Widespread vaccination has gone a long way toward curbing whooping cough, a highly contagious infection that can be especially dangerous for babies too young to be immunized.
Already this year, though, whooping cough has claimed the lives of five infants, all of them less than 3 months old. I... Read More
It was a night of culture - yoghurt cultures. Vaughn Tan shared his passion for yoghurt with about two dozen captivated future yoghurt makers. He spoke about the biochemistry and microbial ecology of the process - ways to optimize the proteins in the milk, effects of inoculation temperatures, th... Read More
For almost three decades, oceanographers have been puzzled by the ability of microscopic algae ("microalgae") to grow in open-ocean areas where there is very little nitrate, an essential nutrient for the algae.
In this week's issue of the journal Nature, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institu... Read More
The 2001 anthrax attacks in the United States are fostering development of a new generation of vaccines, antibiotics, and other medications to protect people against the potentially deadly bacteria in any future bioterrorist incident. That's the conclusion of a sweeping overview of scientific re... Read More
When I first saw the title of this PloSOne article, "Unauthorized Horizontal Spread in the Laboratory Environment: The Tactics of Lula, a Temperate Lambdoid Bacteriophage of Escherichia coli", I thought, "Hunh?!? You can actually publish articles about laboratory contamination?", but it's actual... Read More
The rapidly growing polio outbreak in Tajikistan raises serious concerns that the disease could spread to other regions in the world, states an editorial http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/doi/10.1503/cmaj.100831 in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) www.cmaj.ca. It is imperative that health agenc... Read More
The idea of friendly bacteria might take a little getting used to, but these microorganisms have been around for a quite a while. Now probiotics are being researched for their potential benefits, as well as side effects.
Here is some information about probiotics from The National Center for C... Read More
The adapted virus that immunized hundreds of millions of people against smallpox has now been enlisted in the war on cancer. Vaccinia poxvirus joins a herpesvirus and a host of other pathogens on a growing list of engineered viruses entering late-stage human testing against cancer.
After a de... Read More
A team of molecular biologists and computer scientists at Stony Brook University have used a novel method to weaken (attenuate) influenza virus by way of designing hundreds of mutations to its genetic code to create an effective vaccine.
The research is an outgrowth of years of investigation ... Read More
Eminent Australian scientist Professor Frank Fenner, who helped to wipe out smallpox, predicts humans will probably be extinct within 100 years, because of overpopulation, environmental destruction and climate change.
Fenner, who is emeritus professor of microbiology at the Australian Nationa... Read More
The mucosal immune system, which stands like a military battalion protecting the nasal passages, intestinal lining, and other vulnerable surfaces of the human body, is often the first to tangle with microbial invaders. It’s also of considerable interest to researchers who hope to improve vaccin... Read More
In her column for the New York Times, Olivia Judson writes vividly and informatively on fungi, and on yeast in particular, pointing out some surprising similarities to human life, and why yeasts are thus so useful for research. Read More
The Human Genome Project, along with numerous parallel efforts to solve the DNA sequences of hundreds of animal, plant, fungal, and microbe genomes in the last few decades, has produced enormous amounts of genetic data with which researchers are struggling to keep pace. Knowing gene sequences, a... Read More
Batches of Mozzarella balls turned blue because of bacterial contamination during production in Germany, Italian prosecutors and health officials said Tuesday, after more than a ton of the suspect cheese was seized.
But the German maker was insisting that the problem was resolved a month ago.... Read More
You wash your hands before supper, and you irradiate your mammoths before public display. French customs requires the latter, so researchers plan to hit the world’s oldest baby mammoth with three days worth of gamma rays.
In July 2009, a hunter found the mammoth, now known as Khoma, partially... Read More
National Physical Laboratory is involved in a collaborative project that is helping to further the understanding of HIV viral protein structure which could lead to new molecular medicines.
In May 2010 the project team, comprising biotechnology experts from NPL, the University of Edinburgh and... Read More
Dust-choked mine shafts, crowded working conditions and stifling hostels where up to 16 miners share a room — all conspire to make mining a more important contributor to tuberculosis in Africa than had been realized, a new study finds.
Rates of the illness have doubled in Africa over the pas... Read More
During her time at Columbia, Poje has worked on filoviruses, a group of viruses that include Ebola and Marburg, two pathogens that can cause severe damage to the blood and organs of humans, frequently resulting in death. Yet for all their danger, scientists know relatively little about filovirus... Read More
Q. OVER THE YEARS, WHAT HAS BEEN THE DISCOVERY YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
A. We pioneered an unconventional approach to solving the genetic basis of human disease. In the past when geneticists were researching an inherited disease — cystic fibrosis, breast cancer —they would systematically study ... Read More
Each of us harbors a unique collection of bacteria, on our outsides and our insides. Now, scientists are finding that the bacteria you get at birth may depend on how you got here. Because babies born vaginally have a different set of microbes than those that arrive by Caesarean-section. The work... Read More