I guess it doesn't sting, which is a plus - clearly we need no more stinging/biting/blood-sucking creatures on this earth - but my real wonder is what's next, and why rat heart muscle? Read More
When I drafted my article for TakePart (Don’t Panic – Ebola Isn’t Heading For You), I used the term ‘ebolavirus’ throughout, but the editors changed every instance to ‘Ebola virus’. Understanding which term is correct is far more complicated than you might imagine. Read More
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
In order to survive in complex and interesting environments in the wild, bacteria have a whole arsenal of chemical products that they make within the cell. These chemicals are used for signalling, defence and communication between bacterial cells. One particular group of these chemicals is calle... Read More
A person’s mere presence in a room can add 37 million bacteria to the air every hour, a new study finds.
The bacterial material is largely left behind by previous occupants and stirred up from the floor when someone enters.
“We live in this microbial soup, and a big ingredient is our own m... Read More
Pared down genomes are the norm in symbiotic microbes, but how do non-symbionts get away with cutting out functions it would appear that they need? The authors of an Opinion piece in mBio this week explain their ideas about the matter. They say microbes that shed necessary functions may well be ... Read More
How cool is that to be listening to you all reading my emails with Peter Sandman while I am stuck in traffic.
I loved the discussion and want to send a big thank you to Michael for joining in and giving us the missing perspective of what the NSABB ... Read More
A recent test of packaged raw chicken products bought at grocery stores across the country found that roughly half of them were contaminated with the bacteria E. coli.
E. coli, which the study said was an indicator of fecal contamination, was found in 48 percent of 120 chicken products bought... Read More
Researchers have determined that bacteria are present in the bladders of some healthy women, which discredits the common belief that normal urine is sterile. These findings were published in the April issue of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology by researchers at Loyola University Chicago Strit... Read More
Collaborative investigation efforts of state, local, and federal public health agencies indicate that a frozen raw yellowfin tuna product, known as Nakaochi Scrape, from Moon Marine USA Corporation is the likely source of this outbreak of Salmonella Bareilly infections. Nakaochi Scrape is tuna b... Read More
Once upon a time, tasters were employed by the well-to-do, in order to check that their food or drink wasn't poisonous. Today, there are electronic biosensors that can do more or less the same thing. Unfortunately, as was no doubt sometimes the case with the tasters, the biosensors can’t always ... Read More
Learn about the bacteria, fungi and other micro-organisms that maintain human health.
The body contains 10 times more bacteria, fungi and other micro-organisms than human cells. Most of these species are harmless—although they can still cause illness if they wind up in the wrong place. In add... Read More
Two papers published this week, and one last month, reveal the pandemic potential of H5N1 "bird flu". One identifies four, another identifies five, genetic changes the virus would have to undergo before it could spread easily in humans, and the third paper suggests some of these changes are alre... Read More
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
Imagine you are a tiny caddisfly pupa. When you emerge from your pupal case, it is dark, but not pitch black, and high above you, you see the faint glow of a starry sky. On new wings, you rise. Cue angelic voices.
Suddenly, you struggle against an invisible barrier. Cue scary cello. You begin... Read More
If you've ever had a bacterial infection like staph or strep throat, your doctor may have prescribed penicillin. But if you've had the flu or a common cold virus, penicillin won't work. That's because antibacterials only kill bacteria, and both the flu and the common cold are viruses. So for ill... Read More
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
Scientists may have found one of the keys to weight loss hiding in the poop of 3,000-year-old mummies. The bacterial DNA found in their guts is very different from our modern intestinal flora.
The reason: chlorinated water and antibiotics.
That's the first hypothesis of Dr. Cecil Lewis. Acco... Read More