even in different parts of the same vineyard may contribute to flavor fluctuations in samples of grapes from different tanks, according to research published December 26 in ...

How Bat Genomes Could Help Make You Healthy

12/28/2012
Though they can rapidly spread pathogens that afflict humans, bats somehow avoid getting sick from viruses like Ebola, SARS, and other deadly bugs. A new genetic analysis of two very different bat species shows how the animals avoid disease, and live exceptionally long lives. The team sequenced the genomes ...

New Food Safety Tests Could Hamper Outbreak Detection

12/11/2012
New tests that promise to speed up diagnosis of food poisoning pose an unexpected problem: They could make it more difficult to identify dangerous outbreaks like the one that sickened people who ate a variety of Trader Joe's peanut butter this fall. The problem: These new tests can't detect crucial differences ...

White Nose Syndrome In Bats Could Yield Clues About AIDS

12/11/2012
The millions of bats succumbing to a deadly fungal infection across the country will leave massive ecological holes in their wake--prime predators of insects are disappearing, for one, and cave flora and fauna that depend on bats could be in danger of collapsing. But research on the animals’ immune responses ...

NIH scientists reflect on gains in emerging infectious disease awareness, research and response

12/11/2012
In a new essay, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., and David Morens, M.D., reflect on what has been learned about emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) in the two decades since a major report from the U.S. Institute of Medicine rekindled interest in this important ...

Foreign multidrug resistant bacteria contained in Toronto hospital

12/11/2012
As the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant infections continue to rise around the world, a hospital in Canada detected the presence of New Delhi Metallo-ß-lactamase-1-Producing Klebsiella pneumoniae (NDM1-Kp), a multidrug resistant bacteria that is resistant to carbapenems, one of the last lines of antibiotics. The retrospective report, featured in the January issue ...

Gut bacteria may affect artery health and cardiovascular risk

12/04/2012
Though atherosclerosis is an artery problem, microscopic denizens of the intestines may play a surprising role in how the disease plays out. A new study suggests that different mixes of intestinal microbes may determine whether people will have heart attacks or strokes brought on by break-away plaque from the arteries. Compared ...

WHOI Scientist Receives Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Marine Microbiology Initiative Investigator Award

12/04/2012
Mak Saito, a biogeochemist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, has been selected for a Marine Microbiology Initiative (MMI) investigator award by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Saito is one of 16 scientists from 14 different institutions who will receive funds from a total of up to $35 million over ...

Combating MRSA: Researchers study community-associated strain

12/04/2012
The Caenorhabditis elegans, a small worm called a nematode, scurrying across a Petri dish has helped lead to discoveries about community-associated MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). "In the last year this organism has killed more people in the United States than AIDS," said Kathleen Dannelly, an Indiana State University associate professor of ...

Fossilised microbe found in 200 million year old Leech cocoon

12/04/2012
Leeches and earthworms secrete cocoons of mucus and lay their eggs inside. After a few days, the mucus hardens into a hard protective capsule that’s remarkably resistant to changes in temperature and chemical attacks. It’s cocoon’s resident is a ciliate, one of a group of microscopic single-celled creatures found in water ...

New study shows how copper restricts the spread of global antibiotic-resistant infections

12/04/2012
New research from the University of Southampton has shown that copper can prevent horizontal transmission of genes, which has contributed to the increasing number of antibiotic-resistant infections worldwide. Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in bacteria is largely responsible for the development of antibiotic-resistance, which has led to an increasing number of difficult-to-treat ...

Key pathological mechanism found in plague bacterium

12/03/2012
A more than 50-year-old question has now been answered. Chemists and microbiologists at the Biological Chemistry Center at Umeå University in Sweden are now able to describe in detail the role of calcium in the ability of the plague bacterium Yersinias to cause disease. “It was previously known that calcium inhibits ...

Malaria parasite's masquerade ball could be coming to an end

12/03/2012
In research conducted at the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada, and the Kuvin Center for the Study of Infectious and Tropical Diseases at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Dr. Ron Dzikowski and research student Inbar Avraham revealed for the first time the ...

College students report low flu vaccine rate

12/03/2012
College football and basketball games may provide more than a way for students to show school spirit – they could help prevent the flu. According to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, colleges and universities should implement new or improved influenza vaccine strategies, such as ...

What Ancient Antarctic Microbes Reveal About The Hunt For Extraterrestrial Life

12/03/2012
In a frigid lake some 65 feet below Antarctica’s icy surface, NASA scientists and their partners from the Desert Research Institute in Nevada and several other institutions have made an important discovery both for our understanding of life on Earth and for the search for extraterrestrial life. In the briny ...

New Hampshire Teen, Designing Bacteria-Powered Battery

11/27/2012
Teen scientist Priyanka Satpute is using her scientific prowess and research skills to come up with a way to benefit communities in developing countries. With help from her classmates, the Nashua High School North student is designing a new electrical source: a battery powered entirely by bacteria. A 50-gallon tub stored ...

Plant-Microbial Fuel Cell Produces Power from Plants

11/27/2012
Researchers at Wageningen University have developed a fuel cell that runs off electrons present in the soil around living plants' roots. During photosynthesis, organic material is produced that the plant can't use, which is then secreted through the roots. Bacteria in the soil break down this organic material, which releases ...

Man’s best friend: Common canine virus may lead to new vaccines for deadly human diseases

11/27/2012
Researchers at the University of Georgia have discovered that a virus commonly found in dogs may serve as the foundation for the next great breakthrough in human vaccine development. Although harmless in humans, parainfluenza virus 5, or PIV5, is thought to contribute to upper respiratory infections in dogs, and it is ...

Safer spinach? Scientist's technique dramatically reduces E. coli numbers

11/27/2012
University of Illinois scientists have found a way to boost current industry capabilities when it comes to reducing the number of E. coli 0157:H7 cells that may live undetected on spinach leaves. "By combining continuous ultrasound treatment with chlorine washing, we can reduce the total number of foodborne pathogenic bacteria by ...

Pork Investigation By 'Consumer Reports' Finds Rampant Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

11/27/2012
A new Consumer Reports investigation of pork sold in grocery stores found that a startlingly large proportion of tested meat contained one or more potentially harmful bacteria, some of which showed signs of antibiotic resistance, raising new concerns about the safety of the national pork supply. But the investigation didn't find ...

Bacteria - Caught in the Act

11/27/2012
Infection-causing bacteria are the bad guys of the health-care world, but dental detectives found a new way to track them down. Scientists traditionally use a technique known as swabbing to collect and identify bacteria. They swipe a cotton swab across a surface and culture what’s gathered on an agar plate in ...

Ancient Microbes Found in Buried Antarctic Lake

11/27/2012
Beneath the icy surface of a buried Antarctic lake, in super-salty water devoid of light and oxygen that is also cold enough to freeze seawater, researchers have now discovered that a diverse community of bacteria has survived for millennia. The findings shed light on the extreme limits at which life can ...

New type of bacterial protection found within cells

11/13/2012
UC Irvine biologists have discovered that fats within cells store a class of proteins with potent antibacterial activity, revealing a previously unknown type of immune system response that targets and kills bacterial infections. Steven Gross, UCI professor of developmental & cell biology, and colleagues identified this novel intercellular role of histone ...

Yeast cells that share food have a survival edge over their freeloading neighbors — particularly when there is bacterial competition.

11/13/2012
Many species exhibit cooperative survival strategies — for example, sharing food or alerting other individuals when a predator is nearby. However, there are almost always freeloaders in the population who will take advantage of cooperators. This can be seen even among microbes such as yeast, where “cheaters” consume food produced ...

Scientists unravel the mystery of marine methane oxidation

11/13/2012
Microbiologists and geochemists from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, along with their colleagues from Vienna and Mainz, show that marine methane oxidation coupled to sulfate respiration can be performed by a single microorganism, a member of the ancient kingdom of the Archaea, and does not need to be ...

Ultrasound Gel and Infections: Researchers Propose Guidelines to Reduce Risk

11/13/2012
In December 2011, researchers uncovered an unusual cluster of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in a cardiovascular surgery intensive care unit during routine infection control surveillance. The outbreak was found to have stemmed from bottles of ultrasound transmission gel that were contaminated during the manufacturing process and that were being used for intraoperative ...

Probiotics show potential to minimize C. difficile

11/13/2012
New cases of C. difficile-associated diarrhea among hospitalized patients taking antibiotics can be reduced by two-thirds with the use of probiotics, according to new research published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine. “Because C. difficile forms spores, it is difficult to eradicate from the environment. Probiotics can be easily integrated ...

Use of a Class 1 Safety Cabinet (video)

11/13/2012
This video shows you how a Class 1 microbiological safety cabinet works.

How and why herpes viruses reactivate to cause disease

10/31/2012
The mere mention of the word "herpes" usually conjures negative images and stereotypes, but most people have been infected with some form of the virus. For most, a sore appears, heals and is forgotten, although the virus remains latent just waiting for the right circumstances to come back. Now, the ...

Milestones in Microbiology Dedication - Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (video)

10/01/2012
{vimeo}49493530{/vimeo} Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has been named a Milestones in Microbiology site by the American Society for Microbiology. This ASM program recognizes institutions and the scientists who worked there that have made significant contributions toward advancing the science of microbiology. A ceremony unveiling the plaque that will mark the site ...

Second study from Quebec raises questions about timing of measles vaccine

09/10/2012
A second study from Quebec is calling into question the timing at which young children are vaccinated against measles. The new research shows that teenagers who received the recommended two doses of measles vaccine but who got the first shot when they were 12 months old were six times more likely ...

Flu shot issue may not be ‘Canadian problem’ after all: study

09/10/2012
A strange vaccine-related phenomenon spotted at the start of the 2009 flu pandemic may well have been real, a new study suggests. Canadian researchers noticed in the early weeks of the pandemic that people who got a flu shot for the 2008-2009 winter seemed to be more likely to get infected ...

Genetically Engineered Algae for Biofuel Pose Potential Risks That Should Be Studied

08/20/2012
Algae are high on the genetic engineering agenda as a potential source for biofuel, and they should be subjected to independent studies of any environmental risks that could be linked to cultivating algae for this purpose, two prominent researchers say. Writing in the August 2012 issue of the journal BioScience, the ...

Publishing your paper in a Microbiology journal

08/20/2012
Dr Agnes Fouet, Editor-in-Chief of Microbiology (SGM), explains the benefits to authors and scientists of submitting your paper to this journal.

Teaching a microbe to make fuel

08/20/2012
A humble soil bacterium called Ralstonia eutropha has a natural tendency, whenever it is stressed, to stop growing and put all its energy into making complex carbon compounds. Now scientists at MIT have taught this microbe a new trick: They've tinkered with its genes to persuade it to make fuel ...

'Unhealthy' changes in gut microbes benefit pregnant women

08/02/2012
The composition of microbes in the gut changes dramatically during pregnancy, according to a study published by Cell Press in the August 3rd issue of the journal Cell. Although these changes are associated with metabolic disease under most circumstances, they could be beneficial in pregnant women. "This is the first in-depth ...

Bacteria-immune system 'fight' can lead to chronic diseases, study suggests

08/02/2012
Results from a study conducted at Georgia State University suggest that a "fight" between bacteria normally living in the intestines and the immune system, kicked off by another type of bacteria, may be linked to two types of chronic disease. The study suggests that the "fight" continues after the instigator bacteria ...

Research Could Lead to Improved Oil Recovery, Better Environmental Cleanup

08/02/2012
Researchers have taken a new look at an old, but seldom-used technique developed by the petroleum industry to recover oil, and learned more about why it works, how it could be improved, and how it might be able to make a comeback not only in oil recovery but also environmental ...

The role of U.S. airports in disease epidemics (video)

07/23/2012
Public health crises of the past decade — such as the 2003 SARS outbreak, which spread to 37 countries and caused about 1,000 deaths, and the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic that killed about 300,000 people worldwide — have heightened awareness that new viruses or bacteria could spread quickly across the ...

New model of disease contagion ranks U.S. airports in terms of their spreading influence

07/23/2012
Public health crises of the past decade — such as the 2003 SARS outbreak, which spread to 37 countries and caused about 1,000 deaths, and the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic that killed about 300,000 people worldwide — have heightened awareness that new viruses or bacteria could spread quickly across the ...

Frozen Sperm Offer a Lifeline for Coral

07/23/2012
As corals go, Fungia is fairly reliable, usually releasing its sperm and eggs two days after the full moon. Today was Day 3. “Sometimes we get skunked,” she fretted. A reproductive physiologist with the Smithsonian Institution, Dr. Hagedorn, 57, is building what is essentially a sperm bank for the world’s corals. ...

How hosts recognize bacteria

07/20/2012
We are surrounded by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. The fact that we nevertheless do not fall prey to infections is thanks to certain cellular sensor molecules such as toll-like receptors (TLR), which recognize the molecular structure of pathogens and intercede by ensuring an often completely unnoticeable elimination of the ...

Beneficial bacteria may help ward off infection

07/20/2012
While many bacteria exist as aggressive pathogens, causing diseases ranging from tuberculosis and cholera, to plague, diphtheria and toxic shock syndrome, others play a less malevolent role and some are critical for human health. In a new study, Cheryl Nickerson and her group at ASU’s Biodesign Institute, ...

Modifying surfaces by means of nanostructured reliefs to prevent the spread of bacteria

07/20/2012
Researchers at the Institute for Agrobiotechnology (a mixed research centre set up by the Public University of Navarre, the CSIC-National Scientific Research Council, and the Government of Navarre) are designing, by means of laser application, nanostructured reliefs on surfaces so that they acquire antibacterial properties and are more resistant ...

Researchers Build First Complete Computer Model of an Entire Organism

07/20/2012
To conduct experiments, researchers can change a variable in an organism and watch the results unfold. But life is messy, and it's difficult to understand the underlying processes that explain the data. Digitizing the process could help, and now we're starting small: researchers have successfully made a computer model of ...

Jekyll and Hyde bacteria aids or kills, depending on chance

07/06/2012
Living in the guts of worms are seemingly innocuous bacteria that contribute to their survival. With a flip of a switch, however, these same bacteria transform from harmless microbes into deadly insecticides. In the current issue of Science, Michigan State University researchers led a study that revealed how a bacteria flips ...

Scientists Discover New Trigger for Immense North Atlantic Plankton Bloom

07/05/2012
Across the horizon and miles out to sea toward the north, the Atlantic Ocean's own spring and summer ritual is unfolding: the blooming of countless microscopic plant plankton, or phytoplankton. In what's known as the North Atlantic Bloom, an immense number of phytoplankton burst into color, first "greening" then "whitening" the ...

New study maps hotspots of human-animal infectious diseases and emerging disease outbreaks

07/05/2012
A new global study mapping human-animal diseases like tuberculosis (TB) and Rift Valley fever finds that an "unlucky" 13 zoonoses are responsible for 2.4 billion cases of human illness and 2.2 million deaths per year. The vast majority occur in low- and middle-income countries. The report, which was conducted by the ...

Which Bacteria Smell Like Tortillas, Flowers, or Delicious Browned Butter?

07/05/2012
I’ll confess, I never quite thought about what happens when you get millions of a single kind of bacteria all together in one place and take a nice long sniff. I did not think it would ever be pleasant. I was wrong. This level of olfactory whimsy, then, was totally new ...

Bacterial Vaginosis Is Associated with Higher Risk of Female-to-Male Transmission of HIV

07/05/2012
An investigation led by UCSF has found that the risk of female-to-male HIV transmission is increased three fold for women with bacterial vaginosis, a common disorder in which the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina is disrupted. The new research assessed the association between bacterial vaginosis and female-to-male HIV transmission ...

J&J seeks OK for first drug against resistant TB

07/02/2012
Johnson & Johnson said Monday that it is seeking U.S. approval for the first new type of medicine to fight deadly tuberculosis in more than four decades. The experimental drug, called bedaquiline, also would be the first medicine specifically for treating multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis. That's an increasingly common form in which at ...

Inspired by nature: Paints and coatings containing bactericidal agent nanoparticles combat marine fouling

07/02/2012
Scientists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in Germany have discovered that tiny vanadium pentoxide nanoparticles can inhibit the growth of barnacles, bacteria, and algae on surfaces in contact with water, such as ship hulls, sea buoys, or offshore platforms. Their experiments showed that steel plates to which a coating ...

Natural Intestinal Flora Strengthens Immune System

07/02/2012
Signals from natural intestinal bacteria are necessary for an effective immune response to various viral or bacterial germs. This was the result of experiments by a research team led by Prof. Dr. Andreas Diefenbach and Stephanie Ganal at the Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene of the Freiburg University Medical ...

Oddly Microbial: 86 Million Year-Old Deep Seabed Mystery Cells

07/02/2012
Life in a high-pressured environment with practically nothing to eat might be ok for high-fashion models, but it’s an unlikely lifestyle choice for a single cell whose usual overriding goal is to become two cells. Yet the largest living ecosystem on Earth—the deep biosphere—is comprised of microbes so energy starved ...

Innate immune system protein provides a new target in war against bacterial infections

07/02/2012
Research led by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists has identified a possible new approach to defeating bacterial infections by targeting an innate immune system component in a bid to invigorate the immune response. In this study, researchers demonstrated that the primary function of one of the innate immune molecules is ...

This summer is critical for remaining 50 Durham bats

07/02/2012
It will be months until scientists know if the few survivors of Bucks County’s largest bat population are still alive and reproducing. When Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife biologist Greg Turner last checked on Upper Bucks’ bats in the spring of 2011, he found near devastation. The Durham bat mine was the second ...

Measuring the uncertainties of pandemic influenza

07/02/2012
A major collaboration between US research centers has highlighted three factors that could ultimately determine whether an outbreak of influenza becomes a serious epidemic that threatens national health. The research suggests that the numbers in current response plans could be out by a factor of two or more depending on ...

Acid-wielding worms drill through bones at the bottom of the sea

07/02/2012
Tiny 'bone-devouring worms', known to both eat and inhabit dead whale skeletons and other bones on the sea floor, have a unique ability to release bone-melting acid, scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego have recently discovered. Like all worms in their family, Osedax have no ...

Study Examines Role of Seasonal Prescribing Changes in Antibiotic Resistance

07/02/2012
A new study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases and available online shows how seasonal changes in outpatient antibiotic use – retail sales of antibiotics typically get a boost during the winter – can significantly alter seasonal patterns of drug resistance. The findings suggest that hospital campaigns to reduce inappropriate antibiotic ...

U-M forecasters predict second-smallest Gulf of Mexico 'dead zone'

06/22/2012
The Gulf of Mexico’s dead zone for 2012 is expected to be the second smallest on record—but not because of any cutback in nitrogen use. Farmland runoff containing fertilizers and livestock waste—some of it from as far away as the Corn Belt—is the main source of the nitrogen and phosphorus that ...

Animal reservoir mystery solved

06/22/2012
A team of scientists at Washington University in St. Louis has been keeping a wary eye on emerging tick-borne diseases in Missouri for the past dozen years, and they have just nailed down another part of the story. They knew from earlier work that the animal reservoirs for the diseases included ...

Germ Culprits in Moldy, Water-Damaged Buildings Identified

06/22/2012
Two specific strains of bacteria that appear linked to indoor mold caused by water damage have been identified by researchers. Bacterial contamination in water-damaged buildings can cause health problems such as infection and respiratory conditions such as asthma. But until now, no specific bacteria that contribute to these problems have been ...

How the fungus that can punch through Kevlar becomes a cereal killer

06/22/2012
There’s a microscopic fungus that can starve nations and punch through Kevlar. It causes disease on such as scale that its blight can be seen from space. It’s called Magnaporthe oryzae and it causes a disease known as rice blast. The fungus doesn’t infect humans, but it does kill rice. ...

How to Give Ferrets A Highly Contagious, Sneeze-Transmissible Version of the Bird Flu

06/22/2012
Only a few key mutations could cause the avian influenza virus to become airborne and transmissible among mammals, according to a controversial new paper publishing online today. In detailed research involving ferrets, researchers at the Erasmus Medical Centre in the Netherlands engineered a potent strain of the bird flu that ...

Bird Flu Research That Stoked Fears Is Published

06/21/2012
The more controversial of two papers describing how the lethal H5N1 bird flu could be made easier to spread was published on Thursday, six months after a scientific advisory board suggested that the papers’ most potentially dangerous data be censored. The paper’s publication, in the journal Science, ended an acrimonious debate ...

How infection can lead to cancer

06/12/2012
One of the biggest risk factors for liver, colon or stomach cancer is chronic inflammation of those organs, often caused by viral or bacterial infections. A new study from MIT offers the most comprehensive look yet at how such infections provoke tissues into becoming cancerous. The study, which is appearing in ...

UCI researchers create mosquitoes incapable of transmitting malaria

06/12/2012
Mosquitoes bred to be unable to infect people with the malaria parasite are an attractive approach to helping curb one of the world’s most pressing public health issues, according to UC Irvine scientists. Anthony James and colleagues from UCI and the Pasteur Institute in Paris have produced a model of the ...

Community-Acquired MRSA Cases on the Rise in New York City, Study Suggests

06/12/2012
Hospitalization rates in New York City for patients with community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA), a potentially deadly bacterial infection that is resistant to antibiotic treatment, more than tripled between 1997 and 2006, according to a report published in the July issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of ...

Illnesses in Colorado Children’s Hospital Prompts Discovery of Contaminated Alcohol Pads

06/12/2012
A small cluster of unusual illnesses at a Colorado children’s hospital prompted an investigation that swiftly identified alcohol prep pads contaminated with Bacillus cereus bacteria, according to a report in the July issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. ...

Groundbreaking Discovery of the Cellular Origin of Cervical Cancer

06/12/2012
A team of scientists from A*STAR's Institute of Medical Biology (IMB) and Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) together with clinicians from Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) have identified a unique set of cells in the cervix that are the cause of human papillomaviruses (HPV) related cervical cancers. Significantly, the ...

Sick from Your Stomach: Bacterial Changes May Trigger Diseases Like Rheumatoid Arthritis

06/12/2012
The billions of bugs in our guts have a newfound role: regulating the immune system and related autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, according to researchers at Mayo Clinic and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Larger-than-normal populations of specific gut bacteria may trigger the development of diseases like rheumatoid arthritis ...

Scientists find new genetic path to deadly diarrheal disease

06/12/2012
Scientists have found new genetic information that shows how harmful bacteria cause the acute diarrheal disease shigellosis, which kills more than a million people worldwide each year. The research, which could lead to the development of future treatments, was published today in the journal PLoS ONE. The study was led by ...

New test shows potential for detecting active cases of Lyme disease

05/24/2012
George Mason University researchers can find out if a tick bite means Lyme disease well before the bite victim begins to show symptoms. "If you are bit by a tick, you can't be sure if you will get Lyme disease ― that is the biggest problem right now," says Alessandra Luchini, ...

Nuisance Seaweed Found to Produce Compounds with Biomedical Potential

05/24/2012
A seaweed considered a threat to the healthy growth of coral reefs in Hawaii may possess the ability to produce substances that could one day treat human diseases, a new study led by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego has revealed. An analysis led by Hyukjae Choi, ...

Research reveals new clue in fight against TB in cattle

05/24/2012
The failure of the current bovine tuberculosis (TB) eradication programme could be partly due to a parasitic worm that hinders the tests used to diagnose TB in cows, according to new research published this week. Scientists at The Universities of Nottingham and Liverpool have discovered that a parasitic flatworm often found ...

Bacterial trick keeps robots in sync

05/24/2012
One way to synchronize a group of robots is for each to communicate with one another about their positions, but distance between the robots can lead to time delays. And when many robots are involved, the complexity of this communication network grows. To skirt such problems, researchers from MIT have ...

Flesh-Eating Bacteria No Cause for Panic, Experts Say

05/24/2012
Despite scary headlines by the score, most people don't have to fear that they'll be the next victim of the so-called flesh-eating bacteria disease, experts say. Flesh-eating bacteria, known scientifically as necrotizing fasciitis, occurs when certain types of bacteria penetrate the skin and then invade the blood system, eventually eating away ...

Dangerous Gut Bacteria Move Outside Hospitals, Infect Kids

05/23/2012
Infections with the bacterium Clostridium difficile hit record numbers in recent years. Now there's evidence the hard-to-treat infections are becoming a problem for children. The infections often strike the elderly, especially those who've been taking antibiotics that clear out competing bacteria in people's intestines. People sickened by the bug have persistent ...

Antibiotic for plague approved by the FDA

04/30/2012
A plague outbreak could be extremely deadly, so much so that officials warn it can be used in a bioterror attack. Now U.S regulators have approved use of a powerful Johnson & Johnson antibiotic to treat and prevent the extremely rare but potentially deadly bacterial infection. The U.S. Food and Drug ...

Synthetic stool a prospective treatment for C. difficile

04/30/2012
A synthetic mixture of intestinal bacteria could one day replace stool transplants as a treatment for Clostridium difficile (C. difficile). C . difficile is a toxin-producing bacteria that can overpopulate the colon when antibiotics eradicate other, naturally protective bacteria living there. “A synthetic stool transplant has a lot of potential because ...

Antimicrobial resistance for common UTI drug increases five fold since 2000

04/30/2012
In a surveillance study of over 12 million bacteria, investigators at The George Washington University and Providence Hospital found E. coli antimicrobial resistance to ciprofloxacin, the most commonly prescribed antimicrobial for urinary tract infections in the U.S., increased over five-fold from 2000 to 2010. In addition, nearly one in four ...

Rapid Test Strips Detect Bacterial Contamination in Swimming Water (video)

04/30/2012
Chemistry professor John Brennan talks about a paper strip, developed at McMaster University, that can detect harmful concentrations of E. coli in recreational water within minutes. The bioactive paper detects E. coli quickly* and simply, with much greater accuracy than existing portable technology. Read the full story: http://dailynews.mcmaster.ca/story.cfm?id=8902

The Antibiotic, Amoxicillin-Clavulanate, Before a Meal May Improve Small Bowel Motility

04/30/2012
The common antibiotic, amoxicillin-clavulanate, may improve small bowel function in children experiencing motility disturbances, according to a study appearing in the June print edition of the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition from Nationwide Children's Hospital. Amoxicillan-clavulanate, also known as Augmentin, is most commonly prescribed to treat or prevent infections caused ...

Are Phages the Answer?

04/30/2012
The emergence of multiple drug-resistant bacterial strains, the prevalence of recalcitrant biofilm configurations, and the reluctance of the pharmaceutical industry to initiate new antibiotic discovery programs have led to the development of a formidable population of bacterial pathogens that is increasingly difficult to control. After a long but successful era ...

To beat resistant bacteria, let them live

04/30/2012
In the fight against antibiotic resistance, the next strategy may be to disarm the bacteria without actually killing them. Published in Nature Structure and Molecular Biology, research led by Monash University shows a protein complex called the Translocation and Assembly Module (TAM), forms a type of molecular pump in bacteria. The TAM ...

48% of Retail Chicken Contaminated with E. Coli

04/12/2012
A recent test of packaged raw chicken products bought at grocery stores across the country found that roughly half of them were contaminated with the bacteria E. coli. E. coli, which the study said was an indicator of fecal contamination, was found in 48 percent of 120 chicken products bought in ...

Study Shows First N.C. Case of Feral Pig Exposure to Nasty Bacteria

04/12/2012
A North Carolina State University study shows that, for the first time since testing began several years ago, feral pigs in North Carolina have tested positive for Brucella suis, an important and harmful bacteria that can be transmitted to people. The bacteria are transmitted to humans by unsafe butchering and consumption ...

Researchers using novel method to combat malaria drug resistance

04/06/2012
Researchers from the University of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health have developed a “gene chip” to contribute to the identification of malaria drug resistance, an effort that will allow for real-time response in modified treatment strategies for this devastating disease. “For past drugs, most notably chloroquine, discovery of mutations ...

US Students Need New Way of Learning Science

04/06/2012
American students need a dramatically new approach to improve how they learn science, says a noted group of scientists and educators led by Michigan State University professor William Schmidt. After six years of work, the group has proposed a solution. The 8+1 Science concept calls for a radical overhaul in ...

No Need For The Knife? Antibiotics May Suffice In Some Appendicitis Cases

04/06/2012
Appendicitis is an extremely painful and potentially life-threatening condition. The appendix, a fingerlike pouch attached to the large intestine, can sometimes get clogged, causing it to swell with bacteria and burst if it isn't removed in time. Surgery to remove the appendix has been the standard course of treatment since ...

South Africa takes TB battle to mine shafts

04/06/2012
South Africa is shifting its lines in the battle against tuberculosis to mines, where lung-attacking dust, crowded working conditions and a pan-African workforce make the industry a focal point for spreading the disease. Drug resistant TB strains, associated with cramped urban conditions, are spreading among miners, who have infection rates about ...

Microflora Have Decisive Role With Autoimmune Illnesses, Some Good, Some Bad

04/06/2012
When the right microorganisms are at work, immune cells involved in the development of autoimmune illnesses like psoriasis, multiple sclerosis and arthritis, can develop anti-inflammatory properties. Scientists at Charité -- Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Bellinzona, Switzerland, have now made this discovery. The scientists have demonstrated ...

The First Disposable, USB-Powered Genome Sequencer

04/05/2012
The first human genome sequence took 13 years and cost $3 billion — now, less than a decade later, a new company promises to sequence a full genome in 15 minutes for a song. If this exponential increase in efficiency and drop in price sounds like something out of the ...

The pit-chains of Mars – a possible place for life?

04/05/2012
The latest images released from ESA’s Mars Express reveal a series of ‘pit-chains’ on the flanks of one of the largest volcanoes in the Solar System. Depending on their origin, they might be tempting targets in the search for microbial life on the Red Planet. Once volcanic activity ceases, the tube ...

Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads, Scientists Hunt Down Genetic Causes

04/05/2012
The malaria parasite is a wily organism, shifting its life stages as it flits from human to mosquito and back again. It still kills some 600,000 people each year and has outwitted eradication efforts, having developed resistance to previously popular drugs and, thus far, eluded vaccine-induced immunity. The arrival of a ...

Rapid detection of resistant tuberculosis, other pathogens on the horizon

04/05/2012
Deborah Hung, a core faculty member of the Broad Institute, an infectious disease physician, a bacterial geneticist and chemical biologist, sees faster diagnosis and identification of resistance as a critical need and a solvable problem. “There’s no excuse for our not solving this,” said Hung, who is also the co-director ...

Food Poisoning's Hidden Legacy

04/05/2012
Most people think of foodborne illness as an unpleasant few days of fever and diarrhea, but for some there may be lifelong consequences It is a scary idea that food poisoning—which we think of as lasting just a few days—could instead have lifelong aftereffects. The incidence of such “sequelae,” in medical ...

Low levels of resistant bacteria found in Chicago-area ambulances

04/05/2012
Treatment areas of ambulances fared well when tested for dangerous bacteria, according to a new study published in the April issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of APIC - the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. Approximately six percent of sites sampled in ...

Researchers Find Evidence of Banned Antibiotics in Poultry Products

04/05/2012
The study, conducted by the Bloomberg School’s Center for a Livable Future and Arizona State’s Biodesign Institute, looked for drugs and other residues in feather meal, a common additive to chicken, swine, cattle and fish feed. The most important drugs found in the study were fluoroquinolones—broad spectrum antibiotics used to ...

In parasite battles, weakness is a boost

04/05/2012
A new study led by Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) researchers reveals that the number of vertebrate predators in the water and the amount of food available for Daphnia to eat influence the size of the epidemics and how these “water fleas” evolve during epidemics to survive. The study shows ...

Possible clues found to why HIV vaccine showed modest protection

04/05/2012
Insights into how the first vaccine ever reported to modestly prevent HIV infection in people might have worked were published online today in the New England Journal of Medicine. Scientists have found that among adults who received the experimental HIV vaccine during the landmark RV144 clinical trial, those who produced ...

93-Mile Quarantine Established to Contain "Citrus Greening"

04/05/2012
A 93-square-mile quarantine area centered in Hacienda Heights has been established in hopes of containing the state's first case of a bacterial disease that poses a strong risk to citrus trees, the California Department of Food and Agriculture announced today. In warning of the danger of the disease, agricultural officials said ...

Handheld plasma flashlight rids skin of notorious pathogens

04/05/2012
A group of Chinese and Australian scientists have developed a handheld, battery-powered plasma-producing device that can rid skin of bacteria in an instant. A group of Chinese and Australian scientists have developed a handheld, battery-powered plasma-producing device that can rid skin of bacteria in an instant. In the experiment, the plasma flashlight ...

Community-onset Clostridium difficile linked to higher risk of surgery

04/04/2012
Patients whose symptoms of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) start outside of the hospital setting have a higher risk of colectomy due to severe infection, according to a large multicenter study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal ...

Research demonstrates bacterial contamination in pharmacy robots

04/04/2012
Drug dispensing robots designed to quickly prepare intravenous medications in a sterile environment can harbor dangerous bacteria, according to a report in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. During a routine screening in 2010, personnel at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in ...

Detect all germs? RNA provides quick way for diagnosing infections and spotting drug resistance

04/04/2012
The search for new treatments for infectious diseases gets a lot of attention. But to treat something, we first need to know what we’re dealing with. That’s not always easy. The backbone of diagnosis is still built from old methods that include growing mystery germs in lab cultures, or checking ...

Researchers use a game to change how scientists study outbreaks

04/04/2012
An international team of scientists has created an innovative tool for teaching the fundamentals of epidemiology—the science of how infectious diseases move through a population. The team teaches a workshop annually in South Africa that helps epidemiologists improve the mathematical models they use to study outbreaks of diseases like cholera, AIDS ...

Less Than 1 in 6 Americans Frequently Washes Grocery Totes Increasing Risk for Food Poisoning

04/04/2012
Reusable grocery totes are a popular, eco-friendly choice to transport groceries, but only 15 percent of Americans regularly wash their bags, creating a breeding zone for harmful bacteria, according to a survey by the Home Food Safety program, a collaboration between the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American ...

Deadly Bacteria Lurk in Deepwater Horizon Tar Balls

04/04/2012
Nearly two years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster gushed millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, tar balls from the spill still turn up on Alabama's shores after storms. Now, one researcher is recommending that people steer clear of these tar balls after studies find them chock-full ...

Disarming disease-causing bacteria

04/04/2012
New treatments that combat the growing problem of antibiotic resistance by disarming rather than killing bacteria may be on the horizon, according to a new study. Published in Nature Structure and Molecular Biology, research led by Monash University showed a protein complex called the Translocation and Assembly Module (TAM), formed ...

Whooping cough vaccine fades in pre-teens: study

04/03/2012
During a whooping cough outbreak in California in 2010, immunized children between eight and 12 years old were more likely to catch the bacterial disease than kids of other ages, suggesting that the childhood vaccine wears off as kids get older, according to new research. "We have a real belief that ...

Scripps Research Institute Scientists Find Promising Vaccine Targets on Hepatitis C Virus

04/03/2012
A team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute has found antibodies that can prevent infection from widely differing strains of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in cell culture and animal models. HCV’s very high rate of mutation normally helps it to evade its host’s immune system. The newly discovered antibodies, ...

Sutton baby contracts Salmonella from pet lizard

04/03/2012
A five-month-old baby was rushed to hospital after contracting a potentially fatal-infection from an exotic family pet. A warning has now been issued to all reptile owners after tests on the baby, that was suffering from severe diarrhoea, revealed he was suffering from the effects of Salmonella pomona, a rare type ...

Bug hunters fan across LA to stop citrus disease

04/03/2012
The ubiquitous backyard citrus tree, symbolic of California's agricultural abundance, is front and center in the battle now under way to save the state's nearly $2 billion citrus industry. State bug detectives fanned across this suburban Los Angeles neighborhood Monday, vacuuming backyard trees with bug catchers, setting traps and taking tissue ...

Yale Nobel laureate creates compound that halts growth of malaria parasite

04/03/2012
A drug candidate that has shown promise for neutralizing dangerous bacteria also prevents growth of the parasite that causes malaria, new research by a Yale University team headed by Nobel laureate Sidney Altman shows. The compound created in the labs of Altman and co-senior author Choukri Ben Mamoun at the Yale ...

Death Cap Mushroom Poison to Arrest Pancreatic Cancer in Mice, Study Suggests

04/02/2012
Scientists of the German Cancer Research Center have coupled the fungal toxin amanitin to an antibody which recognizes a cancer-typical target molecule. Like a guided missile, the antibody carries its poisonous load to target cancer cells. The poison-loaded antibody arrested the growth of various types of cancer cells in the ...

Living On the Edge…of the swarm

04/02/2012
If anybody knows how to move, it’s bacteria. They swim in liquids using rotating flagella, but they also know how to twitch, glide, and slide on surfaces. The mechanisms that power their surface motility are varied, ranging from energy-intensive processes such as the extension and retraction of type IV pili ...

H5N1 research symposium to be webcast live to public

04/02/2012
The Royal Society in London will host an international symposium this week to address research issues surrounding H5N1 avian influenza research. Sponsored in part by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the two-day meeting, April 3-4, will feature key influenza researchers and will be webcast to the public in its ...

Climate model to predict malaria outbreaks in India

04/02/2012
Scientists from the University of Liverpool are working with computer modelling specialists in India to predict areas of the country that are at most risk of malaria outbreaks, following changes in monsoon rainfall. The University's School of Environmental Sciences is working with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research's (CSIR) Centre ...

