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Bird flu experiments pose risk of accidental release

Research in mammals that aims to prevent future influenza pandemics raises ethical, public health concerns. Experiments creating dangerous flu strains that are transmissible between mammals pose too great a risk to human life from potential release, according to an editorial by researchers from... Read More

Reports hit Agriculture Dept. for ‘serious weaknesses’ in food inspection measures

Recent salmonella outbreaks that sickened at least 523 people and sent dozens to the hospital underscore “serious weaknesses” in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s oversight of poultry plants, according to a study released Thursday by the Pew Charitable Trusts, which also criticized the govern... Read More

Architecture May Influence Which Microbes Surround You

They have us surrounded. Even inside the spaces we build for ourselves — like homes and offices — we are a tiny minority. Invisible bacteria, fungi, and viruses outnumber us by orders of magnitude. We will always be outnumbered, but we may have a say in which microbes we’re surrounded by, accord... Read More

Calcium makes for an environmentally friendly pickle

George Washington had a collection of 476 kinds of pickles. To prevent scurvy, Christopher Columbus stocked pickles on the Niña, Pinta, and Santa Maria. Julius Caesar, believing pickles to be invigorating, added them to the Roman legions' diet. In 5000 BCE, the Babylonians were known for picklin... Read More

Separating the good from the bad in bacteria

New microfluidic technique quickly distinguishes bacteria within the same strain; could improve monitoring of cystic fibrosis and other diseases. There are good bacteria and there are bad bacteria — and sometimes both coexist within the same species.

Take, for instance, Pseudomonas aeruginos... Read More

Pictures Considered #11. Invisible Portraits: A Microbial Art Exhibit

Getting the message out to the public that the microbial world is about much more than just diseases is a challenging topic, but one we should keep trying to improve on. There are many ways to do this, but as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, and most people don’t want to rea... Read More

Uncovering the secret world of the Plastisphere

Scientists are revealing how microbes living on floating pieces of plastic marine debris affect the ocean ecosystem, and the potential harm they pose to invertebrates, humans and other animals. New research being presented here today delves deeper into the largely unexplored world of the “Plasti... Read More

Blu-ray player detects microorganisms and toxins on discs

In addition to storing films, optical discs can be used to detect microorganisms, toxins, allergens and tumoral biomarkers. Blu-ray technology has allowed researchers to develop a way to find out if a sample contains Salmonella or toxic substances. This simple and cheap analytical system may be ... Read More

Designer 'Swiss-Army-Knife' Molecule Captures RNA from Single Cells in Their Natural Tissue Environment

A multi-disciplinary team from the University of Pennsylvania have published in Nature Methods a first-of-its-kind way to isolate RNA from live cells in their natural tissue microenvironment without damaging nearby cells. This allows the researchers to analyze how cell-to-cell chemical connectio... Read More

It’s Funnier When You’re Right

The mystery of alcoholic fermentations was uncovered in the first half of the 19th century by Cagniard-Latour (1837) in France, and Schwann (1837) and Kützing (1837) in Germany, based on microscopic studies but not without controversy. The great German organic chemist Justus Liebig did not like ... Read More

Gene sequencing refines threatening parasite list

Twenty-six species of Cryptosporidium have been recognised and 18 species declared non-valid in a recent shake-up of the parasite's taxonomy using DNA sequencing techniques.

Cryptosporidium is the second biggest cause of infant diarrhoea and death in developing countries, and is found across ... Read More

Bacteria and hand washing Pragmatic to school children in rural Nepal

Hand washing is thought to be effective for the prevention of transmission of
Diarrhea pathogens. However it is not conclusive that hand washing with soap is more
Effective at reducing contamination with bacteria associated with diarrhea than using water only. Read More

New 'gut bacteria' clinical study could help reduce side-effects of radiotherapy

Researchers will examine the role of gut bacteria in influencing the side-effects patients experience after radiotherapy, in the first clinical study of its type.

The study will be carried out by researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Tru... Read More

Key Mechanism Behind Herpes Revealed

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have for the first time managed to measure the internal pressure that enables the herpes virus to infect cells in the human body. The discovery paves the way for the development of new medicines to combat viral infections. The results indicate good chance... Read More

New material improves wound healing, keeps bacteria from sticking

As many patients know, treating wounds has become far more sophisticated than sewing stitches and applying gauze, but dressings still have shortcomings. Now scientists are reporting the next step in the evolution of wound treatment with a material that leads to faster healing than existing comme... Read More

Zombie bacteria are nothing to be afraid of

Recently identified cell-cycle controls are targets for new drugs that fight infections by shutting down division.

A cell is not a soap bubble that can simply pinch in two to reproduce. The ability to faithfully copy genetic material and distribute it equally to daughter cells is fundamental ... Read More

Scientists: Mosquito Virus Spreads to Americas

A nasty virus first detected in Africa that is spread to people by the bite of infected mosquitoes is being locally transmitted in the Americas for the first time on the tiny French Caribbean dependency of St. Martin, health officials said Tuesday.

Epidemiologists have so far confirmed about ... Read More

Rotavirus Activates Lymphocytes from Non-Obese Diabetic Mice by Triggering Toll-Like Receptor 7 Signaling and Interferon Production in Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells

It has been proposed that rotavirus infection promotes the progression of genetically-predisposed children to type 1 diabetes, a chronic autoimmune disease marked by infiltration of activated lymphocytes into pancreatic islets. Non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice provide a model for the human disease.... Read More

Hitchhiking virus confirms saga of ancient human migration

A study of the full genetic code of a common human virus offers a dramatic confirmation of the "out-of-Africa" pattern of human migration, which had previously been documented by anthropologists and studies of the human genome.

The virus under study, herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), usual... Read More

Plant biodiversity under threat from general viruses

Introduced generalist plant viruses from other hosts that encounter native plant species for the first time pose a greater threat to plant biodiversity in south-west Australia than introduced specialist viruses, a recent study found.

The researchers compared impacts of six introduced generali... Read More

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