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Dysentery amoeba gets a boost from a transcription factor

Every year, the parasite Entamoeba histolytica causes an estimated 40 million cases of amoebic dysentery and liver abscesses and 100,000 deaths, mainly in developing countries. A new paper accepted for publication in mBio shows that a transcription factor called Upstream Regulatory Element 3-Bi... Read More

TWiV 72: Bucket of bolts

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On episode #72 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Dickson, Alan and Rich explain CRISPR/Cas, the immune system of bacteria and archaea, how novel viruses are discovered by deep sequencin... Read More

Virus outbreaks on ships mirror trend on shore

Suffering a bout of gastrointestinal illness in a cramped cruise ship cabin ranks pretty high on the scale of vacation nightmares. And given the bug going around this year, illness at sea is likely to spike.

Last week, Celebrity Cruises' Mercury ship returned to port in Charleston, South Caro... Read More

Virus infections may lead to gluten intolerance--study

A novel study cautions that virus infections might be one of the factors contributing to gluten intolerance.

Researchers at the Academy of Finland's Research Programme on Nutrition, Food and Health (ELVIRA) have found that the genes [basic, functional units of heredity, each occupying a speci... Read More

Plodding Amoeba Flips Into Free-Swimming Flagellate: Naegleria Genome Sheds Light on Transition from Prokaryotes to Eukaryotes

In the long evolutionary road from bacteria to humans, a major milestone occurred some 1.5 billion years ago when microbes started building closets for all their stuff, storing DNA inside a nucleus, for example, or cramming all the energy machinery inside mitochondria.

Scientists have now seq... Read More

Move over, Cosmo! The Joint Commission has its own quiz

Americans do so like a good quiz, assuming it carries no penalty for wrong answers. Witness the popularity of those ever-fab Cosmo questionnaires: "Are You Enough of a Bad Girl?" "Do You Ace a First Date?" "Are You an Oversharer or Mysterious?" Now comes a quiz that even the most painfully modes... Read More

First-class scientist commemorated on new stamp

One of Britain’s most renowned scientists is to be remembered in a new set of Royal Mail stamps for being the godfather of Listerine. Joseph Lister went on to become Baron Lister of Lyme Regis for his work in medicine, particularly in battling infections with antiseptics.

He used work done by... Read More

"Cheese trafficking" detected in El Paso

U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Bridge of the Americas port of entry seized 107 pounds of “queso fresco” (soft) Mexican cheese hidden in false compartments of a vehicle making entry Wednesday.

A 46-year-old Mexican citizen from Juarez, Mexico and his passenger, a 43-... Read More

From Carnivorous Plants to the Medicine Cabinet? Anti-Fungal Agents in Pitcher Plants Investigated

In the tropics, carnivorous plants trap unsuspecting prey in a cavity filled with liquid known as a "pitcher."

The moment insects like flies, ants and beetles fall into a pitcher, the plant's enzymes are activated and begin dissolving their new meal, obtaining nutrients such as carbon and nit... Read More

First Microbes Colonized Land by Using Fat For Protection

The earliest microbes that survived on land may have synthesized fat molecules to prevent their death from dehydration.

The molecules, called wax esters, could have helped the microbes colonize land by protecting them against the harsh environments that probably characterized the lifeless con... Read More

Africa polio eradication scheme launched

A campaign has been launched to eradicate polio in west and central Africa, targeting 85 million children.

Some 400,000 health workers and volunteers will go from door-to-door in 19 countries, giving oral polio vaccine to children under the age of five.

Africa has made significant progress... Read More

Cutting the cold chain

No matter what advanced method is used to develop and produce vaccines, their efficacy is limited by old technology – the refrigerator. All viral vaccines must either be stored frozen, or kept at low temperatures. If they are not properly stored, they lose potency and do not confer protection ag... Read More

Microbe traces found at meteorite crash site

Scientists studying an ancient meteorite crash site in the Canadian Arctic have detected traces of microbes that point to the key role played by impact craters in the evolution of life on Earth and could help determine whether life once existed on Mars.

The discovery -- hailed by an 11-member... Read More

The bleeding glacier

Somewhere around two million years ago, the Taylor Glacier sealed beneath 1,300 feet of ice a body of water that contained a ancient community of microbes. A microbe is a living thing, or organism that is too tiny to be seen without the aid of a microscope. Most, but not all are single cell.

... Read More

A Hidden Trigger of Obesity: Intestinal Bugs

If you're fighting the battle of the bulge, most of your attention — and frustration — is probably aimed at your midsection. It makes sense, since that's where the extra pounds tend to gravitate, especially with the creep of middle age, piling on to form that dreaded spare tire.

But a growing... Read More

How Ocean Bacterium Turns Carbon Into Fuel

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. We hear this mantra time and again. When it comes to carbon‹the "Most Wanted" element in terms of climate change‹nature has got reuse and recycle covered. However, it's up to us to reduce. Scientists at Harvard Medical School are trying to meet this challenge by learning ... Read More

Experimental Vaccine Protects Monkeys Against Mosquito-Borne Chikungunya Virus

Imagine a mosquito-borne virus that has already infected millions of people in recent outbreaks in South and Southeast Asia, the islands of the Indian Ocean, Africa and northern Italy. Although seldom fatal, it causes highly painful arthritis-like symptoms that can linger for months or even year... Read More

Salmonella prompts processed-food recall

Thousands of types of processed foods -- including many varieties of soups, chips, frozen dinners, hot dogs and salad dressings -- may pose a health threat because they contain a flavor enhancer that could be contaminated with salmonella, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday.

Offici... Read More

Can a Scientific Retraction Change Public Opinion?

When science revises its stance, the field itself follows established protocol to adapt, but public opinion can be slow to catch up. Rather than wiping the slate clean, last month's retraction of a key paper proposing a link between childhood vaccines and autism seem only to have widened the soc... Read More

Applying GeoChip Analysis to Disparate Microbial Communities

Taken from Microbe magazine, this article discusses high-throughput gene arrays, used to analyze microbial communities, and to link their structures to how they affect ecosystems. Read More

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