Combination drug treatment can cut malaria by 30 per cent

04/02/2012
Malaria infections among infants can be cut by up to 30 per cent when antimalarial drugs are given intermittently over a 12 month period, a three-year clinical trial in Papua New Guinea has shown. The trial showed the drug regime was effective against both Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax malaria, the ...

"Backpacking" Bacteria Ferry Nano-Medicines

04/02/2012
Scientists looking for ways to get minute doses of drugs, so-called "nano-medicines", into the right places in the human body have turned to "backpacking" bacteria to ferry the cargo. "Bacteria can do this easily, and we have established that bacteria can carry cargo," he added. The other advantage with using bacteria ...

Why did a US advisory board reverse its stance on publishing mutant flu papers?

04/02/2012
Late last year, two teams of scientists announced that they had mutated the H5N1 ‘bird flu’ virus so that it can spread easily between mammals, an ability that their wild cousins lack. The research aimed to understand how natural viruses could evolve into more dangerous forms. But it also raised ...

A Molecule That Can Help Antibiotics Kill Superbugs

02/17/2012
Bacteria that have evolved defenses against antibiotics are something of a disaster waiting to happen. Whenever a new drug-resistant strain, or a gene that confers resistance, crops up in a new place—as when the NDM-1 gene, which confers resistant to up to 14 drugs, showed up in drinking water in ...

Microbial oasis discovered beneath the Atacama Desert

02/16/2012
Two metres below the surface of the Atacama Desert there is an ‘oasis' of microorganisms. Researchers from the Center of Astrobiology (Spain) and the Catholic University of the North in Chile have found it in hypersaline substrates thanks to SOLID, a detector for signs of life which could be used ...

Highest Rates Ever Recorded Of Multi-Drug Resistant TB

02/16/2012
On the heels of the news of totally drug-resistant (TDR) TB being identified in India — and disavowed, unfortunately, by the Indian government — the World Health Organization has released an update on the background situation of drug-resistant TB around the world. This new WHO report is primarily concerned with MDR ...

In the Mouth, Smoking Zaps Healthy Bacteria

02/16/2012
According to a new study, smoking causes the body to turn against its own helpful bacteria, leaving smokers more vulnerable to disease. Despite the daily disturbance of brushing and flossing, the mouth of a healthy person contains a stable ecosystem of healthy bacteria. New research shows that the mouth of a ...

Report Seeks to Integrate Microbes into Climate Models

02/15/2012
The models used to understand how Earth’s climate works include thousands of different variables from many scientific including atmospherics, oceanography, seismology, geology, physics and chemistry, but few take into consideration the vast effect that microbes have on climate. Now, a new report from the American Academy of Microbiology, ...

Microbiotas Characterized for 19 Traditional Italian Sourdough Breads

02/15/2012
Italy is well-known for aesthetics that play to every sense of the human sensory system: automotive style, espresso, ancient architecture, music, and Fettuccini Alfredo, among much else. Now a team of Italian investigators has analyzed the microbiota of 19 sourdoughs used in traditional Italian breads. They report their findings in ...

Decoding the molecular machine behind E.coli and cholera

02/10/2012
Writing in the journal PLoS Pathogens, the team from Queen Mary’s School of Biological and Chemical Sciences show how they studied the molecular machine known as the ‘type II bacterial secretion system’, which is responsible for delivering potent toxins from bacteria such as enterotoxigenic E. coli and Vibrio cholerae into ...

Antarctic lake could reveal new life

02/10/2012
Russian scientists said overnight a probe to a pristine lake deep under the ice of Antarctica could bring revelations on the evolution of the planet Earth and possibly even new life forms. A Russian team drilled down to the surface of Lake Vostok, which is believed to have been covered by ...

Ocean Microbe Communities Changing, but Long-Term Environmental Impact Is Unclear

02/09/2012
As oceans warm due to climate change, water layers will mix less and affect the microbes and plankton that pump carbon out of the atmosphere – but researchers say it’s still unclear whether these processes will further increase global warming or decrease it. But inadequate ocean monitoring and lack of agreement ...

Preventing Bacteria from Falling in With the Wrong Crowd Could Help Stop Gum Disease

02/08/2012
Stripping some mouth bacteria of their access key to gangs of other pathogenic oral bacteria could help prevent gum disease and tooth loss. The study, published in the journal Microbiology suggests that this bacterial access key could be a drug target for people who are at high risk of developing ...

Honey could be effective at treating and preventing wound infections

02/01/2012
Manuka honey could help clear chronic wound infections and even prevent them from developing in the first place, according to a new study published in Microbiology. The findings provide further evidence for the clinical use of manuka honey to treat bacterial infections in the face of growing antibiotic resistance. Streptococcus pyogenes ...

Legionnaire’s Disease at the Luxor: What Causes It?

02/01/2012
In July 1976, a convention of members of the American Legion — a veterans’ group — was meeting in Philadelphia at the Belleville Stratford Hotel in honor of America’s bicentennial. Soon, 221 attendees would be sickened and 34 dead of an illness it was believed no one had ever seen ...

Handheld Pathogen Sensor Could Diagnose HIV in 30 Minutes

01/31/2012
Working with support of the Bill & Medlinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenge to develop field-worthy point-of-care diagnostics for the developing world, a couple of Cornell researchers are mashing up their individual inventions to create a handheld pathogen detector that can quickly diagnose pathogens ranging from chlamydia and tuberculosis to HIV. The ...

MSU researchers show how new viruses evolve, and in some cases, become deadly. (video)

01/31/2012
In the current issue of Science, researchers at Michigan State University demonstrate how a new virus evolves, which sheds light on how easy it can be for diseases to gain dangerous mutations. The scientists showed for the first time how the virus called "Lambda" evolved to find a new way to ...

Norovirus is the leading cause of infection outbreaks in US hospitals

01/31/2012
Norovirus, a pathogen that often causes food poisoning and gastroenteritis, was responsible for 18.2 percent of all infection outbreaks and 65 percent of ward closures in U.S. hospitals during a two-year period, according to a new study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC), ...

Organic Meat Not Free of Drug-Resistant Bacteria

01/31/2012
If you’re paying premium prices for pesticide- and antibiotic-free meat, you might expect that it’s also free of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Not so, according to a new study. The prevalence ofone of the world’s most dangerous drug-resistant microbe strains is similar in retail pork products labeled “raised without antibiotics” and in ...

NSABB and H5N1 redactions: Biosecurity runs up against scientific endeavor

01/31/2012
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 in upcoming reports about experiments with a novel strain of the bird flu virus, H5N1, the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) will publish a special series ...

Protein study gives fresh impetus in fight against superbugs

01/31/2012
Scientists have shed new light on the way superbugs such as MRSA are able to become resistant to treatment with antibiotics. Researchers have mapped the complex molecular structure of an enzyme found in many bacteria. These molecules – known as restriction enzymes – control the speed at which bacteria can acquire ...

Lungs infected with plague bacteria also become playgrounds for other microbes

01/30/2012
Among medical mysteries baffling many infectious disease experts is exactly how the deadly pneumonic plague bacterium, Yersinia pestis, goes undetected in the first few day of lung infection, often until it's too late for medical treatment. New research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine has ...

Nevada officials: Luxor guests had Legionnaires'

01/30/2012
Health officials in Las Vegas said Monday that the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease was found in water samples at the Luxor hotel-casino this month after a guest died of the form of pneumonia. The Southern Nevada Health District said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention national surveillance program reported ...

Experts to discuss controversial studies on avian flu virus at live (NYC) event

01/30/2012
The US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) recently recommended that journals Nature and Science remove certain methodological details from controversial studies on the avian influenza virus (H5N1) to minimize the risk of these findings being misused by would-be bioterrorists. On February 2 from 6pm to 8pm, the Emerging ...

Genetics study reveals how bacteria behind serious childhood diseases evolve to evade vaccines

01/30/2012
Pneumococcus (Streptococcus pneumoniae) causes potentially life-threatening diseases including pneumonia and meningitis. Pneumococcal infections are thought to kill approximately a million young children worldwide each year, although the success of vaccination programmes has led to a dramatic fall in the number of cases in countries such as the UK and the ...

Is complex life a freak accident?

01/30/2012
Natural selection is a kind of search engine. Given enough time, and suitably vast populations, it should find the best solutions repeatedly. So why are bacteria still bacteria? And why did all complex life on our planet share an ancestor that only arose once in four billion years? In this ...

Fear-Resistance: How Worried Should We Be about "Totally Drug-Resistant" Tuberculosis?

01/30/2012
A few weeks ago a clinic in Mumbai claimed to have identified a dozen patients with a strain of tuberculosis (TB) resistant to all known treatments. TB is a highly contagious lung infection that kills about 1.5 million people each year worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), so ...

Master Gardener: What's growing on in our soil

01/27/2012
Do you ever wonder what's really growing in your soil beside the things you planted there? You might find it shocking to learn that there are literally billions of microbes hard at work in every square inch of your garden and landscape. There are 10 billion bacteria in a single gram ...

Research on vitamins could lead to the design of novel drugs to combat malaria

01/27/2012
New research by scientists at the University of Southampton could lead to the design of more effective drugs to combat malaria. The research will enable scientists to learn more about the nature of the enzymes required for vitamin biosynthesis by the malaria causing pathogen Plasmodium. Vitamins are essential nutrients required in ...

USDA Awards Grant to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for E. coli Research to Help Reduce Public Health Risks

01/27/2012
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that it has awarded a research grant to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) to help reduce the occurrence and public health risks from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) along the entire beef production pathway. Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, acting director of USDA’s National ...

Antimicrobial Cross-Resistance Risk

01/26/2012
The struggle to surmount antibiotic-resistant bacteria seems to grow daily. One line of research aims to develop a new class of antimicrobial therapy—antimicrobial peptides (AMP), based on small molecules of the innate immune system that exhibit microbicidal and immuno-modulatory activity. But like antibiotics, bacteria can evolve resistance to AMPs, risking ...

Engineered Bacteria Effectively Target Tumors, Enabling Tumor Imaging Potential in Mice

01/26/2012
Tumor-targeted bioluminescent bacteria have been shown for the first time to provide accurate 3-D images of tumors in mice, further advancing the potential for targeted cancer drug delivery, according to a study published in the Jan. 25 issue of the online journal PLoS ONE. This new research suggests that such bacteria ...

Killer infection found in taps at baby ward

01/25/2012
A killer infection that claimed the lives of three babies in a Belfast hospital has been traced to taps in the neo-natal unit, the Health Minister has said. All the taps and connected pipe work in the room at the Royal Jubilee Maternity Hospital are to be removed as experts try ...

Controversial Killer Flu Research Paused

01/20/2012
Researchers developing extra-contagious strains of H5N1 avian influenza have agreed to pause their work for 60 days. The moratorium, announced Jan. 20 in Nature and Science, is a response to public fear and alarm in the scientific community, which has split over whether the research could inadvertently lead to release of ...

How Manganese Blocks Cellular Trafficking of Shiga Toxin (video)

01/20/2012
How Manganese Blocks Cellular Trafficking of Shiga Toxin Narrator: Dr. Adam Linstedt, Professor of Biological Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University

BioCurious? The DIY garage biology movement

01/20/2012
Would you enjoy reprogramming lab bacteria with DNA from a jellyfish to make them glow green? How about hacking your own genetic data to find out what percentage of the Neanderthal genome you share? Or building a device that splits water into oxygen and hydrogen? If so, maybe you should ...

Scientists turn seaweed into fuel with E. coli

01/20/2012
The next time you get an order of miso soup, take a look at the seaweed lurking in your bowl. That same type of seaweed could some day power your car. Scientists from Bio Architecture Lab, Inc (BAL) and the University of Washington in Seattle have found a way to turn ...

Hearty bacteria help make case for life in the extreme

01/19/2012
The bottom of a glacier is not the most hospitable place on Earth, but at least two types of bacteria happily live there, according to researchers. The bacteria -- Chryseobacterium and Paenisporosarcina -- showed signs of respiration in ice made in the laboratory that was designed to simulate as closely as ...

Manganese May Have Potential in Neutralizing Deadly Shiga Toxin

01/19/2012
Carnegie Mellon University researchers have discovered that an element commonly found in nature might provide a way to neutralize the potentially lethal effects of a compound known as Shiga toxin. New results published in the Jan. 20 issue of Science by Carnegie Mellon biologists Adam Linstedt and Somshuvra Mukhopadhyay show ...

Balancing Scientific Freedom and National Security

01/19/2012
The U.S. government’s request that the journals Science and Nature withhold scientific information related to the genetically modified H5N1 virus because of biosecurity concerns does not violate the First Amendment, say two Georgetown University professors. They caution, however, that a fair, transparent process undertaken by research organizations is preferable to ...

Microbial Academy of Sciences Turns Cyanobacteria Into Cosmonauts

01/19/2012
The universe might be both too large and too small to fully comprehend. But perhaps Earth’s first celestial observatory for single-cell organisms can provide alternative perspectives on cosmology and art. That’s the thought process of concept philosopher and Wired columnist Jonathon Keats, whose inaugural Microbial Academy of Sciences opens Friday as ...

In Bat Deaths, a Catastrophe in the Making?

01/19/2012
A “biodiversity crisis”: that’s how some conservationists describe new numbers released this week by the federal Fish and Wildlife Service on so-called white-nose syndrome. According to the agency, 5.7 million to 6.7 million bats have died from the fungal ailment in eastern North America since an epidemic first broke out ...

Polar growth at the bacterial scale reveals potential new targets for antibiotic therapy

01/18/2012
An international team of microbiologists led by Indiana University researchers has identified a new bacterial growth process -- one that occurs at a single end or pole of the cell instead of uniform, dispersed growth along the long axis of the cell -- that could have implications in the development ...

Ulcer-Causing Bacteria Baffled by Mucus

01/18/2012
A new study by engineering researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute demonstrates how introducing certain polymers—like those found in human mucus and saliva—into the environment makes it significantly more difficult for H. pylori and other microorganisms to coordinate. “In the human body, microorganisms are always moving around in mucus, saliva, and other ...

Totally Drug-Resistant TB: A Patient Is Missing

01/17/2012
There was a lot of interest in in TDR-TB Friday; both the Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC and Science Friday kindly asked me to be on to talk about it. While I was waiting for the phone link to Science Friday to become live, an alarming bulletin arrived in ...

FDA bans some – but not all – farmyard antibiotics

01/17/2012
PREVENTION is not always better than cure. The US Food and Drug Administration has finally moved to restrict the farmyard use of antibiotics to prevent livestock illness over concerns that they may generate antibiotic-resistant superbugs. But the announcement covers such a small subset of drugs that campaigners fear the superbug ...

Canadian-led research team develop new model to anticipate disease outbreaks at 2012 Olympics

01/17/2012
A research team led by St. Michael's Hospital's Dr. Kamran Khan is teaming up with British authorities to anticipate and track the risk for an infectious disease outbreak at the London Olympics this summer. For the first time, experts from around the world are working together to integrate technologies and disease ...

Introduction to microbiological culture media (video)

01/13/2012
Introduction and uses of culture media for growing pathogenic bacteria and fungi

New Laboratory Method Uses Mass Spectrometry to Rapidly Detect Staph Infections

01/12/2012
Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have developed a new laboratory test that can rapidly identify the bacterium responsible for staph infections. This new test takes advantage of unique isotopic labeling combined with specific bacteriophage amplification to rapidly identify Staphylococcus ...

Bushmeat can be a viral feast

01/12/2012
Monkeys and apes are considered edible game in many parts of Africa. As people from these regions have emigrated to other parts of the world, some have retained their love of this and other types of bushmeat. A new study now finds that meat from nonhuman primates — from chimps ...

Short, Sharp Shock Treatment For E. coli

01/12/2012
A short burst of low voltage alternating current can effectively eradicate E. coli bacteria growing on the surface of even heavily contaminated beef, according to a study published in the International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health. The technique offers an inexpensive and easy to implement approach to ...

Coca-Cola alerted the FDA to fungicide in its orange juice.

01/12/2012
Coca-Cola, maker of Minute Maid and Simply Orange, said Thursday that it was the company that originally alerted U.S. regulators to the issues surrounding Brazilian orange juice after it found a fungicide in some of its products. The Atlanta-based beverage giant notified the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Dec. 28 ...

Potential Test And Therapy For Kidney Failure Caused By E. Coli

01/12/2012
Ever since the water supply in Walkerton, Ont., was contaminated by E. coli in 2000, Dr. Philip Marsden has been trying to figure out just how a toxin released by that particular strain of the bacteria causes kidney damage in children. Now Dr. Marsden and his team based at St. Michael's ...

Gut microbe networks differ from norm in obese people, systems biology approach reveals

01/12/2012
For the first time, researchers have analyzed the multitude of microorganisms residing in the human gut as a complex, integrated biological system, rather than a set of separate species. Their approach has revealed patterns that correspond with excess body weight. Researchers have already observed that obese and lean people have differences ...

Dried licorice root fights the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease

01/12/2012
Scientists are reporting identification of two substances in licorice — used extensively in Chinese traditional medicine — that kill the major bacteria responsible for tooth decay and gum disease, the leading causes of tooth loss in children and adults. In a study in ACS’ Journal of Natural Products, they say ...

Lidless toilets spread C.difficile

01/11/2012
Always put the lid down on the toilet. That's the conclusion of a new study examining the amount of Clostridium difficile bacteria that fly into the air and contaminate surfaces when a toilet is flushed without the lid on. The research was carried out by the Microbiology Department at Leeds General ...

Global Health and Infectious Diseases (video)

01/10/2012
Told by Carl Nathan, M.D. R.A. Rees Pritchett Professor of Microbiology Director of the Abby and Howard P. Milstein Program in the Chemical Biology of Infectious Disease Chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology Weill Cornell Medical College Visit http://weill.cornell.edu/campaign/research for more information.

Why Science? Microbiology (video)

01/10/2012
Explore Research at the University of Florida: Keith Schneider, an Associate Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Florida, explains what made him want to become a scientist originally, and what he enjoys about his career and research now.

Bacteria build ‘houses’ in healthy cells

12/29/2011
Bacteria are able to build camouflaged homes for themselves inside healthy cells—and cause disease—by manipulating a natural cellular process, new research shows. Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study reveals how a pair of proteins from the bacteria Legionella pneumophila, which causes Legionnaires’ disease, alters a host ...

Bacteria battle against toxic fluoride

12/29/2011
Regular use of fluoride-containing toothpaste and mouthwash has long been known to strengthen the enamel on teeth. But new research by Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) scientists finds that fluoride also has dramatic effects on bacteria inside the mouth -- including those that form plaque and can cause cavities. HHMI researcher ...

New evidence that bacteria in large intestine have a role in obesity

12/21/2011
Bacteria living in people's large intestine may slow down the activity of the "good" kind of fat tissue, a special fat that quickly burns calories and may help prevent obesity, scientists are reporting in a new study. The discovery, published in ACS' Journal of Proteome Research, could shed light on ...

Toxic fungus thrives in bathroom sinks

12/21/2011
Plumbing systems may be a common source of human infections, say researchers studying the prevalence of the fungus Fusarium in bathroom sink drains. “With about two-thirds of sinks found to harbor Fusarium, it’s clear that those buildings’ inhabitants are exposed to these fungi on a regular basis,” says lead investigator Dylan ...

Purdue scientists reveal how bacteria build homes inside healthy cells

12/20/2011
Bacteria are able to build camouflaged homes for themselves inside healthy cells - and cause disease - by manipulating a natural cellular process. Purdue University biologists led a team that revealed how a pair of proteins from the bacteria Legionella pneumophila, which causes Legionnaires disease, alters a host protein in order ...

Immunological defense mechanism leaves malaria patients vulnerable to deadly infection

12/20/2011
The link between malaria and salmonella infections has been explained for the first time, opening the way to more effective treatments. Malaria patients are at high risk of developing fatal bacterial infections, especially salmonella infections. This is commonly believed to be due to generalised immunosuppression by malaria, whereby the entire immune ...

New processes use ozone and viruses to kill harmful bacteria

12/20/2011
According to Dr. Dick Zoutman of Queen's University in Canada, over 100,000 people die every year in North America alone, due to hospital-acquired infections. It would only seem to follow that hospitals need to be kept cleaner, and Zoutman has developed something that he says can do the job - ...

Scientists Find Microbes in Lava Tube Living in Conditions Like Those on Mars

12/16/2011
A team of scientists from Oregon has collected microbes from ice within a lava tube in the Cascade Mountains and found that they thrive in cold, Mars-like conditions. The microbes tolerate temperatures near freezing and low levels of oxygen, and they can grow in the absence of organic food. Under these ...

Louisiana Issues Neti Pot Warning After Two Fatal Infections

12/16/2011
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals has issued a warning about improper Neti pot use, which has been linked to two deadly infections. A 51-year-old woman from DeSoto Parish and a 20-year-old man from St. Bernard Parish, a suburb of New Orleans, died after using Neti pots containing tap water ...

Beautiful, but Deadly to Salmonella

12/16/2011
A virus that was first found in sewers and shares its name – P22 – with a semi-automatic handgun might seem an unlikely object of beauty. But to Carolyn Teschke, professor of molecular and cell biology, P22 is not only beautiful, it has absorbed her attention since she was a postdoctoral ...

Bacterial Filters Reduce Stink from Big Pig Factories

12/16/2011
Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) on industrial animal factories can stink up an entire county, due to ammonia, and a smorgasbord of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Jeppe Lund Nielsen of Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark, et al. report that biofiltration with microbial filters can remove most of the butyric acid, dimethyl ...

Close Family Ties Keep Microbial Cheaters in Check

12/16/2011
Any multicellular animal, from a blue whale to a human being, poses a special challenge for evolution. Most of the cells in its body will die without reproducing; only a privileged few will pass their genes to the next generation. How could the extreme degree of cooperation required by multicellular existence actually ...

Jefferson researchers mirror human response to bacterial infection and resolution in mice

12/14/2011
Imitating human diseases using an animal model is a difficult task, but Thomas Jefferson University researchers have managed to come very close. Reporting in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of Jefferson immunologists found that a specialized "human immune system" mouse model closely mimics a person's specific ...

Microbial Contamination Found in Orange Juice Squeezed in Bars and Restaurants

12/14/2011
Scientists from the University of Valencia in Spain have analysed fresh orange juice squeezed by machines in catering establishments. They have confirmed that 43% of samples exceeded the acceptable enterobacteriaceae levels laid down by legislation. The researchers recommend that oranges are handled correctly, that juicers are washed properly and that ...

Life on Mars - Seven Wonders of the Microbe World (video)

12/13/2011
This video examines how the discovery and examination of microbes in meteorites suggests that the planet Mars could have supported life in the same way as Earth.

Genetic Engineering - Seven Wonders of the Microbe World (video)

12/09/2011
This video explores the ways in which humans are learning to exploit microbes to produce medicines, fuel and food.

Show-Me Public Health: Microbiologist (video)

12/08/2011
Professor of Microbiology: Neal Chamberlain talks about microbiology as a career.

Antibiotics - Seven Wonders of the Microbe World (video)

12/08/2011
In this video, experts reveal how the natural processes of microbes are used to fight disease.

How Salmonella forms evil twins to evade the body's defenses

12/08/2011
An unusual regulatory mechanism that controls the swimmer/non-swimmer option in genetically identical Salmonella also impacts the bacteria's ability to cause infection. University of Washington scientists reported the discovery this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. As Salmonella divides into genetically identical clones, either of the two forms of ...

Nitrogen Fixation - Seven Wonders of the Microbe World (video)

12/07/2011
This video examines just how critical microbes are to life on Earth with their role in nitrogen fixation -- providing the essential elements that we need to survive.

Food Microbiology: An Overlooked Frontier | Lecture (2011)

12/06/2011
Speaker: David Chang (momofuku) November 14, 2011

Food preservation - Seven Wonders of the Microbe World (video)

12/06/2011
How do microbes destroy the food that we eat and how has humankind sought out different ways of preserving foodstuffs?

C. difficile lengthens hospital stays by 6 days

12/05/2011
A new study published in the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) reports that hospital-acquired Clostridium difficile infection increases length of stay in hospital by an average of six days. C. difficile is the most common cause of infectious diarrhea in hospital, and it is estimated that 10% of patients who become ...

Black Death - Seven Wonders of the Microbe World (video)

12/05/2011
This video looks at the microbial origins of the Black Death.

Yeti crab farms bacteria on its arms

12/02/2011
In the deep ocean off the coast of Costa Rica, scientists have found a species of crab that cultivates gardens of bacteria on its claws, then eats them. The yeti crab — so-called because of the hair-like bristles that cover its arms — is only the second of its family to ...

Lawsuit: In-flight meal led to American Airlines flier's death

12/02/2011
The family of a deceased American Airlines passenger is suing the airline, claiming that the man died from food poisoning he got from his in-flight meal. CNN is among several outlets to pick up the story. It reports: The wife and daughter of the late Othon Cortes of Miami are suing the ...

Salads you can trust -- safe farm practices get major test

12/02/2011
Ever since 2006, when a deadly batch of spinach killed three people and sickened hundreds, U.S. farm producers, packers and others along the distribution line have argued over how best to protect consumers and assure them that leafy greens and tomatoes are safe. Now, a major, national initiative, led by University ...

History of Beer - Seven Wonders of the Microbe World (video series)

12/02/2011
In this video we look at the origins of beer and brewing in Ancient Egypt, and the role microbes play in the process.

Fleas Collected from Norway Rats in Downtown LA Carry Human Pathogen

11/17/2011
Most fleas collected from rats trapped in downtown Los Angeles, California carried microbes from the genus, Bartonella, many of which are human pathogens, according to a paper in the November Applied and Environmental Microbiology. The research team limited their investigation to fleas of the species Xenopsylla cheopis, because they are ...

Nearly half of consumers ignore use-by-dates on food

11/17/2011
NEARLY half of consumers ignore use-by dates on food with experts warning they are putting their health at risk, a report has revealed. Dr Wayne Anderson, food science and standards director, said food may be badly contaminated even if it appeared good enough to eat. "We would caution people to be careful ...

Faecal diet gives bumblebees defensive bacteria that protect them from parasites

11/14/2011
Bumblebees begin their adult lives by eating their sisters’ faeces. After many months as helpless, hungry larvae, they spin a silken cocoon and transform their bodies. When they emerge, ready to face the world, they get mouthfuls of poo. It may not sound like an auspicious start, but it’s ...

Hospital ‘superbug’ colonizes colon

11/14/2011
A mutation turns a common hospital bacterium into a deadly superbug that kills increasing numbers of hospital patients worldwide. The superbug accounts for an estimated $3.2 billion each year in health care costs in the United States alone. In research published in the open-access journal PLoS Pathogens, Dena Lyras and Glen Carter ...

Miraculous Microbes: They Make Holy Statues "Bleed"—and Can Be Deadly, Too

11/11/2011
The Killer Bacteria Hall of Fame no doubt houses the usual suspects: Yersinia pestis, perpetrator of the Plague; Treponema pallidum, the spiral-shaped culprit in syphilis; and Vibrio cholerae, the swimmer that causes cholera. But you have probably never heard of one of the inductees. Serratia marcescens is a forgotten but ubiquitous ...

Green or yellow phlegm likely to be bacterial

11/11/2011
Confirming widespread beliefs by doctors and parents alike, the color of phlegm coughed up by people is indeed a good indicator of whether that person has a bacterial infection, an international group of researchers found. Green or yellow "sputum," as clinicians call it, more often than not reflects a bacterial infection, ...

Researchers closer to the super bug puzzle

11/11/2011
Infectious diseases specialists from Austin Health are working closely with Microbiologists from the University of Melbourne to understand how Staph is becoming resistant to all antibiotic therapies. The treatment of serious infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus (Golden Staph) is complicated by the development of antibiotic resistance. Seriously ill patients, vulnerable to ...

Scientists defuse the 'Vietnam time bomb'

11/10/2011
A key mechanism by which a bacterial pathogen causes the deadly tropical disease melioidosis has been discovered by an international team of scientists. The findings are published today in the journal Science and show how a toxin produced by the bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei kills cells by preventing protein synthesis. The study, ...

Gut microbes mix with toxins to make us fat?

11/10/2011
Pollutants and chemical toxins could increase the chances of being overweight or having diabetes—but it may depend on the sort of bacteria churning around in the gut, a new study shows. After reviewing numerous studies, scientists at Cornell University concluded “there is mounting evidence that gut microbiota composition affects obesity and ...

Chesapeake dead zones return to life

11/09/2011
Reducing the flow of fertilizers, animal waste, and other pollutants into the Chesapeake Bay is shrinking oxygen-depleted “dead zones” in America’s largest estuary, a new study finds. The bay’s health deteriorated during much of the 20th century, contributing to a drop in fish and shellfish populations. When the algae die, ...

Will Airplanes Powered By Bacteria Ever Take Off?

11/09/2011
This has been a big week for the U.S. domestic airline industry and its embrace of environmentally-friendly biofuels. On Monday, a United Airlines jet completed the first-ever biofuel-powered commercial flight in the U.S. On Wednesday, Alaska Airlines is launching the first of 75 flights powered by a 20% biofuel blend ...

FDA announces Salmonella testing of pet foods

11/08/2011
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that they will be conducting random sampling of pet food for salmonella. This is an effort by the FDA to keep the pathogen from infecting humans. Salmonella is a food borne illness that affects over one million people in the US every ...

Research team explores how microbial diversity defends against disease

11/08/2011
Amphibians are among the most threatened creatures on earth, with some 40 percent of amphibian species threatened or endangered. One of their primary threats is a rapidly spreading disease that attacks the skin cells of amphibians. "Chytridiomycosis, a fungal disease, has been a key factor in the extinctions of many ...

H1N1 carries infection threat

11/08/2011
Serious cases of respiratory disease have accompanied the H1N1 flu virus in populations not normally vulnerable to such a complication, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday. “Pandemics put us at risk for not just flu problems, but also bacterial pneumonia problems,” Dr. Schuchat said, urging high-risk adults - ...

FDA cites dirty equipment in cantaloupe outbreak

11/08/2011
Pools of water on the floor and old, hard-to-clean equipment at a Colorado farm’s cantaloupe-packing facility were probably to blame for the deadliest outbreak of food-borne illness in 25 years, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday. Government investigators found positive samples of listeria bacteria on equipment in the Jensen Farms ...

The Myth of the Frozen Jeans

11/08/2011
Levi Strauss advises freezing your jeans to kill the germs that make them smelly, thereby saving the water you’d use in washing them. Don’t bother, says Stephen Craig Cary, a University of Delaware expert on frozen microbes, who wrote to us from Antarctica. Most of the bacteria on your jeans probably started ...

Bacteria Friend and Foe (archived educational film)

11/07/2011
A classic film archived by CreativeCommonsTV about the benefits and dangers of microbes.

Jonathan Eisen - Mapping bacteria in your belly button and around the world (video)

11/07/2011
Jonathan Eisen wants to make a field guide for microbes. Eisen, who is a professor at the University of California at Davis, likens what he wants to create to the field guides that exist for birds. With DNA sequencing and better tools, Eisen thinks we can map the diversity of ...

Bacterial Blight of Soybean (video)

11/07/2011
This video accompanies the bacterial blight in soybean article in Pest&Crop Issue 13, July 1, 2011. Here Kiersten shows and explains bacterial blight, and now the warmer weather has allowed soybean to out-grow the disease.

Pulsating Response to Stress in Bacteria Discovered

11/03/2011
If the changing seasons are making it chilly inside your house, you might just turn the heater on. That's a reasonable response to a cold environment: switching to a toastier and more comfortable state until it warms up outside. And so it's no surprise that biologists have long thought cells ...

Bacteria exposure limits baby allergy risk

11/03/2011
"In our study of over 400 children we observed a direct link between the number of different bacteria in their rectums and the risk of development of allergic disease later in life," says Professor Hans Bisgaard, consultant at Gentofte Hospital, head of the Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood, ...

News tips from the journal mBio - Volume 2, issue 5

11/03/2011
Antibodies Trick Bacteria into Killing Each Other The dominant theory about antibodies is that they directly target and kill disease-causing organisms. In a surprising twist, researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine have discovered that certain antibodies to Streptococcus pneumoniae actually trick the bacteria into killing each other. Pneumococcal vaccines currently ...

Texas A&M center confronts antibiotic crisis with potential new bacterial treatment

11/03/2011
It’s been called “the trots,” “Montezuma’s Revenge,” “the runs” and worse. But no matter the name, when it strikes, victims wish for a medicine that could go straight to the offending bacteria to quickly knock it dead. That wish will ultimately come true if work by Texas A&M University scientists stays ...

Analysis reveals malaria, other diseases as ancient, adaptive and persistent foes

11/02/2011
One of the most comprehensive analyses yet done of the ancient history of insect-borne disease concludes for the first time that malaria is not only native to the New World, but it has been present long before humans existed and has evolved through birds and monkeys. The findings, presented in a ...

Team discovers how a cancer-causing bacterium spurs cell death

11/01/2011
Researchers report they have figured out how the cancer-causing bacterium Helicobacter pylori attacks a cell's energy infrastructure, sparking a series of events in the cell that ultimately lead it to self-destruct. H. pylori are the only bacteria known to survive in the human stomach. Infection with H. pylori is associated with ...

Amerithrax review: Lessons for future investigations

11/01/2011
When the National Academy of Sciences issued its review of the FBI anthrax investigation earlier this year, the press fixated primarily on one point: The report found no conclusive evidence that Bruce Ivins, the Army scientist the government contends was responsible for a series of anthrax-laced letters mailed in 2001, ...

Acinetobacter baumannii found growing in nearly half of infected patient rooms

11/01/2011
Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (MDR-AB) was found in the environment of 48 percent of the rooms of patients colonized or infected with the pathogen, according to a new study published in the November issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of APIC - the Association for Professionals ...

Fecal microbiota transplants effective treatment for C. difficile, Inflammatory Bowel Disease

10/31/2011
Growing evidence for the effectiveness of fecal microbiota transplants as a treatment for patients with recurrent bouts of Clostridium difficile (C.difficile) associated diarrhea is presented in three studies -- including a long-term follow-up of colonoscopic fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) for recurrent C. difficile Infection that included 77 patients from five ...

Mould Fungi Can Cure Plants

10/31/2011
We know them from our garden, from damp cellars or from the fridge -- mould fungi can be found almost everywhere. Their success is due to their remarkable versatility: depending on external conditions, they can choose quite different lifestyles. Sometimes fungi can be very useful for plants. They can shield ...

Hey, bacteria, get off of my boat!

10/31/2011
Submerge it and they will come. Opportunistic seaweed, barnacles, and bacterial films can quickly befoul almost any underwater surface, but researchers are now using advances in nanotechnology and materials science to design environmentally friendly underwater coatings that repel these biological stowaways. "Sea water is a very aggressive biological system," says Gabriel ...

Learning from Bacteria about Social Networks (video)

10/28/2011
Google Tech Talk - September 30, 2011 Scientific American placed Professor Eshel Ben-Jacob and Dr. Itay Baruchi's creation of a type of organic memory chip on its list of the year's 50 most significant scientific discoveries in 2007. For the last decade, he has pioneered the field of Systems Neuroscience, focusing ...

TEDxMarrakesh - Ralph Wilms - Microbes: Invisible Invaders Amazing Allies

10/27/2011
Ralph is a non-dual, spiritual alchemist and social activist. He is bridging many worlds: the business with the ethical, the psychological with the spiritual, the Chinese Zen tradition with Sufism and Yoga. He teaches various forms of meditation and the practical application of eastern philosophy and intuition in business and ...

Matthew Wood - Beneficial Microbes and their role in the life of the soil (video)

10/25/2011
International Congress of SCD Group - Warsaw-Bratuszyn 2011. Matthew Wood - Beneficial Microbes and their role in the life of the soil, plants, animals and people

Juno Mission: Planetary Protection (video)

10/25/2011
For all of its planetary missions, NASA has established a principle of planetary protection to avoid contaminating potentially habitable worlds with microbes from Earth. By destroying itself, Juno will eliminate any chance of crashing into one of Jupiter's moons and allowing microbial stowaways to find a new home. Microbes can ...

Listeria Outbreak: Why More Of Us Didn't Get Sick

10/11/2011
I ate a lot of cantaloupe in the weeks before a listeria outbreak led to a recall in September. And probably like many of you out there, I found myself wondering: Is there any chance that I ate some of the contaminated melons? "Probably a lot of people ate this cantaloupe," ...

Synchronized Genetic Clocks (Quorum Sensing - Video)

10/11/2011
Researchers at UC San Diego who last year genetically engineered bacteria to keep track of time by turning on and off fluorescent proteins within their cells have taken another step toward the construction of a programmable genetic sensor. The scientists recently synchronized these bacterial “genetic clocks” to blink in unison ...

Can antivirulence drugs stop infections without causing resistance?

10/11/2011
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 be published in the online journal mBio® on Tuesday, October 18 reveals these drugs have the potential to fight infection while avoiding ...

Top ten superbug super-villains

10/10/2011
Drug-resistant superbugs are potentially deadly strains of micro-organisms that we once had the power to control. Now these mutants take on the best of our medical weapons, wreaking havoc on the world's health. Here is our rogue's gallery of the micro most wanted. Click "source" to see a great gallery ...

