In a basement laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, two roboticists have harnessed the innate sensing, swimming, and swarming abilities of bacteria to power microscopic robots. Even though their work sounds like the prologue to a dark science fiction film, Ph.D. students Elizabeth Beatti... Read More
In this blog post, I discuss our Summer Research Program's "Lab Themed Dessert" competion, for which one of my students created a cake "sculpture" of Bdellovibrio attacking and invading E. coli. It was tasty, informative, and fun! My student clearly thought about Bdellovibrio a LOT during the ... Read More
Here’s an undeniable fact: In samples collected from seven of New York’s subway platforms, scientists discovered that we're surrounded in plumes of microbes wafting off other people’s skin. Here’s another undeniable fact: Those bacteria colonize all of our glands and follicles and the entire epi... Read More
According to the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance commissioned by the UK Prime Minister, failing to address the growing problem of drug-resistant infections could cause 10 million deaths a year and cost up to $100 trillion USD by 2050.
Now, researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusal... Read More
In the photo series "Impermanence," South Korean artist Seung-Hwan Oh creates colorful, otherworldly portraits with a little help from some "friends" — emulsion-consuming microbes, that is.
By immersing an exposed roll of medium-format positive film in water containing these bacteria and lea... Read More
The Ebola outbreak continues to roil West Africa, with the World Health Organization announcing Thursday that the death toll has climbed to 729 in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. More than 1,300 people are infected.
To help limit the spread of the disease the U.S. Centers for Disease Contro... Read More
For patients who acquire an infection while in the hospital, each day of hospitalization increases the risk that the infection will be caused by a drug-resistant ... Read More
The Ebola outbreak is out of control in Africa, but it is not a global threat, why? Read More
The Liberian man who was diagnosed with Ebola virus infection after traveling to Dallas, Texas, was treated with an antiviral drug called brincidofovir. This drug had originally been developed to treat infections with DNA-containing viruses. Why was it used to treat an Ebola virus infection? Read More
The polio eradication and endgame strategic plan announced by the World Health Organization in 2014 includes at least one dose of inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV). Since 1988, when WHO announced the polio eradication plan, it had relied exclusively on the use of oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV)... Read More
Ed Yong, a freelance science writer who authors the Not Exactly Rocket Science blog for National Geographic, has penned an opinion piece in the NY Times Sunday Review on how society needs to start thinking about the microbiome as an ecosystem with all the complexities that it entails and not as ... Read More
Many drinking water treatment facilities worldwide disinfect water with ultraviolet light because it’s quick and efficient, kills protozoa such as Giardia, and doesn’t introduce potentially harmful disinfection by-products. But a new study shows that UV treatment alone can push bacteria into a d... Read More
As the world experiences a wakeup call about the rise of drug-resistant infections, a new approach to creating smarter, “programmable” drugs could combat the two major problems with life-saving drugs today.
On the one hand, today’s antibiotics work a little too well. They not only kill infect... Read More
In a recent New York Times OpEd entitled What We’re Afraid to Say About Ebola, Michaeal Osterholm wonders whether Ebola virus could go airborne:
You can now get Ebola only through direct contact with bodily fluids. If certain mutations occurred, it would mean that just breathing would put one... Read More
A leukemia-like cancer is killing soft-shell clams along the east coast of North America. The cancer is transmitted between animals in the ocean, and appears to have originated in a single clam as recently as 40 years ago. Read More
Many different microbes can cause pneumonia, and treatment may be delayed or off target if doctors cannot tell which bug is the culprit. A novel approach—analyzing a patient's breath for key chemical compounds made by the infecting microbe—may help detect invasive aspergillosis, a fungal infecti... Read More
A compound found in green tea may trigger a cycle that kills oral cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone, according to Penn State food scientists. The research could lead to treatments for oral cancer, as well as other types of cancer.
Earlier studies had shown that epigallocatechin-3... Read More
Scientists looking for Ebola in bats have identified 16 other viruses in the animal which could jump to humans and potentially cause a disease outbreak on a similar scale to the West African crisis, a health security expert said on Friday.
Humans can contract Ebola from bats, which are carrie... Read More
HIV-1, the most common type of the virus that causes AIDS, has proved to be tenacious, inserting its genome permanently into its victims' DNA, forcing patients to take a lifelong drug regimen to control the virus and prevent a fresh attack. Now, a team of researchers has designed a way to snip o... Read More
A woman with an incurable cancer is now in remission, thanks, doctors say, to a highly concentrated dose of the measles virus.
For 10 years, Stacy Erholtz, 49, battled multiple myeloma, a deadly cancer of the blood. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic say she had received every type of chemotherapy dr... Read More