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Rise in Oxygen Drove Evolution of Animal Life 550 Million Years Ago

Researchers funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) at the University of Oxford have uncovered a clue that may help to explain why the earliest evidence of complex multicellular animal life appears around 550 million years ago, when atmospheric oxygen levels ... Read More

Special report: The cost of a malaria-free world

Joe Cohen, a scientist tantalizingly close to delivering the world's first malaria vaccine, is on the stump.

After 23 years of painstaking laboratory work and a program of major trials in seven countries, the 67-year-old biologist says the clinical case for the vaccine is almost proved. It's ... Read More

Parasitic worms paint warning colours on their hosts using glowing bacteria

A robin flying over a field sees a juicy caterpillar on a leaf. It dives in for a closer look but it notices something strange: this larva is bright red and glowing slightly. Red means danger – this caterpillar is probably toxic and is best avoided. The robin leaves; the caterpillar apparently l... Read More

El podcast del Microbio Nº144. Microbial Macthmakers (Las "Celestinas" microbianas)



























El Podcast del Microbio" Nº 144 is based in Merry Youle's post "Microbial Matchmakers" published in the blog "Small Thing C... Read More

Mundo de los Microbios - Episodio 72

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A continuación: Bacterias que hibernan, el tracto gastrointestinal infantil como ecosistema microbiano, y parásitos y comunidades de plantas.

Bacterias que hibernan

L... Read More

Top 100 Stories of 2010 #19: Ocean Ooze Teems With Life

The ocean bottom is one of the 
world’s most important yet enigmatic ecosystems, covered in a thick sludge rich with bacteria that consume and recycle dead algae and animal feces. Somehow those bacteria get the essential oxygen they need to digest, even though very little of it should be able to... Read More

Why Humans Are More Sensitive to Certain Viruses: Primate Immune System Differences Identified

The greater susceptibility of humans to certain infectious diseases when compared to other primates could be explained by species-specific changes in immune signaling pathways, a University of Chicago study finds. The first genome-wide, functional comparison of genes regulated by the innate immu... Read More

DIY Biotech Hacker Space Opens in NYC

On the top floor of an old bank converted into an artist collective, just past prop design for Bjork's next music video, the do-it-yourself biotechnology revolution has begun.

A cadre of science entrepreneurs recently opened Genspace, the world's first government-compliant community biotech l... Read More

Arsenic Life Form Scientist Answers Critics

With brush-fire speed, Felisa Wolfe-Simon and colleagues of buggy arsenic-eating fame found themselves bogged down in a blogosphere-fueled debate.

After force-feeding phosphorus-loving bacteria an arsenic-only diet and discovering that the bugs didn’t die, Wolfe-Simon and colleagues concluded... Read More

Gadget tracks day in the life of flu

When it comes to infectious disease, who and how many get inoculated isn’t as important as knowing how people interact with each other—whether they’re vaccinated or not.

In order to follow and better understand how viruses spread through real-life social networks, a group of researchers used ... Read More

A Blast of Cold Plasma Kills Drug-Resistant Bacteria

Cold plasma torches could be a new way to treat drug-resistant infections and heal wounds more quickly, according to new research. The plasma interferes with microbial DNA without harming human tissue, scientists say.

A 10-minute treatment with a low-temperature plasma jet killed about 90 per... Read More

U.S. Bioethics Commission Gives Green Light to Synthetic Biology

The president’s bioethics commission says there is no need to temporarily halt research or to impose new regulations on the controversial new field known as synthetic biology.

In a report being issued Thursday, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues says that at prese... Read More

Drug-Resistant Genes Spread among Bacteria

In the fight to stay alive, many bacteria, such as MRSA, have developed resistance to commonly used antibiotics. But other bacteria are using a more insidious type of resistance: that imbued by transferable genes, which can spread among commonly circulating strains.

One of these genetic eleme... Read More

Medical Myths with Michael G. Schmidt, Ph.D.

Did you ever have a question where you thought microbes were at fault but weren't certain... A group of faculty from Wando High School from Mount Pleasant South Carolina recently visited the laboratory of Dr. Michael Schmidt, a professor of Microbiology at the Medical University of South Caroli... Read More

Best books of 2010: A breezy tale of smallpox

From the New Scientist CultureLab:

This year I was chairman of the judges of the Wellcome Trust prize for books with a medical theme. We awarded the prize to Rebecca Skloot's excellent The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Crown). But also on our shortlist was Angel of Death by Gareth Willia... Read More

TWiP 20 Letters

Jim writes:


For TWIP file ( Read More

TWiP 20 - The whipworm Trichuris trichiura

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Vincent and Dickson continue their discussion of nematodes with the whipworm Trichuris trichiura.


Download  Read More

Staph’s Trail Points to Human Susceptibilities

Scientists have finally found an answer to one of the great mysteries about the most deadly bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus — why it attacks primarily humans and not animals. And they now have an idea of why some humans are particularly susceptible to these bacteria that kill 100,000 Americans a... Read More

Cancer cells dupe the body's immune system

Cancers may be wounds that never heal, suggest the first live images of tumours forming.

It seems individual cancer cells send out the same distress signals as wounds, tricking immune cells into helping them grow into tumours. The finding suggests that anti-inflammatory drugs could help to co... Read More

Hydrogen Production Comes Naturally to Ocean Microbe

A seemingly unremarkable ocean microbe turns out to be a multitasker -- it can not only photosynthesize, but can also produce large amounts of hydrogen, opening up a potential way to make the gas cheaply for fuel.

The single-celled cyanobacteriumCyanothece 51142 can make hydrogen in air, Hima... Read More
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