A cooperative online game that puts volunteer “gamers” to work folding proteins has attracted 50,000 players whose “distributed thinking” has, in some cases, proven more powerful than computers in predicting the three-dimensional structure of proteins. Extension of these efforts could one day pa... Read More
Most infectious diseases infect multiple host species, but to date, efforts to quantify the frequency and outcome of cross-species transmission (CST) of these diseases have been severely limited.
This lack of information represents a major gap in knowledge of how diseases emerge, and from whi... Read More
Youth, prison inmates and individuals with multiple tattoos that cover large parts of their bodies are at higher risk of contracting hepatitis C and other blood-borne diseases, according to a University of British Columbia study.
The researchers reviewed and analysed 124 studies from 30 count... Read More
A compact, inexpensive microscope operated by a battery is able to diagnose signs of tuberculosis on par with devices that retail for as much as $40,000.
The 2.5 pound microscope was developed by Rice University alumnus Andrew Miller, as his senior design project last year.
The goal was to... Read More
Data collected over winter 2009 by five World Health Organisation National Influenza Centres in the southern hemisphere were used to examine the circulation of pandemic and seasonal influenza A strains during the first pandemic wave in the southern hemisphere. There is compelling evidence that t... Read More
No one argues that when it comes to feeding baby, mom’s milk is best. But mothers infected with HIV, the AIDS virus, face a dilemma: Because some of their virus can be shed in breast milk, babies risk becoming infected as they drink it. Two research teams are now investigating a germ-warfare str... Read More
A massive beef recall put in motion by a California based meat processor has many worried. Roughly 1 million pounds of ground beef has been recalled due to E. coli.
The fear is that this ground beef has been contaminated with E. coli, and could cause those who consume it to get quite sick.
... Read More
From lowly mold to measured savior of humankind: That's the story of penicillin. Discovered in 1928 by Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming, penicillin was a finicky substance to work with; it was left on the shelf, so to speak, until the advent of World War II, when the Allies became desperate ... Read More
Scientists say a microbe with an appetite for carbon monoxide could provide a cheap way to produce fuel from car exhaust.
Azotobacter vinelandii, a microbe found around the roots of various food plants, creates an enzyme -- vanadium nitrogenase -- that normally produces ammonia from nitrogen,... Read More
The genetic make-up of pathogenic bacteria and their harmless cousins is much more similar than previously thought, UA microbiologists find.
In the bacterial world, good guys can potentially turn into bad guys and vice versa - just by swapping genes, microbiologists at the University of Arizo... Read More
Children exposed to PCBs in their first years of life are less likely to develop immunity to disease after they are vaccinated, according to a new study. Overall, the study shows that cumulative exposure to environmental PCBs – particularly leading up to 18 months of age – may decrease immune sy... Read More
The short answer is four hours, but there's a lot more to it than that.
Avoiding food poisoning is complex (the p.c. term now is "foodborne illness," lest we start tainting the deli guy as a "poisoner"), but it can be largely boiled down to a few key points about how bacteria grow, taught to ... Read More
Is a trip to the beach in your weekend plans? Two recent studies suggest that illness-causing bacteria could be hiding in the water.
A University of Miami study found that beach goers who swam at a South Florida beach were at higher risk of sickness in the week after their visit compared to p... Read More
Family meals often descend into ritual battles over healthy greens: how many children must consume, and how many treats they will earn as a result. The stakes may be higher than parents realise. According to a study published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a sugary... Read More
This blog is the modern version of a field journal, a place for reports on the daily progress of scientific expeditions — adventures, misadventures, discoveries. As with the expeditions themselves, you never know what you will find:
Monday, Aug. 2
At 7:45 this morning, Alvin emerged from i... Read More
If you trawl a net through the ocean's depths, chances are just about every living thing you haul to the surface will be able to glow. Marine biologists estimate that between 80 and 90 percent of deep-sea creatures are bioluminescent—they produce light through chemical processes.
Like the dee... Read More
HIV-AIDS. SARS. Ebola. Bird Flu. Swine Flu. Rabies. These are emerging infectious diseases where the viruses have jumped from one animal species into another and now infect humans. This is a phenomenon known as cross-species transmission (CST) and scientists are working to determine what drives ... Read More
A DNA sequence-based system to better define when a pathogen or toxin is subject to Select Agent regulations could be developed, says a new report from the National Research Council, which adds that this could be coupled with a "yellow flag" system that would recognize requests to synthesize sus... Read More
Nottingham Trent University (NTU) has developed a method of making very small particles of gold with an antibiotic shown to neutralise dangerous bacteria such as Escherichia Coli (E Coli).
The findings - published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry - explain how the team at Nottingham has ... Read More
Prairie dogs, once abundant in the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains, have been decimated in recent decades by plague -- a virulent bacterial disease spread by fleas.
Plague outbreaks periodically sweep through large prairie dog towns with thousands of inhabitants, killing virtually the entire... Read More