A laboratory in the Netherlands has identified a lethal influenza H5N1 virus strain that is transmitted among ferrets. These findings are under review by the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) to ensure that they do not constitute a threat to human health. Meanwhile both the... 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
Russian scientists have now poured 60 tonnes of freon and kerosene down the four-kilometre bore hole that plunges through the ice above Lake Vostok in Antarctica. This will stop the hole freezing up during the long Antarctic winter. When summer comes, the Russian team will return to drill the la... Read More
American students need a dramatically new approach to improve how they learn science, says a noted group of scientists and educators led by Michigan State University professor William Schmidt.
After six years of work, the group has proposed a solution. The 8+1 Science concept calls for a rad... Read More
Russian scientists said overnight a probe to a pristine lake deep under the ice of Antarctica could bring revelations on the evolution of the planet Earth and possibly even new life forms.
A Russian team drilled down to the surface of Lake Vostok, which is believed to have been covered by ice... Read More
Children younger than 10 likely will be the most susceptible if a variant of the influenza A (H3N2) virus -- dubbed A (H3N2)v -- develops the ability to transmit easily among humans, researchers found.
Since August 2011, there have been 12 cases of infection with the variant -- which contains... Read More
Buried under the seafloor for 86 million years, a bacterial community lives so slowly it's still surviving on a "lunch box" from dinosaur days, a new study says. (See marine-microbe pictures.)
It's been known since the 1990s that microbes can live trapped in ocean sediments for millions of ye... Read More
From NPR's Science Friday:
'In 1887, Julius Petri invented a simple pair of nesting glass dishes, ideal for keeping specimens of growing bacteria sterile—the 'Petri dish.' Science historian Howard Markel recounts the history of this ubiquitous lab supply, and the serendipitous discovery of th... Read More
How do microbes destroy the food that we eat and how has humankind sought out different ways of preserving foodstuffs?
Regular use of fluoride-containing toothpaste and mouthwash has long been known to strengthen the enamel on teeth. But new research by Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) scientists finds that fluoride also has dramatic effects on bacteria inside the mouth -- including those that form plaque ... Read More
Aaron J. Shatkin was well known for his work on reoviruses beginning in the 1960s in his laboratory at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology in Nutley, NJ and then at Rutgers University. He was among the first to appreciate that virus particles contained many different enzymes, such as RNA po... Read More
Extensively Drug Resistant (XDR) Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) was first encountered in 2006. Now as we enter 2012 we learn that a strain of MTB totally resistant (TDR) to all current antimicrobials has entered the Indian sub-continent . This new strain to India, TDR-MTB first emerged in ... Read More
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
The finding of viral nucleic acid sequences in illegally imported wildlife products has attracted the attention of the New York Times, which published an article entitled From the jungle to J.F.K., viruses cross borders in monkey meat. Read More
Farmers and ranchers will for the first time need a prescription from a veterinarian before using antibiotics in farm animals, in hopes that more judicious use of the drugs will reduce the tens of thousands of human deaths that result each year from the drugs’ overuse.
The Food and Drug Admin... Read More
They live on your skin, up your nose, in your gut - enough bacteria, fungi and other microbes that collected together could weigh, amazingly, a few pounds.
Now scientists have mapped just which critters normally live in or on us and where, calculating that healthy people can share their bodi... Read More
The anti-vaccination movement continues to grow, despite the retraction and thorough discrediting of the 1998 scientific study that spurred much of its growth. The stubborn persistence of anti-vaxxers shows how difficult it is to dispel misinformation once that information is out there, even af... Read More
Scientists at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio are investigating a potential new drug that could improve learning and memory during aging -- thanks to Easter Island?
The drug, called rapamycin, comes from isolated bacterial products in the soil of the Polynesian islan... Read More
Forget needles in haystacks. Try finding the tip of a needle in a virus. Scientists have long known that a group of viruses called bacteriophages have a knack for infiltrating bacteria and that some begin their attack with a protein spike. But the tip of this spike is so small that no one knew w... Read More