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... Read More
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 our ... Read More
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 i... Read More
There’s more than one way to skin a cat. The latest paper from mBio reveals that although the bacterial phyla in the nose and throat are somewhat consistent from person to person, the individual species vary a great deal, indicating there is more than one ideal community for these niches, and mo... Read More
In the past 100 years we’ve learned that each one of us has unique fingerprints, and unique DNA sequences. Now through the Human Microbiome Project, we’re learning that every one of us has a unique and identifiable bacterial community not only inside of us, but also growing on our skin as well.... Read More
Huge and hidden levels of tuberculosis discovered in a South African province devastated by HIV are increasing concerns about the prevalence of drug-resistant tuberculosis in Africa.
As reported in PLoS Medicine1, when researchers examined newly deceased patients at Edendale hospital in the ... Read More
A leading scientist at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) supports the theory that a retrovirus causes chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and says that government researchers have independently confirmed the association.
The link between xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XM... Read More
n 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... Read More
Microbes are with us all our lives, from before the cradle to the grave. And while some are capable of killing us, most of the microbes we carry around — inside and on our skin — are part of a microbial bouquet that makes each of us who we are.
Researchers have been studying the trillions of ... Read More
Way to go, all you planet-saving shoppers who've made the switch to reusable bags! But consider: "Reusable" doesn't mean "self-cleaning."
Researchers at the University of Arizona and Loma Linda University queried shoppers headed into grocery stores in California and Arizona, asking them if t... Read More
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 liv... Read More
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 ... Read More
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 ... Read More
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. I... Read More
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, th... Read More
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 Institu... Read More
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 re... Read More
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 actual... Read More
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 agenc... Read More
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 C... Read More