As a pediatrician, I spend a lot of time looking for bacteria that might be making my patients sick. Some well-known illnesses that are caused by bacteria include strep throat, ear infections, Lyme disease and conjunctivitis (pinkeye). Bacteria are also responsible for acne, cavities and body od... Read More
The fields of microbial symbiosis and speciation have achieved astonishing advances during the past two decades, yet symbiosis and speciation are not commonly discussed together and can seem to be odd partners in their capacity to operate synergistically in nature. Indeed, microbial symbiosis is... Read More
In TWIV 173, you talked about a study on antibody levels to bird flu (H5N1) in various populations, and related this to infections that don't cause serious enough illness to send someone to the hospital, or perhaps to get them teste... Read More
Researchers use stealthy nanoscale particles to infiltrate vaginal mucus and keep herpes at bay in mice.
Tears and a runny nose can be unpleasant on a windy day, but these mucosal secretions play a vital role in protecting the body from viruses and other malicious microbes. Unfortunately, muc... Read More
Harvard Medical School researchers have engineered a photosynthetic cyanobacterium to boost sugar production, as a first step towards potential commercial production of biofuels and other biotechnologically and industrially useful carbon compounds. As feedstock producers, cyanobacteria have adva... Read More
In a new study, scientists have determined a possible link between exposure to a common component of urban air pollution and a change in the function of important immune cells that protect against the bacteria that cause tuberculosis.
In their finding, a team of researchers, led by Dr. Steph... Read More
Other than basic stuff like the Earth rotating around the sun and E=MC2, how much do you know about the universe? Most people would say: not very much. But if you’re a theoretical physicist, you probably know quite a bit more--but still not that much; most of the mysteries of the universe still ... Read More
A new electron microscope that works without a lens may create the highest resolution images ever seen.
Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), which looks through an object to see atomic features within it, has been constrained for over 70 years by the relatively poor lenses that are used to... Read More
A dairy cow in California is the fourth known American case of mad cow disease, which is caused by prions, infectious agents composed only of protein (the story hit the press the day after my lecture on this type of illness). Unlike viruses, prions have no nucleic acid and no protective coat. Bu... Read More
The third annual installment of my virology course at Columbia University, Biology W3310, has begun, and all the lectures will be available online. Read More
The mysterious deaths of millions of bats in the United States and Canada over the past several years were caused by a fungus that hitchhiked from Europe, scientists reported Monday.
Experts had suspected that an invasive species was to blame for the die-off from "white nose syndrome." Now th... Read More
There was a lot of interest in in TDR-TB Friday; both the Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC and Science Friday kindly asked me to be on to talk about it.
While I was waiting for the phone link to Science Friday to become live, an alarming bulletin arrived in my email. The early-warning list ProME... Read More
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
Scientists from the Institute for Physical and Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Bonn have succeeded for the first time in the real time filming of the transport of an important information carrier in biological cells that is practically unmodified. This paper has now been published in ... Read More
Alien hunters take note: a global water ocean potentially bigger than all those on Earth combined, is sloshing beneath Titan's icy crust.
Combined with the cocktail of organic chemicals already known to exist on Titan, abundant water could make the moon prime real estate for life – though mor... Read More
Radio Mycelium proposes the construction of a series of experimental situations examining a new networked imaginary, the single organism of the fungal mycelium, in relation to pathogenic, electromagnetic communications. Participants will learn how to construct simple measurement devices, and cul... Read More
Pirates used to say that “dead men tell no tales.” Of course, the buccaneers had never heard of the polymerase chain reaction. Dead men turn out to be loaded with information if you can get your hands on them — or better yet, on small preserved pieces.
The genomics revolution, two decades old... Read More
Research by University of Tennessee, Knoxville, faculty has discovered that bacteria's move from sea to land may have occurred much later than thought. It also has revealed that the bacteria may be especially useful in bioenergy research.
Igor Jouline, UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory joint f... Read More
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
Recent revelations about our microscopic partners and tenants are numerically startling, if not downright existential. Try these for starters: Most of the cells within your body are not human cells, and you are literally teeming with pounds of busy microbes, working to earn their keep while you ... Read More