Improper handling of intravenous saline at a West Virginia outpatient oncology clinic was linked with the first reported outbreak of Tsukamurella spp., gram-positive bacteria that rarely cause disease in humans, in a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The repor... Read More
A Winnipeg agricultural biotechnology company that has been selling chemical-free seed inoculants for peas, lentils and soybeans in the U.S. for a couple of years now has regulatory approval to sell in Canada.
Manas Banerjee, the CEO and founder of XiteBio Technologies Inc. is excited about t... Read More
One species of bacteria seems to get many of the perks of sexual reproduction without actually having sex, a new study finds.
Different strains of bacteria called Mycobacterium smegmatis swap large, random bits of DNA prior to reproducing asexually. This process, known as conjugal transfer, p... Read More
ANYONE who walks in the woods will be familiar with witches’ brooms (pictured). Many trees sport these bushy tumours, which have a variety of causes. An important one is a group of bacteria called phytoplasma that are, in turn, carried from plant to plant by sap-sucking insects such as leafhoppe... Read More
A new study published in the journal Nature provides the most comprehensive analysis to date of the evolutionary relationships of influenza virus across different host species over time. In addition to dissecting how the virus evolves at different rates in different host species, the study chall... Read More
There was a time not that long ago when it was easy to tell the difference between viruses and the rest of life. Most obviously, viruses were tiny and genetically simple. The influenza virus, for example, measures about 100 nanometers across, and has just 13 genes.
Those two standards, it’s n... Read More
The names of the 2013 Balzan Prizewinners were proclaimed in Milan in a public announcement:
ANDRÉ VAUCHEZ (France), Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre, for Medieval History
MANUEL CASTELLS (Spain), University of Southern California (USA), for Sociology
ALAIN ASPECT (France), École Polytec... Read More
Liquid hand soap in many public toilets is doing the opposite of improving hygiene, CCTV reports.
One sample was found to have 600 times more than the standard amount of bacteria, bringing it up to fast food ice levels of grossness. Experts warned that use of the soap could result in skin irr... Read More
A UCLA-led team of researchers has found evidence that photosensitizing a virus's membrane covering can inhibit its ability to enter cells and potentially lead to the development of stronger, cheaper medications to fight a host of tough viruses.
The UCLA AIDS Institute study, published in th... Read More
Underground in places nobody likes to look, bacteria are doing terrible things to our sewage pipes. The concrete pipes that carry our waste are literally dissolving away, forcing engineers into a messy, expensive battle against tiny microbes.
"The veins of our cities are in serious trouble, a... Read More
This episode: Bacteria use fungal filaments like highways to swim through soil!
(7.7 MB, 8.3 minutes)
Vincent and friends,
While driving around a field cutting hay lost in my science podcast playlist the episode of TWIM #61 came up and I had to listen intently as salmonella typhimurium came up as this is a common enteric issue in agriculture. When ... Read More
It might sound strange to say that humans have forgotten what human-food is, but many scientists believe this is the case. For thousands of years, the environment in which humans lived evolved at a glacial pace—our nutrition and culture changed slowly, and our bodies adapted to it at a matching ... Read More
For a fifth-grade science fair, Evie Sobczak found that the acid in fruit could power clocks; she connected a cut-up orange to a clock with wire and watched it tick. In seventh grade, she generated power by engineering paddles that could harness wind. And in eighth grade, she started a project t... Read More
Of all the public transit etiquette violations out there, the sneeze-and-touch at the height of cold and flu season is among the worst. Everyone who rides in a city has seen it: that sickly looking person across the train or bus who sneezes into a free hand then grabs the pole we all share. Rese... Read More
Many bacteria have a trick for surviving a water shortage: They dry up like raisins and turn into spores, protecting their essential genetic code. But moisten a spore and it swells right up again.
Those capabilities give bacterial spores some interesting potential as an energy source, as scie... Read More
During the April 2013 avian influenza A (H7N9) outbreak, more than 130 human infections with H7N9 were reported. Most patients had severe respiratory illness and 44 people have died. Studies suggest that the H7N9 virus has developed resistance to oseltamivir. A human interferon already in use fo... Read More
When you purchase chicken eggs at the market, they usually have white or brown shells. But some breeds of chicken produce blue or green eggs. The blue color is caused by insertion of a retrovirus into the chicken genome, which activates a gene involved in the production of blue eggs. Read More