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
Q&A with Dr. David Hooper on the rising threat from drug-resistant microbes. 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
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
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
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
Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories are developing a medical instrument that will be able to quickly detect a suite of biothreat agents, including anthrax, ricin, botulinum, shiga and SEB toxin.
The device, once developed, approved by the Food and Drug Administration and commercialize... Read More
Certain bacteria can build such complex membrane structures that, in terms of complexity and dynamics, look like eukaryotes, i.e., organisms with a distinct membrane-bound nucleus. Scientists from Heidelberg University and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) made this discovery empl... 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
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
Usually, when you mention bacteria in connection with water, it’s a bad thing. But one Texas A&M engineering researcher believes the right bacteria are a natural weapon for fighting an emerging water contaminant: estrogen.
Increasingly sensitive methods of screening water for polluting substa... Read More
Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) are viruses that at some point in the past inserted themselves into the nuclear genome of a host's germ cell. Once integrated in a germ cell the virus would be passed on from one generation to the next and the endogenous retroviral genome would therefore be inherit... Read More
A study conducted at the University of Strathclyde investigating the presence of Legionella in compost, has found that the bacteria exist in a significant number of commercial products.
The research, the first substantial analysis of Legionella in UK composts, suggests that the bacteria are a... Read More
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
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
Vaccines are just for kids, right? Not any more. U.S. health officials now recommend at least a half dozen vaccines for adults, to prevent pneumococcus virus, hepatitis, shingles and other ailments. And although the portion of adults who get these vaccinations rises slightly each year, the rates... Read More
Bacteria commonly found in drinking water creates conditions which enable other- potentially harmful – bacteria to thrive, says research by engineers from the University of Sheffield.
The research, published in the latest issue of Water Science and Technology: Water Supply, points the way to ... Read More
We continue our semi-annual ritual and post this quick tour of our blog posts published since December, 2012.
Our new section dealing with “pictures that made a difference but may be nearly forgotten by now” seems to be off to a good start. Please send us suggestions of... Read More
The gut bacteria in horses are being researched at the University of Pennsylvania, in a series of projects that scientists hope will ultimately benefit animal and human health.
Researchers at the university’s School of Veterinary Medicine are leading five pilot projects as part of the wider i... Read More