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Evolutionary Arms Race Between Bacteria and Their Viruses in Soil

Viruses of soil bacteria (phages) evolve to improve their ability to infect the bacterial hosts that surround them. This is shown in a new study by Dutch researcher Michiel Vos, published in the journal Science. Phages appear to be better able to infect bacteria from the same small soil sample t... Read More

One Microbe as a Group of 200 Protein Machines

Molecular biology for years meant breaking down living cells to their smallest component parts, the genes and proteins that govern what a cell does. But a list of parts tells only so much. To understand how living cells really work, biologists are now trying to visualize how the parts are assemb... Read More

Salmonella: Drug-Resistant Strain of Bacteria Gains in Africa, With High Death Rates

A new drug-resistant strain of bacteria has emerged in the last decade in Africa and is causing unusual numbers of deaths there, British and African researchers said on Monday.

The strain, a variant of Salmonella typhimurium, is named ST313. Its genome was decoded by researchers from the Wel... Read More

Over-the-Counter Eye Drops Raise Concern Over Antibiotic Resistance

The use of antibiotic eye drops for conjunctivitis has increased by almost half since they became available over the counter at chemists in 2005, data obtained by Oxford University researchers has shown.

This is despite the fact that evidence from clinical trials from around the same time sho... Read More

Tests Find Chicken Often Contaminated, But Better Than Before

Two-thirds of store-bought chickens are contaminated with salmonella, campylobacter or both. That's according to the most recent testing done by consumer advocacy group Consumer's Union and described in January issue of Consumer Reports.

The results may not be as bad as you think. The contami... Read More

H1N1 vaccine: It's hard to prioritize in person

With the unanticipated shortage of the new H1N1 swine flu vaccine, my life as a practicing internist suddenly changed. My office phone began ringing off the hook with worried calls. Fear of the new, unknown vaccine was suddenly replaced by fear of not having it.

This panic was overblown, as t... Read More

Two-Pronged Protein Attack Could Be Source of SARS Virulence

Ever since the previously unknown SARS virus emerged from southern China in 2003, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston virologists have focused on finding the source of the pathogen's virulence -- its ability to cause disease. In the 2003 epidemic, for example, between 5 and 10 percen... Read More

From beer sludge to fish flakes

Andrew Logan has what every manufacturer craves: an endless source of free raw materials that his suppliers can't wait to dump and a market starving for his product.

Logan, a biologist in Idaho Springs, Colo., turns waste from breweries into a fish-food ingredient. His company, Oberon FMR, sp... Read More

In the darkest earth, smallest life teems

The urge to celebrate during the darkest part of the year - to feast, to sing and talk story about great stars (the sun), to burn candles for divinity or our own inner light - seems nearly universal. Our ancestors learned that the nights shortened as surely as they had lengthened, that the sun p... Read More

Heart Drug Helps To Beat Chagas, Leishmania Parasites

Amiodarone, a drug long used for treating irregular heart rhythms, can also be effective against Chagas disease and leishmaniasis skin lesions, according to Alberto Paniz-Mondolfi at Columbia University in New York, N.Y., and his collaborators in Venezuela. Both these parasitic diseases are ende... Read More

Scientists get up close to bacteria's toxic pumps

The spread of antibiotic resistance among bacteria is a growing problem, making certain diseases increasingly difficult to treat. New strategies for attacking the bacteria are needed, yet virtually no novel-mechanism antibiotics are currently in development.

Gram-negative bacteria - such as t... Read More

CDC connects H1N1, severe bacterial infections

Federal health officials on Wednesday linked the H1N1 flu epidemic to a sharp rise in the number of severe bacterial infections.

Anne Schuchat, a physician at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the national trend was "worrisome" but not unexpected.

"In previous pandemics,... Read More

Mini Microbe Portraits From the Micropolitan Museum

Tired of the portraits, landscapes and abstract art that peppers the walls of most art museums? According to Dutch photographer Wim von Egmond, there’s one art subject that has been ignored for centuries and finally deserves its due: microscopic organisms.

As the head of the Inst... Read More

Nat'l parks seek to share of profitable science

A soon-to-be-implemented policy for scientists who are permitted to conduct research in national parks will give the National Park Service a share of any profits from their work.

The policy is expected to go into effect early next year following more than a decade of concern and a lawsuit ove... Read More

Tiny magnetic discs could kill cancer cells

Tiny magnetic discs just a millionth of a metre in diameter could be used to used to kill cancer cells, according to a study published on Sunday.

Laboratory tests found the so-called "nanodiscs", around 60 billionths of a metre thick, could be used to disrupt the membranes of cancer cells, ca... Read More

Dirty pigs are healthy pigs

Living like a pig could be good for you. Research has shown how dirty piglets obtain 'friendly' bacteria that help them to develop healthy immune systems later in life.

The results, published online in BMC Biology1, provide the first direct link between dirty living, immune health and genetic... Read More

How Guatemala's Most Beautiful Lake Turned Ugly

In his 1934 travel book Beyond the Mexique Bay, Aldous Huxley compared Guatemala's Lake Atitlan to Italy's Lake Como. The Italian body of water, he wrote, "touches the limit of the permissibly picturesque." Atitlan, however, "is Como with the additional embellishment of several immense volcanoes... Read More

How Hand Sanitizers Work

The CDC notes that up to 80 percent of infections may be spread by hand contact. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers work by disrupting the outer coat of viruses and bacteria. Read More

Red wine 'prevents tooth decay'

Here's another reason to drink red wine:

"Drinking red wine in moderate amount helps to rinse teeth clean of bacteria during and after meals, says a new study.

Earlier studies have linked moderate red wine intake with everything from improved longevity to diminished risk of cardiovascular ... Read More

New method of sterilizing medical equipment - with a plasma bag

"The practice of sterilising surgical tools and devices has helped radically improve healthcare. Researchers in the Netherlands are trying a new method, using plasma to kill bacteria inside sealed containers.

But the old mainstay is a 130-year-old device called an autoclave, which is somethin... Read More

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