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Spider silk from bacteria

Escherichia coli bacteria have been genetically engineered to produce artificial spider dragline silk, which is five times stronger than steel and has multiple potential applications.

Sang Yup Lee at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) led the research to find a via... Read More

Swimming Holes Outdo Toilet Bowls in Bacteria Count

Swimming in the rivers that feed the Chesapeake Bay after a hard rain could be as hazardous to your health as hopping into an unflushed toilet.

That was a key finding of a water quality experiment conducted this month by reporters at the University of Maryland working for News21, a national c... Read More

Shuttle keeps cells from going cannibal

Researchers have described a previously unknown biological mechanism in cells that prevents them from consuming themselves for fuel.

The mechanism involves the fuel used by cells under normal conditions and relies on an ongoing transfer of calcium between two cell components via an ion channe... Read More

Mechanism affecting Salmonella virulence, drug susceptibility discovered

Scientists have uncovered the mechanism behind Salmonella's virulence and its susceptibility to antibiotics.

Although the mechanism had not been recognized before, the scientists were intrigued to find evidence of a similar mechanism in all five kingdoms of life - animals, plants, fungi, pro... Read More

USDA Requests Nominations for Microbiological Committee

On Wednesday the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced that the agency is now accepting nominations for new members for the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods.

FSIS is seeking nominations for two-year terms from individual... Read More

Some trees 'farm' bacteria to help supply nutrients

Some trees growing in nutrient-poor forest soil may get what they need by cultivating specific root microbes to create compounds they require. These microbes are exceptionally efficient at turning inorganic minerals into nutrients that the trees can use. Researchers from France report their find... Read More

HPV Found in Head and Neck Cancers

A virus known to cause cervical cancer in women is increasingly being identified in head and neck cancers, leading to suspicion that the route of infection may be oral sex.

Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is often associated with genital warts and cervical cancer, but the virus can cause numero... Read More

Genome Surprise: Guinea Pigs Have Ebola!

The ebola virus is one of the nastiest pathogens known to man. It corrodes blood vessels and stops clotting, leaving most of its human victims bleeding to death through their pores. And guinea pigs — along with opossums, wallabies and insect-eating bats — have it in their genes.

A genomic hun... Read More

Astronaut wears same pair of bacteria-killing underwear for a month straight

I wouldn't recommend anyone wear the same pair of underwear for a full month without washing them; the results would not be pretty. But a new type of nanotechnology-infused underwear that are quick-drying and odor-absorbing? Well, if they're good enough for astronauts, they should be good enough... Read More

Curing Cholera Will Soon Become Possible

A group of investigators at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) recently managed a significant breakthrough in their studies of the dangerous bacteria Vibrio cholerae. The bacterium is the agent that causes the terrible infectious disease known as cholera, but the team believes that this ... Read More

Researcher discovers existing drugs can potentially target TB's ability to spread

Often causing no symptoms in carriers of the disease, worldwide tuberculosis (TB) infects eight to ten million people every year, kills two million, and it is highly contagious as it is spread through coughing and sneezing. "It's a global health disaster waiting to happen, even here in Canada, b... Read More

Vaccine scares may do more harm than previously believed to a population's 'herd immunity'

Public immunization efforts may be much more sensitive than previously realized to small changes in the perceived costs or risks of vaccination, scientists at Harvard University report this week. In some cases, the spread of vaccine avoidance via social networks can make the difference between a... Read More

El Salvador issues flu epidemic alert

Health authorities in El Salvador issued a flu epidemic alert, with an average of 14 000 cases a day, exceeding those of dengue fever. Health Minister Maria Isabel Rodriguez told local media that 11 of the 14 departments of the country are the worst affected by respiratory disease.

According ... Read More

A Global Metabolic Shift Is Linked to Salmonella Multicellular Development

Bacteria can elaborate complex patterns of development that are dictated by temporally ordered patterns of gene expression, typically under the control of a master regulatory pathway. For some processes, such as biofilm development, regulators that initiate the process have been identified but s... Read More

The Global Atlas of Helminth Infection: Mapping the Way Forward in Neglected Tropical Disease Control

To take full advantage of recent increased financial commitments from some governments, international agencies, and philanthropies, accurate and up-to-date mapping of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) needs to be implemented to help improve the precision of decision-making in NTD control and el... Read More

Spain researchers identify the bacteria arriving daily from the Sahara Desert

Every day, millions of microorganisms reach Spain from the Sahara Desert and the Sahel region – by flying. Louis Pasteur demonstrated back in 1861 that germs can move through the air, but it was only recently discovered that bacteria, funguses and viruses can travel thousands of kilometers stuck... Read More


The Department of Health here has cautioned villagers to be vigilant against dengue fever amid a reported 6 deaths during the 1st months of the year [2010]. The reported dengue deaths from January to June this year is higher than the 5 recorded during the same period in 2009. The dengue deaths ... Read More

Speeding Up Diagnosis of Infectious Disease

Current methods of diagnosing an infectious disease can take days to weeks. Now a Cambridge, MA-based startup called Pathogenica is developing a way to do it within a day--by reading the DNA sequence of pathogens.

Pathogenica is developing diagnostic tests designed to detect harmful microorga... Read More

Getting a Step Ahead of Pathogens

In biology and genetics, the concept of epistasis is what gives rise to the whole being more (or less) than the sum of its parts. The quantitative effect of a given mutation upon the traits of an organism has the potential to depend strongly upon the gene versions present in other parts of the g... Read More

Sequence DNA using graphene nanopores

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a new, carbon-based nanoscale platform to electrically detect single DNA molecules.

Using electric fields, the tiny DNA strands are pushed through nanoscale-sized, atomically thin pores in a graphene nanopore platform that ultimatel... Read More
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