Scientists’ Analysis Disputes F.B.I. Closing of Anthrax Case

10/10/2011
A decade after wisps of anthrax sent through the mail killed 5 people, sickened 17 others and terrorized the nation, biologists and chemists still disagree on whether federal investigators got the right man and whether the F.B.I.’s long inquiry brushed aside important clues. Now, three scientists argue that distinctive chemicals found ...

Listeria outbreak draws Seattle lawyer to battle

10/10/2011
Bill Marler updates his many blogs each day about the latest foodborne illness outbreak and travels the world delivering speeches, imploring the food industry to improve its safety measures. All this while working the phones to get money for the victims. Marler created a niche for himself since winning his first ...

Scientists identify microbes responsible for consuming natural gas in Deepwater Horizon spill

10/04/2011
In the results of a new study, scientists explain how they used DNA to identify microbes present in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill -- and the particular microbes responsible for consuming natural gas immediately after the spill. Water temperature played a key role in the way ...

Pumice Proposed as Home to the First Life Forms: A New Hypothesis in Astrobiology Journal

10/04/2011
Martin Brasier, Richard Matthewman, and Sean McMahon, University of Oxford (U.K.), and David Wacey, University of Western Australia (Crawley), contend that pumice has “four remarkable properties” that would enable it to have had “a significant role in the origin of life and provided an important habitat for the earliest communities ...

Allergies linked to baby's birthplace, gut bugs

09/30/2011
Researchers found that babies were more likely to harbor a certain kind of bacteria in their intestines if they were born in the hospital, and especially by cesarean section -- and those gut bugs were tied to a kid's chances of later getting allergies or asthma. The study included about 2,700 ...

Lettuce Recalled Over Contamination Concerns

09/30/2011
A California lettuce grower has recalled 2,498 cartons of chopped or shredded romaine lettuce shipped to wholesale food service distributors in 19 states and Canada over concerns the produce may be contaminated with the same bacteria that caused 13 deaths in an outbreak traced to tainted cantaloupes. The U.S. Food and ...

Immunity gene shields frogs from fungus

09/30/2011
A genetic mechanism in lowland leopard frogs makes them resistant to a deadly fungus that has been decimating other frog species for decades. Although past research has explored environmental and pathogenic factors that contribute to the often fatal chytridiomycosis, a new study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, ...

Decade after anthrax attacks, worry over stockpile

09/30/2011
Anthrax vaccine - check. Antibiotics - check. A botulism treatment - check. Smallpox vaccine - check. Ten years after the anthrax attacks brought home the reality of bioterrorism, the nation has a stockpile of some basic tools to fight back against a few of the threats that worry defense experts the ...

How does listeria sicken weeks after eating tainted cantaloupe?

09/29/2011
It has been dubbed the deadliest outbreak of food-borne illness in the U.S. in over a decade. So why does this particular bacteria seem to strike days and sometimes weeks after it has been eaten? The answer may lie on the fruit, not in it. The Centers for Disease Control ...

Weird New Forms of Bacterial Life Found in the Dead Sea

09/29/2011
Deep in the depths of the Dead Sea, new life has been discovered. Thanks to newly found freshwater springs, certain forms of bacteria thrive, bacteria that, unlike other known freshwater and saltwater bacteria, can cope with rapidly changing salinity. It's the intriguing results of the first study of the Dead ...

Costco Urges Stricter Safety Measures on Cantaloupes

09/29/2011
As the death toll rose this week in a devastating listeria outbreak linked to cantaloupes, a national food retailer said that cantaloupe farmers and shippers must confront a history of food safety problems and take steps to make the fruit safe. “I don’t think the cantaloupe industry can continue on doing ...

What Contagion missed

09/29/2011
When Contagion hit the theaters on September 9, I was skeptical but interested (call it professional curiosity) to see Hollywood's latest attempt at showing microbial disaster. This time, director Steven Soderbergh sought help from an actual virus hunter, W. Ian Lipkin, a professor of epidemiology, neurology, and pathology at Columbia ...

Killer US cantaloupes expected to infect more people

09/29/2011
Cantaloupes infected with listeria have sparked the deadliest US foodborne disease outbreak in more than a decade and are likely to claim more victims in the weeks ahead, officials said Wednesday. Thirteen people have died and 72 have fallen ill after eating cantaloupe from Colorado-based Jensen Farms in the first-ever outbreak ...

New tick-borne disease found in Canada

09/28/2011
A new tick-dwelling bacterium related to the one that causes Lyme disease has been discovered in Canada and the northeastern United States. Studies conducted by the Public Health Agency of Canada and Yale University have identified the bacterium, Borrelia miyamotoi, in deer ticks, the most common transmitter of Lyme disease, a ...

UCLA scientists find H1N1 flu virus prevalent in animals in Africa

09/23/2011
UCLA life scientists and their colleagues have discovered the first evidence of the H1N1 virus in animals in Africa. In one village in northern Cameroon, a staggering 89 percent of the pigs studied had been exposed to the H1N1 virus, commonly known as the swine flu. "I was amazed that virtually ...

There Is Life on Mars! Just One Catch

09/23/2011
We haven't found any martian life, but there is life on Mars: life we sent there, says NASA's planetary protection officer, Catharine A. Conley. Bacteria, pollen spores, and other pieces of life have traveled millions of miles inside our spacecraft, and we have reason to believe they could have survived ...

Reports highlight the evolving role of clinical microbiology laboratories

09/08/2011
With the increasing availability of sophisticated technologies to rapidly diagnose and treat infectious diseases, the duties and the role of clinical laboratory microbiologists, who traditionally perform these tests, could see significant changes in the next few years. That is one of the conclusions of a series of reports published ...

New Social Network Connects People Based on Gastrointestinal Bacteria

09/08/2011
A German nonprofit, called MyMicrobes, is hoping you'll want to get your gut bacteria's genomes sequenced. It's expensive, but you'll get access to one of the most exclusive social networks around, where people worldwide can, um, talk about their gastrointestinal difficulties with like-minded people. Two grand seems cheap when we ...

Scientists offer way to address 'age-old' questions

09/08/2011
Scientists have devised a method to measure the impact of age on the growth rates of cellular populations, a development that offers new ways to understand and model the growth of bacteria, and could provide new insights into how genetic factors affect their life cycle. The research, which appears in ...

Genomic analysis of superbug provides clues to antibiotic resistance

09/08/2011
An analysis of the genome of a superbug has yielded crucial, novel information that could aid efforts to counteract the bacterium's resistance to an antibiotic of last resort. The results of the research led by scientists from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) are published in ...

Researchers may be finding a way to destroy a drug-resistant killer

09/08/2011
Antibiotics can eliminate bacterial infections in the human body, but may also destroy harmless bacteria and promote drug resistance in the very microbes they are intended to wipe out. Scientists at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore might have sidestepped those problems by creating what may be the first bacterium engineered ...

Improving the Resistance of Maize by Using Bacteria

09/08/2011
Maize plants that have been inoculated with bacteria naturally present in the soil show improved resistance against a pathogenic fungus and a considerable reduction in the number of attacks by a herbivorous moth. It is the first time that such a double effect has been shown in maize. A pathogenic fungus ...

Outbreak Investigation: A Cheat Sheet

09/07/2011
With the approaching release of the movie Contagion, I thought it would be appropriate to post my cheat sheet on how to investigate a disease outbreak. Aspiring disease detectives take notes! Hollywood has done their best to capture what an outbreak is…but here are the facts. An outbreak, or epidemic, occurs ...

Microbes generate electricity while cleaning up nuclear waste

09/07/2011
Researchers at Michigan State University have unraveled the mystery of how microbes generate electricity while cleaning up nuclear waste and other toxic metals. Details of the process, which can be improved and patented, are published in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The implications could ...

Anthrax spotting within hours could save lives

09/07/2011
WHEN a new strain of bacteria causes serious illness, being able to tell quickly whether it arose naturally or is the result of bioterrorism can be vital in devising the public health response. Now a DNA sequencing method that employs electronic sensing has been used to settle the question in ...

Human gut bacteria seem to be picky eaters

09/02/2011
People who eat a diet high in fats and animal protein tend to have a different group of bacteria flourishing in their gut compared with those who eat a mostly plant-based diet, researchers have found. Researchers suspect that the microbes within us affect our vulnerability to infectious disease and interact with ...

UTSA microbiologist elected president of Medical Mycology Society of the Americas

09/02/2011
Jose L. Lopez-Ribot, professor of microbiology in the UTSA College of Sciences Department of Biology and associate director of the South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, has been elected to serve as the 2012 president of the Medical Mycology Society of the Americas. Medical mycology is the study of ...

Study linking gut microbe type with diet has implications for fighting GI disorders

09/02/2011
"You are what you eat" is familiar enough, but how deep do the implications go? An interdisciplinary group of investigators from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have found an association between long-term dietary patterns and the bacteria of the human gut. In a study of ...

How to Escape a Deadly Embrace - Celebrating the Week of the Fungi

09/02/2011
The space around a single soil particle can be one hell of a battlefield. Here, nematode worms consume bacteria, bacteria fight back and kill them, fungi suck the worms dry, and so on. Not a moment of peace. These battles are as intense as they are intricate, yet we know ...

Australian mammals take on antibiotic-resistant bugs

09/02/2011
In collaboration with the Victorian Department of Primary Industries and the University of Melbourne, they discovered molecules from wallaby and platypus young are highly effective at killing a range of bugs. "These molecules may hold the key for the development of novel drugs to combat multidrug-resistant bacteria," postdoctoral researcher Dr. Emily ...

Cryptococcus Infections Misdiagnosed in Many AIDS Patients

09/02/2011
Most AIDS patients, when diagnosed with a fungal infection known simply as cryptococcosis, are assumed to have an infection with Cryptococcus neoformans, but a recent study from Duke University Medical Center suggests that a sibling species, Cryptococcus gattii, is a more common cause than was previously known. The difference between these ...

MRSA: Protect your kid from a superbug

09/01/2011
"Everyone is at risk," said Dr. Patrick Romano, lead author of a new report that found the number of children hospitalized with MRSA infections, mostly acquired from within the community, has more than doubled since 2000. "MRSA really started as a bacterium that was seen in hospitals among high-risk patients. ...

Resistance to antibiotics is ancient, McMaster study finds

08/31/2011
Scientists were surprised at how fast bacteria developed resistance to the miracle antibiotic drugs when they were developed less than a century ago. Now scientists at McMaster University have found that resistance has been around for at least 30,000 years. Research findings published today in the science journal Nature show antibiotic ...

Families of Drugs Developed from Bacteria, Fungi, Snails, Leeches and Other Such Species

08/31/2011
Whether you have a mild headache or you are running a fever, there is a high chance that the drug that is used to treat you comes from nature. Today, about half of the drugs on the market were discovered by screening collections of small molecules made by bacteria, fungi, ...

Patients’ Health Motivates Workers To Wash Their Hands

08/31/2011
Can changing a single word on a sign motivate doctors and nurses to wash their hands? Campaigns about hand-washing in hospitals usually try to scare doctors and nurses about personal illness, says Adam Grant, a psychological scientist at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. “Most safety messages are about personal consequences,” ...

Hospitalized children who carry MRSA at risk for full-blown infections

08/31/2011
A Johns Hopkins Children's Center study of more than 3,000 hospitalized children shows that those colonized but not sick with the antibiotic-resistant bacterium MRSA are at considerable risk for developing full-blown infections. The study, described online in the Aug. 30 issue of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, is believed to be ...

Doctors' and Nurses' Hospital Uniforms Contain Dangerous Bacteria a Majority of the Time, Study Shows

08/31/2011
More than 60 percent of hospital nurses' and doctors' uniforms tested positive for potentially dangerous bacteria, according to a study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of APIC -- the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. A team of researchers ...

U.S. researchers broke rules in Guatemala syphilis study

08/30/2011
U.S. government researchers must have known they were violating ethical standards by deliberately infecting Guatemalan prison inmates and mental patients with syphilis for an experiment in the 1940s, according to a presidential commission. The U.S.-funded research in Guatemala did not treat participants as human beings, failing to even inform them they ...

New Stanford method reveals parts of bacterium genome essential to life

08/30/2011
A team at the Stanford University School of Medicine has cataloged, down to the letter, exactly what parts of the genetic code are essential for survival in one bacterial species, Caulobacter crescentus. They found that 12 percent of the bacteria's genetic material is essential for survival under laboratory conditions. The essential ...

The New Generation of Microbe Hunters

08/30/2011
It was Tuesday evening, June 7. A frightening outbreak of food-borne bacteria was killing dozens of people in Germany and sickening hundreds. And the five doctors having dinner at Da Marco Cucina e Vino, a restaurant in Houston, could not stop talking about it. What would they do if something like ...

Cleanliness at fast-food playlands questioned

08/30/2011
The kids may have a blast at those fast-food restaurant playgrounds — but so did kids the day before, and the day before and the day before. So who's making sure they're kept clean? There are no national guidelines, and within states, counties and cities, oversight often falls through the cracks: ...

From guts to brains – eating probiotic bacteria changes behaviour in mice

08/29/2011
From “gut feelings” to “having some guts”, English is full of phrases where our bowels exert an influence upon our behaviour. But these are more than metaphors. There are open lines of communication between brains and bowels and, in mice at least, these channels allow an individual’s gut bacteria to ...

Yale Researchers Use Genetic Code To Engineer a Living Protein

08/26/2011
Yale University researchers have successfully re-engineered the protein-making machinery in bacteria, a technical tour de force that promises to revolutionize the study and treatment of a variety of diseases. "Essentially, we have expanded the genetic code of E. coli, which allows us synthesize special forms of proteins that can mimic natural ...

Single vaccines to protect against both rabies and Ebola

08/25/2011
Researchers from Thomas Jefferson University, among other institutions, including the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, have developed single vaccines to protest against both rabies and the Ebola virus. Successfully tested in mice, these bivalent vaccines have several advantages over other Ebola candidates that could help speed up development for ...

Salmonella fears spur ban of Mexican papayas in U.S.

08/25/2011
The federal Food and Drug Administration is banning imports of all papayas grown in Mexico because of widespread and ongoing salmonella contamination, the agency announced Thursday. More than 15 percent of fresh papayas entering the U.S. from Mexico were contaminated with the foodborne bacteria, an FDA investigation between May 12 and ...

Researchers Produce Viable Bacterium in Which One of Four DNA Bases Is Replaced by Synthetic Analog

08/25/2011
An international team made up of researchers from the Institut für Biologie (Freie Universität, Berlin), the CEA (IG/Genoscope -- Evry), the CNRS, the University of Evry, the Katholieke Universiteit (Leuven) and Heurisko (United States) has achieved a world-first by producing a viable bacterium in which one of the four DNA ...

The malaria mosquito is disappearing -- but it is not just good news

08/25/2011
The incidence of malaria in many African countries south of the Sahara is falling rapidly. A Danish-Tanzanian research group has discovered that the mosquito carrying the malaria parasite has practically disappeared from villages without organized mosquito control, and the researchers do not know why. There are several hypotheses but without ...

Food Need Not to Be Pathogen Free to Be Safe -- Mussaret Zaidi (video)

08/25/2011
Dr. Mussaret Zaidi heads the research laboratory at the Hospital Regional de Alta Especialidad in Yucatan, Mexico. During the last decade, she has studied anti-microbial usage in animals and the human health impact of anti-microbial-resistant bacteria in the food chain and environment. My ancestors moved from Iraq to India in 990 ...

Scientists reengineer antibiotic to overcome dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria

08/25/2011
A team of scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have successfully reengineered an important antibiotic to kill the deadliest antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The compound could one day be used clinically to treat patients with life-threatening and highly resistant bacterial infections. The results were published in an advanced online issue of the Journal ...

Common bacterium stops mosquitoes from transmitting dengue virus

08/24/2011
Strains of a bacterium commonly found in fruit flies can prevent the Aedes aegypti mosquito from transmitting the virus that causes dengue fever, researchers have found. Their discovery could lead to a more effective way to control dengue worldwide. North Carolina State University mathematical biologist Dr. Alun Lloyd is part of ...

Mystery Goo in Alaska Is Made of Fungal Spores

08/19/2011
A mysterious orange goo that collected on shorelines in a village in Alaska is made up of fungal spores, according to scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "The spores are unlike others we and our network of specialists have examined; however, many rust fungi of the Arctic tundra have ...

Warning: Killer fungi could run amok again

08/19/2011
DURING Earth's biggest mass extinction 250 million years ago, usually tame soil fungi ran amok, decimating most of the world's trees. A repeat coup is possible, if climate change weakens trees too much. Rhizoctonia lurk in soils, waiting to attack plants whose immune systems are weakened. Sephton thinks their Permian counterparts ...

Ringing the Warning Bell: Colistin-Resistant Klebsiella

08/18/2011
In all the latest bad news about bacteria becoming highly resistant — through carbapenem resistance, or the “Indian supergene” NDM-1 — there has been one hopeful thread: All of the organisms have remained susceptible to one very old, little-used drug called colistin. That might be about to change. Which would be ...
08/18/2011
One source of significant mystery has been the nature of the organic microfossils that are common in rocks dated to the time of the extinction worldwide. The tiny fossils resemble filamentous colonies of cells, but have evaded positive identification. Some researchers think they are the remains of fungi, while others ...

Life on the wind: Study reveals how microbes travel the Earth

08/18/2011
Scientists from the UK and Switzerland have investigated the remarkable distance that microorganisms may be able to blow between continents, raising questions about their potential to colonise new lands and also potentially to spread diseases. The researchers from Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape ...

ONE Lab 2011: BioDesign (video)

08/17/2011
Summer Lab for students, architects, scientists, artists, and individuals of all backgrounds to explore design with various living matter including live tissues, bacteria, tree grafting, fungi growth control and parametric scripting.

Hospitalizations due to skin and soft-tissue infections among children have doubled

08/17/2011
The number of children hospitalized for skin and soft-tissue infections, most due to community-acquired Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), has more than doubled since 2000, a study by researchers at UC Davis and elsewhere has found. "Often parents don't recognize that their kid's abscess or other soft-tissue infections might be MRSA because ...

A faster, cheaper way to diagnose TB

08/17/2011
Researchers have discovered a faster, cheaper method for the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB). A major barrier in TB prevention, especially in developing countries, is that diagnosis is slow and costly. Dr Olivier Braissant and his colleagues have developed a method which could potentially decrease the time taken to make a ...

Breakbone Fever Attacks Enchanted Island: Battling the 2010 Dengue Epidemic in Puerto Rico

08/15/2011
Given the choice I prefer my bones to remain unbroken. For that reason I began to worry when I found out that the disease I would be studying for the next two years in Puerto Rico was also referred to as “breakbone fever.” In April of 2010, I accepted an assignment ...

Drug Resistance in Food — Coming from Aquaculture?

08/15/2011
In the midst of the giant Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak last week — now up to 107 cases in 31 states, and triggering a recall of 36 million pounds of ground turkey — it was easy to miss that a second and even more troubling strain of resistant Salmonella is on ...

Forensic entomology research: flies and microbes interaction (video)

08/12/2011
University of Dayton biology professor Eric Benbow leads a study near Dayton, Ohio, on the interaction of microbes and blowflies in decomposition of pigs. Benbow and collaborators from Texas A&M University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture received a grant for nearly $500,000 from the National Institute of Justice to ...

Bacterial 'wires' an electronic dream

08/12/2011
THE hair-like threads sticking out of some species of bacteria may hold the secret to more powerful electronics and circuits that will work underwater. Bacteria use pili, as the threads are known, to connect with other bacteria, and they also conduct electricity, says microbiologist Derek Lovley at the University of Massachusetts ...

Hidden soil fungus, now revealed, is in a class all its own

08/11/2011
A type of fungus that's been lurking underground for millions of years, previously known to science only through its DNA, has been cultured, photographed, named and assigned a place on the tree of life. Researchers say it represents an entirely new class of fungi: the Archaeorhizomycetes. Like the discovery of a ...

Researchers decode workings of mysterious, but critical TB drug

08/11/2011
For nearly 60 years, Pyrazinamide (PZA) has been used in conjunction with other medications to treat tuberculosis (TB), but scientists did not fully understand how the drug killed TB bacteria. PZA plays a unique role in shortening the duration of current TB therapy to six months and is used frequently ...

Researchers Fight Cholera With Computer Forecasting

08/11/2011
Researchers at Ohio State University are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the project, in the hopes of targeting anti-cholera efforts where they are most needed in the earthquake-ravaged country. One question was whether the deadly disease is spreading primarily through contaminated environmental water or through ...

Jessica Green: Are we filtering the wrong microbes?

08/11/2011
Should we keep the outdoors out of hospitals? Ecologist and TED Fellow Jessica Green has found that mechanical ventilation does get rid of many types of microbes, but the wrong kinds: the ones left in the hospital are much more likely to be pathogens.

New drug could cure nearly any viral infection

08/10/2011
Most bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics such as penicillin, discovered decades ago. However, such drugs are useless against viral infections, including influenza, the common cold, and deadly hemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola. Now, in a development that could transform how viral infections are treated, a team of researchers at ...

Metabolism in reverse: Making biofuels at full-throttle pace

08/10/2011
In a biotechnological tour de force, Rice University engineering researchers this week unveiled a new method for rapidly converting simple glucose into biofuels and petrochemical substitutes. In a paper published online in Nature, Rice's team described how it reversed one of the most efficient of all metabolic pathways -- the ...

Food spoilage bacteria are harmless

08/10/2011
Anastacia Marx de Salcedo of Slate explains the difference between spoilage bacteria and pathogenic bacteria. It turns out the the bacteria that stinks and makes food look disgusting is harmless, but the bacteria that makes you sick "provide no sensory clues as to their presence in food." Click "source" to read ...

Antibodies linked to long-term Lyme symptoms

08/05/2011
Some patients with Lyme disease still show symptoms long after their treatment has finished. Now proteins have been discovered that set these people apart from those who are easily cured. But these diagnoses are difficult to make, because the individuals no longer seem to harbour the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Alaedini's ...

UC Riverside entomologist to study diseases transmitted by ticks

08/05/2011
Summer for most people means time spent outdoors, which could also mean increased exposure to bugs and, possibly, arthropod-borne diseases, such as "rickettsial diseases" – infectious diseases spread by bacteria, which, generally, are transmitted by lice, fleas, ticks and mites. Now a $1.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health ...

U of Minnesota researchers discover a natural food preservative that kills food-borne bacteria

08/04/2011
University of Minnesota researchers have discovered and received a patent for a naturally occurring lantibiotic — a peptide produced by a harmless bacteria — that could be added to food to kill harmful bacteria like salmonella, E. coli and listeria. The U of M lantibiotic is the first natural preservative found ...

Molecule makes cells kill Chlamydia

08/04/2011
A newly designed molecule disarms the pathogen responsible for the largest number of sexually transmitted infections in the United States. The therapies that could come from this discovery mark a new type of antimicrobial approach. Instead of directly killing Chlamydia (Chlamydia trachomatis), the therapies disarm a central weapon of the bacterium ...

MSU team surprised by results of lung, mold study

08/04/2011
Researchers led by Montana State University have found a surprising condition that occurs in the lungs after an invasion of a common mold that can cause deadly infections in humans. In the most oxygen-rich environment in the body - the lungs - the scientists discovered a shortage of oxygen. The shortage ...

USDA waited two weeks to urge ground turkey recall

08/04/2011
U.S. Department of Agriculture officials suspected as early as July 18 that samples of ground turkey tied to nationwide salmonella infections came from meat giant Cargill Inc., but they waited two weeks to urge a recall to gather more information, an expert said Thursday. The outbreak began in March, with sporadic ...

Highly Resistant Salmonella: Poultry, Antibiotics, Borders, Risk

08/04/2011
If you’re a strain of Salmonella, it’s a very good week. If you’re a human, not so much. There are two stories occurring simultaneously that underline the rising danger of drug-resistant organisms in the food supply, and the porousness of networks for detecting the dangerous bugs in time. Meanwhile, worse is coming. ...

UI biologist finds one species of pathogen can produce two distinct biofilms

08/04/2011
Many medical devices, ranging from artificial hip joints to dentures and catheters, become sites for unwelcome guests -- complex communities of microbial pathogens called biofilms that are resistant to the human immune system and antibiotics, thus proving a serious threat to human health. However, researchers may have a new way of ...

Salmonella Leads Cargill To Recall 36 Million Pounds Of Ground Turkey

08/04/2011
When it comes to food recalls, Cargill's decision to pull 36 million pounds of ground turkey from the market is a big one — a really big one. The food giant's taking the action for turkey produced at a plant in Springdale, Ark., because the meat may be contaminated with a ...

Calcifying microalgae are witnesses of increasing ocean acidification

08/03/2011
For the first time researchers have examined on a global scale how calcified algae in their natural habitat react to increasing acidification due to higher marine uptake of carbon dioxide. In the current issue of the magazine Nature they explain that Coccolithophores, a certain group of algae, form thinner calcite ...

51st Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy

08/03/2011
News media registration for the annual infectious diseases meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) is now open. The 51st Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) will be held September 17-20, 2011 at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, Illinois. Known as the preeminent world meeting for ...

Marine microbes prove potent greenhouse gas emitters

08/03/2011
Earth’s oceans emit an estimated 30 percent of the nitrous oxide, or N2O, entering the atmosphere. Yet the source of this potent greenhouse gas has puzzled scientists for years. Bacteria — long the leading candidate — can generate N2O, although the seas don’t seem to contain enough to account for ...

The challenge of microbial diversity: Out on a limb

08/03/2011
The e-mail arrived two weeks after Jonathan Eisen's paper was published. Tongue-in-cheek, it read: "Welcome to the 'Fourth Domain' club." Eisen, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Davis, chuckled. His paper, which came out in March, hinted at bizarre new forms of microscopic life in the ocean. The ...

NIST Finds That Ethanol-Loving Bacteria Accelerate Cracking of Pipeline Steels

08/03/2011
U.S. production of ethanol for fuel has been rising quickly, topping 13 billion gallons in 2010. With the usual rail, truck and barge transport methods under potential strain, existing gas pipelines might be an efficient alternative for moving this renewable fuel around the country. But researchers at the National Institute ...

Researchers map minority microbes in the colon

08/02/2011
They make up less than one-hundredth of 1 percent of the microbes that live in the colon, but the bacteria and archaea that sop up hydrogen in the gut are fundamental to colon health. In a new study, researchers take a first look at these “hydrogenotrophic” microbes, mapping where they ...

New study identifies emergence of multidrug-resistant strain of salmonella

08/02/2011
A new study has identified the recent emergence of a multidrug-resistant strain of Salmonella that has a high level resistance to ciprofloxacin, a common treatment for severe Salmonella infections. The study, led by François-Xavier Weill, MD, and Simon Le Hello, PharmD, at the Pasteur Institute in France, is published in ...

ß-Lactams: Mechanisms of Action and Resistance (video)

08/02/2011
This animation starts with the explanation of bacterial cell wall synthesis, the process targeted by ß-Lactams. Structurally, most bacteria consist of a cell membrane surrounded by a cell wall and, for some bacteria, an additional outer layer. Internal to the cell membrane is the cytoplasm which contains ribosomes, a nuclear ...

Portable, pronto anthrax detection

08/02/2011
A device about the size of a suitcase can detect the presence of the anthrax bacterium in about one hour—even with a sample as small as 40 microscopic spores. Small enough to fit in the overhead compartment of an airplane, the technology has the potential to be tailored to detect other ...

WHOI Study Reports Microbes Consumed Oil in Gulf Slick at Unexpected Rates

08/01/2011
More than a year after the largest oil spill in history, perhaps the dominant lingering question about the Deepwater Horizon spill is, “What happened to the oil?” Now, in the first published study to explain the role of microbes in breaking down the oil slick on the surface of the ...

New Edition of Manual of Clinical Microbiology Offers Digital Access

08/01/2011
ASM Press announces the availability of the newest edition of its authoritative reference for clinical laboratory professionals. The Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 10th edition, is available in both print and, for the first time, a digital edition. “The 10th edition of the Manual of Clinical Microbiology marks a significant milestone ...

Largest Fungus In The World Found Under Tree in China

08/01/2011
A half-ton, 33-foot-long fungal fruiting body was discovered growing under a felled tree in China, researchers said. It’s the most massive fruiting body — equivalent to a mushroom, in other fungal species — ever discovered. The giant fungus is estimated to be 20 years old, according to the BBC. It was ...

Tornado Survivors Battle Deadly Fungus Outbreak

08/01/2011
Unfortunately, the events that occurred in Joplin created the perfect environment for exposure to pathogens, and some injured survivors began showing signs of an unusual wound infection. The problem with these infections is that it’s not always everyday microbes that infect a wound. The CDC Mycotic Diseases Branch sent a team ...

New discovery brings customized tuberculosis therapies based on genotype closer to reality

08/01/2011
Are you genetically predisposed to tuberculosis? Scientists may now be able to answer this question and doctors may be able to adjust their therapeutic approach based on what they learn. That's because new research presented in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology (http://www.jleukbio.org) suggests that two frequent mutations in an immune ...

Day in the Life - Microbiology / Virology - Prof Bill Rawlinson (video)

08/01/2011
Microbiology, which deals with diseases caused by infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.

Plant killers choose weapons wisely

07/29/2011
Pathogens pack a diverse arsenal of weapons in their war against plants, but a new study shows they strike a surprisingly limited number of cellular targets when they go for the kill. The new finding is reported in one of two studies published concurrently in the journal Science related to the ...

Bacterial resistance to antibiotics: The more they resist, the more they divide

07/29/2011
The number of multiresistant strains of bacteria in hospitals is increasing. Bacteria acquire resistance to antibiotics through mutations in their chromosomes and by incorporating new genes, either from the surrounding environment or from other bacteria. Now, a research team at the Portuguese CBA research (University of Lisbon) and the Instituto ...

Utah scientist suspects pond scum triggers brain diseases in certain people

07/29/2011
A strange, but potentially important, theory proposed by a Utah scientist a decade ago is getting renewed attention and, he says it's bolstered by a growing body of evidence. Paul Cox, a former professor of botany at Brigham Young University, suspects that three deadly brain diseases are triggered by, of ...

Researchers Tap Yeasts as Source of 'Green' Surfactants

07/28/2011
Surfactants, which are wetting agents that lower a liquid's surface tension, have a long list of uses, from detergents and cosmetics to paints and pesticides. Most surfactants are petroleum-based. But in Peoria, Ill., a team of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists has focused their attention on sophorolipids, surfactant-like molecules ...

Algae beach party

07/28/2011
You’ve heard before about dead zones. These are patches of coastal ocean where river runoff full of fertilizer chemicals have produced massive algae blooms. This is what a dead zone looks like, just before the death. Click "source" to see the image in high resolution.

Marvelous Destroyers: The Fungus-Farming Beetles

07/27/2011
Rather than eating bark, which tends to be full of toxins produced by trees to discourage predation, fungus-farming beetles eat fungus that eats bark. It's one of the animal kingdom's greatest and most unappreciated symbioses. "You know how famous leafcutter ants are because they grow fungus? Those groups evolved this just ...

Irradiation and the ‘Ick Factor’

07/27/2011
After the E. coli outbreak in Europe last month — which sickened more than 3000 people and killed at least 50 — it was impossible not to think about irradiation. “What if,” I asked myself, “those little fenugreek seeds had been irradiated?” Might there have been fewer deaths, fewer cases ...

Volunteers get training on red tide identification

07/27/2011
Although there is no red tide off South Padre Island, conditions are primed for one to “bloom” due to current drought conditions and extreme heat, officials said. Nothing can be done to prevent a red tide event from happening, officials said. But early warning signs and monitoring play a crucial role ...

Forest fungus factory - New technology fights hemlock pest

07/22/2011
An invasive insect, hemlock woolly adelgid, has been marching north along the Appalachians, killing almost every hemlock tree in its path. The adelgid has devastated forests in Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia. The pest recently arrived in Vermont and other parts of New England. So far, only extreme cold stops the ...

Cholera outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Republic of Congo

07/22/2011
Cholera outbreaks are being reported along the Congo River, affecting the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Republic of Congo. In DRC, the outbreak was reported in March 2011 and has intensified in the last 3 to 4 weeks, affecting four provinces (Bandundu, Equateur, Kinshasa and P Orientale). As of ...

Computer simulations aid understanding of bacterial resistance against commonly used antibiotics

07/22/2011
A recent study into the interactions between aminoglycoside antibiotics and their target site in bacteria used computer simulations to elucidate this mechanism and thereby suggest drug modifications. In the article, which will be published on July 21st in the open-access journal PLoS Computational Biology, researchers from University of Warsaw, Poland, and ...

U of M researchers may have discovered key to help women fight infections during pregnancy

07/22/2011
A normal but concerning consequence of pregnancy is the fact that pregnant women are more susceptible to infection. University of Minnesota Medical School researchers have identified the underlying mechanisms for this physiologic immune suppression that may lead to new therapies to help ward off infections during pregnancy. In pregnancy, immune system ...

A*Star scientists discover how to combat hospital-acquired infections and life-threatening toxins

07/22/2011
A team of scientists from A*STAR's Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) has discovered the secret recipe for 'antidotes' that could neutralize the deadly plant toxin Ricin, widely feared for its bioterrorism potential, as well as the Pseudomonas exotoxin (PE) responsible for the tens of thousands of hospital-acquired infections ...

Justice Department Trips in Anthrax Case. Again.

07/21/2011
Ever since they officially wrapped up their investigation into the anthrax attacks, Justice Department and FBI officials have admitted that their case against Bruce Ivins wasn’t exactly air tight. There was more than enough circumstantial evidence to prove Ivins’ guilt, they said. But they could never quite figure out where, ...

Proteins enable essential enzyme to maintain its grip on DNA

07/21/2011
Scientists have identified a family of proteins that close a critical gap in an enzyme that is essential to all life, allowing the enzyme to maintain its grip on DNA and start the activation of genes. The enzyme, called RNA polymerase, is responsible for setting gene expression in motion in all ...

Is Europe in for a summer of E. coli poisoning?

07/21/2011
MUD may be the least of your worries at festivals across Europe this summer: food poisoning may lie in wait. The outbreak of a rare strain of E. coli in Germany in May seems to have subsided, with no new cases since 11 July, after 3918 people fell ill and 42 ...

Report Offers New Framework to Guide K-12 Science Education, Calls for Shift in the Way Science Is Taught in U.S.

07/20/2011
A report released today by the National Research Council presents a new framework for K-12 science education that identifies the key scientific ideas and practices all students should learn by the end of high school. The framework will serve as the foundation for new K-12 science education standards, to ...

Don't Believe Internet Claims that Raw Eggs Are Safe, Baylor University Food Expert Warns

07/20/2011
A flurry of Internet sites are touting raw egg drinks or shakes as "primal and powerful," with others suggesting uncooked eggs be blended with vanilla or avocado for a tasty, healthy snack and still others insisting that the connection between raw eggs and salmonella is a myth. Suzy Weems, Ph.D., a ...

Probiotics and "Science by Product Release"

07/20/2011
When heavy publicity turns early scientific findings into massive public debacles—see: Life, arsenic—we spend a lot of time talking about the problems inherent in doing science by press release. Essentially, an early finding might be pretty damn intriguing. But an early finding doesn't mean much until it's been picked apart ...

Bacteria tell the tale of human intercourse

07/20/2011
The genetic relationships between bacteria in our stomach can tell us a lot about the relationships between various groups of people. Additionally, the distribution of different strains of bacteria may have significant public health implications. H. pylori is a fascinating organism whose connection to specific human populations is tight enough that ...

Antibacterial Stainless Steel Created by Birmingham Engineers

07/20/2011
Materials scientists at the University of Birmingham have devised a way of making stainless steel surfaces resistant to bacteria in a project funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council which culminated this week. By introducing silver or copper into the steel surface (rather than coating it on to ...

Quick test to diagnose bacterial or viral infection developed by Ben-Gurion University researchers

07/20/2011
Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) have developed a new test that quickly and accurately distinguishes between bacterial and viral infections in as little as five hours. Treating viral infections with antibiotics is ineffective and contributes to the development of antibiotic resistance, allergic reactions, toxicity and greater healthcare costs. ...

Bacteria use Batman-like grappling hooks to 'slingshot' on surfaces

07/19/2011
Bacteria use various appendages to move across surfaces prior to forming multicellular bacterial biofilms. Some species display a particularly jerky form of movement known as "twitching" motility, which is made possible by hairlike structures on their surface called type IV pili, or TFP. "TFP act like Batman's grappling hooks," said ...

Scientists Use Live Bacteria To Fight HIV

07/19/2011
Scientists at Osel Inc. and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have developed a new way to prevent HIV infection by genetically enhancing the ability of naturally occurring vaginal bacteria to block viral transmission. Bioengineered bacteria introduced into the vaginal cavity of macaques a commonly used experimental primate reduced the transmission ...

Antibiotic Disrupts Termite Microflora, Reducing Fertility, Longevity

07/18/2011
The microbial flora of the termite gut are necessary both for cellulose digestion and normal reproduction, and feeding the insects antibiotics can interfere in these processes, according to a paper in the July issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. “New and effective technologies for the control of social ...

New Contrast Agents Detect Bacterial Infections with High Sensitivity and Specificity

07/18/2011
A new family of contrast agents that sneak into bacteria disguised as glucose food can detect bacterial infections in animals with high sensitivity and specificity. These agents — called maltodextrin-based imaging probes — can also distinguish a bacterial infection from other inflammatory conditions. “These contrast agents fill the need for probes ...

