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
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
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
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
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
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 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 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.
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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
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
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
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
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
"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
Despite months of dire warnings and millions in taxpayer dollars, less than half of the 229 million doses of H1N1 vaccine the government bought to fight the pandemic have been administered -- leaving an estimated 71.5 million doses that must be discarded if they are not used before they expire.
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At the Spring 2010 meeting of the Society for General Microbiology In Edinburgh Vincent Racaniello spoke about ‘Social Media in Microbiology Education and Research’. In his presentation he gives a comprehensive overview of how he uses these new communication tools to promote the science of virol... Read More
As the dust settles from the swine flu pandemic, the notion that it was no worse than seasonal flu persists. But it seems that while the number of deaths in the US was comparable to a bad seasonal flu, swine flu claimed three times as many years of life because the victims were so young.
In P... Read More
Though proponents of unpasteurized milk tout its health benefits, including boosting immunity, scientific evidence remains shaky. More and more consumers are forgoing standard milk in favor of "raw" milk, milk that's unpasteurized and unhomogenized, essentially straight from the udder of the cow... Read More
When I worked at a vet hospital people asked me all the time whether dog's mouths were cleaner than humans. I always told them it was an old wive's tale & wondered about their personal hygiene. Turns out I was wrong! Read More
Misunderstandings about proper use of antibiotics have the potential to spread widely through social networks such as Twitter, according to a report in the April issue of AJIC: American Journal of Infection Control.
Researchers from Columbia University and MixedInk (New York, NY) studied the ... Read More