Volcanoes bring death and destruction, but out of the ashes life soon finds fertile ground. A unique experiment is sifting through floating debris from an ongoing volcanic event to see how microbes move in. The results may help in assessing a recent hypothesis that the first life forms may have ... 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
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
As Schmallenberg virus is confirmed on 74 farms in the UK, our environment correspondent Richard Black looks at what the virus is, what it does and how it can be tackled.
What is Schmallenberg virus?
Schmallenberg virus is a disease of farm animals that was first seen last year in northern E... 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
Two controversial studies on bird flu will once again be reviewed by an expert committee that advises the government on what to do with biological research that could pose potential dangers.
The move is just the latest development in a fierce ongoing debate about genetically altered flu virus... Read More
Scientists at Stanford University and the J. Craig Venter Institute have developed the first software simulation of an entire organism, a humble single-cell bacterium that lives in the human genital and respiratory tracts.
The scientists and other experts said the work was a giant step towar... Read More
Advances in the 1950s and 1960s, including unprecedented cooperation between Soviet and U.S. scientists, allowed polio to be eradicated throughout the Americas by 1994 and all of Europe in 1998. Eliminating the crippling scourge has been more difficult, however, in some parts of Africa and Asia.... Read More
This exciting paper addresses a mystery in tumor virology as to how, Bovine Leukemia Virus (BLV), a retrovirus that is frequently recovered in B cell lymphomas, contributes to oncogenesis. microRNAs have rapidly become significant players in cell cycle regulation/tumorigenesis and are also expr... Read More
Community in the deep seabed uses so little oxygen that it is no longer clear where the lower bound for life lies.
Most humans would struggle to last for much more than a minute under water without coming up for air, whereas some seals can manage more than an hour — but a microbial community ... Read More
A scientific endeavour carried out by two French groups belonging to INSERM and CNRS at Aix-Marseilles University shows for the very first time that both bacterium adhesion to and bacterium motion on a surface are driven by the same mechanism (see paper in PNAS: "Wet-surface–enhanced ellipsometr... Read More
Signals from natural intestinal bacteria are necessary for an effective immune response to various viral or bacterial germs. This was the result of experiments by a research team led by Prof. Dr. Andreas Diefenbach and Stephanie Ganal at the Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene of the F... Read More
In the hunt for drugs that target diseases in the developing world, ‘open innovation’ is creating a buzz. Pharmaceutical companies are making entire libraries of chemical compounds publicly available, allowing researchers to rifle through them for promising drug candidates.
The latest push fo... Read More
Small Things Considered
Understanding what happens to a soybean root hair system infected by symbiotic, nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria, Bradyrhizobium japonicum, could go a long way toward using this symbiosis to redesign plants and improve crop yields, benefitting both food and biofuel production. Because of their exte... Read More
Ron Fouchier has discussed his influenza H5N1 transmission experiments in ferrets at an ASM Biodefense Conference, clarifying several assumptions about the transmissibility of the virus in this animal model. Read More
Nearly four months ago I stood at the front of a crowded classroom at Columbia University and began teaching the third year of my undergraduate virology course. Twice a week we discussed the basic principles of virology, including how virions are built, how they replicate, and how they cause dis... Read More
Mak Saito, a biogeochemist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, has been selected for a Marine Microbiology Initiative (MMI) investigator award by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Saito is one of 16 scientists from 14 different institutions who will receive funds from a total of up to ... Read More
The fatality rate for human infections with avian influenza H5N1 is widely quoted at >50%, based on the number of deaths among the fewer than 600 cases confirmed by the World Health Organization. Wang, Parides, and Palese suggest that this number is an overestimate. Read More