In the ongoing battle between pathogens and humans, bacteria have an unusual survival tactic: playing dead.
cientists in Boston and elsewhere are increasingly interested in mysterious “persisters’’ — a small number of cells in a bacterial population that are not growing, but are also not dead... Read More
For two decades, scientists have been pursuing a potential new way to treat bacterial infections, using naturally occurring proteins known as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). Now, MIT scientists have recorded the first microscopic images showing the deadly effects of AMPs, most of which kill by po... Read More
It wasn’t until Ileana Peralta was in junior high school that she summoned the courage to Google her own disease.
The teenager from Livermore knew almost everything about her inherited condition, Epidermolysis bullosa, a tongue twister even doctors call just EB. The disease is caused by the ... Read More
On episode #73 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Dickson, and Rich discuss multipotent progenitor bone marrow cells as a reservoir of HIV-1, integration of HHV-6 into telomeres, and dis... Read More
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 f... Read More
Using green algae to produce hydrocarbon oil for biofuel production is nothing new; nature has been doing so for hundreds of millions of years, according a Texas AgriLife Research scientist.
"Oils from the green algae Botryococcus braunii can be readily detected in petroleum deposits and coal... Read More
The weird world of quantum mechanics describes the strange and spooky, often contradictory, behavior of small objects such as individual atoms. Now, European scientists have described an experiment to test for quantum superposition states in much larger objects, composed of as many as one billio... Read More
Medical experts will be watching closely Monday when a scientist who says she has been intermittently paralyzed by a virus designed at the Pfizer laboratory where she worked in Groton opens a much anticipated trial that could raise questions about safety practices in the dynamic field of genetic... Read More
Year after year, legislation intended to preserve the effectiveness of available antibiotics by limiting their use in livestock is shot down. The latest bills introduced in both houses of Congress have been stalled for close to a year.
Banning the use of antibiotics in perfectly healthy anima... Read More
The Food and Drug Administration is reexamining the safety of a culinary staple found in every restaurant, food manufacturing plant and home kitchen pantry: spices.
In the middle of a nationwide outbreak of salmonella illness linked to black and red pepper -- and after 16 separate U.S. recall... Read More
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... Read More
Today's decision by a federal court that the preservative thimerosal does not cause autism has sparked a lot of comment in the autism community, most of it negative. Many saw it as a government conspiracy to protect the vaccine industry, a claim that has also been made about the swine flu vacci... Read More
Changes to the 2010 Canadian Federal Budget will be deleterious to current and prospective Canadian Post Doctoral Fellows. Please sign this petition to help us recruit and retain these promising new scientists and maintain our status as a country that values its scientists and is a significant c... Read More
Have you been following the strange story of the heroin addicts in Scotland who have been contracting anthrax infections? Two more addicts are being treated, according to a report we picked up on Promed, a clearinghouse for infectious disease news. Since December, 10 people have died in Scotlan... Read More
Though pandemic flu is circulating at low levels in many parts of the world, Thailand and some West African nations are reporting increased activity, and the virus is being edged out by influenza B in China and other Asian regions, with signs of westward spread, the World Health Organization (WH... Read More
A virus that destroys cancer cells but leaves normal cells unharmed works against prostate cancer, a human study shows.
The virus also blasts lymphoid, colon, ovarian, breast, pancreatic, brain, lung, head and neck, and other cancer cells.
The virus is called reovirus, and nearly everyone ... Read More
Pharmaceutical companies could substantially reduce the expense of costly treatments for cancer and other diseases produced from mammalian or bacterial cells by growing these human therapeutic proteins in algae -- rapidly growing aquatic plant cells that have recently gained attention for their ... Read More
Malaria continues to be a global scourge, sickening some 300 million to 500 million people annually. Most of the resulting one million to three million malaria deaths occur in regions where it is highly endemic, such as sub-Saharan Africa and parts of south Asia.
Some parts of the world wher... Read More
On a recent episode of TWiV, we posed the question, 'Can computer viruses evolve'? and asked listeners to weigh in. The author of the blog nostacktrace spent some time thinking about this issue and concludes that the evolution of real computer programs doesn't really work. Software instructions ... Read More
The second RNA segment of some influenza virus strains encodes a protein called PB1-F2 that might contribute to virulence. Speaking about the 2009 pandemic H1N1 strain, Peter Palese noted that “If this virulence marker is necessary for an influenza virus to become highly pathogenic in humans or ... Read More