In a fascinating story that was presented on NPR by Nell Greenfieldboyce we learn that the source of the Justian Plague (541-543AD) was recently identified by sequencing blood extracted from the dental pulp of the teeth associated with two skeletons recovered from Munich. For many years it was... Read More
One way to avoid getting sick while traveling is to only eat fruit that you peel yourself, since plants can filter out bacteria and prevent it from traveling throughout their tissues. Well, why not apply this principle to filtering water directly? A team of scientists have done just that, testi... Read More
One genome at a time can be exciting, but two even more so. I’m not entirely sure why this is, although it may explain our fascination with sex. And what if more than two entities were involved? What if the intimacy were not just between two individual organisms, but between a greater number of ... Read More
Scientists have identified peptides from parasitic hookworms that can calm the body’s immune response and perhaps pave the way to treat autoimmune diseases.
Experts believe the peptide molecules could help explain why worm infections can effectively treat diseases such as multiple sclerosis, ... Read More
Bravo Randy Schekman!
I strongly support your comments on the tyranny of "impact factors" and I will be pleased to join in efforts to prevent the misuse of these ratings.
Impact Factors have become a symbol of terror for scientists in all disciplines and their use in promotion and other ... Read More
Nearly 40 years ago, a young Belgian scientist travelled to a remote part of the Congolese rainforest - his task was to help find out why so many people were dying from an unknown and terrifying disease.
In September 1976, a package containing a shiny, blue thermos flask arrived at the Instit... Read More
We continue our semi-annual ritual and post this quick tour of our featured blog posts published since June 2013.
Microbial ‘Starstuff’. Associate blogger Gemma Reguera tells us how the remnants of a dying star become transmuted into microbial stuff, including cellular structures... Read More
How often have you heard of two or more bacterial species coexisting within the same cell of a host? It’s known to happen with some frequency in some amebas, insects and other invertebrates (including the strange case of the mealybug bacteria, which have an endosymbiotic bacterium that carries a... Read More
A group of researchers at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories has created one of the three world's largest gene libraries for the Candida glabrata yeast, which is harmful to humans. Molecular analysis of the Candida glabrata fungus mutations led to the discovery of 28 new genes that are partly respon... Read More
The "danger zones" in Asia which are vulnerable to a deadly bird flu have been mapped by scientists.
The virus, called H7N9, has infected 433 people mostly in China and has killed 62.
The study, published in Nature Communications, showed parts of Bangladesh, India and Vietnam could easily ... Read More
If you happened to be reading state health departments’ outbreak announcements this past weekend, you might have seen something interesting.
(You don’t do this? Hmm.)
Three states — Rhode Island, North Carolina and Tennessee — all said that they have identified residents who have been diag... Read More
Antibiotic resistance mechanisms of clinically important bacteria. Read More
Cells, biological circuits, and individual biomolecules organize themselves and interact with the environment. Use of these capabilities in flexible and economically efficient biotechnological production systems is in the focus of the "Molecular Interaction Engineering" (MIE) project. It is the ... Read More
Scientists report that compounds they hoped would "wake up" dormant reservoirs of HIV inside immune system T cells -- a strategy designed to reverse latency and make the cells vulnerable to destruction -- have failed to do so in laboratory tests of such white blood cells taken directly from pati... Read More
MIT study finds ocean bacteria follow predictable patterns of daily activity.
We are all creatures of habit, and a new MIT study finds ocean bacteria are no exception.
In a paper published this week in Science, researchers from MIT and elsewhere report that microbes in the open ocean follo... Read More
The Human Microbiome Project revealed tens of trillions of microbes residing in and on humans. Now scientists are taking a census of plant microbes—and not just the hundreds of billions found in soils. Distinct microbial communities live inside roots, on leaves and within flowers, and all in all... Read More
Liquids are capable of forming a gas-liquid interface: maintenance of the surface requires adequate pressure in the gas. Adequate in this instance means a gas pressure greater than the vaporisation pressure in the liquid. The gas pressure... Read More
DURHAM, NC - Within each strand of DNA lies the blueprint for building an organism, along with the keys to its evolution and survival. These genetic instructions can give valuable insight into why pathogens like Cryptococcus neoformans -- a fungus responsible for a million cases of pneumonia and... Read More
Scientists at the University of East Anglia have made a breakthrough in the race to solve antibiotic resistance.
New research published today in the journal Nature reveals an Achilles’ heel in the defensive barrier which surrounds drug-resistant bacterial cells.
The findings pave the way f... Read More
Last week my husband needed some jars for cooking purposes. Tesco sell jars for somewhere around £3 each. However they also sell large jars full of sauerkraut for £1 each. Which means that last weekend we had an awful lot of sauerkraut to try and get through.
I’m not a great fan of sauerkraut... Read More