The suggestion that the retrovirus XMRV is the etiologic agent of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) arose from a study in which the virus was found in 68 of 101 US patients. The virus was not detected in two independent studies of 186 and 170 CFS patients in the United Kingdom. A new Dutch study ha... Read More
Contrary to popular belief, some disease causing bacteria may actually survive the composting process. Researchers from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada report in the February 2010 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology that campylobacter bacteria in cattle manure can surviv... Read More
Alex Fiorentino describes how the Whitesides lab at Harvard is developing sophisticated medical diagnostic devices that are lightweight, disposable, cost pennies to make, and operate without power. They're made out of paper. Read More
Top meat industry groups held briefings on Capitol Hill Tuesday defending the use of antibiotics as a critical tool for animal health.
The briefings come two weeks after CBS Evening News with Katie Couric broadcast a two-part series criticizing the widespread use of antibiotics in food animal... Read More
A micro-ear could soon help scientists eavesdrop on tiny events just like microscopes make them visible.
Initially, researchers will use it to snoop on cells as they go about their daily business. It may allow researchers to listen to how a drug disrupts micro-organisms, in the same way as a ... Read More
Here's an idea: Rehabilitate the tobacco plant by using it to make flu vaccine. (This may sound like a double-whammy nightmare for anyone who believes that vaccines are killing us all and GMOs are killing us all, but let's put that aside and examine what the scientists are doing, and why.)
Fi... Read More
Marine scientists long believed that a microbe called Trichodesmium, a member of a group called the cyanobacteria, reigned over the ocean's nitrogen budget.
New research results reported online February 25 in a paper in Science Express show that Trichodesmium may have to share its nitrogen-f... Read More
Snippets of RNA that switch off disease-causing genes can now slip into cells unaided. This could help efforts to use RNA interference (RNAi) to treat diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
For a gene to be expressed as a protein, it must first be copied into messenger RNA (mRNA). RNAi blocks ... Read More
A recent article published in the Columbia Journalism Review mulls over the state of science journalism and expresses hope that the future is online. The article actually singles out the MicrobeWorld-related blog Small Things Considered by Elio Schaechter and Merry Youle among several others as ... Read More
Stories of environmental damage and their consequences always seem to take place far away and in another country, usually a tropical one with lush rainforests and poison dart frogs.
In fact, similar stories starring familiar animals are unfolding all the time in our own backyards — including ... Read More
We've all experienced it. You take a lid off a bowl in the refrigerator and find those leftovers you had planned to eat covered in a disgusting white fuzzy substance. Or you reach for a slice of bread and see it has turned green.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers are working to find ... Read More
Yesterday the Wrigley Building in Chicago was officially lit with Rotary International's 'End Polio Now' pledge - as was the Pyramid of Khafre in Egypt and the Obelisk in Buenos Aires. These iconic landmarks and others will provide a dramatic backdrop for an equally dramatic message: End Polio N... Read More
Artist Laura Splan has created some cool doilies using viral patterns:
'The design of each doily is based on the structure of a different virus. I begin with a digital image of the virus, which I then base a design on in a graphics editor. The design is then imported into computerized embroid... Read More
Silver is an age-old, effective microbicide, but one whose commercial use is growing way too rapidly, says Samuel Luoma of the University of California, Davis. Consumer products, including socks, underwear, towels, toothbrushes, paper towels, teddy bears, combs for pets, and food containers, are... Read More
Genetic interactions between avian H5N1 influenza and human seasonal influenza viruses have the potential to create hybrid strains combining the virulence of bird flu with the pandemic ability of H1N1, according to a new study.
In laboratory experiments in mice, a single gene segment from a h... Read More
The National Institutes of Health and the US Food and Drug Administration today unveiled a new joint effort aimed at developing ways to translate new biomedical discoveries through regulation and into pharmacies and hospitals.
Focused on advancing and intertwining translational and regulatory... Read More
Princeton microbiology professor Bonnie Bassler, 2002 MacArthur "Genius" Grant recipient and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, spoke to a crowd of faculty and students Tuesday at Smith.
Bassler's talk, titled "Tiny Conspiracies: Cell-to-Cell Communication in Bacteria," addressed t... Read More
Our homes and workplaces, we're told, are trying to kill us. Recently, a University of Arizona microbiologist named Charles Gerba, author of hundreds of scientific papers about household microbes, gave a terrifying lecture at the offices of the Food and Drug Administration. Gerba—who, incidental... Read More
It is "premature" to declare that the swine flu epidemic has peaked, a panel of experts convened by the World Health Organization said Tuesday. The panel had been widely expected to say that the outbreak of pandemic H1N1 influenza had passed its peak and was now tailing off. The experts cautione... Read More
For its new fridge, Whirlpool Corp. spent months inventing a shelf with microscopic etching so it can hold a can of spilled soda.
The technology is just one weapon against a dirty kitchen secret: Most Americans clean their fridges only once or twice a year.
Now, appliance makers like Whir... Read More