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Some "Rules" for Academia and Research

In this blog post, I describe some "rules for academics" as well as my own "rules for research." I hope that readers find them useful and perhaps a bit humorous. Read More

New candy eats 'bad' bacteria in the mouth, benefitting teeth

Our mouths are a delicate balance of good and bad bacteria. When we clean our teeth, the aim is to knock out cavity-causing bacteria, while allowing beneficial oral bacteria to thrive. Now, researchers have developed a sugar-free candy, which contains dead bacteria that bind to bad bacteria, pot... Read More

A new species of the fish pathogenic bacterium Edwardsiella

Takele Abayneh Tefera's doctoral research project has uncovered a genetic divergence between the fish pathogen Edwardsiella tarda and Edwardsiella tarda type strain.

He has also identified phenotypic markers that distinguish one from the other. The fish pathogenic strain is now classified as ... Read More

Measles still poses threat to U.S. despite being "eliminated"

Measles may seem like a distant threat in the United States, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are warning the disease still poses a danger to U.S. residents.

The CDC fears that because measles is so prevalent overseas, people who travel are bringing the virus back to U.S. sh... Read More

Hoped-For AIDS Cures Fail In 2 Boston Patients

HIV has reappeared in the blood of two Boston patients who scientists had hoped had been cured of their infections.

This disappointing development, reported by The Boston Globe's Kay Lazar, is yet another cautionary tale of how researchers can never afford to underestimate the human immunodef... Read More

Functional diversity in bacterial defense mechanism against viral invasion

Bacteria may lack a true immune system, but this does not leave them defenseless against bacteriophage viruses and other pathogens. A system of genomic sequence elements called clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) and various CRISPR-associated proteins (Cas) help to... Read More

Your portrait, made from pulsating bacteria

What happens when you use tiny electromagnetic coils to shift the position of light-scattering bacteria? In the hands of a couple of science-minded artists, you get an intriguing "Living Mirror."

I have a new favorite artist: bacteria. Imprinted onto cell phones, it can look like flowers, or ... Read More

Bacterium Reverses Autism-Like Behavior in Mice

Doses of a human gut microbe helped to reverse behavioral problems in mice with autism-like symptoms, researchers report today in Cell. The treatment also reduced gastrointestinal problems in the animals that were similar to those that often accompany autism in humans.

The work builds on prev... Read More

Targeted radioactive bomb might clean out AIDS virus, study finds

years of fighting the deadly and incurable virus, scientists think they may be able to find a way to really kill it. On Monday, the White House and the National Institutes of Health announced a new, $100 million effort to try to find a cure.

In the latest study, researchers tested a modified ... Read More

Division of labour in the test tube

Bacteria grow faster if they feed each other. The division of labour is more efficient than a struggle through life without help from others – this is also true for microorganisms. Researchers from Research Group Experimental Ecology and Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology... Read More

A Pill Filled with Bacteria Instead of Drugs

Delivering healthy bacteria in a pill could help patients harboring out-of-balance microbial communities. Yogurt eaters already know that not all bacteria are bad for you. They may not realize that some bacteria are so important that one day people may fight off disease with pills filled with ba... Read More

Bacteria evade detection net

Slothful response from regulators and manufacturers means antibiotic resistance is missed. Bacteria that are resistant to almost all antibiotics are dreaded by physicians and patients alike. Finding such microbes in a hospital is bad enough, but failing to detect them can lead to something much ... Read More

First Real-Time Flu Forecast Successful

Scientists were able to reliably predict the timing of the 2012-2013 influenza season up to nine weeks in advance of its peak. The first large-scale demonstration of the flu forecasting system by scientists at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health was carried out in 108 cities ac... Read More

Four California students sickened with meningitis bacteria

The students, at the University of California at Santa Barbara, were all sickened within a three-week period last month with the disease, a sometimes fatal illness that can affect the brain or the blood, according to a spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Department of Public Health.

They... Read More

What makes the deadliest form of malaria specific to people?

Researchers have discovered why the parasite that causes the deadliest form of malaria only infects humans.

The team recently showed that the interaction between a parasite protein called RH5 and a receptor called basigin was essentially required for the invasion of red blood cells by the par... Read More

1950s pandemic influenza virus remains a health threat, particularly to those under 50

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists have evidence that descendants of the H2N2 avian influenza A virus that killed millions worldwide in the 1950s still pose a threat to human health, particularly to those under 50. The research has been published in an advance online edition of the... Read More

A Living Desert Underground - diverse communities of bacteria, fungi and archaea on the surface of Kartchner stalactites

In the perpetual darkness of a limestone cave, UA researchers have discovered a surprisingly diverse ecosystem of microbes eking out a living from not much more than drip water, rock and air. The discovery not only expands our understanding of how microbes manage to colonize every niche on the p... Read More

Into the Hologenome Podcast

Prepare for a trip down the rabbit hole as Robert Lamb and Julie Douglas lead you on a scientific journey to the very limits of human understanding. “Stuff to Blow Your Mind” examines neurological quandaries, cosmic mysteries, evolutionary marvels and the technological advances. The link above i... Read More

More than bread and beer: The National Collection of Yeast Cultures (video)

Do you eat bread? Or drink beer? If so you've probably consumed yeast products from the National Collection of Yeast Cultures.

Yeasts are one of the earliest, if not the earliest, biological tools used by people. Brewers' yeast, Saccharomyces cerivisae, features widely in products we consume... Read More

Early life built Earth's continents

Rewind Earth's story 3 or 4 billion years, to when life was emerging. The surface of our planet was starting to cool but still piping hot – possibly about 200 °C. Early, unstable continents may have been forming. Now imagine life doesn't emerge, and press play.

This is what a new computer mod... Read More

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