With brush-fire speed, Felisa Wolfe-Simon and colleagues of buggy arsenic-eating fame found themselves bogged down in a blogosphere-fueled debate.
After force-feeding phosphorus-loving bacteria an arsenic-only diet and discovering that the bugs didn’t die, Wolfe-Simon and colleagues concluded... Read More
When it comes to infectious disease, who and how many get inoculated isn’t as important as knowing how people interact with each other—whether they’re vaccinated or not.
In order to follow and better understand how viruses spread through real-life social networks, a group of researchers used ... Read More
Cold plasma torches could be a new way to treat drug-resistant infections and heal wounds more quickly, according to new research. The plasma interferes with microbial DNA without harming human tissue, scientists say.
A 10-minute treatment with a low-temperature plasma jet killed about 90 per... Read More
The president’s bioethics commission says there is no need to temporarily halt research or to impose new regulations on the controversial new field known as synthetic biology.
In a report being issued Thursday, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues says that at prese... Read More
In the fight to stay alive, many bacteria, such as MRSA, have developed resistance to commonly used antibiotics. But other bacteria are using a more insidious type of resistance: that imbued by transferable genes, which can spread among commonly circulating strains.
One of these genetic eleme... Read More
Did you ever have a question where you thought microbes were at fault but weren't certain... A group of faculty from Wando High School from Mount Pleasant South Carolina recently visited the laboratory of Dr. Michael Schmidt, a professor of Microbiology at the Medical University of South Caroli... Read More
From the New Scientist CultureLab:
This year I was chairman of the judges of the Wellcome Trust prize for books with a medical theme. We awarded the prize to Rebecca Skloot's excellent The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Crown). But also on our shortlist was Angel of Death by Gareth Willia... Read More
Vincent and Dickson continue their discussion of nematodes with the whipworm Trichuris trichiura.
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Scientists have finally found an answer to one of the great mysteries about the most deadly bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus — why it attacks primarily humans and not animals. And they now have an idea of why some humans are particularly susceptible to these bacteria that kill 100,000 Americans a... Read More
Cancers may be wounds that never heal, suggest the first live images of tumours forming.
It seems individual cancer cells send out the same distress signals as wounds, tricking immune cells into helping them grow into tumours. The finding suggests that anti-inflammatory drugs could help to co... Read More
A seemingly unremarkable ocean microbe turns out to be a multitasker -- it can not only photosynthesize, but can also produce large amounts of hydrogen, opening up a potential way to make the gas cheaply for fuel.
The single-celled cyanobacteriumCyanothece 51142 can make hydrogen in air, Hima... Read More
A very unusual blood transplant appears to have cured an American man living in Berlin of infection with the AIDS virus, but doctors say the approach is not practical for wide use.
The man, who is in his 40s, had a blood stem cell transplant in 2007 to treat leukemia. His donor not only was a... Read More
A superbug named C-diff is on the rise, a germ that so ravages some people's intestines that repeated tries of the strongest, most expensive antibiotic can't conquer their disabling diarrhea.
Now a small but growing number of doctors are trying a last-ditch treatment: Using good bacteria to f... Read More
Inside a small cabinet the size of a dorm refrigerator in one of Himadri B. Pakrasi's labs, a blue-green soup percolates in thick glass bottles under the cool light of red, blue and green LEDS. This isn't just any soup, however. It is a soup of champions.
The soup is colored by a strain of bl... Read More
El Podcast del Microbio" Nº 142 is dedicated to the recent measles outbreak in a child school from Sevilla due to the the ... Read More
A study published in mBio this week reveals a novel system for turning plant materials into biofuels using a designer cellulosome, an enzyme complex that is like the fantasy football team of biological processes.
Consider the similarities: in fantasy football, participants assemble virtual ... Read More
The protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii and the pathogenic bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis exemplify convergent evolution, the development of a similar biological trait in unrelated lineages, according to research presented December 13 at the American Society of Cell Biology's 50th Annual Meeti... Read More
The announcement that NASA experimenters had found a bacterium that seems to be able to subsist on arsenic in place of phosphorus — an element until now deemed essential for life — set off a cascading storm of criticism on the Internet, first about alleged errors and sloppiness in the paper publ... Read More
The P-T mass extinction may have been instigated by populations of algae dying. According to one group of scientists, this die-off of large numbers of relatively simple life forms caused a crash in the ocean's entire food web.
The mass extinction at the end of the Permian period almost cleare... Read More