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
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
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
HIV has reappeared in the blood of two Boston patients who scientists had hoped had been cured of their infections.
This disappointing development, reported by The Boston Globe's Kay Lazar, is yet another cautionary tale of how researchers can never afford to underestimate the human immunodef... Read More
Q&A with Dr. David Hooper on the rising threat from drug-resistant microbes. 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
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
From cow burps to tree hiccups and melting permafrost, the potent greenhouse gas methane is produced in myriad ways. Now we can add another one to the list: electricity-generating microbes. The finding could one day allow us to control the generation of methane.
Methanosaeta microbes are one ... Read More
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has started a rabies intervention in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after an alarming number of people were bitten by rabid dogs. With ten deaths already reported, the e... Read More
U.S. influenza activity remains low, but Los Angeles County confirmed its first death -- a woman with an underlying medical condition, an official says.
Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding, director of public health and health officer, says the woman resided in the San Fernando Valley and the particular... 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
What happens when you use tiny electromagnetic coils to shift the position of light-scattering bacteria? In the hands of a couple of science-minded artists, you get an intriguing "Living Mirror."
I have a new favorite artist: bacteria. Imprinted onto cell phones, it can look like flowers, or ... Read More
Three new cases of infection with the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) -- including two more healthcare workers -- have been reported in Saudi Arabia.
The two healthcare workers, both women, have mild symptoms after exposure to patients who had laboratory-confirmed MERS... Read More