Newly Developed Fluorescent Protein Makes Internal Organs Visible

07/18/2011
Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have developed the first fluorescent protein that enables scientists to clearly "see" the internal organs of living animals without the need for a scalpel or imaging techniques that can have side effects or increase radiation exposure. The new probe could prove ...

How Probiotics May Save Your Life

07/18/2011
Probiotics are living species (typically bacteria, though I will argue for a broader definition) taken in one form or another by animals (typically though not always humans) in order to improve their health. The great hope with probiotics is that we might eat and favor a suite of living forms ...

WHO Warns Against Use Of TB Blood Tests

07/18/2011
Blood tests commonly used to detect tuberculosis can be unreliable and potentially dangerous to patients, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) warning issued on Sunday. According to Frank Jordans of the Associated Press (AP), "The U.N. health agency said it will issue an unprecedented recommendation against using such tests for ...

Twitter to track dengue fever outbreaks in Brazil

07/18/2011
That's thanks to software created by a collaboration between two Brazilian National Institutes of Science and Technology, led by Wagner Meira, a computer scientist at the Federal University of Minus Gerais. The team has used it to identify a high correlation between the time and place where people tweet they ...

Fungus Protects Rice from Challenges of Climate Change

07/15/2011
To ward off famine and potentially save millions of lives, researchers are looking for a little help from a tiny fungus. By colonizing seeds with spores from naturally occurring fungi, experiments show that rice -- a major world food source -- is able to withstand stresses associated with climate change, such ...

Calif. pest trapper helps thwart citrus disease

07/15/2011
The disease, known by its Chinese name Huanglongbing but also called "citrus greening," has devastated citrus orchards in Florida and other parts of the world, but it hasn't touched California's $1.8 billion industry. The Golden State ranks first in the nation in crop value and second after Florida in citrus ...

5 Reasons Your Camera Won’t Steal My Job

07/14/2011
By far the most common question I get when I tell people that I am a scientific illustrator is one variation (some more tactful than others) of, “They still use illustrators? Why don’t they just photograph everything?” In fact, it’s a great question. Although photography is fantastically impressive and can ...

With MRSA, Look Past the Nose

07/14/2011
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus likes to hide in other moist places besides the anterior nares, especially the throat, perineum, armpits, and under pendulous breasts. To determine if a patient with recurrent MRSA abscesses or other skin infections is truly a carrier and thus a candidate for decolonization, it's best to obtain ...

Spread Of Fungus-Farming Beetles Is Bad News For Trees

07/13/2011
North Carolina State University researchers have found that a subset of fungus-farming ambrosia beetles may be in the early stages of a global epidemic threatening a number of economically important trees, including avocados, poplars and oaks. Ambrosia beetles tunnel into trees, creating chambers that they fill with fungal conidia – effectively ...

Calcified clue to ancient photosynthesis

07/06/2011
The most direct evidence yet for ancient photosynthesis has been uncovered in a fossil of a matted carpet of microbes that lived on a beach 3.3 billion years ago. Frances Westall at the Centre for Molecular Biophysics, a laboratory of the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), in Orleans and ...

Last year: Arsenic life. This year: Chlorine life?

07/06/2011
Last year, a team of NASA-funded scientists claimed to have found bacteria that could use arsenic to build their DNA, making them unlike any form of life known on Earth. That didn’t go over so well. (See my two pieces for Slate for a quick recap: #1, #2.) One unfortunate side-effect ...

Hot springs microbe yields record-breaking, heat-tolerant enzyme

07/06/2011
Bioprospectors from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Maryland School of Medicine have found a microbe in a Nevada hot spring that happily eats plant material – cellulose – at temperatures near the boiling point of water. In fact, the microbe’s cellulose-digesting enzyme, called a cellulase, is most ...

GOOD: Algae Life (video)

07/06/2011
Oil is an expensive resource that is rapidly becoming harder to find. Eventually, we are going to have to find a new renewable fuel source to replace it. These scientists think they already have—algae.

BIG IDEAS: Dickson Despommier's Vertical Farming (video)

07/05/2011
TWiV's very own Dickson Despommier explains his vision of a future where farming is truly sustainable. If there weren't any pesky practical limitations, what world-changing device would you invent? In the second installment of Babelgum and GOOD's new Big Ideas competition, Columbia professor Dickson Despommier imagines filling New Yorks skyscrapers ...

People who suffer from antibiotic-resistant bacteria must be better addressed in health care

07/05/2011
Fear and confusion surrounding the diagnosis is often the result of suffering of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Accurate information is crucial for these patients in order for them to handle their situation, yet that is the area where health care is lacking. This is shown in Infection Control Nurse Susanne Wiklund’s master’s ...

Women Scientists - the challenges of juggling a family and a career (video)

07/05/2011
Judith Klatt is a doctoral student at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen. She's also a mother, keen to fulfilf both her roles with equal vigor. She's being helped by a foundation set up by Nobel laureate Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard.It provides financial support so Judith can pay for ...

E. Coli Can Survive in Streambed Sediments for Months

07/01/2011
Studies by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists have confirmed that the presence of Escherichia coli pathogens in surface waters could result from the pathogen's ability to survive for months in underwater sediments. Most E. coli strains don't cause illness, but they are indicator organisms used by water quality managers ...

Copper reduces infection risk by more than 40 percent

07/01/2011
Professor Bill Keevil, Head of the Microbiology Group and Director of the Environmental Healthcare Unit at the University of Southampton, has presented research into the mechanism by which copper exerts its antimicrobial effect on antibiotic-resistant organisms at the World Health Organization's first International Conference on Prevention and Infection Control (ICPIC). 'New ...

Belly button biomes begin to blossom

07/01/2011
The human navel should be designated as a bacterial nature reserve, it seems. The first round of DNA results from the Belly Button Biodiversity project are in, and the 95 samples that have so far been analysed have turned up a whopping total of more than 1400 bacterial strains. In ...

Virtual Institute investigates virus infections

07/01/2011
Understanding the tricks and survival strategies of viruses to effectively combat them: That is the goal of the virtual institute VISTRIE that received its funding commitment today. VISTRIE, which stands for "Viral Strategies of Immune Evasion", is a joint program grant with independent management structures receiving funding by the Helmholtz ...

When Viruses Infect Bacteria

06/30/2011
Viruses are the most abundant parasites on Earth. Well known viruses, such as the flu virus, attack human hosts, while viruses such as the tobacco mosaic virus infect plant hosts. More common, but less understood, are cases of viruses infecting bacteria known as bacteriophages, or phages. In part, this is due ...

Swine flu vaccine safe in pregnancy: study

06/30/2011
The swine flu shot appears to be safe for pregnant women, according to a new government report that tallies health problems occurring after the vaccinations. During the 2009-2010 flu season, millions of pregnant women received the vaccine against swine flu, or H1N1 influenza, yet but less than 300 possible complications were ...

Resistant mice provide clues about successful immune response to retroviruses

06/30/2011
Although our body's defense mechanisms are usually capable of detecting and destroying many types of pathogens, some viruses are able to evade the immune system and make us sick. In particular, "retroviruses," such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), are notorious for eluding host immune defenses and causing disease. Now, a ...

Salt-loving microbe provides new enzymes for the production of next-gen biofuels

06/30/2011
In order to realize the full potential of advanced biofuels that are derived from non-food sources of lignocellulosic biomass—e.g., agricultural, forestry, and municipal waste, and crops such as poplar, switchgrass and miscanthus—new technologies that can efficiently and cost-effectively break down this biomass into simple sugars are required. Existing biomass pretreatment ...

Cleanest US Beaches Are in Delaware, Minnesota, New Hampshire

06/29/2011
With beach season well underway and the Fourth of July holiday weekend approaching, an environmental advocacy group is out Wednesday with its annual beach report, ranking the nation's cleanest and most contaminated shores. "The two big problems, when it comes to America's beaches, are pollution runoff in urban areas and from ...

E. Coli Outbreak Caused By New Strain: WHO

06/23/2011
Scientists on Thursday blamed Europe's worst recorded food-poisoning outbreak on a "super-toxic" strain of E. coli bacteria that may be brand new. But while suspicion has fallen on raw tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce as the source of the germ, researchers have been unable to pinpoint the food responsible for the frightening ...

Second HK child dies of mutated scarlet fever

06/22/2011
A mutated strain of scarlet fever more resistant to antibiotics has killed a second child in Hong Kong, the first deaths from the illness in the southern Chinese city in at least a decade, authorities said Wednesday. Certain characteristics of the new strain likely make it more contagious, and it may ...

How Rock-Paper-Scissors Could Shape Bacterial Evolution

06/22/2011
“Imagine a nontransitive community in which, for convenience, we call the players Rock, Paper, and Scissors.” It’s a rather unusual line to find in a scientific paper, but the study it comes from is part of a special edition of PNAS on the evolution of social behavior. And rock-paper-scissors is ...

Survey of antimicrobial resistant foodborne bacteria

06/22/2011
A new Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) survey has shown no human health implications from antimicrobial resistance in New Zealand food-producing animals and fresh produce. Antimicrobial resistant (AMR) bacteria - which do not respond to antibiotics - are increasingly associated with human illness and death. While the large majority of ...

Cooling system may build eggs' natural defenses against salmonella

06/21/2011
Once eggs are laid, their natural resistance to pathogens begins to wear down, but a Purdue University scientist believes he knows how to rearm those defenses. Kevin Keener, an associate professor of food science, created a process for rapidly cooling eggs that is designed to inhibit the growth of bacteria such ...

Not Enough Antibiotics: Just An Incentives Problem?

06/21/2011
When it comes to antibiotic resistance — that is, to the increasing number of infections against which many drugs are no longer effective — people seem to think like my ex: When we’re out, we go back to the bank for more. The problem is, when it comes to antibiotics, ...

Lyme disease tick adapts to life on the (fragmented) prairie

06/21/2011
A new study offers a detailed look at the status of Lyme disease in Central Illinois and suggests that deer ticks and the Lyme disease bacteria they host are more adaptable to new habitats than previously appreciated. Led by researchers at the University of Illinois, the study gives ...

Hybrid lab combines technologies to make biorenewable fuels and products

06/20/2011
Laura Jarboe pointed to a collection of test tubes in her Iowa State University laboratory. Some of the tubes looked like they were holding very weak coffee. That meant microorganisms - in this case, Shewanella bacteria - were growing and biochemically converting sugars into hydrocarbons, said Jarboe, an Iowa State assistant ...

Green Revolution - Microbes (video)

06/20/2011
Researchers are working on developing microbial fuel cells (MFC) that can generate electricity while accomplishing wastewater treatment.

Seven Simple Steps To Safe Salads

06/20/2011
Since the E. coli outbreak in Germany last month, killing at least 36 people and sickening more than 3,000, many have been leery of anything green. Spouts have been targeted as the culprit and cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce were early suspects. But shunning salads is no way to live, especially ...

Longterm kidney threat in E. coli victims

06/15/2011
As Europe's E. coli crisis wanes, some experts are now warning of a looming threat: possible long-term kidney complications for many of the victims. The E. coli strain that broke out in Germany affected adults who were otherwise healthy and mostly aged between 20 and 50. German health authorities believe they ...

Teenager May Lose Hand to Rare, Flesh-Eating Fish Tank Bacteria

06/15/2011
What started as a small scrape from corner of the family's fish tank five years ago may end in the amputation of a champion teen gynmast's hand. Hannele Cox, 13, from Oak Hills, Calif., has battled a rare, flesh-eating infection she contracted from the tank when she was 8 and doctors ...
06/14/2011
Elfin magic? Not so much, actually, at a Kellogg factory that makes Keebler and Famous Amos cookies. The Food and Drug Administration just slapped Kellogg for alleged quality lapses at a Augusta, Georgia, plant in a warning letter that was released today. The big problem, according to findings by FDA inspectors, is ...

Chytrid fungus spreads to last protected region

06/14/2011
Chytridiomycosis, a devastating amphibian disease, has spread to Panama's Darien region, the last protected area in Central America. The chytrid fungus threatens efforts to rescue 20 critically endangered frog species there, including the national animal, the Panamanian golden frog (pictured above). Smithsonian researchers found the disease in 2 per cent ...

Sick kitty: Oregon cat gets bubonic plague

06/10/2011
A cat in Prineville has been diagnosed with bubonic plague, the fourth case reported in Oregon among people and animals since January of last year. Stone says two people were diagnosed with the bubonic plague last year, and one dog. All survived. The bacteria that cause the disease are spread to humans ...

Phage on the rampage

06/09/2011
Women, beansprouts, cucumbers, bacteria, cows: the cast of the current European Escherichia coli outbreak is already a crowd. Enter the phage. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria, and they are star players in the chain of events that led to this outbreak. Bacterial infections often originate from contaminated food, but it ...

Number of Rare E. Coli Cases in U.S. Rose Last Year

06/07/2011
Federal officials said on Tuesday that a national monitoring system for food-borne illness detected an increasing number of sicknesses last year from a group of rare E. coli bacteria related to the little-known and highly toxic strain that has been ravaging Germany. For the first time, the group of rare E. ...

Bacterium that nips malaria in the bud 'identified'

05/13/2011
Scientists claim to have identified a bacterium which nips malaria in the bud by stopping the development of Plasmodium falciparum parasite that causes the disease in humans. ...A team at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has found that the Enterobacter bacterium is part of the naturally occurring ...

Study finds pigs susceptible to virulent ebolavirus can transmit the virus to other animals

05/13/2011
Canadian investigators have shown that a species of ebolavirus from Zaire that is highly virulent in humans can replicate in pigs, cause disease, and be transmitted to animals previously unexposed to the virus. The findings are published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases and are now available online. (Please see ...

Exposing ZnO nanorods to visible light removes microbes

05/12/2011
The practical use of visible light and zinc oxide nanorods for destroying bacterial water contamination has been successfully demonstrated by researchers at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT). Nanorods grown on glass substrates and activated by solar energy have been found to be effective in killing both gram positive and ...

Vanderbilt biologists discover a new class of insect repellent

05/09/2011
Imagine an insect repellant that not only is thousands of times more effective than DEET – the active ingredient in most commercial mosquito repellants – but also works against all types of insects, including flies, moths and ants. That possibility has been created by the discovery of a new class of ...

"Fool's Gold" from The Deep is Fertilizer for Ocean Life

05/09/2011
Similar to humans, the bacteria and tiny plants living in the ocean need iron for energy and growth. But their situation is quite different from ours--for one, they can't turn to natural iron sources like leafy greens or red meat for a pick-me-up. So, from where does their iron come? New research ...

Zombie ants have fungus on the brain

05/09/2011
New research has revealed how infection by a parasitic fungus dramatically changes the behavior of tropical of carpenter ants (species Camponotus leonardi), causing them to become zombie-like and to die at a spot that has optimal reproduction conditions for the fungus. The multinational research team studied ants living high up ...

Saving the Seas: Bleaching Threatens Coral, But Phage Therapy Could Prevent "Ghostly" Reefs

05/03/2011
Around 90 percent of the reefs off the coasts of Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Kenya, the Maldives and the Seychelles are at risk. If ocean temperatures rise by another 7ºF in the next three decades, as is predicted, 95 percent of the Great Barrier Reef will disappear. The primary cause of ...

Student discovers new virus lurking in cave mud

05/03/2011
A recent class assignment called for students to take a soil sample. Rather than grab mud from the bank of a nearby river, Emilia climbed down a pitch-black Indiana cave, scraped a sample from the wall and discovered a virus, immortalizing the family name and adding to a growing body ...

New Evidence Details Spread of Amphibian-Killing Disease from Mexico Through Central America

05/03/2011
There's a crisis among the world's amphibians -- about 40 percent of amphibian species have dwindled in numbers in just three decades. Now, museum jars stuffed full of amphibians may help scientists decide whether this wave of extinctions was caused by a fungal infection. DNA swabbed from the preservative-soaked skins of ...

Research team identifies receptor for Ebola virus

05/02/2011
A team of researchers has identified a cellular protein that acts as a receptor for Ebola virus and Marburg virus. Furthermore, the team showed that an antibody, which binds to the receptor protein, is able to block infection by both viruses. "This is the first receptor identified for Ebola and Marburg ...

Scientists show that HIV drugs can also target tropical parasites

05/02/2011
Scientists have discovered that drugs used to treat HIV may also one day become lifesaving drugs targeted at parasitic diseases such as leishmaniasis and malaria. According to new research published in The FASEB Journal (http://www.fasebj.org), scientists have identified the target of action for some anti-HIV drugs with known abilities to ...

SOIL not DIRT - Dr Elaine Ingham talks Soil Microbiology

05/02/2011
Dr. Elaine Ingham talks about soil fertility and the role of soil microbial life. Dr. Ingham is a world-renowned soil biologist who pioneered many of the currently used biological soil amendment techniques and pioneered the testing of soil microbial life as an indicator of soil and plant health. Dr. Ingham is ...

Bacteria: Chemists Monitor Single-Molecule Switching in Action

05/02/2011
In various ways, bacteria are one step ahead to us humans. For example, they dispose of "intelligent" RNA molecules, so-called riboswitches, which help to regulate many of their essential metabolism pathways. The riboswitches, only discovered a few years ago, are sensors in RNA molecules. A riboswitch acts similarly to a ...

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria have evolved a unique chemical mechanism, new discovery reveals

04/28/2011
For the first time, scientists have been able to paint a detailed chemical picture of how a particular strain of bacteria has evolved to become resistant to antibiotics. The research is a key step toward designing compounds to prevent infections by recently evolved, drug-resistant "superbugs" that often are found in ...

Magnets cut diagnosis time for infections by days

04/28/2011
Potentially fatal infections could be diagnosed in hours rather than days thanks to two techniques involving magnets, cutting waiting times and saving lives. Each year, over 90,000 people in the US are infected with a fungus called Candida, which has a 40 per cent mortality rate. Unfortunately, most infections are caused ...

Rare Pennsylvania fungus is named for Philadelphia botanist

04/28/2011
A Philadelphia botanist who has studied rare plants for 50 years, but has never attained the honor of having a plant named for him is finally getting his due, but with a barely visible organism so rare it may never be seen again. Dr. Alfred "Ernie" Schuyler, emeritus curator of botany ...

Study ranks food pathogens by cost to society

04/28/2011
Of the food pathogens that cost society the most money — in terms of medical care, lost days of work, long-term chronic health problems or deaths — half are found in poultry, pork, beef and other meat products, according to a study due for release Thursday. For the first time, researchers ...

British screening misses most incoming latent TB

04/27/2011
London may owe its reputation as the tuberculosis capital of Europe to the UK's TB screening programme. A new study suggests the current policy for screening immigrants from countries with a known TB problem misses 71 per cent of those who carry the disease but do not display symptoms. A ...

Large differences in mortality between urban and isolated rural areas

04/27/2011
1918 influenza pandemic (Spanish flu) In urban communities, less than 1 in 100 inhabitants died from Spanish flu in 1918, but in isolated communities up to 9 out of 10 died. An important explanation for the differences is due to different exposure to influenza in the decades before the Spanish flu ...

Social Evolution in Bacteria - SGM series via @labratting

04/27/2011
The social behaviour of bacteria is something that I get very excited about. One of the differences of living within a social colony as opposed to alone means that altruistic-type behaviour has to be adopted. Bacteria living within a biofilm need to excrete the sticky goo that holds the biofilm together, ...

NIST seeks improved recovery of samples from biohazard events

04/27/2011
It may not be as catchy a combination as "Miss Scarlet in the parlor with a revolver," but "polyester-rayon wipes in the field followed by saline-surfactant extraction and vortexing" is the most efficient solution to an important biological game of "Clue" deduced by researchers at the National Institute of Standards ...

Zebrafish as a model for the evaluation of virulence for Streptococcus suis

04/27/2011
Streptococcus suis is an important pathogen in swine, and it also represents an emerging zoonotic agent. Pigs and mice were used as model for evaluation of virulence of S. suis. However, the concept of virulence may differ depending on the experimental model that is used. Different research groups used different ...

Microbes Helped With BP Cleanup (video)

04/26/2011
Naturally-occurring bacteria made quick work of tons of methane gas released in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, researchers reported Friday. Science columnist Robert Lee Hotz and University of California Santa Barbara microbiologist David Valentine talk with Kelsey Hubbard about the environmental implications and how it may alter our understanding of ...

Stealthy bacteria hide out to survive

04/26/2011
“Through our research, we’re understanding that some bacteria go to ‘sleep,’ and that antibiotics only work on bacteria that are metabolically active,” says Thomas Wood, professor of chemical engineering at Texas A&M University. “You need actively growing bacteria to be susceptible to antibiotics. If the bacterium goes to sleep, the antibiotics, ...

The real story about space bacteria

04/26/2011
Of late, space and bacteria have been in the news for all the wrong reasons. First, there was the wanton speculation about aliens that preceded the “arsenic life” controversy (NASA fanned the hype with a poorly described press conference). Then, the Journal of Cosmology made headlines with claims about fossilised ...

TB discovery paves the way for drugs that prevent lung destruction

04/25/2011
Scientists have identified a key enzyme responsible for destroying lung tissue in tuberculosis (TB), they report today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Drugs that inhibit this enzyme are already available, meaning that the finding could lead quickly to new treatments. TB is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The infection ...

Sneaky Orchids Fake Infection to Fool Flies

04/25/2011
An endangered slipper orchid in southwestern China fakes the look and smell of a fungal infection in order to attract one particular pollinator, the flat-footed fly. Black-brown spots mark the leaves of the orchid, mimicking the diseased look of a plant covered with fungus. The flowers even smell like they are ...

TEDx San Diego - Dr. Tony Haymet - From Microbes to Medicines and Fuel

04/25/2011
Dr. Tony Haymet urges us to cherish our oceans as the source of our future quality of life. He reveals how oceanic molecules and microbiotic cells will provide the foundation for the next wave of medicine, and how algae bio-fuel will provide a valuable carbon-neutral energy resource.

Antibiotic resistance spreads rapidly between bacteria

04/11/2011
The part of bacterial DNA that often carries antibiotic resistance is a master at moving between different types of bacteria and adapting to widely differing bacterial species, shows a study made by a research team at the University of Gothenburg in cooperation with Chalmers University of Technology. The results are ...

Chat with Maryn McKenna about antibiotic resistance today

04/11/2011
Maryn McKenna—my favorite "Scary Disease Girl" and author of Superbug—will be taking questions during a live chat today at Scientific American's Facebook page. The chat starts at 2:00 Eastern and lasts for a half-hour. The chat is connected to a new article that Maryn wrote for Scientific American, which centers around ...

Can you identify this round microbe? (video)

04/11/2011
BirdWhisperer46's YouTube channel, described as "Videos Through A Microscope," has a great collection of HD videos of microbes. In his most recent video BirdWhisperer46 can't identify what he's captured. Can you identify the microbe(s) in this video? Please leave a comment here or on his YouTube channel if you know what he ...

Man contracts insect-borne virus and sexually transmits to wife

04/11/2011
Scientists say it's probable that they may have documented the first case of a virus contracted by a man who was bitten multiple times by insects and then sexually transmitted to his wife, according to a study published in Emerging Infectious Diseases. Brian Foy, a biologist with the University of Colorado, ...

Ozone reduces fungal spoilage of fruits and vegetables

04/11/2011
Storing fruits and vegetables in ozone-enriched environments reduces spoilage explains a scientist at the Society for General Microbiology's Spring Conference in Harrogate. Dr Ian Singleton explains how ozone treatment could be a safe, effective replacement for pesticides as it leaves no residue on foods. It is estimated that up to 30% ...

Flu helps spread pneumonia

04/11/2011
Bacteria that cause pneumonia and meningitis are only able to spread when individuals are infected with flu, says a scientist reporting at the Society for General Microbiology's Spring Conference in Harrogate. The work could have implications for the management of influenza pandemics and could help reduce incidence of pneumococcal infections ...

Bacterial Genome May Hold Answers to Mercury Mystery

04/09/2011
A newly sequenced bacterial genome from a team led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory could contain clues as to how microorganisms produce a highly toxic form of mercury. Methylmercury, a potent human neurotoxin, appears in the environment when certain naturally occurring bacteria transform inorganic mercury into its ...

Experts question role of walnuts in E. coli outbreak

04/09/2011
The walnut could be taking an unnecessary public-relations hit by being pegged as the likely source of an E. coli outbreak that has claimed one life in Quebec, a leading food-safety expert said Friday. Food microbiologist Keith Warriner from the University of Guelph said there appear to be some unanswered questions ...

FDA clears single-use antibacterial surgical respirator

04/09/2011
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared the SpectraShield 9500 N95 surgical respirator, a device that kills 99.99 percent of three different kinds of bacteria when exposed to its outer surface. The FDA cleared the SpectraShield as a single-use, N95 surgical respirator for use in health care settings by health ...

Germy Faucet Fingered In Outbreak Of Blood Infections From Alabama IVs

04/08/2011
An investigation into microbial contamination that led to blood infections of 19 hospitalized patients in Alabama has found a genetic match between bacteria cultured from a dozen infected patients and water samples from a faucet in a pharmacy that prepared IV nutrition products. The bacteria were also found on a mixing ...

Surveys Confirm Enormous Value of Science Museums, 'Free Choice' Learning

04/08/2011
One of the first studies of its type has confirmed that a science museum can strongly influence the public's knowledge and attitudes about science and technology, and to a surprising degree can cut across racial, ethnic, educational and economic barriers. "The holy grail of science museums is not to provide someone ...

TB waits for chance to do most damage

04/08/2011
Stealthy and patient, tuberculosis is able to lie dormant for decades, waiting for the right time to break out in epidemic proportions. A study tracing a particular strain back to the fur trade, when French Canadian explorers unwittingly spread it to indigenous peoples is offering clues as to how it spreads ...

Study Finds Commonly Used Silver Nanoparticles Are Deadly to Microbes, Plants

04/08/2011
Among the millions of tons of nanoparticles manufactured annually, silver nanoparticles are a particular favorite as they work as antibacterial agents in surgical tools, water treatment, wound dressings, and in a variety of other roles. They’ve even been used in the cathodes of batteries. And, if this study is correct, they ...

Insects with Rickettsia infection produce twice as many offspring

04/08/2011
Endosymbiotic bacteria, which take up residence inside their hosts' bodies, aren't particularly rare in insects; in fact, the majority of insect species likely harbor one or more symbionts. However, scientists don't really know how these microbes become entrenched in new host populations. A case study in Science this week uncovers ...

WHO Sounds Alarm on Drug Resistant Germs

04/08/2011
As the World Health Organization prepares to mark World Health Day April 7, the U.N. agency is urging stepped-up international efforts to address the problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which are posing increasingly serious public health threats, especially in hospitals. Here is our first of two reports. "The scary part about ...

Alabama infections likely caused by faulty sterilizing

04/08/2011
A failed sterilization process likely caused bacterial infections in 19 Alabama patients who received contaminated intravenous nourishment, a health official said on Thursday. But officials still don't know whether the deaths of nine of those patients resulted from the outbreak of Serratia marcescens bacteremia, a bacterial infection of the blood. Tests showed ...

Instant Evolution in Whiteflies: Just Add Bacteria

04/07/2011
In a case of rapid evolution, bacteria have been found to give whiteflies – crop-damaging insects of global importance – an edge over their uninfected peers, new research from the UA suggests. In just six years, bacteria in the genus Rickettsia spread through a population of the sweet potato whitefly (Bemisia ...

Scripps Research scientists find E. coli enzyme must move to function

04/07/2011
Slight oscillations lasting just milliseconds have a huge impact on an enzyme's function, according to a new study by Scripps Research Institute scientists. Blocking these movements, without changing the enzyme's overall structure or any of its other properties, renders the enzyme defective in carrying out chemical reactions. The study, published in ...

Dr. Kiki's Science Hour 89: Bacteria, Viruses And Parasites, Oh My! (video)

04/07/2011
With guest Host: Brian Malow - Science Comedian (featured on episode 5 of MicrobeWorld Video: http://bit.ly/gC87Il). Talking about bacteria, viruses, parasites and science tattoos with featured guest Carl Zimmer - Science Writer and former host of Meet The Scientist (listen to the complete archives at: http://www.microbeworld.org/mts).

Science video game designed to teach middle school students about bacteria and viruses.

04/07/2011
“You Make Me Sick!” a science learning video game, recently won a $50,000 grand prize in the 2010 National National Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Video Game Challenge. The game is co-developed by assistant professor of special education Matthew Marino and Filament Games in Madison, Wis. “The game is ...

Drug to fight C-diff clears big hurdle

04/07/2011
An FDA advisory panel gave its unanimous recommendation for a new antibiotic to treat Clostridium difficile- associated diarrhea, commonly known as C. diff. The drug is fidaxomicin, which will be sold under the name Dificid. It is an oral antibiotic that targets the intestines, with very little absorption throughout the rest of ...

Aston University's Microbiology Roadshow

04/07/2011
This is a two day microbiology course for Year 9/10 school children to introduce them to microorganisms and their role in health and disease. The project is funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Lifesaving antibiotics face doubtful future

04/07/2011
To head off a health care disaster, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) has developed a plan to combat deadly antibiotic-resistant "super bugs" and is rolling out the multi-pronged plan today, on World Health Day 2011. Infections are becoming increasingly resistant to existing antibiotics, while the number of new antibiotics ...
04/06/2011
A new pathway has been discovered that links a common dietary lipid and intestinal microflora with an increased risk of heart disease, according to a Cleveland Clinic study published in the latest issue of Nature. The study shows that people who eat a diet containing a common nutrient found in animal ...

Mussel adhesive inspires tough coating for living cells

04/06/2011
Inspired by Mother Nature, scientists are reporting development of a protective coating with the potential to enable living cells to survive in a dormant condition for long periods despite intense heat, dryness and other hostile conditions. In a report in Journal of the American Chemical Society, they liken the coating ...

Beer, bugs, DNA linked to stomach cancer

04/06/2011
Swilling at least three beers a day over several years can increase a person’s risk of stomach cancer if combined with two other unseen risk factors, researchers have found. But oddly, wine and liquor didn’t show the same danger level for this malignancy, the team reported April 4 at a ...

Microbe Responsible for Methane from Landfills Identified

04/06/2011
Researchers have long known that landfills produce methane, but had a hard time figuring out why -- since landfills do not start out as a friendly environment for the organisms that produce methane. New research from North Carolina State University shows that one species of microbe is paving the way ...

Common bacteria at root of Adler's sudden passing

04/06/2011
If there is one thing Dr. P.J. Brennan wants his medical students to take away from his class, it's a healthy respect for Staphylococcus aureus, a common strain of bacteria found on skin and in the nose. It can cause a range of infections, from pimples to endocarditis. The latter is ...

Migratory Birds, Domestic Poultry and Avian Influenza

04/05/2011
The persistence and recurrence of H5N1 avian influenza in endemic regions can largely be blamed on movement and infection by migratory birds. Trade in poultry, poultry products and caged birds, and movement of wild birds also account for H5N1 prevalence in these areas. Several recent outbreaks of avian influenza have ...

Science 101: Different Teaching Fosters Better Comprehension, Study Finds

04/05/2011
Introductory science courses - in biology, chemistry, math and physics - can be challenging for first-year college, CEGEP and university students. Science 101 courses can make or break a student's decision to venture into a scientific field or even pursue higher education. "The language, fundamentals and scope of science gateway courses ...

New research venture between Liverpool and Saudi Arabia aims to advance global response to infectious diseases

04/05/2011
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health (KSA MoH), the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) and the Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC) have launched a new venture to significantly increase the global ability to control major infectious diseases such as malaria and dengue. With US$5.5 million as seed funding ...

Feds Want Meat To Pass Contamination Tests Before Shipping

04/05/2011
Would it surprise you to learn that meat can be shipped out to stores before processors know whether it's contaminated with bacteria? Well, that has been the case. And it's a problem. Foodborne illnesses make 48 million people sick every year, according to the government. Processors have been allowed to test meat ...

Pneumococcus: Nature’s Tiniest Cheat

04/05/2011
To a pathogenic microbe, the human body is a foreboding environment filled with bacteriocidal immune cells ready to seek out and destroy foreign invaders. When a leukocyte detects the presence of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) present on the surface of pathogenic bacteria, it releases an array of cytokines, mounting an ...

Wanted: Adventurous microbes for mission to Mars (video)

04/05/2011
Scientists seek reliable, self-sufficient bacteria and algae to provide astronauts with oxygen and food on two-year round-trip to Mars. Ability to recycle human waste desirable. {mp4remote}http://cdn.theguardian.tv/bc/281851582/281851582_781808196001_110208MicroOrganisms-16x9.mp4{/mp4remote}

Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Hadar Infections Associated with Turkey Burgers

04/05/2011
CDC is collaborating with public health officials in many states and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) to investigate a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Hadar infections. Investigators are using DNA analysis of Salmonella bacteria obtained through diagnostic testing to identify cases of illness that may ...

Genetically Modified Cows Produce Milk Akin To Human Milk

04/04/2011
In a potential new step for genetically modified food, babies could someday drink human-like milk derived from herds of genetically modified dairy cows, which scientists say could supplement breast milk and replace baby formula. Scientists have created 300 cows that produce milk with some of the properties of human breast milk, ...

Chilean Antarctic survey finds dramatic variety of organisms adapted to unusual conditions.

04/04/2011
You might not expect bacteria living in Antarctic ice to be well suited to life in a boiling kettle, but that is what Chilean scientists discovered during an expedition last year. The researchers have turned up more than 200 new species of microorganisms adapted to living in extreme environments. "We have ...

Salamander Has Algae Living Inside Its Cells

04/04/2011
In a symbiotic union more complete than any previously found in vertebrates, the common spotted salamander lives with algae inside its cells. Such a degree of cross-species fusion was long thought to exist only among invertebrates, whose immune systems are not primed to destroy invaders. But algae live inside the salamanders ...

Shelled walnut products recalled over fears of E.coli contamination

04/04/2011
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Amira Enterprises Inc. of St. Laurent, Que. are warning the public not to consume certain bulk and prepackaged raw shelled walnut products because they may be contaminated with E. coli 0157:H7. The recall involves raw, shelled walnuts, imported from the U.S.A., which were available ...

Antimicrobial copper - video demonstration

04/04/2011
Professor William Keevil, microbiological researcher and Head of Environmental Research at the University of Southampton, oversees an experiment in which a small amount of liquid containing between 1 -- 10 million bacteria (MSRA culture) is placed on both a copper coupon and a stainless steel coupon.

'Last Resort' Antibiotics Use on the Rise, Study Suggests

04/04/2011
A large, multi-year study of antibiotic use in Veterans Health Administration's acute care facilities demonstrates dramatically increased use of carbapenems, a powerful class of antibiotics, over the last five years. These drugs are often considered the last treatment option for severe infections with multi-drug resistant pathogens. The increased carbapenem use, ...

Belly button biome is more than a piece of fluff

04/01/2011
"Who has more bacteria in their navel -Carl Zimmer of The Loom or Peter Aldhous of NewScientist? The swabs have been taken, and the cultures were grown." - Miss Cellania In late February, Peter Aldhous visited Rob Dunn's lab at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, where a team led by ...

Getting Electricity From Sewage While Producing Clean Water (video)

04/01/2011
Using a microbial fuel cell to produce electricity and clean water.

Revealed: The bacteria eating the ground from under our feet

04/01/2011
It is no wonder the roads of Scunthorpe are peppered with potholes. That is because boffins have revealed residents in the town are having the ground eaten from under their feet by greedy bacteria. Scunthorpe is built on tonnes of iron ore that experts believe could supply the steel-making industry for 50 ...

Antibiotics Wrapped in Nanofibers Turn Resistant Disease-Producing Bacteria Into Ghosts

03/30/2011
Encapsulating antibiotics inside nanofibers, like a mummy inside a sarcophagus, gives them the amazing ability to destroy drug-resistant bacteria so completely that scientists described the remains as mere "ghosts," according to a report presented on March 29 at the the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society ...

Blocking carbon dioxide fixation in bacteria increases biofuel production

03/30/2011
Reducing the ability of certain bacteria to fix carbon dioxide can greatly increase their production of hydrogen gas that can be used as a biofuel. Researchers from the University of Washington, Seattle, report their findings in the current issue of online journal mBio®. "Hydrogen gas is a promising transportation fuel that ...

'Bacterial dirigibles' emerge as next-generation disease fighters

03/29/2011
Scientists today reported development of bacteria that serve as mobile pharmaceutical factories, both producing disease-fighting substances and delivering the potentially life-saving cargo to diseased areas of the body. They reported on this new candidate for treating diseases ranging from food poisoning to cancer — termed "bacterial dirigibles" — at the ...

Microbial Fuel Cell (video)

03/29/2011
Harnessing the power of the Geobacter microbe, the Office of Naval Research has developed a microbial fuel cell that converts decomposed marine organisms into electricity. The device offers a clean, efficient, lightweight and reliable alternative to batteries and other environmentally harmful fuels.

Postage Stamps Delivered Anthrax Suspect to FBI

03/29/2011
It was the biggest manhunt in FBI history. So it’s not surprising that investigators took all kinds of extraordinary measures to try to figure out who mailed the anthrax-filled letters that killed five people, scared the country half to death, and have jumped back into public consciousness, thanks to a ...

