In this show, I report on four exciting stories: bacterial fingerprints, bacteria in space, fungi that swap genes, and bacteria fighting for resources.
(10 MB, 11 minutes)
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In 2002, bearing her microscope on a microbe that lives in the gut of fish, Bonnie Bassler isolated an elusive molecule called AI-2, which showed not only that almost all bacteria can communicate -- but that they do so all the time. (Watch her 2009 TEDTalk!) The TED Blog interviewed Bassler ... Read More
Sin Hang Lee, Ph.D., a Milford Hospital pathologist has developed a test to positively diagnose Lyme disease, and to identify the bacterium that causes it within days of infection.
That is a major advance in treating a disease that is common in the region but difficult to diagnose with standa... Read More
On episode #76 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent speaks with Stephen Goff about the origin of the retrovirus XMRV and its association with prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome. Read More
A add-on to the picture posted here.
A living time capsule of sorts has been found buried under hundreds of feet of Antarctic ice — a colony of microbes that have been sealed off from the rest of the world for mo... Read More
Biozentrum researchers have now discovered that Escherichia coli bacteria harness a sophisticated chemosensory and signal transduction machinery that allows them to accurately control motor rotation, thereby adjusting their swimming velocity in response to changing environments. The research re... Read More
Essential oils could be a cheap and effective alternative to antibiotics and potentially used to combat drug-resistant hospital superbugs, according to research presented at the Society for General Microbiology's spring meeting in Edinburgh.
Professor Yiannis Samaras and Dr Effimia Eriotou, f... Read More
Move over, bacon. Here comes something greener.
A genetically engineered pig recently approved for limited production in Canada makes urine and feces that contain up to 65 percent less phosphorous, officials have announced.
That could be good news for lakes, rivers, and ocean deltas, where... Read More
Asian wheat may offer novel genes for shoring up the defenses of U.S. varieties against Fusarium graminearum fungi that cause Fusarium head blight (FHB) disease.
According to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) plant molecular biologist Guihua Bai, the FHB resistance found in today's U.S. wh... Read More
Dr. Rita Colwell, an expert on the prevention of waterborne infectious diseases, has been awarded the 2010 Stockholm Water Prize, widely recognized as the world's premier award for water related research or policy work.
The prize, which includes a $150,000 award and a crystal sculpture, honor... Read More
Vaccination rates for the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus have varied widely around the country, with New England having the highest vaccination rates and the South having the lowest, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
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Rodent of the Week is devoted to highlighting promising animal research. We shine this little spotlight on animal research because, typically, it's an area we tend to ignore. While often fascinating, animal studies are conducted at such an early stage in the research process that it's irresponsi... Read More
In a first-of-its-kind experiment, the unique conditions of spaceflight will be used to examine how cells remain healthy or succumb to disease, particularly in the face of stress or damage.
At 3:21 a.m. PDT on April 5, ASU Biodesign Institute researchers Cheryl Nickerson and her team, includi... Read More
Argentinian investigators have found flamingos and mysterious microbes living in a salty, alkaline lagoon nestled inside a volcano in the Andes. The organisms, exposed to arsenic and poisonous gases, could shed light on how life began on Earth, and their hardiness to extreme conditions may hold ... Read More
The recent discovery of contaminating porcine circovirus 1 DNA in Rotarix underscores the power of deep sequencing to ensure the purity of viral vaccines. The price of deep sequencing is now low enough that it is possible to use this technology to examine not just viral vaccines, but any biologi... Read More
As if I needed another reason to hate mosquitoes, thankfully the ones that transmit Dengue fever don't hang around the DC Metro area much. Guess this just proves that old say - "the bacterium enemy of my viral enemy is my friend" - even truer than it was before.
P.S. Anything that helps p... Read More
In our escalating arms race with infectious microbes, a handful of the toughest opponents have developed weapons that render vaccination seemingly worthless.
Oregon scientists now say they've figured out the defensive weapons of one the trickiest of these resilient attackers: cytomegalovirus,... Read More
Using genetic sleight of hand, researcher Xinyao Liu and professor Roy Curtiss at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute have coaxed photosynthetic microbes to secrete oil—bypassing energy and cost barriers that have hampered green biofuel production. Their results appear in this week's ... Read More
The U.S. Air Force burns through 2.4 billion gallons of jet fuel a year, all of it derived from oil. But a test flight on March 25 just might allow a flowering weed known as camelina to replace petroleum as part of the military's energy mix. An A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft took flight from Elgi... Read More
You might expect young women scientists to make less than older men. But veteran female life science researchers, even in very advanced positions, still make less than their male counterparts. So finds a report in the journal Academic Medicine. [See http://bit.ly/9C7nlF]
Previous studies abou... Read More