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What do animal studies tell us?

Rodent of the Week is devoted to highlighting promising animal research. We shine this little spotlight on animal research because, typically, it's an area we tend to ignore. While often fascinating, animal studies are conducted at such an early stage in the research process that it's irresponsi... Read More

Out of This World: New Study Investigates Infection of Human Cells in Space

In a first-of-its-kind experiment, the unique conditions of spaceflight will be used to examine how cells remain healthy or succumb to disease, particularly in the face of stress or damage.

At 3:21 a.m. PDT on April 5, ASU Biodesign Institute researchers Cheryl Nickerson and her team, includi... Read More

An alkaline lagoon inside a Volcano in Argentina teems with life

Argentinian investigators have found flamingos and mysterious microbes living in a salty, alkaline lagoon nestled inside a volcano in the Andes. The organisms, exposed to arsenic and poisonous gases, could shed light on how life began on Earth, and their hardiness to extreme conditions may hold ... Read More

Do you want to know what is in your vaccines?

The recent discovery of contaminating porcine circovirus 1 DNA in Rotarix underscores the power of deep sequencing to ensure the purity of viral vaccines. The price of deep sequencing is now low enough that it is possible to use this technology to examine not just viral vaccines, but any biologi... Read More

Take that Dengue fever, & how 'bout some of this!

As if I needed another reason to hate mosquitoes, thankfully the ones that transmit Dengue fever don't hang around the DC Metro area much. Guess this just proves that old say - "the bacterium enemy of my viral enemy is my friend" - even truer than it was before.

P.S. Anything that helps p... Read More

Virus 'cloaking device' explained by Oregon scientists

In our escalating arms race with infectious microbes, a handful of the toughest opponents have developed weapons that render vaccination seemingly worthless.

Oregon scientists now say they've figured out the defensive weapons of one the trickiest of these resilient attackers: cytomegalovirus,... Read More

Microbes reprogrammed to ooze oil for renewable biofuel

Using genetic sleight of hand, researcher Xinyao Liu and professor Roy Curtiss at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute have coaxed photosynthetic microbes to secrete oil—bypassing energy and cost barriers that have hampered green biofuel production. Their results appear in this week's ... Read More

Military green: U.S. Air Force flies on biofuel

The U.S. Air Force burns through 2.4 billion gallons of jet fuel a year, all of it derived from oil. But a test flight on March 25 just might allow a flowering weed known as camelina to replace petroleum as part of the military's energy mix. An A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft took flight from Elgi... Read More

Veteran Women BioMed Researchers Still Shortchanged

You might expect young women scientists to make less than older men. But veteran female life science researchers, even in very advanced positions, still make less than their male counterparts. So finds a report in the journal Academic Medicine. [See http://bit.ly/9C7nlF]

Previous studies abou... Read More

HIV drugs could have second life as treatment for retrovirus correlated with prostate cancer

Some medications already being used to treat HIV appear to inhibit a retrovirus that has been linked to prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome, reports a new study published online April 1 in PLoS ONE.

Like HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), XMRV (xenotropic murine leukemia virus-relat... Read More

Inositol or bust: genes reveal importance of inositol for Cryptococci

When Bacillus subtilis gets the chance, it establishes thick, gluey biofilms held together by a matrix of exopolysaccharides and protein. Once cells sense that there’s enough extracellular matrix, they switch over to sporulating and tend to localize themselves in aerial protrusions so they can ... Read More

Census Data Aid Disease Simulation Studies

Did you know that filling out your census card will help computer scientists model how diseases spread in the United States?

Over the last four years, researchers at RTI International in North Carolina have been transforming data from the 2000 census -- which described the country's 281 milli... Read More

The little molecules that could . . . help us unravel TB?

The more I read about Mycobacterium tuberculosis the more I'm strangely impressed by it. It's subtly devious, patient - notice how it can persist inside a host for decades - and fearsomely adaptive. A worthy adversary, to be certain. Read More

Science and Nature to publish new open access journal

"Science and Nature have ended their historic battle for the world’s best basic science articles, agreeing to cease their respective publications and co-launch an open-access, online-only journal with an innovative democratic peer-review system, sources at both journals revealed this morning.

... Read More

Researchers Report Progress on E. Coli Test

It’s not the pathogenic E. coli microbe itself that harms people who eat ground beef or other foods that contain it. Rather, it’s the toxins that E. coli produces that do the actual damage. Proper testing of food should look for both, though, since it is possible for one to be present without th... Read More

Is this the end of gene patenting?

A court in New York yesterday ruled that patents on two genes linked to breast cancer are invalid.

By declaring that the genes can't be patented because they are essentially products of nature rather than inventions, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York state has effect... Read More

Sugar-rubber tyre inches closer to the road

Even the most clapped-out jalopy could get a green upgrade thanks to a process that can turn plants into synthetic rubber for tyres – usually, the stuff is made from petroleum.

Isoprene is a synthetic version of natural rubber that is used primarily in tyres: it makes up as much as 27 per cen... Read More

A killer in the bat cave

Corpse upon corpse they lie, a carpet of emaciated, fungus-ridden carcasses. Where once healthy animals hung in slumber from the cave roof, now there is a mass grave on the floor. It is a scene that is repeated throughout the eastern US, from Vermont to West Virginia. America's bats are in crisi... Read More

Flu Jab For Bacteria

Viruses can wreak havoc on bacteria as well as humans and, just like us, bacteria have their own defense system in place, explained Professor John van der Oost, at the Society for General Microbiology's spring meeting on March 31. Uncovering the workings of the bacterial "immune system" could be... Read More

Students protest at Montana State University to save the microbiology department

"Carrying signs that read "Save the Microbiology Department," about 60 students, professors and staff members gathered Wednesday at noon to protest Montana State University's decision to dissolve their department.

While student organizers succeeded in gathering a well-mannered crowd outside M... Read More

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