How Do Plants Fight Disease?

03/29/2011
How exactly bacterial pathogens cause diseases in plants remains a mystery and continues to frustrate scientists working to solve this problem. Now Wenbo Ma, a young plant pathologist at the University of California, Riverside, has performed research on the soybean plant in the lab that makes major inroads into our ...

Blocking Ship-Borne Bioinvaders Before They Dock

03/28/2011
The global economy depends on marine transportation. But in addition to cargo, the world's 50,000-plus commercial ships carry tiny stowaways that can cause huge problems for the environment and economy. A new model created by Smithsonian scientists will facilitate accurate screening of vessels for dangerous species before they unload. The ...

FOR KIDS: When bacteria are flu fighters

03/28/2011
Not all germs are created equal. Some invade the body and cause disease or harmful infections but others live peacefully in your intestines, helping your body run smoothly. Antibiotics can't tell the difference. They knock out good and harmful bacteria alike. That's usually okay for people fending off bacterial infections, like ...

Geobacter: Microbial Superhero

03/28/2011
If the power of Superman resided solely in his supernatural abilities, then Bruce Wayne’s Batman would never have been able to compete on his level. But when the other factors that superheroes depend upon are accounted for—sidekicks, spandex, sarcasm—both Superman and Batman can claim success in the world of do-goodery ...

Improving Science Education Using Video Skills

03/28/2011
Making a video about a scientific experiment rather than writing up a presentation poster leads to better learning and clearer understanding of the concepts underpinning the experiment according to science educators in Australia. Geoff Hilton of the School of Education, at the University of Queensland in Brisbane asked two groups of ...

Fun with Bacteria (video)

03/28/2011
Dan Koob explores a brand new world of bacteria at Temple's Medical School.

New Key to Plant Disease Resistance Discovered

03/28/2011
University of Kentucky plant pathologists recently discovered a metabolite that plays a critical role early on in the ability of plants, animals, humans and one-celled microorganisms to fend off a wide range of pathogens at the cellular level, which is known as systemic immunity. This mode of resistance has been ...

Killing bacteria with viruses for safer food (video)

03/28/2011
Food-borne diseases encompass a wide spectrum of illness and are a public health problem worldwide. As biotechnology labs around the world work to develop vaccines to fight bacteria such as salmonella and E.coli, they are understanding other ways to attack bacteria naturally. VOA's Philip Alexiou visits one lab that designs ...

2011 New Pioneers Awards - Dr. Mohamed Karmali (video)

03/25/2011
Originally from Kenya, Dr. Mohamed Karmali arrived in Toronto in 1976, after completing his medical degree in Scotland and specializing in internal medicine and infectious diseases at the University of Glasgow Teaching Hospitals. Adjusting to life in Canada and to the Canadian medical system was a challenge. However, with determination, dedication, ...

New research suggests wild birds may play a role in the spread of bird flu

03/24/2011
Wild migratory birds may indeed play a role in the spread of bird flu, also known as highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1. A study by the U.S. Geological Survey, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the Chinese Academy of Sciences used satellites, outbreak data and genetics to ...

Big size multitouch display turned into a microscope

03/24/2011
The multitouch microscope integrates two Finnish innovations and brings new dimensions into teaching and research. Researchers at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) have in collaboration with the Finnish company Multitouch Ltd created a hand and finger gesture controlled microscope. The method is a combination of two technologies: web-based virtual ...

MRSA infection shown to be seasonal

03/24/2011
A new study from Rhode Island Hospital has found a significant increase in the occurrence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in the summer and autumn months. The increase was more pronounced in the pediatric population than in adults. The study is now published online in advance of print in ...

The Killer Within: A Novel Bacterial Suicide Mechanism

03/23/2011
The zeta toxins are a family of proteins that are normally present within various pathogenic bacteria and can mysteriously trigger suicide when the cells undergo stress. A team led by Anton Meinhart at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg has now found the mechanism underlying this programmed ...

New online resource on Bacille Calmette-Guerin vaccine

03/23/2011
In this week's PLoS Medicine, and to coincide with World TB Day, Madhukar Pai from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and colleagues introduce the BCG World Atlas, an open access, user friendly website for TB clinicians to discern global BCG vaccination policies and practices and improve the care of their ...

Stress Affects the Balance of Bacteria in the Gut and Immune Response

03/22/2011
Stress can change the balance of bacteria that naturally live in the gut, according to research published this month in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. "These bacteria affect immune function, and may help explain why stress dysregulates the immune response," said lead researcher Michael Bailey. Exposure to stress led to changes ...

Newly discovered virus implicated in deadly Chinese outbreaks

03/22/2011
Five years ago, large numbers of farmers in central China began falling victim to an mysterious disease marked by high fever, gastrointestinal disorder and an appalling mortality rate — as high as 30 percent in initial reports. Investigators from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention hurried to the ...

Amazing survival of microorganisms (video)

03/22/2011
Hear the story of Surveyor 3, the probe sent to the moon 2 years before the moon landing and returned to Earth complete with an extremely enduring life form. Brilliant video from BBC Horizon show 'We Are the Aliens'.

Watch the TWiV podcast broadcast on the TWiT network. Live Now!

03/18/2011
The cast of This Week in Virology stops by the Futures in Biotech podcast on the TWiT network for a live broadcast, 03-18-2011. Click "source" or visit www.live.twit.tv to watch live right now.

Studying Cyanobacteria (video)

03/17/2011
Microbiologists at UC San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography are studying how cyanobacteria - some of the smallest and most primitive marine microbes - adapt to different environmental factors.

UF Researchers Suspect Bacterial Changes In Mouth Promote Oral Disease In People With HIV

03/17/2011
Oral disease occurs commonly and progresses rapidly among people who have HIV, but the process is poorly understood. Researchers suspect that the culprit is a change in the makeup of bacterial communities that live in the mouth. "The hypothesis is that suppression of the immune system by HIV contributes to changes ...

Maquipucuna Cloud Forest in Ecuador Yields New Species of Yeast

03/15/2011
In a unique collaboration between scientists from the UK, Ecuador and Réunion, a new species of yeast has been discovered growing on the fruit of an unidentified and innocuous bramble collected from the biodiversity-rich Maquipucuna cloud forest nature reserve, near Quito, in Ecuador. The scientists have named the new yeast, which ...

Potentially Pathogenic Microbes Growing on at Least Half of All Orthodontic Retainers, Study Suggests

03/15/2011
Insufficient cleaning could allow build-up of microbes on orthodontic retainers, researchers at the UCL Eastman Dental Institute have found. Dr Jonathan Pratten and colleagues looked at the types of microbes which live on retainers. This study, which found potentially pathogenic microbes growing on at least 50% of the retainers, is ...

Why Study Slime Molds? Ask a Scientist. (video)

03/15/2011
University of Arkansas biologists have taken two grants one from the Partnership to Enhance Experience in Taxonomy program of the National Science Foundation and the other from the Planetary Biodiversity Initiative program and changed what the world knows about slime molds.

Fatal diseases pass from wolf to dog to human in remote B.C. communities

03/15/2011
Diseases, some of which can be lethal, are being passed between dogs, wolves and people in remote B.C communities where there is a dearth of veterinary care, a new study has found. Researchers found that dogs that are often allowed to run free and come into contact with wolves and bears ...

Marine Microbes (video)

03/10/2011
Marine microbes play an important role in all marine environments. AIMS is investigating the functions they provide in tropical marine ecosystems and what benefits and insights they might offer and what role they play in helping reefs to adapt to threats such as climate change.

NASA scientist finds evidence of alien life

03/06/2011
Aliens exist, and we have proof. That astonishingly awesome claim comes from Dr. Richard B. Hoover, an astrobiologist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, who says he has found conclusive evidence of alien life — fossils of bacteria found in an extremely rare class of meteorite called CI1 carbonaceous chondrites. (There ...

Hazel Barton Talks About Cave Microorganisms (video)

03/04/2011
Hazel Barton, Ph.D of Northern Kentucky University explains that microorganisms actually form the basis of nearly all the ecosystems that you will find in a cave.

Testing Well Water for Microorganisms (video)

03/04/2011
Leaking septic systems or manure from adjacent rural properties are the two most common sources of fecal contamination of a well. The University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute is funding a new research project to refine a methodology to determine the source of well water contamination. About ten one-gallon jugs of ...

Bacteria Communicate through Nanotubes (video)

03/03/2011
Ben-Yehuda's group identified a previously uncharacterized type of bacterial communication mediated by nanotubes that bridge neighboring cells. The researchers showed that these nanotubes connect bacteria of the same and different species. Via these tubes, bacteria are able to exchange small molecules, proteins and even small genetic elements (known as plasmids).

Turning bacteria into butanol biofuel factories

03/02/2011
Univ. of California, Berkeley, chemists have engineered bacteria to churn out a gasoline-like biofuel at about 10 times the rate of competing microbes, a breakthrough that could soon provide an affordable and “green” transportation fuel. The advance is reported in Nature Chemical Biology by Michelle C. Y. Chang, assistant professor of ...

'5 second rule' disproven

03/02/2011
If you're a parent then you're familiar with the 5-second rule. "The 5-second rule probably should become the zero-second rule," Dr. Roy M. Gulick, chief of the division of infectious diseases at Weill Cornell Medical College, told the Times. "Eating dropped food poses a risk for ingestion of bacteria and subsequent ...

Good Fungi Might Prove Even Better for Plant, Human Health

03/02/2011
Researchers have come closer to understanding how a common fungus "makes its living in the soil," which could lead to its possible "career change" as a therapeutic agent for plant and human health. Because they are mycoparasites, T. virens attack other, less desirable fungi that can harm roots and foliage of ...

Fewer Patients in I.C.U. Getting Blood Infections

03/02/2011
Bloodstream infections caused by tubes inserted into major blood vessels of intensive care patients showed a big drop from 2001 to 2009, government researchers said on Tuesday. But the researchers also reported unacceptably high rates of the same type of infections in other hospital wards and in people receiving dialysis for ...

Metro Grade: How dirty is Metro, and does it matter?

02/18/2011
What do makeup samples, sushi and the Metro have in common? They are all host to a variety of bacteria. We followed last week’s underground incubator to see if the bacteria we swabbed from the Metro was any more or less disconcerting than what we might find at the mall or ...

Blue-green algae affecting reproductive health

02/18/2011
Algal blooms that occur in rivers and waterways have been found to produce a previously unrecognized estrogen-like compound that adversely affects fish, plants and humans by disrupting the normal activity of reproductive hormones. University of Tennessee researchers, led by biotechnologist Theodore Henry, compared groups of larval zebrafish exposed to blue-green algae ...

Frog re-emerges in India after century

02/18/2011
Researchers have rediscovered frog species including one last seen in India more than a century ago, potentially offering clues on why they have survived a global crisis killing amphibians. Scientists estimate that more than 30 percent of amphibians are facing extinction due to a mysterious fungus that has spread around the ...

Host Genetics Plays Unexpected Role in Dance With Pathogen

02/17/2011
A new study suggests that differences in the host's genetics can make a big difference in susceptibility bacterial infection. In a study in the February 2011 Infection and Immunity, Virginia L. Miller of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and her collaborators show that the virulence of a strain ...

How to make a digital microscope for £15

02/17/2011
Ever wanted to take a closer look at the mites on the end of your eyelashes or perhaps see how active (or inactive) sperm cells are? With less than an hour to spare and about £15, you can now make your own digital microscope by following our video guide presented ...

The truth about colds

02/16/2011
This may rock your winter world: You can't get a cold just from cold weather. With people sneezing and coughing around you, or at your child's school, it's important to separate fact from fiction where colds are concerned. In fact, there are more than 1 billion colds in the United States ...

Cell-based flu shot beats current vaccine: study

02/16/2011
Flu vaccines made from lab-grown cells work at least as well as those derived from viruses cultivated in chicken eggs, the preferred method for 50 years, according to a study released Wednesday. The findings, reported in The Lancet, could help speed approval for the new technique in the United States, which ...

New Yeast Strain in Wine Eliminates Toxins that Cause Headaches

02/16/2011
A new strain of wine yeast developed at the University of British Columbia produces fewer amines, chemicals in red wine and chardonnay that produce off flavours and trigger headaches, hypertension and migraines in many people. "This is the first organism that has been improved [through genetic engineering] where consumers get the ...

Uncovering the Genome Secrets of the Blackleg Fungus

02/15/2011
The genome of the Blackleg fungus, which causes the most damaging disease to canola crops worldwide, has been sequenced for the first time by a team of French and Australian scientists. "The 12,500 genes that constitute the genetic blue print for the fungus Leptosphaeria maculans have been identified and now can ...

Yet Another Route to Cellulosic Ethanol

02/10/2011
There are myriad routes to making car fuel from waste, using mix-and-match technologies assembled in novel ways, but none has worked yet on a commercial scale. On Wednesday, Ineos Bio, the subsidiary of a major international chemical firm, broke ground on a plant that aims to use yet another combination. The ...

Bacteria buildup on a doctor's lab coat is same as short-sleeved uniform: study

02/10/2011
At the end of a hospital shift, a doctor's white lab coat that hasn't been washed recently doesn't harbour any more bacteria than a short-sleeved uniform that began the day freshly laundered, a new study suggests. Researchers at the University of Colorado decided to look into the matter because the United ...

Buried microbes coax energy from rock

02/09/2011
Here’s yet another reason to marvel at microbes: Buried deep within Earth at temperatures and pressures that would kill most living beings, bacteria and other tiny organisms not only survive but apparently even coax the rocks around them to produce food. Researchers have found that the mere presence of microbes triggers ...

Five ways garlic can extend your life

02/09/2011
When Bram Stoker first wrote “Dracula” in the late 1890s and included a superstition some Europeans believed about using garlic externally to protect themselves from evil spirits, other residents at that time already knew the facts about which menaces garlic was actually the most effective against: bacteria, fungi, parasites, and ...

Single-cell marine predator’s unique survival mechanisms revealed: UBC research

02/08/2011
University of British Columbia researchers have uncovered the unique survival mechanisms of a marine organism that may be tiny, but in some ways has surpassed sharks in its predatory efficiency. “Our study shows that Oxyrrhis marina has picked up a gene commonly used by marine bacteria for photosynthesis. Oxyrrhis probably got ...

Turning Bacteria Against Themselves

02/08/2011
Bacteria often attack with toxins designed to hijack or even kill host cells. To avoid self-destruction, bacteria have ways of protecting themselves from their own toxins. Now, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have described one of these protective mechanisms, potentially paving the way for new classes ...

Hong Kong combats more severe flu season with new antibodies

02/08/2011
Doctors hope to treat this year's severe flu epidemic in Hong Kong by harvesting antibodies from patients who have recovered, medical experts said on Tuesday. The experts said they hoped to treat more than 70 severely ill flu patients with certain antibodies taken from patients who have recovered earlier from the ...

Consumers Value Safer Food More Than Current Analyses Suggest

02/08/2011
Government regulators could more realistically assess the value of improving food safety if they considered the fact that consumers typically want to avoid getting sick -- even if it means they have to pay a little extra for safer food, researchers say. The researchers conducted such a national survey that they ...

What Could Possibly Go Wrong: Immortal Micro-Organisms

02/08/2011
Leave it to Darpa, the Pentagon’s advanced-research arm, to bring synthetic biology to a new level of creepiness. For 2011, Darpa has dedicated $6 million to a new program called BioDesign, which according to the agency’s budget is an attempt to eliminate “the randomness of natural evolutionary advancement” and create ...

Early success for universal flu vaccine

02/07/2011
There are signs that one bid to create a universal flu vaccine that would provide protection against all strains of flu is working. And this one might pack some extra evolutionary aces up its sleeve. The flu vaccines humanity now has at its disposal work only against a few kinds of ...

Is it time to refer to mitochondria as bacteria?

02/07/2011
In the article, Trends in Microbiology - Time to recognise that mitochondria are bacteria?, Pallen argues for giving mitochondria their own family w/in bacteria. I think that would be a good idea as they are really just a highly reduced form of bacteria. We give endosymbionts, even those with tiny ...

How Much Do Antibiotics Used on the Farm Contribute to the Spread of Resistant Bacteria?

02/04/2011
Most medical doctors would agree that antibiotic drugs—which stave off bacterial infections from staph to salmonella to bacterial pneumonia—are among the most important tools in modern medicine. But public health advocates, environmentalists and even many doctors worry that our society’s overuse and misuse of antibiotics is making bacteria more resistant ...

The Quest for the Ultimate Blue Cheese

02/04/2011
Researchers at The University of Nottingham and The University of Northampton are working with a Nottinghamshire cheesemaker to examine what gives blue cheeses their distinctive taste, texture and smell. The scientists hope to find out exactly how the microorganisms in blue cheese work which could lead to better quality, consistency and ...

Microbiologists Aim to Optimize Bio-Ethanol Production

02/04/2011
Food versus fuel -- this rivalry is gaining significance against a backdrop of increasingly scarce farmland and a concurrent trend towards the use of bio-fuels. Researchers at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) are helping to resolve this rivalry: They are working to effectively utilize residual field crop material -- which ...

Deadly Tool Discovered in Salmonella's Bag of Tricks

02/04/2011
The potentially deadly bacterium Salmonella possesses a molecular machine that marshals the proteins it needs to hijack cellular mechanisms and infect millions worldwide. Jorge Galan's lab has been in the forefront of investigating the intricate mechanisms that microbes such as Salmonella use to infect foreign cells. In the new study, Galan ...

Potential Vaccine to Prevent Gastritis, Ulcer Disease, Gastric Cancer

02/02/2011
A new study led by researchers at Rhode Island Hospital in collaboration with the University of Rhode Island (URI) and EpiVax. Inc, a privately owned vaccine development company in Providence, RI, has identified a potential vaccine capable of reducing colonization of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) -- a known cause of ...

Bacteria in the Gut May Influence Brain Development

02/01/2011
A team of scientists from around the globe have found that gut bacteria may influence mammalian brain development and adult behavior. The study is published in the scientific journal PNAS, and is the result of an ongoing collaboration between scientists at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the Genome Institute of ...

Researchers warn against kissing pets

01/28/2011
They give you joy. They give you loyalty. They give you sloppy kisses. But before you allow Fido or Fluffy to climb into bed with you at night, as an increasing number of Americans are doing, know that they can also give you something else: zoonoses. In the United States, the most ...

Pneumonia drugs helped evolve a superbug

01/28/2011
Sometimes natural selection gets a helping hand from humans. A new study tracing the genetic history of a nasty strain of pneumonia-causing bacteria shows that antibiotics and vaccines helped shape the microbe’s evolution. In a technical tour de force, an international team of researchers deciphered the complete genetic blueprints of 240 ...

The Salmonella Index: The Best and Worst States for Food Poisoning

01/27/2011
As last year's Salmonella outbreak and the unethical practices of egg mogul Jack DeCoster proved, our food supply is not always as safe as expected. One problem is that numerous systems exist for reporting foodborne illnesses on a state by state basis, and the difficulty of analyzing the data makes ...

Some foodborne bacteria target the heart

01/27/2011
Bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes can cause mild food-poisoning symptoms in healthy individuals, but some strains have an enhanced ability to invade the heart, a new study finds. The ability to infect the heart, possibly causing serious heart disease, may be due to particular proteins on the surface of these bacteria. If ...

Where antibiotic resistant superbugs come from: biology explained at a "3d grade reading level"

01/27/2011
Implante writes, "I'm a TA for a first year med school class and made this module on how antibiotics have driven the development of the MRSA 'superbug' that you hear about in the news. Nothing like making a module for medical students at a 3rd grade reading level. Enjoy!" And enjoy ...

Household bugs - a risk to human health?

01/26/2011
Ludek Zurek and collaborators from Kansas and North Carolina State Universities isolated bacteria from farm pig feces and compared them to the bacteria present in the intestines of the house flies and German cockroaches caught on those farms. They subjected the bacteria to a range of different antibiotic resistance testing ...

New Method Attacks Bacterial Infections on Contact Lenses

01/26/2011
Researchers at National Jewish Health and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have discovered a new method to fight bacterial infections associated with contact lenses. The method may also have applications for bacterial infections associated with severe burns and cystic fibrosis. The results were published online January 18 in ...

Research shows how pathogenic bacteria hide inside host cells

01/26/2011
A new study into Staphylococcus aureus, the bacterium which is responsible for severe chronic infections worldwide, reveals how bacteria have developed a strategy of hiding within host cells to escape the immune system as well as many antibacterial treatments. The research, published by EMBO Molecular Medicine, demonstrates how 'phenotype switching' ...

The Future of Algae Fuels Is … When?

01/25/2011
A new study from the Rand Corporation, the global policy think tank based in Santa Monica, Calif., and formed more than 60 years ago to advise the American government on military issues, suggests that Department of Defense is wasting its time exploring alternative fuels. It raised particular questions about the near-term ...

Spin-out to apply new technology for tackling infection

01/24/2011
A new company has been launched to commercialise an award-winning technology, developed at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, for tackling bacterial infection and contamination, including superbugs such as MRSA. Fixed Phage Limited has been established to develop products based on its patented technology for treatment and prevention of infection and ...

How microbes colonize the preemie gut

01/17/2011
By sequencing the genomes of gut microbes from preemies, researchers hope to learn more about what causes sometimes fatal intestinal problems. One unresolved question is whether these illnesses in premature newborns are caused by pathogenic strains of bacteria or just an imbalance in the microbe populations in the gut. To dig for ...

14 lions killed at Iran zoo over infection fears

01/17/2011
Authorities put down 14 lions at the Tehran zoo that had been diagnosed with an infectious bacterial disease that could affect visitors, a local newspaper reported on Monday. The state-own Jam-e Jam daily reported that the lions were suffering from glanders, a bacterial disease found in horses, donkeys, mules as well ...

Researchers Describe Future Target Mechanism for Antibiotics

01/17/2011
So-called type-3 secretion systems of pathogenic bacteria may be a suitable point of attack for future antibiotics. This is shown by Professor Maria Fällman and her associates at Umeå University in Sweden in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, PNAS, in the US. Many disease-causing bacteria, such as Yersinia, ...

Franco Harris launches line of bacteria-fighting fitness products

01/17/2011
Some gyms can be gross. Sharing equipment with sweaty fellow exercisers can make you less than enthusiastic about working out, especially when it’s cold and flu season. What could be worse? Well, maybe an NFL locker room? NFL Hall-of-Famer Franco Harris, of the Pittsburgh Steelers dynasty teams in the 1970s, is cofounder ...

Researchers unzip MRSA and discover route for vaccine

01/17/2011
University of Rochester Medical Center orthopaedic scientists are a step closer to developing a vaccine to prevent life-threatening methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections following bone and joint surgery. Other MRSA vaccine research has failed to produce a viable option for patients because of the inability to identify an agent that can ...

Have a Healthy Trip: Avoiding Germs En Route

01/16/2011
Whether you're flying, riding in a bus or traveling by rail, seat backs, seat pockets and lavatories can be germ-ridden. And if a sick passenger a few rows ahead of you sneezes, you may be too close for comfort. Battling the bacteria So how can you stay healthy if you have to ...

Pet cafes spur hygiene concern in Japan

01/16/2011
The trend began with so-called cat cafes, and there are now more than 120 establishments in Japan where people can enjoy the healing effects of being surrounded by dogs, birds, goats and rabbits. Some shops, however, have not registered as required with local governments, and experts warn them to be aware ...

Children With Bacterial Meningitis Suffer Long-Term Consequences

01/16/2011
Nearly half of children who survive an episode of bacterial meningitis experience persistent behavioral, intellectual, or other complications, reports a study in the January issue of The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. Bacterial meningitis is a potentially fatal infection of the tissues lining the brain and spinal cord. In recent years, vaccines ...

Cholera dictating aid needs for Haiti

01/16/2011
A year after a devastating earthquake, the immediacy of the need for aid to Haiti has passed, but the country remains desperate for long-term help, the head of a Portland-based aid group said Saturday. Nathan M. Nickerson, executive director of Konbit Sante, who is in Cap Haitien, said those injured in ...

Hospital has a bug zapper with an attitude

01/15/2011
In the flash of a light, a new device at Thomas Memorial Hospital can disinfect an entire room of all major viruses, bacteria and bacterial spores. The Xenex PX-UV, a portable device that stands about 3 feet tall, emits a broad spectrum of ultraviolet light that kills bacteria on exposure, essentially ...

Laser Sheds Light on Tracking Source of Microbial Contamination on Beach

01/15/2011
A simple, automated method of tracking E. coli uses a laser to detect and monitor the microbe in potentially contaminated bodies of water or waterways. The technique described this month in the International Journal of Computational Biology and Drug Design could reduce the incidence of waterborne disease outbreaks. Microbial contamination ...

Deluge puts coral reef at risk

01/15/2011
Sections of the Great Barrier Reef face coral bleaching and dieback as a result of flood plumes extending as far as 65 kilometres offshore. Other environmental problems caused by the floods include widespread bacterial and algal pollution in rivers, as well as massive habitat destruction of wildlife. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park ...

Add dash of silicone for virus-free water

01/14/2011
Researchers have come up with a simple recipe that turns a common disinfectant into a potent virus killer—and they’re putting the recipe out into the public domain. Adding silicone to titanium dioxide dramatically increases its ability to degrade aerosol- and water-borne viruses. Titanium dioxide is used to kill viruses and bacteria and ...

Tufts researcher elected 2010 AAAS Fellow for work in superbugs and heat-stable vaccines

01/14/2011
Abraham L. (Linc) Sonenshein, PhD, professor of molecular biology and microbiology at Tufts University School of Medicine and member of the genetics and molecular microbiology program faculties at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts has been awarded the distinction of AAAS Fellow. Election as a Fellow is an ...

Speeding up E. coli detection

01/14/2011
A simple, automated method of tracking E. coli uses a laser to detect and monitor the microbe in potentially contaminated bodies of water or waterways. The technique described this month in the International Journal of Computational Biology and Drug Design could reduce the incidence of waterborne disease outbreaks. Microbial contamination of ...

34,000-Year-Old Organisms Found Buried Alive!

01/14/2011
It's a tale that has all the trappings of a cult 1960s sci-fi movie: Scientists bring back ancient salt crystals, dug up from deep below Death Valley for climate research. The sparkling crystals are carefully packed away until, years later, a young, unknown researcher takes a second look at the ...

Researcher uses living cells to create 'biotic' video games (video)

01/14/2011
Video game designers are always striving to make games more lifelike, but they'll have a hard time topping what Stanford researcher Ingmar Riedel-Kruse is up to. He's introducing life itself into games. Riedel-Kruse and his lab group have developed the first video games in which a player's actions influence the behavior ...

Virus Might Fight Brain Tumors Better If Armed With Bacterial Enzyme, Study Shows

01/14/2011
New research shows that oncolytic viruses, which are engineered to destroy cancer cells, might be more effective in treating deadly brain tumors if equipped with an enzyme that helps them penetrate the tumor. The enzyme is derived from the intestinal bacteria called Proteus vulgaris. The enzyme removes sugar chains that branch ...

Iron-eating superbug is devouring Titanic wreck

01/13/2011
Scientists said the wreck of the Titanic, the giant ocean liner that sank nearly 100 years ago, is being devoured by an iron-eating superbug and could disappear in 20 years. The bacteria, which has been named Halmonas Titanicae, has been greedily feasting on the ship, which sank in the Atlantic Ocean ...

Mystery Disease Found in Pacific Salmon

01/13/2011
Traces of viral activity have been found in a mysteriously dwindling population of Pacific salmon, hinting at an explanation for deaths that have so far baffled scientists. In fish returning to Canada’s Fraser River, site of the die-off and home to one of North America’s last great sockeye salmon runs, researchers ...

New Genetically Modified Chickens Can't Transmit Bird Flu, Scientists Say

01/13/2011
Future chicken cutlets may come from birds that have been genetically modified to resist bird flu, after a breakthrough in Britain announced this week. Researchers have produced chickens that cannot spread avian flu to other chickens, a major step toward protecting birds — and humans — from the deadly virus. The ...

Scientists Sequence Gut Microbes of Premature Infant

01/13/2011
Scientists have for the first time sequenced and reconstructed the genomes of most of the microbes in the gut of a premature newborn and documented how the microbe populations changed over time. Further studies involving more infants could eventually help researchers understand the causes of various intestinal problems that afflict preemies, ...

Microbes in Our Gut Regulate Genes That Control Obesity and Inflammation

01/13/2011
If you are looking to lose weight in the coming year, you may need help from an unexpected place: the bacteria in your gut. That's because scientists have discovered that the bacteria living in your intestines may play a far more significant role in weight loss and gastrointestinal problems than ...

MOSAR - Combating antimicrobial resistance of bacteria in hospitals

01/13/2011
MOSAR aims to significantly advance our knowledge regarding the control of antimicrobial resistance of bacteria responsible for major and emerging nosocomial diseases in hospitals, which are now spreading into communities. MOSAR will examine the factors determining the dynamics of spread of AMRB within healthcare facilities and the relative efficacity and ...

Acne Bug Could Be The Cause Of Your Infections

01/13/2011
Previously, researchers thought the detection of P. acnes at the site of these infections was due to contamination from the skin. For example, an infection at a site within the body after surgery, could have been caused by bacteria transferred to an open wound from the skin during an operation. ...

Spread of Deadly Virus Tied to Forest Decline

01/13/2011
Around 2004, large numbers of aspens in the West began dying off, and with no immediately identifiable cause, scientists dubbed the phenomenon “sudden aspen decline.” Ultimately, the die-back was pinned on a severe 2002 drought and heat wave that left aspen stands vulnerable to pests, cankers and fungi. Now, a new ...

Neogen's Rapid Test For Salmonella Enteritidis Receives FDA Approval

01/13/2011
Neogen Corporation (Nasdaq: NEOG) announced that its rapid test for Salmonella enteritidis (SE) has been determined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be equivalent to the FDA's traditional testing method in accuracy, precision, and sensitivity for detecting SE. The FDA's determination of equivalency will allow egg producers and ...

Drug-resistant malaria could spread fast, expert warns

01/12/2011
Drug-resistant malaria could spread from southeast Asia to Africa within months, putting millions of children's lives at risk, a leading expert warned on Wednesday. Nicholas White, professor of tropical medicine at Mahidol University in Bangkok, called for a war before it is too late on the malaria strain resistant to the ...

The Oldest Living Thing on Earth? 500,000-Year-Old Bacteria (video)

01/12/2011
Complete video at: http://fora.tv/2010/11/15/Rachel_Sussman_The_Worlds_Oldest_Living_Organisms Photographer Rachel Sussman presents an image of what is most likely the oldest living thing on planet Earth: a specimen of actinobacteria, found in Siberian permafrost. The bacteria are about 500,000 years old, and in danger of extinction due to climate change. ----- While we may aspire to live ...

Can Predatory Bacteria Succeed Where Antibiotics Fail?

01/12/2011
There are predators in the bacterial world that consume other bacteria, much as predators attack prey in the animal world. A team led by researchers at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Dental School suggests that some of these predator microbes might be put to work ...

Software for Programmable Microbes (video)

01/12/2011
Researchers at University of California, San Francisco is creating a software programmable microbes. Genetically modified microbes could perform many useful jobs, from making biofuels and drugs, to cleaning up toxic waste. But designing the complex biochemical pathways inside such microbes is a time-consuming process of trial and error. Christopher Voigt, an associate ...

CU scientists advance research of lethal Listeria

01/12/2011
Listeria is an opportunistic pathogen that causes brain infection, blood poisoning, abortion and death for about 250 Americans and a number of farm animals each year. But while its harmful strains can be more lethal than Salmonella, it exists in benign species and strains as well. By finding out why some ...

The Good, The Bad And The 'green' Harnessing The Potential Of Bacteria

01/12/2011
A diverse family of bacteria that can cause a potentially fatal illness in humans but could offer a greener alternative to petrol to power our cars will be the subject of a talk by a University of Nottingham academic at an international conference. Professor Nigel Minton, one of the world's leading ...

Virus Killer Gets Supercharged: Discovery Greatly Improves Common Disinfectant

01/12/2011
A simple technique to make a common virus-killing material significantly more effective is a breakthrough from the Rice University labs of Andrew Barron and Qilin Li. Rather than trying to turn the process into profit, the researchers have put it into the public domain. They hope wide adoption will save time, ...

Antibiotic holiday needs to be a long one to combat resistance

01/10/2011
According to a new study by researchers at Yale University and the University of Tromso in Norway, the "antibiotic holiday" would have to extend over 40 years to be effective. “Bacterial populations have evolved resistance to most antibiotics we have,” said Jeffrey Townsend, assistant professor in the Department of Ecology and ...

Biostorage Scheme Turns E. Coli Bacteria into Hard Drives

01/10/2011
A group of students at Hong Kong's Chinese University are making strides towards storing such vast amounts of information in an unexpected home: the E. coli bacterium better known as a potential source of serious food poisoning. "This means you will be able to keep large datasets for the long term ...

Latent TB treatment a greater risk to older adults

01/10/2011
Older adults treated for an inactive tuberculosis infection may be at increased risk of suffering liver damage from the medication, a study published Monday suggests. Canadian researchers found that among all Quebec residents treated for so-called latent tuberculosis (TB) over six years, those older than 65 were more likely to be ...

Microbe lives on lab-grown proteins

01/10/2011
Synthetic proteins designed in the lab—using genetic sequences never before seen in nature—work much like the real thing to sustain life. “What we have here are molecular machines that function quite well within a living organism even though they were designed from scratch and expressed from artificial genes,” says Michael Hecht, ...

Study Finds Bacteria Ate Most Methane From BP Well

01/06/2011
A new study concludes that the vast quantity of methane gas that spewed from the BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico was gobbled up rapidly by bacteria. About a third of the material that gushed into the ocean from the BP blowout was in gas form, not oil, and ...

Don't let a hospital kill your child

01/06/2011
Here's what Katie Roche expected when she went into the hospital for spine surgery: two titanium rods, a bone graft, 17 screws in her vertebrae, eight hours in the operating room, and a week's stay in the hospital to recover. Here's what she didn't expect on top of all that: sharing ...

Study Of UK TB Patients Shows That Some Recover More Quickly If Their Antibiotics Are Supplemented With High-Dose Vitamin D

01/06/2011
A new study of UK tuberculosis (TB) patients has shown that, for those with a certain genetic profile (genotype), supplementation of vitamin D to their standard antibiotic regimen reduces the time needed for TB bacteria to clear from sputum culture by almost a week for the population studied. The Article, ...

Antibiotic Resistance Is Not Just Genetic

01/06/2011
Genetic resistance to antibiotics is not the only trick bacteria use to resist eradication - they also have a second defence strategy known as persistence that can kick in. Researchers reporting in the Journal of Medical Microbiology have now demonstrated for the first time that interplay occurs between the two mechanisms ...

The Top Ten Life Forms Living on Lady Gaga (And You)

01/04/2011
A new truth about Lady Gaga’s health has recently been revealed. She is covered in other life forms—“her little monsters” you might call them. Contrary to statements otherwise in the media, these life forms have nothing to do with Lady Gaga’s meat bikini (For those who need the extra explanation, ...

Staph Forecloses On Gingerbread Houses At Whole Foods

12/27/2010
Let's be honest, chewing on the rock-hard roof of a gingerbread house that's been sitting around since the beginning of Advent is enough to make anyone a little queasy. But there's another reason to steer clear of stale gingerbread if you bought a decorative cookie home at a Whole Foods Market ...

Haiti mobs lynch voodoo priests over cholera fears

12/24/2010
Voodoo priests in Haiti are being lynched by mobs who blame them for spreading cholera, the country's government has said. At least 45 people have been lynched in recent weeks as Haiti continues to be ravaged by a cholera epidemic. Haiti's communications minister has made an appeal for the lynchings to end ...

New Microscopic Life Aboard the RMS Titanic

12/06/2010
A brand-new bacterial species has been found aboard the RMS Titanic, which is contributing to its deterioration. The discovery reveals a potential new microbial threat to the exterior of ships and underwater metal structures such as oil rigs. The researchers, who report their findings in the latest issue of the International ...

Life as we don't know it ... on Earth?

12/02/2010
NASA's secret is finally out: Researchers say they've forced microbes from a gnarly California lake to become arsenic-gobbling aliens. It may not be as thrilling as discovering life on Titan, but the claim is so radical that some chemists aren't yet ready to believe it. If the claim holds up, it ...

Teeth should be thankful for cranberry

11/24/2010
You won’t be the only one feasting this Thanksgiving. Harmful bacteria await their own holiday meal, launching one of the biggest assaults of the year on your teeth. Thankfully, a few foods common at the holiday dinner table—like cranberries and wine—offer new leads in the effort to stop tooth decay. The Thanksgiving ...

Power from pondscum: Algal biofuels

11/24/2010
In the discussion of alternative energy and fuels, algae have been bubbling to the top of the proverbial feedstock pool. Algae, the little green guys responsible for everything from making your Dairy Queen Blizzard solid to forming the basis of our current fossil fuels, are being looked at long and ...

Eating dirt makes your kids smarter

11/24/2010
Here’s some good news for parents who constantly worry about their kids’ hygiene after they spend time in the play ground – eating dirt could actually make your child smarter. A new study has shown the positive side of soil-borne bacteria that is likely to be inhaled when children are ...

