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New research offers insights into managing agricultural runoff and coastal dead zones

A study published today in Ecology Letters adds to a growing body of work examining the relationship between harmful algal blooms in the Gulf of Mexico and agricultural runoff. The article focuses on water chemistry, specifically the ratio of dissolved silica to dissolved inorganic nitrogen in 1... Read More

Where Zika Struck Hardest, Brazil Moms Say More Help Needed

Zika initially was known only to cause flu-like symptoms in some people. But a surge late last year in cases of babies born with small heads in northeast Brazil set off worldwide alarm about the virus, which was later linked to a birth defect known as microcephaly. When the connection was made, ... Read More

Zika Virus Found in Woman's Vagina for Weeks

A woman infected with Zika carried the virus in her vagina for weeks, researchers reported Tuesday.

It's yet more evidence that the virus can hang out in the human body for weeks or months after symptoms have cleared up. The findings, rushed online by the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases,... Read More

New science museum exhibit explores 'the secret world' inside us

The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh opens a new special exhibit this weekend that explores the secret world inside all of us.

"The Secret World Inside You" uses larger-than-life models, computer interactives, videos and art installations to explore the evolving science tha... Read More

The Sleeping Monsters in your Mouth

The oral cavity is wet, warm and nutrient rich. These characteristics allow microorganisms to flourish -- however they are normally kept in check by the host. Oral diseases like periodontitis are mediated by bacteria. Curiously, it is not a single bacterium that is the cause of disease, but a... Read More

Zika virus detected in ‘a few’ units of donor blood in Florida

Zika virus has been detected in units of donated blood in Florida, federal health officials said Tuesday.

But the number so far is small, and new testing in high-risk areas kept the virus from entering the U.S. blood supply.

Food and Drug Administration officials confirmed that “a few” uni... Read More

TWiM #137: The battle for oxygen

Highlights of the Recent Advances in Microbial Control meeting in San Diego, and expansion of a gut pathogen by virulence factors that stimulate aerobic respiration.


Vincent Racaniello, <... Read More

Frederick C. Neidhardt (1931 − 2016) An Obituary

A towering figure in microbiology, our friend Fred Neidhardt died on October 7, 2016 at his re­tire­ment home, the Academy Village near Tucson AZ. He made fundamental and abiding con­tri­bu­tions to research, teaching, academic administration, and social issues. In each, he left deep-root­ed mar... Read More

Cyanophages: Maximizing the Photo– and Redirecting the –Synthesis

Daniel Haeusser, an Assistant Professor in the Biology De­part­ment of Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, discusses the misconception of assuming that photosynthesis exists as single process of strict coupling between energy conversion and carbohydrate production. Read More

Experiment in monkeys raises hopes of "functional cure" for HIV

A new drug combination helped stave off a monkey version of HIV for nearly two years after stopping all treatments, raising hopes for a functional cure for HIV, U.S. researchers said on Thursday.

The treatment involved standard HIV drugs, known as antiretroviral therapy or ART, plus an experi... Read More

Generation Zika

U.S. public health officials are bracing for a wave of babies with severe Zika-related birth defects. The latest official numbers suggest 808 pregnant women in the U.S. appear to have been infected with Zika. Yet doctors are also steeling themselves for the possibility of birth abnormalities in ... Read More

Zika infects neural cells related to skull formation, affecting their function

Cranial neural crest cells--which give rise to the bones and cartilage of the skull--are vulnerable to Zika virus, report Stanford University School of Medicine researchers September 29 in Cell Host & Microbe. The discovery, made by infecting in vitro cultures of human cells, offers a potential ... Read More

Antarctica is practically defined by ice: What happens when it melts?

A single season of intense melting buffeted Antarctica in 2001-2002. It yielded changes that ranged from speeding up microbial food webs to shifting penguin populations. A special section in the October issue of BioScience examines the impacts on two very different Antarctic ecosystems.

...... Read More

Bacteria on Device Said to Infect at Least 12 Patients in Pennsylvania

A device used during open-heart surgery that infected at least 12 patients at a Pennsylvania hospital last year was probably tainted at the plant in Germany where it was made, a federal investigation has found.

The device, called a heater-cooler machine, uses water to regulate the temperature... Read More

Soil microbes flourish with reduced tillage

For the past several decades, farmers have been abandoning their plows in favor of a practice known as no-till agriculture. Today, about one-third of U.S. farmers are no longer tilling their fields, and still more are practicing conservation tillage—using equipment that only disturbs the soil to... Read More

Potentially life-threatening fungus found in water distribution systems of five French hospitals

A specific strain of the fungus, Fusarium oxysporum, circulates in the water distribution systems of five French hospitals, in two widely separated cities. This microbe is potentially a life-threatening risk to immunocompromised patients. The research is published September 23, 2016 in Applied a... Read More

The Five-second Rule Debunked

In a very interesting development, a latest study has debunked the belief that it was safe to eat food fallen on the floor if picked up within “five seconds”.
Professor Donald W Schaffner, a food microbiologist at Rutgers University in New Jersey, said a two-year study he led concluded that no ... Read More

A New Zika Zone in Miami, but No Reason to Panic, Scientists Say

Florida announced a new Zika transmission zone on Thursday, saying that the virus had popped up in a mile-square patch of northern Miami and that five people had been infected.

The area, around the Little Haiti neighborhood, goes from NW 79th Street in the north to NW 63rd Street in the south... Read More

Bacteria: Third RNA binding protein identified

Small regulatory RNA molecules are vital for salmonella and other bacteria potentially harmful to humans: This RNA type controls gene activity and allows bacteria to quickly adjust to changing conditions of living and stress as are typical during an infection, for example, when entering the bloo... Read More

Quorum Sensing for the Mutes

It is (almost boringly) obvious that cell-to-cell com­mu­ni­ca­tion is vital in multicellular organisms. To function pro­per­ly, all cells in a tissue have to know – and let their neigh­bors know – where exactly they are, which tasks they're performing right now, when it's time to dif­fer­en­ti­... Read More
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