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
Not so long ago, most people thought that the only good microbe was a dead microbe.
But then scientists started to realize that even though some bugs can make us sick and even kill us, most don't.
In fact, in the past decade attitudes about the bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microbes l... Read More
U.S. malaria cases are at their highest level in four decades, mostly from Americans bringing home an unwelcome souvenir from their travels.
Malaria is not a big problem in the U.S. — there were only 1,925 cases in 2011, including five deaths. But cases were up 14 percent from the previous ye... Read More
As they destroy bacteria very efficiently, plasmas constitute an alternative to chemical disinfectants and potentially to antibiotics, as well. How they achieve this effect has been investigated by biologists, plasma physicists and chemists at the Ruhr-Universität (RUB). Cold atmospheric-pressur... Read More
Researchers and physicians in the field could soon run on-the-spot tests for environmental toxins, medical diagnostics, food safety and more with their smartphones.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers have developed a cradle and app for the iPhone that uses the phone's buil... Read More
The prevalence of dangerous strains of the human papillomavirus — the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States and a principal cause of cervical cancer — has dropped by half among teenage girls in recent years, a striking measure of success for a vaccine against the virus ... Read More
Glowing bacteria inside squids use light and chemical signals to control circadian-like rhythms in the animals, according to a study to be published on April 2 in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. The Hawaiian bobtail squid, Euprymna scolopes, houses... Read More
A group of researchers enlist fungi and E. coli to make the first biofuel of its kind. It is an obvious idea—in fact, it’s how nature disposes of trees after they die. Yet before researchers at the University of Michigan tried it, no one had paired bacterium with fungus to make cellulosic biofue... Read More
It's a mould breaker. Researchers have discovered the first fungus that behaves like a farmer.
We already know that soil fungi can help bacteria travel quickly from A to B. The fungal filaments provide favourable conditions for the bacteria, and so act as "highways" through the soil. But thes... Read More
Small shifts in agricultural practices can increase or reduce the risk of salmonella and listeria contamination on produce, new research shows.
For example, applying manure within a year of harvesting produce boosts the odds of contaminating a field with salmonella, which is the biggest singl... Read More
An international consortium led by CEA researchers in collaboration with the CNRS, has succeeded in characterizing the structure and function of a protein involved in the production of magnetite nanomagnets in magnetotactic bacteria. This protein, MamP, is crucial to the metallurgical activity o... Read More
Nutrient enrichment and climate change are posing yet another concern of growing importance – an apparent increase in the toxicity of some algal blooms in freshwater lakes and estuaries around the world, which threatens aquatic organisms, ecosystem health and human drinking water safety.
As t... Read More
Gastrointestinal parasitic infections, which are worm infections in the intestine, affect nearly one quarter of the world population and have been heavily linked with poverty in poorer regions.
They normally result in a chronic, long-lived infection associated with poor quality of life and he... Read More
You probably remember foot and mouth disease (FMD) from the 2001 outbreak in the UK that prompted the culling of over 10 million sheep and cattle, but the disease affects livestock all over the world. It's a particular problem in Africa, where wildlife that harbor the picornavirus that causes FM... Read More
A fungus that decimates white pines has mutated and can now infect immune and resistant plants, say researchers.
This change is alarming to researchers, growers, loggers, and forest managers.
White pine blister rust (WPBR) infects white pines and Ribes, a plant genus that include gooseberr... Read More
Boston researchers are reporting the return of the HIV virus in two patients who had become virus-free after undergoing bone marrow transplants, dashing hopes of a possible cure that had generated widespread excitement.
The rebound of the virus shows its persistence, and that it can hide in p... Read More
There is much that should be remembered about those days of intensive exploratory work and much of it using very simple methods and instruments. There was a remarkable amount of sharing of current work and results without much concern for primacy, which was automatically recognized. Communicatio... Read More
Despite major efforts to keep operating rooms sterile, surgical wound infections remain a serious and stubborn problem, killing up to 8,200 patients a year in the U.S. A study by Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers suggests that narrow-spectrum ultraviolet (UV) light could dram... Read More
In April three biohackers from a California Do-It-Yourself biology lab, BioCurious, posted a Kickstarter campaign to crowdsource their plan to bioengineer a glowing plant. They asked for $65,000. But by the close of their campaign at midnight on Thursday, June 6, they had raised a remarkable $48... Read More