Microscope pinpoints single molecules

11/23/2010
A new microscope will allow scientists to study biological molecules one at a time. Cells have surface proteins, called cadherins, that help them stick together. Different kinds of cells have different kinds of cadherins. The typical tools for observing and measuring those proteins focus on tens of thousands of them at a ...

Paramedics an easy target for MRSA

11/23/2010
Firefighters and medics may be at higher risk for carrying methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) than the average person. “Firefighters and paramedics are at the crossroads between the public and hospital environments,” says Marilyn Roberts, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at the University of Washington. “Their job includes administering first-response care ...

Bacteria Help Infants Digest Milk More Effectively than Adults

11/23/2010
Infants are more efficient at digesting and utilizing nutritional components of milk than adults due to a difference in the strains of bacteria that dominate their digestive tracts. Researchers from the University of California, Davis, and Utah State University report on genomic analysis of these strains in the November 2010 ...

Long-Term Health Problems Linked To E. Coli Infection

11/23/2010
People who develop gastroenteritis from drinking water contaminated with Escherichia coli (commonly abbreviated as E. coli) are at an increased risk for high blood pressure, kidney problems and heart disease in later life. According to researchers, these findings underline the significance of ensuring a safe food and water supply ...

Scientists find new way to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria

11/23/2010
A new study has shown that treating municipal wastewater solids at higher temperatures could be an effective tool in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Researchers at the University of Minnesota's College of Science and Engineering found that heating the solid waste to 55 degrees Celsius was particularly effective in eliminating the ...

Biolab risk assessment ruled insufficient

11/23/2010
Scientists declared that initial risk assessments of Boston University's Biosafety Level-4 laboratory were incomplete, according to a report released Thursday by the National Research Council. The National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory, located in the South End, is intended to accommodate some of the world's deadliest viruses and bacteria, including Ebola, anthrax ...

New Microorganisms Linked to Gill Disease in Salmon

11/15/2010
Gill disease may have several different causes, such as adverse environmental impacts or a variety of microorganisms. Terje M. Steinum's doctoral research has identified microorganisms that may lead to gill disease, thereby making a significant contribution to our understanding of such diseases in farmed salmon. The main aim of the research ...

NZ kiwifruit crisis continues

11/15/2010
A kiwifruit-killing disease is spreading throughout orchards in New Zealand, threatening to devastate the nation's billion-dollar industry. On Monday, it was confirmed that 13 Bay of Plenty orchards had been struck with bacteria pseudomonas syringae pv actinidiae - or PSA - up from the eight named on the weekend. Investigations are being ...

Cholera spreads to Haiti's capital

11/12/2010
The deadly Cholera outbreak in Haiti has spread to the country's capital Port-au-Prince, with scores of cases confirmed and numerous suspected deaths reported. The waterborne disease, which thrives in unsanitary conditions, has already killed more than 580 people who had been forced to live in overcrowded camps throughout the country following ...

Haiti cholera outbreak prompts fresh UN aid plea

11/12/2010
UN spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said that unless funds were provided, "all our efforts can be outrun by the epidemic". She said the disease had so far infected at least 11,125 people in five of Haiti's 10 districts. Aid agencies are battling to contain cholera in the capital Port-au-Prince, amid fears it will ...

Algae biofuels need 10 years of R&D to compete

11/05/2010
The Energy Biosciences Institute at the University of California at Berkeley earlier this week released an analysis of the state of the algae biofuels industry and projected some of its future needs. Its overall conclusion is that a significant amount of research and development is needed, even with the progress of ...

Progress toward treating infections by silencing microbes' 'smart phones'

10/21/2010
So disease-causing bacteria in the body finally have multiplied to the point where their numbers are large enough to cause illness. What's next? They get out their "smart phones" and whisper "Let's roll!" That's how an article in ACS' monthly Chemical Reviews describes the substances — "smart phones of the ...

10 infants dead in California whooping cough outbreak

10/21/2010
Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, has claimed the 10th victim in California, in what health officials are calling the worst outbreak in 60 years. Since the beginning of the year, 5,978 confirmed, probable and suspected cases of the disease have been reported in California. All of the deaths occurred in infants ...

New sensor derived from frogs may help fight bacteria and save wildlife

10/20/2010
Princeton engineers have developed a sensor that may revolutionize how drugs and medical devices are tested for contamination, and in the process also help ensure the survival of two species of threatened animals. To be fair, some of the credit goes to an African frog. In the wild, the African clawed frog ...

Bacteria gauge cold with molecular measuring stick

10/20/2010
Some bacteria react to the cold by subtly changing the chemistry of their outer wall so that it remains pliable as temperatures drop. Scientists identified a key protein in this response mechanism a few years ago, but the question of how bacteria sense cold in the first place remained a ...

Gut Microbes Promote Cell Turnover by a Well-Known Pathway

10/19/2010
Microbes matter -- perhaps more than anyone realizes -- in basic biological development and, maybe, they could be a target for reducing cancer risks, according to University of Oregon researchers. In a study of very basic biology of zebrafish, scientists in the UO Institute of Molecular Biology focused on the developing ...

Analysis indicates a third H1N1 pandemic wave unlikely in 2010

10/18/2010
Analysis of H1N1 antibody levels (seroprotection rates) after the 2009 pandemic suggest that a third wave is unlikely in 2010, although adults over age 50, particularly those with chronic conditions, should be immunized for the fall flu season, states a research paper in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) (pre-embargo link ...

Intestinal enzyme helps maintain population of beneficial bacteria

10/18/2010
An enzyme that keeps intestinal bacteria out of the bloodstream may also play an important role in maintaining the normal microbial population of the gastrointestinal system. Since the loss of beneficial bacteria that usually results from antibiotic therapy can sometimes lead to serious health problems, a treatment that maintains microbial ...

Health experts, farmers disagree over restricting use of antibiotics in animals

10/18/2010
For decades, factory farms have used antibiotics even in healthy animals to promote faster growth and prevent disease that could sicken livestock held in confined quarters. The benefit: cheaper, more plentiful meat for consumers. But a firestorm has erupted over a federal proposal recommending antibiotics only when animals are actually sick. Medical ...

Scientists trace bone infection to new bacteria species: study

10/18/2010
Scientists have traced a bone infection to a newly described species of bacteria related to the tuberculosis pathogen. The discovery may help improve diagnosis and treatment of similar infections, according to a study. Some rare genetic diseases can make patients susceptible to infections with Mycobacterium species, the bacteria that cause tuberculosis ...

Technology ferrets out food pathogens

10/18/2010
A new approach that uses machine learning to detect harmful bacteria in food will allow for better identification of known—and unknown—classes of food pathogens. “The sheer number of existing bacterial pathogens and their high mutation rate makes it extremely difficult to automate their detection,” says M. Murat Dundar, assistant professor of ...

Key difference in how TB bacteria degrade doomed proteins

10/17/2010
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University have discovered a key difference in the way human cells and Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, which cause TB, deliver unwanted proteins — marked with a "kiss of death" sequence — to their respective cellular recycling factories. ...

A silver bullet for the common cold

10/16/2010
Scientists are hailing a breakthrough that could lead to one of medicine's holy grails - a cure for the common cold. Researchers have found they can attach tiny studs of silver to the surface of harmless bacteria, giving them the ability to destroy viruses. They have tested the silver-impregnated bacteria against norovirus, ...

Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology

10/16/2010
New Evidence of Common Gastric Infection as Invasive Pathogen May Explain Antibiotic Resistance Helicobacter pylori, the bacterium largely associated with gastritis and peptic ulcers in humans, may invade and replicate in gastric epithelial cells say researchers from China. This discovery disputes prior views of H. pylori as a noninvasive pathogen and ...

Caribbean Coral Reefs Took a Beating This Summer

10/15/2010
In the western Caribbean, some coral reefs have turned into eerie white ghost towns. Scientists with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute have documented a major bleaching event in the reefs near Panama and the island of Curaçao. Such bleaching occurs when a reef loses the tiny photosynthetic algae that typically live ...

Rinderpest Virus, Deadly in Livestock, Is No More, U.N. Says

10/15/2010
In only the second elimination of a disease in history, rinderpest — a virus that used to kill cattle and wildlife by the millions — has been declared wiped off the face of the earth. Rinderpest, which means “cattle plague” in German, does not affect humans, though it belongs to the ...

Eat safer: Novel approach detects unknown food pathogens

10/15/2010
Technologies for rapid detection of bacterial pathogens are crucial to maintaining a secure food supply. Researchers from the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and the Bindley Bioscience Center at Purdue University have developed a novel approach to automated detection and classification of harmful bacteria in food. The ...

Microorganisms that inhabit our bodies could trigger some diseases: researchers

10/15/2010
Did you know that our bodies are home to trillions — yes, trillions — of microorganisms that play a role both in keeping us healthy and making us sick? Taken together, these teeming communities of bacteria, viruses and fungi make up what's known as our microbiome, and probing its secrets has ...

Talk about going viral: Touch-screen devices can harbor flu germs

10/15/2010
Personal touch-screen devices – iPads, BlackBerrys and Droids – are now seemingly everywhere, potentially harboring the germs and viruses that turn voices raspy and send noses running. Want to peek at a digital snapshot, a friend's Facebook status or to show off the latest YouTube video? Best to just look, not ...

Cancer clues in DNA magic rings trick

10/15/2010
New research shows, how like a conjuring trick with interlocking rings, two interlocked pieces of DNA are separated after DNA is copied or repaired. While reconstituting the DNA repair system of yeast in a test tube, scientists found that a complex of proteins called Sgs1, Top3, and Rmi1 allow one DNA ...

Newer flu vaccine as effective as traditional one

10/14/2010
A flu vaccine made through a speedier production method appears to be as safe and effective as one produced in the traditional way, a study suggests. The conventional flu vaccine is produced using chicken eggs to grow the virus, a slow process that makes it hard to quickly boost production in ...

How bacteria resist antibiotics

10/14/2010
Researchers have discovered the crystal structures of pumps that remove heavy metal toxins from bacteria, making them resistant to antibiotics. The finding offers a better understanding of bacterial resistance to antibiotics that could ultimately help drug researchers develop treatments to combat that resistance. The findings are published in the Sept. 23 issue ...

Chemical in marine bacteria fights colon cancer (video)

10/14/2010
Researchers from the University of Florida have discovered a chemical compound made from a type of bacteria found in the Florida Keys that appears to be effective in fighting colon cancer in preclinical experiments.

Easy way to track phytoplankton

10/14/2010
It’s now much easier to pinpoint biological hot spots in the world’s oceans where some inhabitants are smaller than, well, a pinpoint. Researchers have built a device that can count and classify microscopic algae called phytoplankton that range in size from one to hundreds of microns—the smallest being 1/100th the size ...

Microbes grow electrifying whiskers

10/14/2010
Some bacteria grow electrical hairs, known as nanowires, that let them link up in big biological circuits.The discovery suggests that microbial colonies may survive, communicate, and share energy in part through electrically conducting hairs. The finding is reported this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Knowing how microbial ...

Top 20 Microscope Photos of the Year (2010)

10/13/2010
The subject of this year’s top microscope photo in the 36th annual Nikon Small World competition looks more like neon suspension bridges or sailboats than what it really is: mosquito heart muscle magnified 100 times. The image, which used flourescence technology to highlight different parts of the specimen, stood out as ...
10/13/2010
The same types of bacteria found in arterial plaque, which causes atherosclerosis, are also found in the mouth and gut, according to the first general survey of all bacteria found in plaques from the mouth, gut and blood. The study, conducted by researchers from Cornell and University of Gothenburg, Sweden and ...

Gambling on bacteria

10/13/2010
Microorganisms offer lessons for gamblers and the rest of us, Tel Aviv University research says When it comes to gambling, many people rely on game theory, a branch of applied mathematics that attempts to measure the choices of others to inform their own decisions. It's used in economics, politics, medicine -- ...

Genomic comparison of ocean microbes reveals East-West divide in populations

10/13/2010
Much as an anthropologist can study populations of people to learn about their physical attributes, their environs and social structures, some marine microbiologists read the genome of microbes to glean information about the microbes themselves, their environments and lifestyles. Using a relatively new methodology called comparative population genomics, these scientists compare ...

Swimming microorganisms stir things up, and the LHC takes over

10/12/2010
Two separate research groups are reporting groundbreaking measurements of the fluid flow that surrounds freely swimming microorganisms. Experiments involving two common types of microbes reveal the ways that one creature's motion can affect its neighbors, which in turn can lead to collective motions of microorganism swarms. In addition, the research ...

William Patrick, at 84; created biological weapons, protections for US

10/12/2010
William C. Patrick III made enough germs to kill everyone on earth many times over. Then, after putting aside those living weapons, he worked for nearly four decades to build defenses against them, to protect the United States from biological attack. A scientist, Dr. Patrick made germ weapons for the American ...

Bacteria go electric

10/11/2010
Like a household wire carries electrons from wall socket to appliance, bacteria can conduct electricity along tiny wire-like appendages, researchers report in the Oct. 11 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A community of bacteria connected by these gangly nanowires could act as a slimy fuel cell, digesting organic matter ...

Argonne feeds bacteria into contaminated Kansas site to clean it

10/11/2010
Last year, a team of Argonne scientists led by Lorraine LaFreniere injected iron microparticles underneath fields long-polluted with carbon tetrachloride near Centralia, Kansas. The researchers coated the microparticles with organic material, which served as bait for bacteria that created the conditions necessary to safely convert the toxic chemical into non-hazardous ...

Scientist seeks safer oyster

10/11/2010
Yi-Cheng Su knows how much people enjoy eating a briny, cold, fresh raw oyster. But as tasty as the cocktail sauce-doused treat can be, shellfish can carry bacteria that will wreak havoc upon your digestive tract — at least for a few days — and has even been known to be ...

Destructive species hitching ride on cargo ships make Seaway a bigger threat

10/10/2010
For thousands of years, the Great Lakes were protected by Niagara Falls on the east and a subcontinental divide on the west, but those barriers to our grandest freshwater system were obliterated over the past century so that oceanic freighters could float in and Chicago sewage could float out. Unwanted ...

New Hot Springs Discovered In The Deep Atlantic

10/09/2010
Scientists from the MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Sciences and the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen on board the German research vessel Meteor have discovered a new hydrothermal vent 500 kilometers south-west of the Azores. The vent with chimneys as high as one meter and fluids with ...

Yersinia Pestis Bacteria Confirmed as Cause of Middle Ages 'Black Death' Plague Epidemic

10/08/2010
The latest tests conducted by anthropologists at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) have proven that the bacteria Yersinia pestis was indeed the causative agent behind the "Black Death" that raged across Europe in the Middle Ages. The cause of the epidemic has always remained highly controversial and other pathogens were ...

Anti-dengue mosquitoes to hit Australia and Vietnam

10/08/2010
MOSQUITOES infected with bacteria that stop them transmitting the dengue virus will be released into the wild next year. Some 100 million people in the tropics get dengue fever each year, and 40,000 are killed by it. The virus's range is expanding, and last week France reported its first locally acquired ...

Scientists trick bacteria with small molecules

10/08/2010
A team of Yale University scientists has engineered the cell wall of the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, tricking it into incorporating foreign small molecules and embedding them within the cell wall. The finding, described online in the journal ACS Chemical Biology this week, represents the first time scientists have engineered the cell ...

Life-Saving in the Bacterial World: How Campylobacter Rely on Pseudomonas to Infect Humans

10/07/2010
The bacterium Campylobacter jejuni is a major cause of food poisoning in humans. It is normally transmitted from contaminated chicken meat, as it is frequently found in the intestines of chickens, where it apparently does not result in any symptoms. Campylobacter jejuni is well adapted to life in the ...

No Longer Germ Warfare (video)

10/07/2010
NIH Intramural Researcher Dr. Julie Segre talks about the Human Microbiome Project in an interview produced by the NIH Common Fund.

Bacteria Keep Tabs on State of Oil Field

10/07/2010
The ups and downs of the bacteria in an oil field provide a useful source of information for keeping tabs on the state of the oil field itself. In theory, this process known as 'biomonitoring' can increase the yield from an oil field. This is the conclusion reached by Geert ...

Bacteria to Blame in Asthma Attacks in Children

10/07/2010
Doctors have long known that viral infections can bring about asthma attacks and the shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing associated with them. But while viral infections cannot be treated, scientists at the Danish Paediatric Asthma Centre (DPAC) at the University of Copenhagen and Gentofte Hospital have discovered that treatable ...

Virulent skin germ grates on Maine lobstering isle

10/06/2010
A strain of a drug-resistant skin disease that has afflicted sports teams, prisons and military units is now proving a persistent pest among lobstermen and their families on a Maine island. Over the past two summers, more than 30 people on Vinalhaven have come down with painful and persistent skin infections ...

Protecting embryos against microbes

10/05/2010
Headed by the Kiel zoologist Professor Thomas Bosch, a team of scientists from Germany and Russia succeeded in deciphering the mechanisms, for the first time, with which embryos of the freshwater polyp Hydra protect themselves against bacterial colonization. The paper is published this week in the online edition of Proceedings ...

Major Funding To Study Prevention Of Drug-Resistant Staph Infections

10/04/2010
A UC Irvine infectious disease specialist has received a three-year, $10 million grant to explore the effectiveness of new methods to prevent staph infections in people who harbor MRSA bacteria when they're discharged from the hospital. The UCI study, led by Dr. Susan Huang - medical director of epidemiology & ...

Identification Of A New Bacterial Foe In Cystic Fibrosis

10/04/2010
Exacerbations in cystic fibrosis (CF) may be linked to chronic infection with a bacterium called Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, which was previously thought to simply colonize the CF lung. The finding that chronic infection with S. maltophilia is independently linked with an increased risk of exacerbations gives clinicians and researchers a ...

California-Davis, Texas A&M Researchers Study Ways to Attack Salmonella

09/28/2010
Ever the cagey foe, Salmonella has been around for millions of years and has managed to beat thousands of attempts to eradicate it. An amazingly “smart” and resilient germ but always totally ruthless, Salmonella and its more than 2,500 different strains are always looking for new ways to survive, but ...

Targeting amyloid to stop HIV

09/28/2010
Amyloid protein structures are best known for the troubles they pose in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. Now researchers are trying to exploit their presence in a very different place – in semen – to find a new way to stop HIV. Scientists have created a substance that targets amyloid structures ...

Computer model shows US vulnerable to MDR-TB epidemic

09/27/2010
While the U.S. has made great progress in the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis, the nation has become more susceptible to potential epidemics of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), according a study led by Johns Hopkins researchers. Computer simulations show that as TB prevalence falls, the risk for more extensive MDR-TB increases. ...

Superbugs top focus of leading microbiology meet (Watch Live)

09/11/2010
Serious public health risks due to a lack of new antibiotics at a time of rising antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" will be the main focus of a top microbiology conference in Boston that starts Sunday. "We are increasingly concerned about the decline in antibiotic discovery," warned Lindsay Grayson of Austin Hospital in Melbourne, ...

Microbes are eating BP oil without using up oxygen

09/11/2010
Government scientists studying the BP disaster are reporting the best possible outcome: Microbes are consuming the oil in the Gulf without depleting the oxygen in the water and creating "dead zones" where fish cannot survive. In an unusual move, BP released 771,000 gallons of chemical dispersant about a mile deep, right ...

Wind Instruments May Cause Lung Disease in Musicians

09/09/2010
When a 35-year-old professional trombone player came to the Health Center seeking treatment for a chronic cough, the case wasn’t as simple as it first appeared. Dr. Mark Metersky, director of the Center for Bronchiectasis Care, quickly learned that the trombonist had been suffering from the recurring cough for approximately 15 ...

Deadly bacteria traced to India (video)

09/08/2010
It,s being called a superbug, a virus that is resistant to drugs, and is being transmitted through patients who've visited India for medical treatment. Britain has already advised its citizens against travelling to India for medical treatment. Aafreen Alam reports.

Multi-resistant skin bacteria spreading in hospitals

09/08/2010
Genetically closely related skin bacteria that have developed resistance to several different antibiotics and that can cause intractable care-related infections are found and seem to be spreading within and between hospitals in Sweden Genetically closely related skin bacteria that have developed resistance to several different antibiotics and that can cause intractable ...

Chopping and Changing in the Microbial World: How Mycoplasmas – The Simplest Bacterial Pathogens – Stay Alive

09/08/2010
Pathogenic bacteria have evolved a variety of mechanisms to avoid being killed by the immune systems of the humans and animals they invade. Among the most sophisticated is that practised by mycoplasmas, which regularly change their surface proteins to confuse the immune system. Recent work in the group of Renate ...

Imaging Reveals Key Metabolic Factors of Cannibalistic Bacteria

09/07/2010
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have revealed new details about how cannibalistic bacteria identify peers suitable for consumption. The work, which employed imaging mass spectrometry, is a first step toward a broader effort to map all signaling molecules between organisms. Bacterial cannibalism occurs when a subpopulation of a ...

Cockroaches Have Molecules with Antibacterial Potential

09/07/2010
Cockroaches are repulsive, but they have in their brain up to nine molecules from which antibiotics could be produced. These molecules apparently have the capacity to fight more than 90 percent of resistant bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus and E. coli, said researchers from the Universities of Nottingham. Click "source" to read ...

Antibacterial agents may be raising greenhouse gas levels

08/30/2010
Smelly feet may be the price we have to pay for saving the planet. A new study reported by New Scientist has discovered that nanoparticles commonly found in antibacterial socks may be inadvertently raising levels of greenhouse gases. Researchers are concerned that silver nanoparticles - antibacterial agents used in a ...

Vaccine might have averted egg recall over salmonella

08/25/2010
Low-cost vaccines that may have helped prevent the kind of salmonella outbreak that has led to the recall of more than a half-billion eggs haven't been given to half of the nation's egg-laying hens. The vaccines aren't required in the U.S., although in Great Britain, officials say vaccinations have given ...

Waiting for the right moment

08/25/2010
Pathogens make themselves feel at home in the human body, invading cells and living off the plentiful amenities on offer. However, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin, together with colleagues at Harvard University, reveal an opposite strategy used to ensure infection success. Pathogens can actually delay ...

HIV in Blood Different Than in Semen, Scientists Say

08/21/2010
HIV-1 in semen is different than HIV-1 in blood, possibly due to changes it undergoes in the genital tract, scientists have found. In their study, the researchers sought to better understand the process by which HIV -- the virus that causes AIDS -- is transmitted. They compared the gene encoding the ...

Investigation Announcement: Multistate Outbreak of Human Salmonella Enteritidis Infections Associated with Shell Eggs

08/18/2010
In May 2010, CDC identified a nationwide increase in the number of Salmonella Enteritidis isolates with PFGE pattern JEGXX01.0004 uploaded to PulseNet, the national subtyping network made up of state and local public health laboratories and federal food regulatory laboratories that performs molecular surveillance of foodborne infections. The increase ...

What will gobble the spilled oil?

08/16/2010
Whether or not ecological disaster follows the BP spill may hinge on what eats the oil first. "Right now it's a race between the microbes and the fish," said marine biologist Larry McKinney of Texas A&M University, a specialist in the Gulf of Mexico. Ideally, microbes will win, transforming the oil into ...

Studies pinpoint key targets for MRSA vaccine

08/16/2010
Two recent studies provide evidence for a new approach to vaccines to prevent infections caused by drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus -- better known as MRSA – the leading cause of skin and soft tissue, bloodstream and lung infections in the United States. One demonstrates a way to counteract the bacteria's ...

Are you ready for a world without antibiotics?

08/12/2010
Are you ready for a world without antibiotics? Antibiotics are a bedrock of modern medicine. But in the very near future, we're going to have to learn to live without them once again. And it's going to get nasty The era of antibiotics is coming to a close. In just a couple ...

Drug-Resistant Staph Infections Decline In Hospitals

08/10/2010
There's good news for a change about a bad bug called MRSA. Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus isn't fazed by many common antibiotics. Each year infections with the germ sicken more than 90,000 Americans and kill 19,000. But the rates of MRSA infections in hospitals have come down by a whopping 28 percent in ...

More seniors on Medicare use antibiotics: study

08/10/2010
More seniors used antibiotics after enrolling in Medicare Part D, the program that helps pay for prescription drugs, in a new study of about 35,000 people. The results are promising for conditions like pneumonia, which is sometimes deadly in the elderly but can be effectively treated with antibiotics, the authors say. ...

Clues to Gut Immunity Evolution: Research Reveals Similarities Between Fish and Humans

08/10/2010
A study at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine has identified the function of one of the earliest antibodies in the animal kingdom, an ancient immunoglobulin that helps explain the evolution of human intestinal immune responses. It was discovered to play a predominant role in the guts of ...

Pet food could be making kids sick, report says

08/09/2010
Fido's food may be making kids sick, a government report warns, detailing the first known salmonella outbreak in humans, mostly young children, linked to pet food. The outbreak sickened 79 people in 21 mostly eastern states, between 2006 and 2008. Almost half of the victims were children aged 2 and younger. Dry ...

How long can food be out of the fridge before it kills me?

08/06/2010
The short answer is four hours, but there's a lot more to it than that. Avoiding food poisoning is complex (the p.c. term now is "foodborne illness," lest we start tainting the deli guy as a "poisoner"), but it can be largely boiled down to a few key points about how ...

Oil Spill Causes Record Gulf Dead Zone

08/03/2010
Scientists say this year that the "dead zone" area that forms every summer in the Gulf of Mexico is one of the largest ever measured. The large area of low oxygen that chokes marine life comes in addition to the massive BP oil spill. Microbes that eat the oil can deplete oxygen ...

Mud from deepest place on Earth could hold key to cures

08/03/2010
In a bid to search for new drug discoveries, researchers are using one of the world’s most advanced microscopic scanners to study bacteria taken from mud samples recovered from the deepest place on Earth – the Mariana Trench. The findings could pave the way for the creation of life-saving drugs by ...

Raw Milk Enthusiasts Drink Up, Despite Health Warnings from the FDA

07/20/2010
Raw milk enthusiasts are going to keep drinking their milk pretty much straight from the cow, it seems. Even in states like Maryland and Alaska, where the pure stuff has been driven underground as an unintended effect of legislation. The popularity of raw milk is fueled by consumers' concerns about the ...

Probiotics Use in Mothers Limits Eczema in Their Babies

07/20/2010
Mothers who drank milk with a probiotic supplement during and after pregnancy were able to cut the incidence of eczema in their children by almost half, a new study published in the British Journal of Dermatology has shown. The randomized, double-blind study, conducted by researchers at the Norwegian University of Science ...

Antibiotics for the prevention of malaria

07/20/2010
Antibiotic treatment during the liver stage of malaria generates strong protective immunity If mice are administered an antibiotic for three days and are simultaneously infected with malaria, no parasites appear in the blood and life-threatening disease is averted. In addition, the animals treated in this manner also develop robust, long-term immunity ...
07/19/2010
Biofuel producer Solazyme delivered 1,500 gallons of its algae-based jet fuel to the U.S. Navy’s testing and certification program today, helping the military reach its goal of switching half of its fleet to clean fuel by 2020. The Navy will use the fuel to power jets. Solazyme produces fuel by fermenting ...

Scientists create a mosquito that’s ‘malaria-proof’

07/15/2010
A "malaria-proof" mosquito has been created by scientists who have engineered a genetic "on" switch that permanently activates a malaria-destroying response, according to their report in the journal Public Library of Science Pathogens. If these mosquitoes are successfully introduced into the wild, they could prevent millions of people from becoming ...

Antibiotics in livestock affect humans, USDA testifies

07/15/2010
There is a clear link between the use of antibiotics in livestock and drug resistance in humans, President Barack Obama's administration says, a position sharply at odds with agribusiness interests. The Agriculture Department "believes that it is likely that the use of antimicrobials in animal agriculture does lead to some cases ...

How Fast Can Microbes Break Down Oil Washed Onto Gulf Beaches?

07/10/2010
A new Florida State University study is investigating how quickly the Deepwater Horizon oil carried into Gulf of Mexico beach sands is being degraded by the sands’ natural microbial communities, and whether native oil-eating bacteria that wash ashore with the crude are helping or hindering that process. What oceanography professors Markus ...

Amid the murk of 'gut flora,' vitamin D receptor emerges as a key player

07/07/2010
Within the human digestive tract is a teeming mass of hundreds of types of bacteria, a potpourri of microbes numbering in the trillions that help us digest food and keep bad bacteria in check. Now scientists have found that the vitamin D receptor is a key player amid the gut bacteria ...

Antibacterial paper made from graphene

07/05/2010
Researchers have made the surprising finding that graphene-based nanomaterials possess excellent antibacterial properties. Although antibacterial materials are widely used in daily life, and the antibacterial properties of nanomaterials are increasingly being explored and developed as commercial products (see for instance: "Antibacterial nanotechnology multi-action materials that work day and night"), their ...

Vaccine for Marburg virus passes monkey test

07/05/2010
A devastating tropical virus that has no cure can be ambushed by vaccination a day or two after exposure, tests in monkeys show. The findings suggest that African villagers, health officials and laboratory workers who come into contact with the deadly Marburg virus will someday have recourse to fend it ...

Microbe research might aid Gulf oil cleanup efforts

07/05/2010
They were discovered, living virtually unnoticed, in the depths of a toxic sludge lagoon at a 100-year-old refinery in Poland. After a trip across the ocean to the U.S. Energy Department's Savannah River National Laboratory -- and eight years of careful research -- scientists are slowly unlocking the unique secrets of ...

Athletes suffer skin problems from germy locker rooms

07/05/2010
For all the images of healthy, joyous activity competitive athletes may conjure up, sports can be a germy business. Sweat, shared gear and playing surfaces, coupled with the erratic personal hygiene of adolescents, have combined to ramp up the risk from skin infections in sports at the high school and college ...

BREAKING: A Colorado company has recalled 66,000 pounds of bison meat sold nationwide after federal agriculture officials linked it to E. coli sicknesses.

07/03/2010
A Colorado company has recalled 66,000 pounds of bison meat sold nationwide after federal agriculture officials linked it to E. coli sicknesses. Click "source" to read the entire article.

What's eating you? - Bugs, bacteria, and zombies

07/03/2010
Not all zombies are created equal. The most popular zombie archetype is a shambling, brain-eating member of the recently deceased, but, in recent films from 28 Days Later to Zombieland, the definition of what a zombie is or isn't has become more complicated. Does a zombie have to be a ...

Cell Phone Microscope Poised to Begin Trials in Africa

07/03/2010
Cell phones are accumulating a Swiss Army Knife-esqe assortment of capabilities; substituting as cameras, providing internet access, and soon operating as medical labs if Aydogan Ozcan's plans come to fruition. This month's cover article of the journal Lab on a Chip features the latest creation by the Ozcan group, ...

Are bad bugs making you fat?

07/03/2010
Are trillions of bacteria to blame for your elastic-waist jeans and poolside muumuu? Did microbes make you devour double bowls of triple-fudge ice cream last night? It only sounds like a horror movie. A growing stack of research suggests that the mysterious, microscopic "zoo" in your digestive system plays a role ...

Antibiotic Use Boosts Risk of Infection with Clostridium Bacteria

07/03/2010
Antibiotic-resistant Staph infection is not the only emerging bacterial threat. Now a different bug — Clostridium difficile - is gaining strength. C. difficile causes mild or severe diarrhea and, while rare, in some cases gets into the bloodstream, where it is life threatening. In the past C. difficile was largely limited ...

West Nile virus shows up in mosquitoes in Dongan Hills

07/03/2010
Some of the first mosquitoes to test positive for the West Nile virus this year have been found by health officials in Dongan Hills. Infected bugs also turned up in several neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens. No human cases have been detected yet "West Nile Virus has returned to New York City — ...

Of Ancient Curses, Microbes, and the ASM

07/02/2010
It is our pleasure to begin an annual tradition of hosting a few reflections from the incoming president of the ASM. by Bonnie L. Bassler On July 1, as I start my term as ASM President, I am reminded of three ominous curses of dubious ancient origin: 1. May you ...

CDC issues new guidelines on detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infections

07/02/2010
Today the United States (U.S.) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new and important guidelines on the detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infections, the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB). In these landmark guidelines, CDC advises that Interferon Gamma Release Assay (IGRA) blood tests are now preferred over ...

Researchers Identify What Makes MRSA Lethal

07/02/2010
Scientists studying the so-called "superbug" MRSA have identified one of the components responsible for making it so deadly. Staphylococcus aureus is a type of bacteria commonly found on the skin that is relatively harmless unless it gets into the bloodstream, where it can cause blood poisoning and create abscesses in organs ...

How clean are 3D movie glasses?

06/30/2010
Click "source" to see a video report. Many of the top grossing movies these days are in 3D. The Good Housekeeping Research Institute wanted to know just how clean those 3D glasses might be. "Here at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute we just tested seven pairs of 3D glasses. We sent the ...

Deaths in the family cause bacteria to flee

06/30/2010
Indiana University Bloomington biologists report in an upcoming issue of Molecular Microbiology that exposure to the extracellular DNA (eDNA) released by dying neighbors stops the sticky holdfasts of living Caulobacter from adhering to surfaces, preventing cells from joining bacterial biofilms. Less sticky cells are more likely to escape established colonies, ...

Triclosan: What Consumers Should Know

06/30/2010
What is triclosan? Triclosan is an ingredient added to many consumer products to reduce or prevent bacterial contamination. It may be found in products such as clothing, kitchenware, furniture, and toys. It also may be added to antibacterial soaps and body washes, toothpastes, and some cosmetics—products regulated by the U.S. Food ...

Discovery of Controlled Swarm in Bacteria: Could Help Design New Strategies to Increase Sensitivity to Antibiotics

06/30/2010
A study led by researchers from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) describes one of the mechanisms in which pathogenic bacteria populations control the way they spread over the surface of the organs they infect and stop when they detect the presence of an antibiotic, only to resume again when the ...

Red tape keeps Gulf marsh cleanup on hold

06/30/2010
At a lab on Grand Isle, La., at the edge of Barataria Bay, biologists hoping to help save the oil-soiled marshlands are at the ready with a vat containing 30,000 gallons of homegrown oil-eating bacteria. But it’s been weeks since the oil started washing up here, and still they ...

Learn the food safety 'drills of the grills'

06/30/2010
The Fourth of July weekend is almost here. Many of us will celebrate with a day of outdoor activities and tasty meats from the grill. The chef of your household might have the skills to cook the perfect burger, but do they know the food safety "drills of the grill?" The ...

Can fermenting microbes save us from climate change?

06/29/2010
Just as bacteria and fungi are methodically breaking down the millions of gallons of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, microbes might help us with another uncontrolled emission due to human activity—carbon dioxide. An anaerobic bacteria by the name of Clostridium ljungdahlii can ferment everything from sugars to simple mixtures ...

Bees Help to Beat MRSA Bugs

06/29/2010
Bees could have a key role to play in urgently-needed new treatments to fight the virulent MRSA bug, according to research led at the University of Strathclyde. The scientists found that a substance known as beeglue or propolis, originating from beehives in the Pacific region, was active against MRSA, which causes ...

Fast test for ocean waste hits O.C. beaches

06/29/2010
Orange County beachgoers heading for their favorite stretch of sand might see something new this weekend: a brightly colored sign flashing the latest readings on ocean contamination. The signs, showing same-day results for bacterial testing in near-shore waters, could provide their first readings Thursday at Doheny and Huntington state beaches, Big ...

The perils of summer

06/29/2010
Summer means the arrival of certain illnesses and infections caused by bacteria, viruses and bugs that thrive in the warm, moist environment. Although the risk of catching these diseases is low, there are some precautions to take to stay healthy. BACTERIA Bacterial meningitis • What it is: An infection of the blood around ...

Inspectors find safety flaws where airline food is prepared

06/29/2010
Six months ago, Food and Drug Administration inspectors say, they found live roaches and dead roach carcasses "too numerous to count" inside the Denver facility of the world's largest airline caterer, LSG Sky Chefs. They also reported finding ants, flies and debris, and employees handling food with bare hands. Samples from ...

Biologically Inspired Technology Produces Sugar from Photosynthetic Bacteria

06/29/2010
Researchers from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard and Harvard Medical School have engineered photosynthetic bacteria to produce simple sugars and lactic acid. This innovation could lead to new, environmentally friendly methods for producing commodity chemicals in bulk.This photosynthetic factory could also reduce the carbon dioxide emissions ...
06/29/2010
State investigators searched a second Minnesota farm that may have illegally sold raw milk as health officials investigate an E. coli outbreak that sickened several people, officials confirmed Monday. The state's investigation began after E. coli traced to unpasteurized milk products sickened at least eight people. The southern Minnesota farm blamed ...

Scientists claim method to kill C diff bug found

06/29/2010
Professor Colin Hill and Professor Paul Ross of UCC teamed up with scientists at the University of Alberta in Canada and with experts led by Mary Rea at the Teagasc Moorpark Food Research Centre to form the compound which they believe can eliminate the Clostridium difficile bug without harming other ...

Four Injured In Explosion On Mizzou Campus

06/29/2010
Four people were injured when a 2,200-pound hydrogen tank exploded Monday afternoon on the University of Missouri campus. Columbia Fire Capt. Eric Hartman said the people were working in the biochemistry lab on an experiment involving bacteria growth in hydrogen gas. He said they placed gas inside a hydrogen hood similar ...

