What do your mouth and your behind have in common? They're linked by a bug that we thought was usually benign, but may in fact have a much darker side.
Fusobacterium nucleatum is a common bacterium that lives in our mouths, often without causing any ill effects, although it is also frequently... Read More
Scientists have revealed how coral-dwelling microalgae harvest nutrients from the surrounding seawater and shuttle them out to their coral hosts, sustaining a fragile ecosystem that is under threat.
Coral reefs are the jungles of the oceans, home to some of the planet's most fertile fishing g... Read More
Vitamin A may protect children against malaria, especially during the rainy season when infected mosquitos flourish, a study suggests.
“Our research found that children who received vitamin A supplementation were less likely to become infected with malaria,” she said. “Now we need to test vit... Read More
Measles and Ebola have dominated the headlines in recent weeks, but there are plenty of other infectious diseases lurking among us. One is tuberculosis, which, in various times through its long history, was also known as the captain of death, the white plague, and consumption.
Tomorrow, PBS’... Read More
President Barack Obama is urging parents to get their children vaccinated in the face of a measles outbreak that has infected more than 100 people in the United States.
He said that while he understood there were families concerned about the effect of vaccinations, he said the science was "pr... Read More
Not unlike an urban restaurant, the success of a bacterial cell depends on three things: localization, localization and localization. But the complete set of controls by which bacteria control the movement of proteins and other essential biological materials globally within the confines of their... Read More
With minor tinkering, a peptide—a tiny protein—from the skin of a frog could be fashioned into a novel antibiotic that would lack the toxic byproducts of some more conventional drugs. More importantly, such peptides would represent a new class of antibiotics, at a time when new classes are so... Read More
A new family of bacteria that are common in malaria mosquitoes has been described by researchers at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and Uppsala University in Sweden, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Germany, and the Veterinärmedizinische Universität, Austria. Now, attempts ar... Read More
This week, doctors at the University of California Los Angeles Medical Center discovered that a contaminated medical tool had been spreading antibiotic-resistant bacteria to patients. The bacteria, known as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae or CRE, has been called a “nightmare” bacteria by... Read More
Viruses are masters of outsourcing, entrusting their fundamental function – reproduction – to the host cells they infect. But it turns out this highly economical approach also creates vulnerability.
Researchers at Rockefeller University and their collaborators have found an unexpected way the... Read More
The first results from a trial of a candidate Ebola vaccine at Oxford University suggest the vaccine has an acceptable safety profile at the doses tested, and is able to generate an immune response.
'The vaccine was well tolerated. Its safety profile is pretty much as we had hoped,' said Prof... Read More
Imagine thousands of copies of a single protein organizing into a coat of chainmail armor that protects the wearer from harsh and ever-changing environmental conditions. That is the case for many microorganisms. In a new study, researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berk... Read More
A global fund should be created to speed development of much-needed new antibiotics to counter the growing threat of drug-resistant superbugs, a British-government backed review said on Thursday.
The review, headed by the leading economist and former Goldman Sachs chief Jim O'Neill, said far ... Read More
If the reader does not believe that viroids and satellites are distinctive, then surely prions, infectious agents composed only of protein, must impress.
The question of whether infectious agents exist without genomes arose with the discovery and characterization of infectious agents associat... Read More
Until now, the standard way to check for Ebola in the region was to use the nucleic acid test, which works by identifying the genetic materials of the virus from a blood sample. Yet the test requires a full lab to succeed, and it takes between 12 to 24 hours to process the results. In comparison... Read More
I thought you and the rest of the TWiM/TWiP folks would be interested in the following paper: Transferred interbacterial antagonism genes augment eukaryotic innate immune function, published online in Nature this week... Read More
Scientists have shown that airport screening for disease will often miss half or more of infected travelers, but can be improved by customizing to pathogens. The findings are published in the journal eLife.
They present options for policy makers; for example whether resources would be better ... Read More
A clinical trial in Liberia of a drug to treat Ebola has been halted because of a sharp decline in the number of people infected with the virus, and studies in West Africa of other potential treatments are also facing problems finding patients.
The halted trial was testing the antiviral drug ... Read More