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Searching for an Ancient Syphilis DNA in Newborns

Ancient DNA of the bacteria causing syphilis, the Treponema pallidum pallidum, can be recovered from the ancient bones of newborns. This is the conclusion reached by a study led by Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), which was able to obtain the genetic material from the bacteria in more th... Read More

Inspired by nature: Paints and coatings containing bactericidal agent nanoparticles combat marine fouling

Scientists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in Germany have discovered that tiny vanadium pentoxide nanoparticles can inhibit the growth of barnacles, bacteria, and algae on surfaces in contact with water, such as ship hulls, sea buoys, or offshore platforms. Their experiments showed... Read More

The Dog Bacteria That Can Protect You From Asthma

Studies suggest that infants who grow up with dogs in their home are less likely to develop asthma. Researchers may now have found one reason why. Pets, dogs in particular, may protect infants from the effects of a common virus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

Infants with severe RSV infec... Read More

BESC researchers tap into genetic reservoir of heat-loving bacteria

The identification of key proteins in a group of heat-loving bacteria by researchers at the Department of Energy's BioEnergy Science Center could help light a fire under next-generation biofuel production.

Scientists have long been on the hunt for cost-effective ways to break down complex pla... Read More

Bacteria a potential threat to nuclear waste repositories

By interacting with the radioactive waste and the materials used to contain it, underground microorganisms may affect the safety of nuclear waste repositories, for better or for worse.

Underground, time appears to stand still. That is one of the reasons why deep geological formations are cons... Read More

Thoughts on the Inaugural Conference on the Microbiology of the Built Environment

". . . a guest post [to microbe.net] by David Thaler, who is one of the Sloan-funded investigators working on the microbiology of the built environment . . ."

"A few thoughts after the Inaugural meeting of Microbiology of the Built Environment Boulder.

My own opinions on these points are s... Read More

TWiP 41: Flying and crawling beasts

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier


Vincent and Dickson... Read More

TWiM #38: The sound of whooping cough

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Read More

The Role of Non-Food Animals in the Spread of Antibiotic Resistance

On the issue of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and animals, the first thing that comes to mind is livestock and other farm-based animals that are regularly fed antibiotics as growth promoters, but they are not the only source of resistance. Participants discuss studies showing that non-farm anim... Read More

TWiV 190: The second ferret of the Apocalypse

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, and Read More

Small Things Considered: Where Mathematicians & Biologists Meet

Mathematics and Biology have a long history together. It goes back to early studies on epidemiology (such as John Snow‘s on cholera and the Broad Street pump), and includes Ross’s quantitative studies that show how malaria can be controlled by careful analysis of data. And, of course, there are ... Read More

Do Gut Microbes Travel From Person to Person?

It’s an exciting time for ecologists who study microbes. DNA sequencing has grown so cheap and fast that they can run around identifying bacteria living just about anywhere they can reach with a cotton swab. Turns out, bacteria are everywhere, even in the cleanest houses, and scientists are star... Read More

Microbiology: Learning about who we are

Microbial inhabitants outnumber our body's own cells by about ten to one. These residents have become the subject of intensive research, which is beginning to elucidate their roles in health and disease.

Two journal articles by, David A. Relman, Departments of Medicine and of Microbiology and... Read More

Microbes Capable of Surviving Harsh, Mars-Like Conditions Discovered

Soil samples obtained from South American volcanoes have revealed a smattering of different microbe types that have somehow managed to survive in extreme conditions, the University of Colorado-Boulder (CU-Boulder) announced in a June 8 press release.

According to the university, the scientist... Read More

Computer-Designed Proteins Programmed to Disarm Variety of Flu Viruses

Computer-designed proteins are under construction to fight the flu. Researchers are demonstrating that proteins found in nature, but that do not normally bind the flu, can be engineered to act as broad-spectrum antiviral agents against a variety of flu virus strains, including H1N1 pandemic infl... Read More

Tending the Body’s Microbial Garden

For a century, doctors have waged war against bacteria, using antibiotics as their weapons. But that relationship is changing as scientists become more familiar with the 100 trillion microbes that call us home — collectively known as the microbiome.

“I would like to lose the language of warfa... Read More

How medicine created a bacteria problem

On a warm afternoon in summer we were sitting in the lecture theatre, learning about germs. A microbiologist was showing us slides of enormously magnified bacteria (“God, this is like bug Imax!” said the girl behind me). The lecturer had a cold; he was coughing dramatically. After a prolonged bo... Read More

Friendly Fungi: Elucidating the fungal biosynthesis of stipitatic acid

In a tale worthy of Sherlock Holmes, scientists in the School of Chemistry at the University of Bristol, UK have solved a biochemical mystery that had previously proven elusive for 70 years: How the fungus Talaromyces stipitatus produces stipitatic acid (6), which is a tropolone, one of an atypi... Read More

Can India remain polio-free?

India has been free of polio for over one year. This is a remarkable accomplishment, considering that just 30 years ago the country recorded 200,000 cases of the disease annually, or one every three minutes. With polio endemic in two neighboring countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and in the mo... Read More

NTU scientists invent superbug killers

The superbugs have met their match.

Conceived at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), it comes in the form of a coating which has a magnetic-like feature that attracts bacteria and kills them without the need for antibiotics.

The killer coating, which has shown to destroy 99 per cent of... Read More
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