FDA Urges Limiting Antibiotics in Meat

06/28/2010
The continued use of antimicrobial drugs to promote growth in chickens, cattle and other livestock is tied to antibiotic resistance and should be phased out for that purpose, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Monday. The drugs in question include penicillin, tetracycline, macrolides and erythromycin, which are also ...

Reseachers predict larger-than-average Gulf 'dead zone'; impact of oil spill unclear

06/28/2010
niversity of Michigan aquatic ecologist Donald Scavia and his colleagues say this year's Gulf of Mexico "dead zone" is expected to be larger than average, continuing a decades-long trend that threatens the health of a $659 million fishery. The 2010 forecast, released today by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ...

Illinois Pumpkin Fields Face Cunning Opponent

06/28/2010
Wet conditions have Illinois pumpkin growers on the alert for signs of Phytophthora blight in their fields. This disease nearly destroyed the pumpkin industry in 1999, causing up to 100 percent crop losses in parts of the state. While it's not a new disease to this industry, it is ...

Underwater sponges and worms may hold key to cure for malaria

06/28/2010
Healing powers for one of the world's deadliest diseases may lie within sponges, sea worms and other underwater creatures. University of Central Florida scientist Debopam Chakrabarti is analyzing more than 2,500 samples from marine organisms collected off deep sea near Florida's coast. Some of them could hold the key to developing ...

WSU breaks ground on school for global animal health building

06/28/2010
Under a sunny sky, officials from Washington State University and the Gates Foundation broke ground on a 62,000-square-foot, three-story flagship research building for a new School for Global Animal Health. The first of its kind research facility will house a state-of-the-art infectious disease research center for investigating emerging disease. From ...

Microbe Colonies Show Sophisticated Learning Behaviors

06/28/2010
Microbes may be smarter than we think, at least that's according to Princeton University researchers who have shown for the first time that bacteria don't just react to changes in their surroundings - they anticipate and prepare for them. The findings, reported in Science, challenge the prevailing notion that only ...

Microbiology of Plastic Debris (video)

06/28/2010
Volunteer Emelia DeForce and Chief Scientist Giora Proskurowski discuss the three-pronged approach they are using to study microorganisms living on floating plastic debris.

NASA's Des Marais Elected Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology

06/27/2010
Cave exploring has its rewards. It led David Des Marais, a Chemistry major in college at the time, to pursue a career as a research scientist in astrobiology and space science at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. Des Marais explains that his interest in exploring caves in southern Indiana on ...

Bird flu: In the plumage the secret of virus spread success

06/26/2010
International team of Italy-US scientists reports discovery of a new mechanism of avian influenza virus circulation and transmission in nature A team of scientists, led by Mauro Delogu, virologist from the Veterinary Faculty of the Bologna University and researchers from the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e ...

Soil-Borne Pathogens Drive Tree Diversity in Forests, Study Shows

06/26/2010
What determines plant diversity in a forest? It's a question even Charles Darwin wanted to unravel. But most research into forest diversity demonstrates only patterns of species survival and abundance rather than the reason for them -- until now. A team of researchers led by biologists at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee ...

Companies Peddling Microbial Cures to Oil Spill Come Calling on Gulf Coast

06/26/2010
Superbugs won't save the Gulf Coast. But that won't stop companies from selling them. As crude washes into marshes and beaches along the Gulf of Mexico, several small businesses have been barnstorming to sell local and state officials on what seems like a dream scenario. Douse the oil with ...

The Human Genome at 10: What It Did—and Didn’t—Deliver

06/25/2010
Happy Birthday, human genome. On June 26, 2000 a group of scientists at the White House announced that they had a working draft of our genetic blueprints. They hadn’t sequenced all our genes; the Human Genome Project and its private-sector competitor Celera Genomics still had some gaps to fill in. ...

Airway Microbiota and Pathogen Abundance in Age-Stratified Cystic Fibrosis Patients

06/25/2010
Abstract - Bacterial communities in the airways of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients are, as in other ecological niches, influenced by autogenic and allogenic factors. However, our understanding of microbial colonization in younger versus older CF airways and the association with pulmonary function is rudimentary at best. Using a phylogenetic microarray, ...

H1N1 mapping (video)

06/24/2010
Daniel Janies, associate professor of Biomedical Informatics at The Ohio State University shows how he uses Google Earth to track the H1N1 flu virus.

CEA: Violight UV Cell phone sanitizer

06/24/2010
Jonathan Pinsky, Cofounder of Violight, shows the first ever UV cell phone sanitizer. He demonstrates the sanitizer on my Nokia N86. Place your phone inside the portable sanitizer for three minutes and it'll eliminate up to 99.9% of germs and bacteria on your cell phone and other small electronic devices. The ...

How a visit to Fermilab changed kids' perceptions of what a scientist is, and who can be one

06/24/2010
Never underestimate the power of the field trip. Turns out, visiting real scientists doing real science had a big impact on what one group of seventh graders thought scientists looked and acted like. The kids drew and captioned pictures before and after their trip. One of the first things that struck ...

Manipulating Microbes in the Gut May Remedy Disease and Enhance Health

06/24/2010
We are what we eat, but who are "we"? New, high-powered genomic analytical techniques have established that as many as 1,000 different single-celled species coexist in relative harmony in every healthy human gut. "For each human cell in your body there are 10 microbial cells, most of them living in the ...

Small Amount of Common Preservative Increases Toxins from Harmful Bacteria in Food, Study Finds

06/24/2010
In response to consumer demand for more natural food, the food industry has reduced the amount of preservatives in food over recent years. A common preservative is acetic acid, which is used to stop bacterial growth in dressings, sauces, cheese and pickles. However, new research shows that a small amount of ...

Moldy Homes a Serious Risk for Severe Asthma Attacks in Some

06/24/2010
Exposure to high levels of fungus may increase the risk of severe asthma attacks among people with certain chitinase gene variants, according to a study from Harvard Medical School, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital. "We found that the interaction between environmental mold exposure and certain variants ...

Whooping Cough Epidemic Strikes California

06/24/2010
Widespread vaccination has gone a long way toward curbing whooping cough, a highly contagious infection that can be especially dangerous for babies too young to be immunized. Already this year, though, whooping cough has claimed the lives of five infants, all of them less than 3 months old. If the cases ...

DIYBio meet-up - Folk Microbiology

06/24/2010
It was a night of culture - yoghurt cultures. Vaughn Tan shared his passion for yoghurt with about two dozen captivated future yoghurt makers. He spoke about the biochemistry and microbial ecology of the process - ways to optimize the proteins in the milk, effects of inoculation temperatures, the activities ...

Scientists Discover Source of Essential Nutrients for Open-Ocean Algae

06/23/2010
For almost three decades, oceanographers have been puzzled by the ability of microscopic algae ("microalgae") to grow in open-ocean areas where there is very little nitrate, an essential nutrient for the algae. In this week's issue of the journal Nature, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) chemical oceanographer Ken Johnson, along ...

New Medical Weapons to Protect Against Anthrax Attacks

06/23/2010
The 2001 anthrax attacks in the United States are fostering development of a new generation of vaccines, antibiotics, and other medications to protect people against the potentially deadly bacteria in any future bioterrorist incident. That's the conclusion of a sweeping overview of scientific research on medical technology to combat the ...

Lula in the Laboratory: How a Phage Has Contaminated Many E. coli Lab Strains

06/23/2010
When I first saw the title of this PloSOne article, "Unauthorized Horizontal Spread in the Laboratory Environment: The Tactics of Lula, a Temperate Lambdoid Bacteriophage of Escherichia coli", I thought, "Hunh?!? You can actually publish articles about laboratory contamination?", but it's actually a very interesting article. In short, the article ...

Polio outbreak in Tajikistan is cause for alarm

06/23/2010
The rapidly growing polio outbreak in Tajikistan raises serious concerns that the disease could spread to other regions in the world, states an editorial http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/doi/10.1503/cmaj.100831 in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) www.cmaj.ca. It is imperative that health agencies attempt to limit further spread by ensuring high vaccination rates. Polio is ...

Probiotics or Friendly Bacteria

06/23/2010
The idea of friendly bacteria might take a little getting used to, but these microorganisms have been around for a quite a while. Now probiotics are being researched for their potential benefits, as well as side effects. Here is some information about probiotics from The National Center for Complementary and Alternative ...

Computer-Aided Influenza Virus Vaccine Method Could Lead To Effective And Safe Seasonal Vaccines

06/23/2010
A team of molecular biologists and computer scientists at Stony Brook University have used a novel method to weaken (attenuate) influenza virus by way of designing hundreds of mutations to its genetic code to create an effective vaccine. The research is an outgrowth of years of investigation by a team headed ...

Humans will be extinct in 100 years says eminent scientist

06/23/2010
Eminent Australian scientist Professor Frank Fenner, who helped to wipe out smallpox, predicts humans will probably be extinct within 100 years, because of overpopulation, environmental destruction and climate change. Fenner, who is emeritus professor of microbiology at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, said homo sapiens will not be able ...

Photo from Haiti: how to diagnose malaria and typhoid

06/22/2010
These checklists, scrawled in handwriting on paper pasted to the hospital wall, are used by volunteer doctors and nurses to diagnose and treat patients who come in with symptoms of malaria and typhoid. Both are diseases that we rarely see in the US, but are strikingly common in Haiti. This ...

LCD television waste ‘could help prevent bacterial infections’

06/18/2010
The fastest growing waste in the EU could soon be helping to combat hospital infections, according to scientists at the University of York. Researchers at the University’s Department of Chemistry have discovered a way of transforming the chemical compound polyvinyl-alcohol (PVA), which is a key element of television sets with liquid ...

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology

06/18/2010
Prior Exposure to Seasonal Influenza May Explain the Mildness of the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic Hong Kong researchers suggest a new theory for why swine flu infections turned out to be so mild. Prior exposure to seasonal influenza A, either infection or vaccination, may induce a cross-reactive immune response against the pandemic ...

iSkin announces An iPad case for the germ-phobic

06/18/2010
Are you a little OCD when it comes to germs? Do you feel like you need to wash your hands after you use your iPad? Did that report about the iPad screens in Apple Stores being hotbeds for assorted fungi and bacteria make you want to take a long, hot ...

Gut-Residing Bacteria Trigger Arthritis in Genetically Susceptible Individuals

06/17/2010
A single species of bacteria that lives in the gut is able to trigger a cascade of immune responses that can ultimately result in the development of arthritis. Our gut, like that of most mammals, is filled with thousands of species of bacteria, many of which are helpful and aid in ...

Swine Flu Jumps Back to Pigs and Keeps Evolving

06/17/2010
A new strain of swine flu shows that the pandemic version has jumped from humans back to pigs, where it’s evolving in new and unpredictable ways. The new strain, identified in a Hong Kong slaughterhouse, isn’t especially virulent. But the findings emphasize the need for continued vigilance. Swine flu isn’t going ...

Using Bacteria in Oil Wells to Convert Oil to Natural Gas

06/17/2010
Some bacteria destroy oil. Might those bacteria lead oil companies to change their methods of harvesting the energy of the oil while at the same time reducing the carbon dioxide that burning oil and gasoline discharges into the atmosphere? Steve Larter thinks that may be possible. Petroleum biodegradation takes place in ...

Microbiology: The business side of synthetic life

06/16/2010
For a culture raised on images of Dr. Frankenstein cackling "It's alive!" as his monster lurched around the lab, the recent announcement by the J. Craig Venter Institute claiming they had created synthetic life received surprisingly mixed reviews. The scientific consensus is that the institute has achieved a technical advance but ...

Wild sharks, redfish harbor antibiotic-resistant bacteria

06/16/2010
Scientists have found antibiotic-resistant bacteria in seven species of sharks and redfish captured in waters off Belize, Florida, Louisiana and Massachusetts. Most of these wild, free-swimming fish harbored several drug-resistant bacterial strains. The study, published in the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, found antibiotic-resistant bacteria in every fish species sampled. The ...
06/16/2010
An international team of researchers led by scientists at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech have sequenced the genome of an Amerindian strain of the gastric bug Helicobacter pylori, confirming the out-of-Africa migration of this bacterial stowaway to the New World. Experiments in animals have highlighted how specific ...

Scientists to map Ozzy Osbourne's DNA

06/16/2010
One man has perhaps stood above all others when it comes to testing the body's limits. That is Ozzy Osbourne, former lead singer of Black Sabbath. So now a genome sequencing company called Knome has decided to find out just what Ozzy Osbourne is really made of. It intends to test ...

Microscope Connects To iPads Wirelessly For Extreme Close-Up Views

06/15/2010
Designed for the beauty and education industries, this microscope peripheral can connect to iPads wirelessly, displaying video and images of skin (or whatever else you shove under the microscope) zoomed up by 50 times. While it won't be for personal use it could definitely have its advantages in beauty clinics or ...

New Strain of Bacteria Discovered That Could Aid in Oil Spill, Other Environmental Cleanup

06/11/2010
Researchers have discovered a new strain of bacteria that can produce non-toxic, comparatively inexpensive "rhamnolipids," and effectively help degrade polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs -- environmental pollutants that are one of the most harmful aspects of oil spills. Because of its unique characteristics, this new bacterial strain could be of considerable ...

Bacteria Converted Into ‘mini-Factories’ For Biofuels and Vaccines

06/11/2010
Scientists at the University of Kent and University College Cork have manipulated simple bacteria into constructing internal compartments where biofuels and vaccines can be produced. These micro-compartments eventually occupy almost 70 percent of the available space in a bacteria cell, enabling segregation of metabolic activities and, in the era of synthetic ...

Canadians track infectious disease threats at World Cup

06/10/2010
Two Canadian researchers will be keeping a close eye on what hundreds of thousands of soccer fans take to the World Cup in South Africa _ and what they potentially bring home. Dr. Kamran Khan, an infectious disease physician and scientist at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, and Dr. John Brownstein, ...

Introduction to bacteria

06/10/2010
Introduction to bacteria

Flu's Evolution Strategy Strikes Perfect Balance

06/10/2010
Better understanding how the flu virus replicates and evolves to infect new hosts will help scientists find new ways to fight the flu. One option is the development of therapies that take advantage of the new findings by promoting mutagenesis -- treatments designed to generate increased mutations that will ultimately ...

Video Study Finds Risky Food-Safety Behavior More Common Than Thought

06/08/2010
How safe is the food we get from restaurants, cafeterias and other food-service providers? A new study from North Carolina State University -- the first study to place video cameras in commercial kitchens to see how precisely food handlers followed food-safety guidelines -- discovered that risky practices can happen more ...

Small Things: First Responders to Oil Spills

06/07/2010
Microbes are certainly being exposed to oil in the Gulf—both on the surface and at depth—and they are the first responders. Although many microbiologists naturally are interested in the identities of the oil degrading bacteria, this is of less relevance than the chemical changes the mixed microbial community of oil ...

New bacteria linked to 2 Valley deaths

06/04/2010
A relatively new strain of toxic germ is making the rounds in hospitals around the Valley. “It’s not a supergerm,” said Dr. Bob England, Director of the Maricopa County Health Department. “This is a stronger version of a very common strain and it can make you very sick,” Dr. England explained Sunday. The ...

UM School of Medicine study finds vaginal microbes vary among healthy women

06/03/2010
The delicate balance of microbes in the vagina can vary greatly between healthy women, according to a new study led by the University of Maryland School of Medicine's Institute for Genome Sciences. Researchers hope further study will lead to personalized reproductive medicine for women, allowing doctors to tailor each woman's ...

The Microbe Factor and Its Role in Our Climate Future

06/01/2010
When new reports about global warming come out, they typically include a picture of the land and sky, with arrows marking the movement of carbon dioxide around the planet. Some arrows rise up from cities and farmland, while other arrows plunge down to forests and oceans. This sort of diagram ...

Microbial Team May Be Culprit in Colony Collapse Disorder

05/26/2010
New research from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) identifies a new potential cause for "Colony Collapse Disorder" in honeybees. A group of pathogens including a fungus and family of viruses may be working together to cause the decline. Scientists report their results May 25 at the 110th General ...

Microbicides That Do More Than Gel: Vaginal Rings, Tablets and Films

05/24/2010
A flexible ring containing two anti-HIV drugs showed in laboratory tests that it can deliver therapeutic levels of both drugs for up to 30 days, researchers reported at the International Microbicides Conference (M2010) in Pittsburgh, adding that they consider the ring near ready for testing of its safety in women. Vaginal ...

Antibacterial Silver Nanoparticles Are a Blast

05/24/2010
Writing in the International Journal of Nanoparticles, Rani Pattabi and colleagues at Mangalore University, explain how blasting silver nitrate solution with an electron beam can generate nanoparticles that are more effective at killing all kinds of bacteria, including gram-negative species that are not harmed by conventional antibacterial agents. Your running shoes, ...

Salmonella outbreak in 10 states prompts sprouts recall

05/22/2010
Federal public health officials are investigating a salmonella outbreak that has infected 22 people in 10 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday. The infections are linked to the consumption of raw alfalfa sprouts, the CDC said. California-based Caldwell Fresh Foods is recalling all alfalfa sprouts manufactured under three ...

Did the End of Smallpox Vaccination Cause the Explosive Spread of HIV?

05/18/2010
Vaccinia immunization, as given to prevent the spread of smallpox, produces a five-fold reduction in HIV replication in the laboratory. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Immunology suggest that the end of smallpox vaccination in the mid-20th century may have caused a loss of protection that contributed to ...

Surprising Infection Inducing Mechanism Found in Bacteria

05/18/2010
A study appearing in Nature, with the participation of doctors Susana Campoy and Jordi Barbé from the Department of Genetics and Microbiology at UAB, demonstrates that bacteria have a surprising mechanism to transfer virulent genes causing infections. The researchers describe an unprecedented evolutionary adaptation and could contribute to finding new ...

Our bees are buzzing off. But why?

05/18/2010
In many places, the country air has become just that little bit quieter. The reason: our bees have stopped buzzing. Over the past few years, honeybees have suddenly and inexplicably disappeared from colonies that once thrived across the northern parts of the American and European continents. A mysterious malaise has struck ...

UTIs becoming harder to treat

05/18/2010
Genes that make bacteria resistant to antibiotics can be transferred between humans and other animals, say researchers writing in this month's issue of the Journal of Medical Microbiology. The findings will help health experts to assess how using antibiotics in food-producing animals can affect the treatment of common human infections. Scientists ...

New breakthrough in fight against lethal CCHF virus

05/18/2010
Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus is a rare but serious human infection that causes internal bleeding, organ failure and ultimately death. Scientists writing in the Journal of General Virology have developed a new model to study CCHF which should enhance the development of vaccines and antivirals against this deadly disease. CCHF ...

California Firm Recalls Ground Beef Products Due To Possible E. coli O157:H7 Contamination

05/16/2010
Montclair Meat Co., Inc., a Montclair, Calif., establishment is recalling approximately 53,000 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. The products subject to recall include: * Various pound packages ...

Pentagon Virus Detector Knows You're Sick Before You Do

05/13/2010
Imagine knowing you’ll be too sick to go to work, before the faintest hint of a runny nose or a sore throat. Now imagine that preemptive diagnosis being transmitted to a national, web-based influenza map — simply by picking up the phone. That’s the impressive potential of an ongoing Pentagon-funded research ...

Rare Toxic Algae Identified

05/13/2010
Scientists have identified an unusual species of pathogenic algae that causes human skin infections, described in a new study in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. The finding should improve our understanding of how rare species of algae are sometimes able to cause serious disease in humans and ...

Response to vaccines could depend on your sex

05/12/2010
Biological differences between the sexes could be a significant predictor of responses to vaccines, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. They examined published data from numerous adult and child vaccine trials and found that sex is a fundamental, but often overlooked predictor of vaccine ...

Rift Valley fever in South Africa- update

05/12/2010
On 11 May 2010 Bernhard-Nocht-Institute for Tropical Medicine in Germany reported that additional laboratory analyses conducted both in Germany and South Africa on the German tourist who was preliminarily diagnosed with Rift Valley Fever (RVF) following her return from South Africa, was in-fact infected with Rickettsia and not with RVF ...

Research team shows how bacterial community evolves to survive

05/12/2010
An international team led by a University of Cincinnati (UC) researcher has shown how a bacterial community evolves to survive hostile host defenses in the body. The team, led by Malak Kotb, PhD, chair of UC's of molecular genetics, biochemistry and microbiology department, analyzed the evolution over time of the community ...

New Understanding of Dengue Fever Could Help With Vaccine

05/10/2010
Some of the human immune system's defences against the virus that causes dengue fever actually help the virus to infect more cells, according to new research published May 6 in the journal Science. The researchers behind this study have identified a set of antibodies, produced by the human immune system to ...

US Food Safety System Needs to Integrate Human Health, Animal and Plant Pathogen Data, Experts Urge

05/10/2010
The Produce Safety Project has issued a report that examines the steps taken by select European Union (EU) countries to reform their food safety data collection and analysis systems since the 1990s. A key recommendation of the report is the annual publication of a unified cross‐agency report on tracking foodborne pathogens ...

Understanding Microbial Life

05/10/2010
The Ecology of Microbes.

HealthMap surveillance efforts illustrate global epidemiology of H1N1 spread

05/06/2010
As H1N1 began to emerge in April 2009, HealthMap – an automated online disease tracking and mapping tool created by researchers in the Informatics Program at Children's Hospital Boston – was already collecting information about the virus and plotting that information on a map of the globe, creating a freely ...

Aphids got their colours by stealing genes from fungi

04/30/2010
Aphids, those sap-sucking foes of gardeners, come in a variety of colours. We usually think of them as green, but pea aphids sometimes wear a fetching red ensemble. That may not strike you as anything special; after all, lots of animals are red. But the aphid’s colour is unique in ...

Bonnie Bassler discovers Quorum sensing (video)

04/27/2010
Bonnie Bassler explains her breakthrough discovery.

Bacteria-size Babies Among Ocean's Smallest Life (video)

04/26/2010
An octopus in miniature is among the hundreds of larvae found in a recent Census of Marine Life survey of the tiniest creatures in the sea.

Putting Bacterial Antibiotic Resistance Into Reverse

04/26/2010
The use of antibiotics to treat bacterial infections causes a continual and vicious cycle in which antibiotic treatment leads to the emergence and spread of resistant strains, forcing the use of additional drugs leading to further multi-drug resistance. But what if it doesn't have to be that way? In a presentation at ...

Pressure-Cooking Algae Into a Better Biofuel

04/26/2010
Heating and squishing microalgae in a pressure-cooker can fast-forward the crude-oil-making process from millennia to minutes. University of Michigan professors are working to understand and improve this procedure in an effort to speed up development of affordable biofuels that could replace fossil fuels and power today's engines. They are also examining the ...

Scientists crack code of critical bacterial defense mechanism

04/25/2010
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Scientists have combined chemistry and biology research techniques to explain how certain bacteria grow structures on their surfaces that allow them to simultaneously cause illness and protect themselves from the body's defenses. The researchers are the first to reproduce a specific component of this natural process in a ...

SMS Fights Malaria Scourge in Africa

04/23/2010
Can texting help reverse Africa’s malaria epidemic? The answer seems to be a resounding “Yes.” Using a mix of text messages, Google Maps and cloud software, organizers of a pilot program backed by IBM, Novartis and Vodafone believe they saved hundreds of lives in a few short months on the malaria-wracked ...
04/23/2010
New evidence shows immunization against "swine flu" in 1976 might provide individuals with some protection against the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus, according to new research from St. Jude investigators. Researchers found that individuals who reported receiving the 1976 vaccine mounted an enhanced immune response against both the 2009 pandemic H1N1 ...

Strep steps up in urinary tract infections

04/23/2010
Research suggests pathogenic strains of Group B Streptococcus (GBS) are an under-recognised cause of urinary tract infections. The bacteria are better known as a cause of infection in pregnant women with subsequent risks of preterm delivery and transmission to newborn infants often with devastating consequences. Microbiologist Dr Glen Ulett, from the Griffith ...

Toxic asphalt sludge is home to hardy microbes

04/22/2010
LIQUID asphalt is not a likely home, but hardy microbes have been found thriving in a natural lake made of the stuff. The discovery hints that alien life could exist in similar places. Microbes are known to exist in tar pits, but it was not known if natural asphalt pools, with ...

Simplifying Complexity – New Insights Into How Genomes Work

04/22/2010
A genome is a complex system of genes and factors that regulate them. A European research team has clarified how such dynamic systems work, leading to a new way to predict genetic regulators. As an organism develops and interacts with its environment, suites of genes are constantly being turned on and ...

Early humans may have bred with other species – twice

04/21/2010
Human evolution is looking more tangled than ever. A new genetic study of nearly two thousand people from around the world suggests that some of our ancestors bred with other species of humans, such as Neanderthals, at least twice. "The researchers suggest the interbreeding happened about 60,000 years ago in the ...

You can learn a lot from a little pandemic

04/20/2010
The doctor who would become the Canadian face of pandemic prevention was struggling to appear calm while under attack at a parliamentary subcommittee one year ago this week. Chief public health officer David Butler-Jones was being grilled by MPs over the agency's handling of the listeriosis food contamination outbreak, but he ...

New species of human malaria recognized

04/19/2010
Scientists investigating ovale malaria, a form of the disease thought to be caused by a single species of parasite, have confirmed that the parasite is actually two similar but distinct species which do not reproduce with each other, according to research published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases. Researchers from the ...

Substance in Breast Milk Kills Cancer Cells, Study Suggests

04/19/2010
A substance found in breast milk can kill cancer cells, reveal studies carried out by researchers at Lund University and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. HAMLET was discovered by chance when researchers were studying the antibacterial properties of breast milk. Further studies showed that HAMLET comprises a protein and a fatty ...

Scientists find chicken antibodies may help prevent H5N1 pandemic

04/19/2010
Scientists have discovered for the first time that antibodies in common eggs laid by hens vaccinated against the H5N1 virus can potentially prevent a possible H5N1 pandemic, raising the possibility that the same principle could be applied to the current H1N1 influenza pandemic. A team of scientists led by Dr. Huan ...

Hard-to-see sea life: a close look at watery microbes

04/18/2010
Results from the latest Census of Marine Life study are in, highlighting spectacular examples of hard-to-see underwater microbes, part of a wider study involving four research groups looking at some of the smallest sea species. Click "source" to view the watery microbe image gallery.

Mat of microbes the size of Greece discovered on seafloor

04/18/2010
Gargantuan whales and hefty cephalopods are typically thought of as the classic marine mammoths, but they might have to make way for the mighty microbes, which constitute 50 to 90 percent of the oceans' total biomass, according to newly released data. These tiny creatures can join together to create some of ...

$3 hand-powered suction device quickly heals wounds

04/17/2010
MIT Grad Student Danielle Zurovcik (above) designed this hand-powered suction device to speed up wound healing. It costs $3 and it works. Nobody knows precisely why it works, but doctors have known for decades that the healing process for open wounds can be greatly speeded up by applying negative pressure — ...

Immune Molecules Target Swine And Avian-Origin Influenza

04/17/2010
Antibodies are immune molecules that have a key role in protecting against infection with influenza virus. The target of the protective antibodies is the influenza protein HA, which varies so dramatically among influenza viruses that it is used to classify them into subtypes (H1-H16). It is thought that the antibodies ...

2-5-1 Bacteria and Viruses (video)

04/17/2010
Biology II Unit 5: Microbiology Lecture 1: Bacteria & Viruses After viewing this video lecture on bacteria and viruses, you should be able to: - List common characteristics of bacteria. - List common characteristics of viruses. - Compare and contrast bacteria and viruses. - Evaluate the ecological, economic, and health ...

Lung Virus Taking Its Toll on Young Lives, Study Finds

04/16/2010
A common virus that causes wheezing and pneumonia claims the lives of up to two hundred thousand children worldwide each year, a study has found. The research, conducted by the University of Edinburgh, also showed that about 3.4 million children require hospital treatment for severe lung infection caused by the bug ...

'Black Box' Plankton Found to Have Huge Role in Ocean Carbon Fixation

04/15/2010
Blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, grow in vast numbers in the sunlit surface waters of the oceans, the photic zone. They use sunlight to 'fix' carbon by converting carbon dioxide into sugars and other organic compounds through photosynthesis. Cyanobacteria belong to the 'picophytoplankton', the tiniest phytoplankton. Until now they have been thought ...

Toothpaste With Triclosan/copolymer Kills Harmful Germs, Study Finds

04/13/2010
The human mouth is home to an estimated 800 to 1,000 different kinds of bacteria. The warm and moist environment, along with hard tooth surfaces and soft tissues, prove to be optimal factors in boosting germ growth. Many of these bacteria are harmful and can form a film on teeth ...

Why the Japanese Can Easily Digest Sushi

04/13/2010
Porphyran, a polysaccharide present in the cell walls of a red algae that is used notably in the preparation of sushi, is broken down specifically by an enzyme called porphyranase. This new enzymatic activity has been identified in marine bacteria and, surprisingly, in the bacteria that populate the gut of ...

An automated system for detecting TB

04/12/2010
One of the difficulties of diagnosing tuberculosis is that there is no simple blood or urine test. Instead, a laboratory technician must take a sample of sputum coughed up from the lungs, stain it and inspect it under a microscope for the telltale bacteria, which resemble long-grain rice. It takes ...

Medicine goes mobile: iPhone apps take vitals, track viruses

04/12/2010
On tiny keypads and greasy touch screens, doctors, nurses, NPs and physicians assistants these days are doing a lot more than checking email and phone messages. Increasingly, health care workers are using their iPhones and other smart phones to track patient information, take vital statistics and even make clinical decisions. ...

Giant mimivirus does its replication in-house

04/08/2010
THE world's largest known virus just got bigger, and analysis of its genome supports the controversial idea that giant viruses shaped the cells of all animals and plants. Armed with almost 1000 genes, the mimivirus is a monster compared with classic viruses such as HIV or the flu virus, which seldom ...

Study Finds Surgical Masks Provided Effective Protection of Health Care Workers Against H1N1

03/29/2010
The effectiveness of ordinary surgical masks as opposed to respirators in protecting health care workers against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus has been the subject of debate. An observational study published in the April 1, 2010 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, available online, suggests that surgical masks are just as ...

Your Fat May Help You Heal: Researcher Extracts Natural Scaffold for Tissue Growth

03/27/2010
It frequently happens in science that what you throw away turns out to be most valuable. It happened to Deepak Nagrath, but not for long. The Rice assistant professor in chemical and biomolecular engineering was looking for ways to grow cells in a scaffold, and he discarded the sticky substance secreted ...

Scientists Create Rainbow of Fluorescent Probes

03/27/2010
Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University's Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biosensor and Imaging Center (MBIC) are advancing the state-of-the-art in live cell fluorescent imaging by developing a new class of fluorescent probes that span the spectrum -- from violet to the near-infrared. The new technology, called fluoromodules, can be used ...

How Cells Recognize Viral Toxins

03/27/2010
For many years it's been known that the fever, achiness and other symptoms you feel during the flu are triggered by a viral molecule that travels through the body acting like a toxin. But what scientists haven't understood is how this molecule -- known as double-stranded RNA -- is recognized and ...

Rapid Development of Drug-Resistant 2009 H1N1 Influenza Reported in Two Cases

03/26/2010
Two people with compromised immune systems who became ill with 2009 H1N1 influenza developed drug-resistant strains of virus after less than two weeks on therapy, report doctors from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. Doctors who treat prolonged influenza infection ...

Virus hunting in Cameroon: by Nature Video

03/26/2010
Global pandemics, like swine flu, are often caused by viruses that have jumped from animals to people. Scientists in Cameroon are working with local bush meat hunters to monitor this viral transmission. They hope that their work will help us predict and prevent outbreaks like swine flu in the future.

Emerging disease: Looking for trouble

03/26/2010
How do you persuade philanthropists to pay $1 million for every pathogenic human virus you discover? Anjali Nayar talks to 'virus hunter' Nathan Wolfe in Cameroon to find out. Every day, more than 100 patients line up for treatment outside the bare cement walls of a rural health clinic in the ...

Secrets of Plant Genomes Revealed! (video)

03/26/2010
Plant genome research is already revolutionizing the field of biology. Currently, scientists are unlocking the secrets of some of the most important plants in our lives, including corn, cotton and potatoes. Secrets of Plant Genomes: Revealed! takes viewers on a lively, upbeat journey that explores how these plants got to ...

Community-acquired MRSA becoming more common in pediatric ICU patients

03/26/2010
Once considered a hospital anomaly, community-acquired infections with drug-resistant strains of the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus now turn up regularly among children hospitalized in the intensive-care unit, according to research from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center. The Johns Hopkins Children's team's findings, to be published in the April issue of the journal ...

University of Michigan scientists identify chemical in bananas as potent inhibitor of HIV infection

03/15/2010
A potent new inhibitor of HIV, derived from bananas, may open the door to new treatments to prevent sexual transmission of HIV, according to a University of Michigan Medical School study published this week. Scientists have an emerging interest in lectins, naturally occurring chemicals in plants, because of their ability to ...

Microscopic Photography Reveals Bacteria Destroying Grape Plant Cell Wall

03/15/2010
Like a band of detectives surveying the movement of a criminal, researchers using photographic technology have caught at least one culprit in the act. In this case, electron microscopy was used to watch a deadly bacteria breakdown cell walls in wine grape plants -- an image that previously had not been ...

Barrier in Mosquito Midgut Protects Invading Pathogens

03/14/2010
Scientists studying the Anopheles gambiae mosquito -- the main vector of malaria -- have found that when the mosquito takes a blood meal, that act triggers two enzymes to form a network of crisscrossing proteins around the ingested blood. The formation of this protein barrier, the researchers found, is ...

Desperate Efforts to Save Endangered Bats May Fail

03/12/2010
A desperate attempt to keep endangered Virginia big-eared bats alive in captivity has shown just how difficult that noble task may be. The effort was prompted by the discovery of White Nose Syndrome, an extremely virulent disease that has killed more than one million bats since 2007, in one of the ...

Snack maker recalls pretzel products due to potential salmonella contamination

03/09/2010
The following recall has been announced: GNS Foods, based in Arlington, Texas, is voluntarily recalling snack mixes containing certain kinds of pretzels. They could be contaminated with salmonella, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children and others with weakened immune systems. No illnesses have been ...

Two flavors of Pringles potato crisps recalled in HVP salmonella scare

03/09/2010
The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG), in response to a recommendation from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to the food industry, announced today that it is voluntarily recalling Pringles Restaurant Cravers Cheeseburger potato crisps and Pringles Family Faves Taco Night potato crisps as part of an industry ingredient recall ...

Evidence of Increasing Antibiotic Resistance in Soil Microbes

03/04/2010
A team of scientists in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands are reporting disturbing evidence that soil microbes have become progressively more resistant to antibiotics over the last 60 years. Surprisingly, this trend continues despite more stringent rules on use of antibiotics in medicine and agriculture, and improved sewage treatment ...

Household Bacteria for Better Cheese

03/04/2010
The Norwegian dairy company TINE is now planning an in-depth study that will find out whether household bacteria can be used for their own sake. When the Norwegian dairy company TINE makes cheese, it deliberately adds certain organisms to the raw milk. Others get there by chance and shape the end-product. ...

Foodborne Illness Costs US $152 Billion Annually, Landmark Report Estimates

03/03/2010
A new study by a former U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) economist estimates the total economic impact of foodborne illness across the nation to be a combined $152 billion annually. The Produce Safety Project, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts at Georgetown University, published the report, Health-Related Costs from ...

Toilet Seats: Can You Catch Infections from Them?

03/01/2010
Recently in the news, there was a noted “rash” of toilet seat rashes caused from contact with harsh cleaning chemicals that rubbed against the bottoms and thighs of toddlers. While these skin eruptions were caused by direct irritation, it reminds me of why so many women, including myself, never sit ...

Mars's Environment Shown to Be Hostile, but Not Untenable for Earthly Microbes

03/01/2010
Microbes similar to those on Earth would have a tough time surviving the harsh environment of Mars, but it is not inconceivable that they could persist there given a little protection, according to a new study. The finding supports similar, previous work and lends credence to the theory that if ...

Emerging tick-borne disease

02/25/2010
Stories of environmental damage and their consequences always seem to take place far away and in another country, usually a tropical one with lush rainforests and poison dart frogs. In fact, similar stories starring familiar animals are unfolding all the time in our own backyards — including gripping tales of diseases ...

Gene Regulation: Can We Stomach It? New Technique Fights Against Cause of Peptic Ulcer Disease and Gastric Cancer

02/23/2010
A breakthrough in decoding gene regulation of Helicobacter pylori has been made by an international research team led by Jörg Vogel of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin. Using a newly developed sequencing technique, the researchers discovered 60 small ribonucleic acids (sRNAs) -- tiny RNA-particles which can ...

Flu lives longer in drier air

02/23/2010
Doctors (and patients) have long known that influenza in temperate areas is more common in the winter, and that some winters are worse for flu than others. Now they know why – drier winter air keeps the flu virus alive longer and the drier the air, the more flu. The ...

Canecutter's Disease on the Rise Among Travelers

02/23/2010
A team led by PhD researcher Dr Colleen Lau from the School of Population Health at the University of Queensland, has discovered the disease, known medically as leptospirosis, was traditionally a concern for males working in the agricultural and livestock industries, as it is contracted from contact with the urine ...

Animals linked to human Chlamydia pneumoniae

02/22/2010
Australian and American scientists have found evidence that human Chlamydia pneumoniae was originally derived from an animal source Animals have been found to have infected humans sometime in the past with the common respiratory disease Chlamydia pneumoniae, according to Queensland University of Technology infectious disease expert Professor Peter Timms. Unlike the sexually-transmitted ...

Corals Partner Up With Heat-Resistant Algae

02/19/2010
Corals around the world, already threatened by pollution, destructive fishing practices and other problems, are also widely regarded as among the ecosystems likely to be first — and most — threatened with destruction as earth’s climate warms. But there is reason to hope, researchers are reporting. The scientists, from Penn State ...

International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge (video)

02/18/2010
Some of science's most powerful statements are not made in words. From the diagrams of DaVinci to Rosalind Franklins x-rays, visualization of research has a long and literally illustrious history. To illustrate is to enlighten. The National Science Foundation (NSF) and Science created the International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge ...

Influenza vaccines: Poor evidence for effectiveness in elderly

02/17/2010
Evidence for the safety and efficacy of influenza vaccines in the over 65s is poor, despite the fact that vaccination has been recommended for the prevention of influenza in older people for the past 40 years. These are the conclusions of a new Cochrane Systematic Review. Adults aged 65 and over ...

New Weapon to Fight Disease-Causing Bacteria, Malaria Developed

02/16/2010
Researchers report that they have discovered -- and now know how to exploit -- an unusual chemical reaction mechanism that allows malaria parasites and many disease-causing bacteria to survive. The research team, from the University of Illinois, also has developed the first potent inhibitor of this chemical reaction. The new study ...

Best Sellers in Microbiology

02/11/2010
I first posted this list in July 2009. Now Washington University in St. Louis has posted a new list extending from May 2009 to today. Perhaps you're a microbiology student with an interest in growing your library or maybe you're the author of one of these books! Maybe you are ...

Coronavirus Entry Mechanisms (video)

02/10/2010
Ana Shulla, a graduate student at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Loyola Medical Center, talks about her experiments with Coronavirus.

Creating Bacterial Spores in the Lab (video)

02/09/2010
Preparation of bacterial spores for future experiments with Kari Severson, Graduate Student at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Loyola Medical Center.

Virus Infections: SARS (video)

02/09/2010
The Voice of the Expert - Virus Infections: SARS. Research on virus infections and virus entry mechanisms, with specific focus on SARS. Discussion with Thomas Gallagher, Ph.D., Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Loyola Medical Center.

Anthrax and Bacteria (video)

02/09/2010
Anthrax and bacteria that form spores, Interview with Adam Driks, Ph.D., Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Loyola Medical Center.

How Virulent Food-Borne Bacteria Listeria Monocytogenes Induces Infected Immune Cells to Sabotage Their Own Defensive Response

02/02/2010
Researchers at National Jewish Health have discovered how the virulent food-borne bacteria Listeria monocytogenes induces infected immune cells to sabotage their own defensive response. The studies offer insight into host-pathogen interactions and suggest potential therapeutic targets for food poisoning, tuberculosis and autoimmune diseases. When patrolling immune-system cells encounter non-pathogenic microbes, they ...

Bacteria and Higher Organisms (Video)

02/02/2010
Symbiosis: bacteria and higher organisms.Video on how a bioluminescent marine bacterium called Vibrio fischeri colonizes a specific tissue of Euprymna scolopes, a small Hawaiian squid. Discussion by Karen L. Visick, Ph.D., Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Loyola Medical Center.

Micro eGuide Video - Smear from Broth

01/29/2010
The Micro eGuide present how to make a smear from broth.

Cigarettes might be infectious

01/29/2010
The tobacco in cigarettes hosts a bacterial bonanza — literally hundreds of different germs, including those responsible for many human illnesses, a new study finds. “Nearly every paper that you pick up discussing the health effects of cigarettes starts out with something to the effect that smokers and people exposed to ...

Micro eGuide Video - Using a Bunsen Burner

01/28/2010
The Micro eGuide presents how to use a Bunsen Burner.

ASM presents the mBio Call for Papers.

01/28/2010
Submissions to mBio™ are now being accepted. mBio™ is using the eJournalPress Peer Review System to manage the peer review process from manuscript submission through acceptance. Click "source" to go to the official webpage and to find links for submitting your paper. Instructions to Authors are available, as well ...

'Good' Bacteria Keep Immune System Primed to Fight Future Infections

01/27/2010
Scientists have long pondered the seeming contradiction that taking broad-spectrum antibiotics over a long period of time can lead to severe secondary bacterial infections. Now researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine may have figured out why. The investigators show that "good" bacteria in the gut keep the immune ...

Micro eGuide Video - Smear From a Colony

01/27/2010
The Micro eGuide presents how to make a smear from a colony!

Stopping bacterial infections with biochemical 'nanofactories' instead of antibiotics

01/27/2010
New research at the A. James Clark School of Engineering could prevent bacterial infections using tiny biochemical machines – nanofactories – that can confuse bacteria and stop them from spreading, without the use of antibiotics. ...nanofactories can tell the difference between bad (pathogenic) and good bacteria. For instance, our digestive tracts ...

Micro eGuide Video - Tube Transfers

01/26/2010
The Micro eGuide presents how to perform a tube transfer.

UCF professor's vaccine could be lethal weapon against malaria, cholera

01/26/2010
Mankind may finally have a weapon to fight two of the world's deadliest diseases. A University of Central Florida biomedical researcher has developed what promises to be the first low-cost dual vaccine against malaria and cholera. There is no FDA approved vaccine to prevent malaria, a mosquito-borne illness that kills more than ...

Gastric ulcer bacteria turn immune defense inwards

01/25/2010
Despite a strong response from our immune defence, the body is unable to rid itself of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. One reason for this is that this bacterium encourages elements of the immune response to remain in tissue, activating the wrong immune cells. Research results that pave the way for ...

Micro eGuide Video - Aseptic Techniques: Pipette Transfers

01/22/2010
The Micro eGuide presents Aseptic Techniques: Pipette Transfers.

Double Trouble: Bacterial Super-Infection After the Flu

01/22/2010
Current research suggests that the flu may predispose to secondary bacterial infections, which account for a significant proportion of mortality during flu pandemics. A common complication of flu infection is a secondary "super-infection" by bacteria, which greatly increases the morbidity and mortality of the disease. The most common bacterial agents found ...

Micro eGuide - Streak Plate Technique

01/21/2010
In the last tutorial I posted from the Micro eGuide you learned a method for practicing proper streaking technique. In this video we learn how to put this technique into practice and streak a plate properly.

Promising Probiotic Treatment For Inflammatory Bowel Disease

01/21/2010
Bacteria that produce compounds to reduce inflammation and strengthen host defences could be used to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Such probiotic microbes could be the most successful treatment for IBD to date, as explained in a review published in the February issue of the Journal of Medical Microbiology. IBD is ...

Genomic surveillance of pandemic H1N1

01/21/2010
The BC Centre for Disease Control has launched an influenza genome sequencing project to better understand how the pandemic H1N1 flu virus has evolved in British Columbia, and may continue to evolve in the coming months. This project capitalizes on BC's expertise and capacity in genome sequencing to generate hundreds of ...

No health risk from Haiti dead bodies

01/19/2010
Bodies piling up in Haiti pose a negligible infection risk to the public and don't need to be instantly buried or disinfected, the World Health Organization said on Monday in a report on the earthquake (PDF). Instead, relief workers should focus on treating the living. "It is important to convey to ...

Plate Streaking Practice

01/19/2010
The Micro eGuide has a great series of really short tutorial videos that teach basic lab procedures. Here is the first in the series that demonstrates how to practice plate streaking.

Zambian Study Finds Longer Breastfeeding Best for HIV-Infected Mothers

01/19/2010
A new study from Zambia suggests that halting breastfeeding early causes more harm than good for children not infected with HIV who are born to HIV-positive mothers. Stopping breastfeeding before 18 months was associated with significant increases in mortality among these children, according to the study's findings, described in the ...

From Throat to Mind: Strep Today, Anxiety Later?

01/18/2010
And the debate rages on. We've posted several articles in recent months that have both said that strep is and isn't a cause for such disorders as OCD and/or tic syndromes like Tourette's. However it appears that the final word is still unclear. Here's a new article claiming, "the case ...

Scientists hope to end sleeping sickness by making parasite that causes it to self-destruct

01/15/2010
New data offer an up-close look at the enzyme that protects the protozoa and how one compound obstructs those efforts. After many years of study, a team of researchers is releasing data today that it hopes will lead to new drug therapies that will kill the family of parasites that causes ...

The effects of circumcision on the penis microbiome.

01/15/2010
Circumcision is associated with significant reductions in HIV, HSV-2 and HPV infections among men and significant reductions in bacterial vaginosis among their female partners. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We assessed the penile (coronal sulci) microbiota in 12 HIV-negative Ugandan men before and after circumcision. Microbiota were characterized using sequence-tagged 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing ...

Making microscopic worms into a more deadly insecticide

01/15/2010
Microscopic nematode worms can be a potent organic insecticide, killing crop-raiding bugs without harming plants or beneficial insects and without environmental side effects of chemical. The problem is that when the worms are mass-bred for agricultural purposes, they tend to, as Byron Adams says, "wimp out," and are not as ...

Science news is a 'man-thing', apparently

01/13/2010
Science research councils have increasingly encouraged their grant-holders to engage with the public about their work and for many research grants some form of public engagement is now a necessity. But whom do these scientists end up engaging? With the advent of online content, where people can pick and choose what ...
01/12/2010
Google just launched an updated version of Google Flu Trends, a service that predicts flu trends by tracking flu related queries on the company's search engine. Until now, Google only showed aggregate data for states in the United States. Starting today, Flu Trends will show data down to the city ...

Insect Cells Provide the Key to Alternative Swine Flu Vaccination

01/12/2010
Scientists in Vienna have developed a new technique for producing vaccines for H1N1 -- so-called swine flu -- based on insect cells. The research, published in the Biotechnology Journal, reveals how influenza vaccines can be produced faster than through the traditional method of egg-based production, revealing a new strategy for ...

H1N1 Virus Spreads Easily by Plane

01/08/2010
Scientists already know that smallpox, measles, tuberculosis, seasonal influenza and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) can be transmitted during commercial flights. Now, in the first study to predict the number of H1N1 flu infections that could occur during a flight, UCLA researchers found that transmission during transatlantic travel could be ...
01/07/2010
We've previously posted this gallery of science tattoos here at MicrobeWorld.org but with a new write up on BoingBoing.net and an ever-growing collection of tattoos, we thought it was worth another look. Carl Zimmer, now the host of Meet The Scientist found here on MicrobeWorld, "once wondered aloud if scientists had ...

Disordered Microbial Communities in Asthmatic Airways

01/05/2010
Background: A rich microbial environment in infancy protects against asthma [1], [2] and infections precipitate asthma exacerbations [3]. We compared the airway microbiota at three levels in adult patients with asthma, the related condition of COPD, and controls. We also studied bronchial lavage from asthmatic children and controls. Principal Findings: We identified 5,054 ...

Staphylococcus epidermidis Antimicrobial δ-Toxin (Phenol-Soluble Modulin-γ) Cooperates with Host Antimicrobial Peptides to Kill Group A Streptococcus

01/05/2010
Antimicrobial peptides play an important role in host defense against pathogens. Recently, phenol-soluble modulins (PSMs) from Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epidermidis) were shown to interact with lipid membranes, form complexes, and exert antimicrobial activity. Based on the abundance and innocuity of the cutaneous resident S. epidermidis, we hypothesized that their PSMs ...

Sharing a hospital room increases risk of 'super bugs'

01/05/2010
Staying in a multi-bed hospital room dramatically increases the risk of acquiring a serious infectious disease, Queen's University researchers have discovered. A new study led by infectious diseases expert Dr. Dick Zoutman says the chance of acquiring serious infections like C. difficile (Clostridium difficile) rises with the addition of every hospital ...

Too-dilute disinfectant boosts bacteria resistance

01/04/2010
Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium responsible for severe chest infections, can become tolerant to the commonly used mild disinfectant benzalkonium chloride. The bug develops mutations that enable it to expel the disinfectant. Worse still, tolerant strains can also shrug off ciprofloxacin, a fluoroquinolone antibiotic widely used to treat gut and urinary ...

Microbe Kombat - The Game that Makes You the Microbe

12/31/2009
Microbe Kombat is a fun little game that pits microbes against each other in an ultimate confrontation- gladiator style. Players must consume proteins, reproduce, and wipe out the opposing microbe fraction. Click the "Source" link to play the game.

Children more likely to catch swine flu, says new research

12/30/2009
Young people aged under 18 years are more likely than adults to catch swine flu from an infected person in their household, according to a new study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. However, the research also shows that young people are no more likely than adults ...

Soil studies reveal rise in antibiotic resistance

12/23/2009
Antibiotic resistance in the natural environment is rising despite tighter controls over our use of antibiotics in medicine and agriculture, Newcastle University scientists have found. Bacterial DNA extracted from soil samples collected between 1940 and 2008 has revealed a rise in background levels of antibiotic resistant genes. Newcastle University's Professor David Graham, ...

Tuberculosis Strain Thrives on Antibiotic

12/23/2009
Scientists have identified a strain of antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis that thrives in the presence of rifampin, a front-line drug in the treatment of tuberculosis. The bacterium was identified in a patient in China and is described in a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Chongqing ...

Novel Nanotechnology Heals Abscesses Caused by Resistant Staph Bacteria

12/22/2009
Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have developed a new approach for treating and healing skin abscesses caused by bacteria resistant to most antibiotics. The study appears in the journal PLoS One. Abscesses are deep skin infections that often resist antibiotics and may require surgical drainage. For ...

New, Virulent Strain of MRSA Poses Renewed Antibiotic Resistance Concerns

12/22/2009
The often feared and sometimes deadly infections caused by MRSA -- methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus -- are now moving out of hospitals and emerging as an even more virulent strain in community settings and on athletic teams, and raising new concerns about antibiotic resistance. Right now, the new community-associated strain of MRSA ...

The Sound of Science (video)

12/21/2009
Molecular Microbiology Holiday Skit 2009. It looks like some students from the Tufts Molecular Biology and Microbiology department were inspired by the holidays to bring us this great video skit called "The Sound of Science."

Puzzling Movement of Electricity-Producing Bacteria

12/15/2009
Bacteria dance the electric slide, officially named electrokinesis by the USC geobiologists who discovered the phenomenon. Their study, published online today in PNAS Early Edition, describes what appears to be an entirely new bacterial behavior. The metal-metabolizing Shewanella oneidensis microbe does not just cling to metal in its environment, as previously thought. ...

Wisconsin wants its own official state microbe

12/15/2009
You may know Wisconsin's state animal (the badger), the state bird (the robin), or even the state dance (the polka). Now Wisconsin lawmakers want to name an official state microbe. It's called Lactococcus Lactis, and it's the microbe that turns milk into cheese. Supporters presented Assembly Bill 556 Thursday to the ...

Do Flu Viruses Live Longer on Surfaces Than Cold Viruses?

12/14/2009
Most people know that cold and flu viruses can contaminate doorknobs, faucets and other surfaces. But for how long? Studies have found that the survival time for both kinds of viruses varies greatly, from a few seconds to 48 hours. The reasons have to do with a number of factors, including ...

Giant Panda Genome Reveals Why It Eats Shoots and Leaves

12/14/2009
What’s black and white and read all over? The giant panda genome. All 2.4 billion DNA base pairs of a 3-year-old female panda named Jingjing have been cataloged, researchers report online Dec. 13 in Nature. The information will help researchers understand panda traits such as finicky diets. A thorough understanding ...

Anti-HIV vaginal gel fails

12/14/2009
A vaginal gel designed to block HIV infection during sex has failed in a trial of 9385 women. The gel has been touted as a method of preventing HIV that could empower women whose male partners are unwilling to wear a condom. "It very clearly doesn't work," says chief investigator Sheena McCormack, ...

Let Kids Eat Dirt: Over-Cleanliness Linked to Heart Disease

12/11/2009
In a long-term study published in The Proceedings of the Royal Society B, U.S. researchers suggest that over-cleanliness could make babies more prone to inflammation later in life, and in turn raise the risk for stroke and heart disease. Thomas McDade’s team studied more than 1,500 people in the Philippines who ...

Unexpected Weakness in H1N1's Method for Evading Detection by the Immune System

12/10/2009
The H1N1 influenza virus has been keeping a secret that may be the key to defeating it and other flu viruses as well. Researchers at Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) have found what they believe is a weakness in H1N1's method for evading detection by the immune system. Comparing ...

Everyday Germs in Childhood May Prevent Diseases in Adulthood

12/09/2009
A new Northwestern University study suggests that American parents should ease up on antibacterial soap and perhaps allow their little ones a romp or two in the mud --- or at least a much better acquaintance with everyday germs. The study is the first to look at how microbial exposures early ...

Fast, accurate urine test for pneumonia possible, study finds

12/09/2009
Doctors may soon be able to quickly and accurately diagnose the cause of pneumonia-like symptoms by examining the chemicals found in a patient's urine, suggests a new study led by UC Davis biochemist Carolyn Slupsky. Pneumonia is a lung infection that annually sickens millions of people in the United States, resulting ...

Scripps Research scientists reveal key structure from ebola virus

12/08/2009
LA JOLLA, CA, December 7, 2009—Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have determined the structure of a critical protein from the Ebola virus, which, though rare, is one of the deadliest viruses on the planet killing between 50 and 90 percent of those infected. Described in the advance, online Early ...

Cell Phone Bacteria (video)

11/30/2009
This spot done by Nicole Brady of KOB-TV in Albuquerque shows how many Germs can accumulate on your Cell Phone.

How Bacteria Cause Disease (video)

11/30/2009
Join Warren Levinson to learn about the various agents that cause infectious diseases: bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa and worms, with a focus on how bacteria are transmitted and cause disease, and how exotoxins and endotoxins cause symptoms of disease.

Tests Find Chicken Often Contaminated, But Better Than Before

11/30/2009
Two-thirds of store-bought chickens are contaminated with salmonella, campylobacter or both. That's according to the most recent testing done by consumer advocacy group Consumer's Union and described in January issue of Consumer Reports. The results may not be as bad as you think. The contamination, though widespread, is a little better ...

A Bacterium's Super Breathing Capability (VIDEO)

11/20/2009
Here's a great little video put together by an NPR intern, Ilham Hassan about Geobiologist Kenneth Nealson and what he affectionately calls his bugs—bacteria. Nealson discovered the bacterium Shewanella oneidensis strain MR-1. Or just "MR-1" for short. He found the microbe in Lake Oneida, back in 1987. He was studying the ...

A new model system to study fungal infections

11/19/2009
WORCESTER, Mass. – A team of researchers at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center at Gateway Park has developed a new model system to study fungal infections. The system can be a powerful tool for screening potential drug targets for conditions like thrush, athlete's foot and ...

FDA Bows To Pressure From Fans Of Raw Oysters

11/17/2009
Facing political pressure from the Gulf Coast oyster industry, the FDA has backed off a plan to require raw oysters from the Gulf of Mexico to be treated to rid them of Vibrio vulnificus, a potentially deadly bacteria found in warm-water oysters. Harvesters and politicians had warned that the plan ...

Aiming Higher - Microbiology

11/17/2009
A well produced university promotional video that takes a look at the daily workings of a microbiologist as well as a lab supervisor.

Previous Seasonal Flu Infections May Provide Some Level of H1N1 Immunity

11/17/2009
Researchers at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology and colleagues have found that previous influenza infections may provide at least some level of immunity to the H1N1 "swine" flu." The question we asked was, 'Is the swine flu more like the seasonal flu or like a totally new strain ...

Bacterial 'Ropes' Tie Down Shifting Southwest

11/17/2009
Researchers from Arizona State University have discovered that several species of microbes (cyanobacteria), at least one found prominently in the deserts of the Southwest, have evolved the trait of rope-building to lasso shifting soil substrates. The study, published Nov. 17 in the journal Public Library of Science (PLoS) ONE, revealed that ...

Can a Person Contract Two Colds at One Time?

11/16/2009
The rhinovirus that causes most cases of the common cold comes in many strains — at least 99, to be exact. As a result, it has long been theorized that a person could be sickened with more than one cold strain at the same time. But recent studies of the ...

Scientists put interactive flu tracking at public's fingertips

11/16/2009
COLUMBUS, Ohio – New methods of studying avian influenza strains and visually mapping their movement around the world will help scientists more quickly learn the behavior of the pandemic H1N1 flu virus, Ohio State University researchers say. The researchers linked many powerful computer systems together to analyze enormous amounts of genetic ...

Structure Of HIV Coat Could Lead To New Drugs

11/13/2009
Structural biologists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have described the architecture of the complex of protein units that make up the coat surrounding the HIV genome and identified in it a "seam" of functional importance that previously went unrecognized. "Our lab experiments show that if we replace a ...

E. Coli Outbreak Traced to Company That Halted Testing of Ground Beef

11/13/2009
A deadly outbreak of E. coli has been traced to a large producer of ground beef that stopped testing its ingredients years ago under pressure from beef suppliers.The outbreak has fueled a growing concern among grocers that not enough is being done to protect their customers. The United States Department ...

Pig Poo = Power

11/13/2009
Stinking lagoons of pig poo created by thousands of animals in giant pig farms can pollute rivers, poison groundwater and pump out clouds of methane and carbon dioxide. Using microorganisms to break down slurry makes sense for two reasons. The first is environmental protection, but the methane produced by anaerobic ...

5 Pathogens Linked to Risk for Stroke

11/13/2009
A new study is linking cumulative exposure to five common pathogens with an increased risk for stroke. The infections in order of significance are Chlamydia pneumoniae, Helicobacter pylori, cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex viruses 1 and 2.

Hand Sanitizers: What You Don't Know

11/02/2009
"We all know that having clean hands is one way to prevent seasonal cold and flu viruses, including H1N1 swine flu. But should you wash with soap and water, or coat your hands with disinfecting gel from one of those dispensers that seem to be appearing in more and more ...

CDC: Contaminated beef may be linked to 2 deaths

11/02/2009
"Two deaths and 26 other illnesses may be linked to fresh ground beef that has been recalled because it might be contaminated with E. coli bacteria, a federal health official said Monday. One of the deaths involved a New York adult with several underlying health conditions, said Lola Scott Russell, a ...

Science and Knitting?

10/29/2009
The Manchester Science Festival 2009 is hosting "The Big Microbe Knit." A day of creativity, knitting micro-organisms such as swine flu, salmonella and the common cold. Learn about the microbes we encounter in our everyday lives and some of the more uncommon ones. But if you can't make it to The ...

Cockroach Superpower No. 42: They Don’t Need to Pee

10/27/2009
"To survive in hostile environments, cockroaches rely on their own vermin: Blattabacterium, a microbe that hitched a ride inside roaches 140 million years ago, and hasn’t left since. Researchers who sequenced the Blattabacterium genome have found that it converts waste into molecules necessary for a roach to survive. Every cockroach is ...

Glass Microbiology

10/23/2009
This is a video that highlights the work of Luke Jerram, a artist who makes glass sculptures of some of the worlds most deadly viruses. For work that represents something so deadly to so many across the globe this work is truly beautiful and amazing. Visit his webpage at http://lukejerram.com/projects/glass_microbiology to ...

Swine Flu Virus Confirmed In Minnesota Pig

10/19/2009
"It's now official: at least one pig in Minnesota has been confirmed to have had the swine flu virus, according to the Agriculture Department Monday. The Agriculture Department was quick to point out, however, that the presence of the virus in a show pig doesn't mean commercial herds are infected ...

The Nature of Phages (video)

10/16/2009
Learn all about bacteriophage, bacteria's natural enemy. A virus that attacks bacteria much like bacteria can attack us with deadly results. See how phage, discovered over 80 years ago, is now being used to treat infections and fight off deadly bacteria.

Blastomyces dermatitidis

10/15/2009
Blastomyces dermatitidis. Yeast from tissue smear. Gomori methenamine silver nitrate stain. (400x)

Colonies of Blastomyces dermatitidis on blood agar plates

10/15/2009
Colonies of Blastomyces dermatitidis on blood agar plates incubated at 30 C

Is the person next to you washing their hands with soap?

10/15/2009
People are more likely to wash their hands when they have been shamed into it, according to a study by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, looked at responses to electronic hygiene messages displayed in UK service station toilets. A ...

Earlier Flu Viruses Provided Some Immunity To Current H1N1 Influenza, Study Shows

10/15/2009
"University of California, Davis, researchers studying the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus, formerly referred to as "swine flu," have identified a group of immunologically important sites on the virus that are also present in seasonal flu viruses that have been circulating for years. These molecular sites appear to result in some ...

Bug Barcode Readers Hold Out Promise Of Universal Vaccines

10/15/2009
"Veterinary scientists have made a discovery that promises to deliver a new approach to fast development of cheap vaccines that are effective in all mammals – not just humans or another particular species. They propose that by harnessing the system that reads the biological ‘barcodes’ of infectious microbes such as ...

Important Defence Against Stomach Ulcer Bacterium Identified

10/13/2009
"A special protein in the lining of the stomach has been shown to be an important part of the body’s defence against the stomach ulcer bacterium Helicobacter pylori in a new study from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg. The research team has shown that a protein called ...

Is a Virus the Cause of Fatigue Syndrome

10/13/2009
"Chronic fatigue syndrome has long been a medical mystery and the subject of debate, sometimes bitter, among doctors, researchers and patients. It affects at least one million Americans, causing extreme fatigue, muscle and joint pain, sleep problems, difficulty concentrating and other symptoms. The new suspect is a xenotropic murine leukemia ...

Laser Technique Has Implications For Detecting Microbial Life Forms In Martian Ice

10/02/2009
"Michael Storrie-Lombardi, PhD, from Kinohi Institute (Pasadena, CA), and Birgit Sattler, PhD, from the University of Innsbruck, Austria, used laser-induced fluorescence emission (L.I.F.E.) imaging to detect red and infrared fluorescence activity produced by cyanobacteria present in the ice of frozen Antarctic lakes. This L.I.F.E. technique, which required minimal, inexpensive, off-the-shelf equipment, ...

New Ancient Fungus Finding Suggests World's Forests Were Wiped Out In Global Catastrophe

10/02/2009
Before there were dinosaurs and the continents still formed what is known as Pangaea, there was Reduviasporonites. This wood eating fungus dominated our planet's land mass following a global catastrophe that saw Basalt lava flows which exterminated up to 96 per cent of all marine species and 70 per cent ...

Tamiflu in Rivers Could Breed Drug-Resistant Flu Strains

10/01/2009
"The premier flu-fighting drug is contaminating rivers downstream of sewage-treatment facilities, researchers in Japan confirm. The source: urinary excretion by people taking oseltamivir phosphate, best known as Tamiflu. Concerns are now building that birds, which are natural influenza carriers, are being exposed to waterborne residues of Tamiflu’s active form and might ...

Protect children first with H1N1 flu vaccine (with video)

10/01/2009
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The optimal way to control swine flu, the new H1N1 virus that emerged as a global threat in 2009, is to vaccinate children with the planned H1N1 flu vaccine, says the co-director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. "Children are the ...

Movie Aims to Inspire College Students With Tales of Successful Minority Scientists

09/30/2009
A student produced documentary, "Roots to Stem: Spelman Women in Science, profiles the careers of African American female scientists. Even though there is an increasing rate of African American women in science undergraduate sciences classes, the number of these women actually entering into science as a profession is still rare ...

Discovery could improve hepatitis C treatment

09/23/2009
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researchers are part of an international team that has discovered a genetic variation that could identify those people infected with hepatitis C who are most likely to benefit from current treatments. Dr Melanie Bahlo and Dr Max Moldovan from the institute's Bioinformatics division worked with researchers ...

Frog Fungus Hammering Biodiversity Of Communities

09/23/2009
A microscopic fungus by the name of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, or Bd, is killing Central American frogs as a rate that is more alarming that once believed. "The fungus is devastating to frogs because it infects the skin, a much more important organ in amphibians than in other vertebrates. Many frogs ...

Virologist Makes it to the Small Screen

08/18/2009
Dr. Mike Leahy is a Virologist and an adventure junkie. Now he has his own show called Bite Me where he combines his work with his passions which leads to one very scary outcome, "up-close-and-personal encounters with Earth's most dangerous creatures." Check out the show on the Travel Channel, Tuesdays at ...

Scientists report original source of malaria

08/03/2009
Deadly parasite jumped to humans from chimpanzees, perhaps through 1 mosquito Irvine, Calif. – Researchers have identified what they believe is the original source of malignant malaria: a parasite found in chimpanzees in equatorial Africa. UC Irvine biologist Francisco Ayala and colleagues think the deadly parasite was transmitted to humans from chimpanzees ...

Samantha Ettus interviews microbe hunter Dr. Philip Tierno aka “Dr. Germ” (video)

07/31/2009
Gary Vay-ner-chuck host of the popular web series WineLibrary.tv has a new collaborative project with Samantha Ettus. Their show, Obsessed TV goes one on one with some of today's more notorious people. On this episode Sam talks with Dr. Philip Tierno a.k.a. Dr. Germ and author of The Secret Life ...

Preventing toxic shock syndrome and other severe diseases

07/30/2009
A researcher at The University of Western Ontario has received over $603,000 from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to investigate how and why a group of bacterial toxins leads to the development of toxic shock syndrome and other serious diseases. John McCormick is an associate professor in the ...

Nanodiamonds deliver insulin for wound healing

07/28/2009
Insulin helps to speed the recovery of "severe burns and other kinds of serious wounds such as traumatic bone fractures." One of the challenges in biomedicine however is the delivery of a localized release of therapeutic medicine. Now "researchers at Northwestern University have demonstrated an innovative method for delivering and releasing ...

Is Scientific American Following You?

07/28/2009
Scientific American is on twitter (@sciam) and wrote up a quick list of science people they follow on twitter including Carl Zimmer aka @carlzimmer, evolutionary biologist Jonathan Eisen aka @phylogenomics, and science writer Rebecca Skloot aka @RebeccaSkloot amongst others. If you are unfamiliar with twitter, it's an online service that, in ...

Cells in the Lungs Use Taste Receptors to Detect Bitter Compounds

07/23/2009
Like that of the tongue, cell receptors in the lungs can detect bitter substances. "Epithelial cells that line the airways in the lungs use the same type of sensory receptors" as found in the tongue and act to repel bitter compounds which are often toxic. "Tiny, hair-like projections called cilia" ...

Living, Breeding Mice Grown From Skin Cells

07/23/2009
Reprogrammed mouse skin cells have resulted in living mice. Mice that have since reproduced and seen their offspring reproduce as well. "The reprogrammed adult cells, known as induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells" are similar to embryonic stem cells however researchers are unsure if these cells can produce any ...

A Future in Baseball, Hinging on DNA

07/23/2009
A baseball player for the Dominican Republic (home of many of today's top MLB players) is being tested using his DNA to determine his real age. The player, Miguel Sano, claims he is 16 years of age however in many past cases players have lied about their age in order ...

New Method For HIV Testing Holds Promise For Developing World

07/23/2009
Some of the places most affected by HIV and AIDS such as sub-Saharan Africa (almost a third of all new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths globally) are also the same places least likely to be able to afford adequate testing for the disease in some of it's most critical patients, ...

Music Is The Engine Of New Lab-on-a-chip Device

07/23/2009
"You've got H1N1" app coming to the iphone? Well maybe not but somewhere in the future it appears that there might be iphone sized devices in our home that can tell us if we have the flu simply by sneezing on it. At least that is what they are working ...

Are you more science-savvy than the average American?

07/09/2009
Here's a quick and fun 12 question science quiz. Click on the "source" link above and see how you stack up against the American public according to a study released by the Pew Research Center. Once completed you can also view the full report which states amongst other interesting findings ...

Genome wager between Lewis Wolpert and Rupert Sheldrake

07/09/2009
"Professor Lewis Wolpert and Dr Rupert Sheldrake, have set up a wager on the predictive value of the genome. Professor Wolpert believes that all biological phenomena can in principle be explained in terms of DNA, proteins and other molecules, together with their interactions. He is convinced that it is only ...
07/09/2009
Dr. Paul Keim, famous for identifying the anthrax strain during the anthrax letter attacks back in 2001, is featured in this video about the importance of rapid detection of disease through DNA sequencing. Dr. Keim was also a guest on Meet The Scientist featured here at MicrobeWorld. Listen to his ...

President Obama Announces Intent to Nominate Francis Collins as NIH Director

07/08/2009
"WASHINGTON – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Francis S. Collins as Director of the National Institutes of Health at the Department of Health and Human Services. President Obama said, "The National Institutes of Health stands as a model when it comes to science and research. My ...

What Makes a Chili Hot? Real Hot!

07/08/2009
In a battle against a seed eating fungus, certain chili peppers fight back by dialing up the heat. Learn more about why and how certain chili's are so hot in this video from Sciencentral.

Human Sperm Created From Embryonic Stem Cells

07/08/2009
Researchers have developed a process for producing human sperm from stem cells. While both exciting and frightening at the same time, what does this mean for the future? The research is being touted as a breakthrough in how we study and diagnose problems such as infertility and the effects toxins ...

Human Genre Project

07/08/2009
Here's an interesting and somewhat confusing new project that appears to have just launched. The Human Genre Project is "a collection of new writing in very short forms -- short stories, flash fictions, reflections, poems -- inspired by genes and genomics." I've checked out the website that hosts some of ...

Avian Bacterium More Dangerous Than Believed

07/06/2009
It turns out that Bordetella hinzii (B. hinzii), a bacterium found in poultry with respiratory disease and once believed to be nonpathogenic in poultry, can actually cause disease. "This study showed for the first time that some strains of B. hinzii can cause disease in turkeys." This was not the ...

Best Sellers in Microbiology

07/06/2009
Perhaps you're a microbiology student with an interest in growing your library or maybe you are the author of one of these books! Or maybe you are just looking for a little "light" reading. Check out the top titles in microbiology texts. Have you read one of these books in ...

Virus-resistant Grapevines

07/04/2009
In an effort to reduce or even eliminate the use of pesticides which are harmful to the environment and often times have no effect on the virus they are attempting to kill, researchers are working on virus resistant grapevines. Because it takes so long for a grape to properly ripen ...

Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes Explained

07/04/2009
In a recent article I submitted ("It’s time retire the prokaryote"), the authored proposed that most of us don't know what a prokaryote is and in fact the term as a whole is flawed and should be retired by all microbiologists. Since I'm not a microbiologist by trade, he was ...

Antibiotics Take Toll On Beneficial Microbes In Gut

07/02/2009
Now there is even more reason to be concerned about the amount and kind of antibiotic you may be too quick to consume. Besides concerns about increasing antibiotic resistant bacteria due to overuse of antibiotics, research shows that antibiotics could have a long lasting effect on the beneficial microbes that ...

Coral Fights Antibiotic Resistance

07/01/2009
The slow decay of coral reefs is a major problem and a signal that we are killing our environment. However, there appears to be one organism that doesn't care all that much or at the very least is hardly affected by the change. A sponge, discovered in a coral reef ...

Science Tattoo Emporium

07/01/2009
Carl Zimmer wondered if scientists had tattoos of their science and as it turns out, many do! Check out this great collection of science tattoos. I have to admit I browsed through the whole 23 page collection, fascinated by the art of science and seeing, in some cases, the full ...
06/30/2009
An update from the CDC regarding the current status of the recent E. coli outbreak in raw cookie dough. Learn what states have been affected so far, advice for consumers regarding the consumption of these products, and the current status of the investigation of the outbreak.

Magic Ingredient In Breast Milk Protects Babies' Intestines

06/30/2009
A newly discovered molecule in the milk produced by mom, in the first few days after birth, apparently contains a very powerful ingredient which helps protect the "lining of a newborn's gut which is particularly vulnerable to damage as it has never been exposed to food or drink."

Are you Smarter than a Microbe?

06/30/2009
Microbes obviously don't have a brain and therefore are not capable of conscious thought however, "many bacteria and protists exhibit behavior that looks remarkably intelligent." Check out six of the most interesting examples of intelligent behavior demonstrated by microbes as compiled from the New Scientist archive. Amongst these examples are ...

It’s time to retire the prokaryote

06/26/2009
Almost certain to spark debate, Norman Pace, in this article from Microbiology Today, argues that prokaryote as a word is outdated and should be eliminated from the microbiologist's vocabulary. He doubts that you even know what the term means and says , "the notion of prokaryote was scientifically illogical from ...

Microbial Observatory - Partners Video Magazine

04/28/2009
Researcher Jo Handelsman (recently interviewed for Meet The Scientist) runs microbial observatories in Wisconsin and Alaska and studies underground microbes detrimental to healthy soil. Microbial Observatory is a segment from CSREES' Partners Video Magazine's 19th episode, The Soil Explorers. To view the entire episode, go to http://www.csrees.usda.gov/newsroom/partners/soil_explorers.html.

Jemaine's Movin' (Flight of the Conchords)

04/28/2009
This is a clip from the best show on TV, Flight of the Conchords. They continue to prove why they are so brilliant...mold farm? Classic.

Bacteria

04/28/2009
It seems that Bacteria has its own theme song and here it is. Bacteria rock video.

The Protist , Protozoa, Algae and Fungus-like protists

04/16/2009
The quickest way to learn about Protist. 36 seconds later, you're informed.
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