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New, carbon-nanotube tool for ultra-sensitive virus detection and identification

A new tool that uses a forest-like array of vertically-aligned carbon nanotubes that can be finely tuned to selectively trap viruses by their size can increase the detection threshold for viruses and speed the process of identifying newly-emerging viruses.

"Early detection is important becau... Read More

S. mutants mutation increases fluoride resistance

Microbes are excellent at adapting to stressful situations, which is part of the reason antibiotic resistance is a problem today. Constant exposure to antimicrobials such as triclosan have selected for resistant strains, rendering the compound ineffective. This is why the FDA recently banned t... Read More

World's first dengue fever vaccine launched in the Philippines

Dengue fever infects 390 million people each year, and kills as many as 25,000, according to the World Health Organization.

The disease could soon see these numbers decline as the Philippines start administering the world's first dengue vaccine to high-risk children.

The historic drug took... Read More

Antimicrobial resistance gene found in marine pathogen

A team of Chinese investigators has discovered a gene for resistance to β-lactamase antibiotics, in the pathogenic marine bacterium, Vibrio parahaemolyticus. The β-lactamase gene, blaVEB-2, has never before been found in V. parahaemolyticus, and in fact, has been found almost exclusively in non-... Read More

Seeking understanding of the bacterial sec system

How do bacterial proteins destined for export move from inside to outside the cell? As mBiosphere readers may know, there are a number of secretion systems that bacteria use to move materials from inside the cell to outside the cell. Some of these systems, such as the Sec secretion system, are c... Read More

Dr House goes digital as IBM’s Watson diagnoses rare diseases

Medics charged with diagnosing the kind of extremely rare diseases that Hugh Laurie’s consultant routinely spots in TV drama House have found that artificial intelligence can do a similar job – but in seconds rather than days or weeks.

From December, doctors at the University Hospital of Marb... Read More

Grand Challenge: Mapping the Human Immune System

A team of scientists has created a genetic map of all possible receptors the human immune system might generate—also known as the immunome.

The project involved a mind-boggling data set.

“If we were on a treasure hunt, where the cure to many illnesses is the buried treasure, then we’ve jus... Read More

Zika likely to spread in Asia Pacific: WHO

The Zika virus is set to spread through Asia, the World Health Organization warned Monday, with hundreds of cases reported in Singapore and two Thai babies diagnosed with Zika-linked microcephaly.

The mosquito-borne virus has been detected in 70 countries worldwide including at least 19 count... Read More

The Sleeping Monsters in your Mouth

The oral cavity is wet, warm and nutrient rich. These characteristics allow microorganisms to flourish -- however they are normally kept in check by the host. Oral diseases like periodontitis are mediated by bacteria. Curiously, it is not a single bacterium that is the cause of disease, but a... Read More

A promising step toward controlling Zika virus and dengue fever

Five UCLA researchers were part of an international team that has used X-rays to reveal the structure of a molecule that is toxic to disease-carrying mosquitoes. The findings move the scientific world one step closer to genetically engineering a toxin that would be lethal to species that carry d... Read More

Zika virus infection may prevent reinfection, collaborative study finds

People infected with Zika virus may not be susceptible to Zika virus again, according to the latest research involving Kansas State University's Biosecurity Research Institute.

"The research shows that infection provides excellent protection against reinfection," said Stephen Higgs, director ... Read More

How cells take out the trash—phosphoarginine deciphered

Cells never forget to take out the trash. It has long been known that cells tag proteins for degradation by labelling them with ubiquitin, a signal described as "the molecular kiss of death". Tim Clausen's group at the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna identified an analo... Read More

Microbes in the breast may play a role in breast cancer

The gut microbiome has stolen the show when it comes to the recent explosion of research on the bacteria that thrive within us. But bacteria also live in a woman's breast tissue—and the mix of those microbes may have an equally important effect on health, according to a new study in Applied and ... Read More

Autophagy, Illustrated (infographic)

Earlier this week, Yoshinori Ohsumi was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on the underlying mechanisms of autophagy—the process by which cells break down and recycle their own contents. How does autophagy work? Here are the basics, as drawn for the article “How ... Read More

Research provides clues to how Zika virus breaches the placental barrier

New research reveals that in pregnant women, Zika virus infection damages certain cells that affect placental formation and function. Furthermore, herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) infection augments placental sensitivity to Zika virus by enhancing the expression of receptors that allow Zika virus ... Read More

Microscope will seek biological samples on red planet

One of the ultimate goals of Mars exploration is to bring samples from the surface to Earth, especially those that could be examined for evidence of life on the Red Planet.

Such an undertaking would be expensive and the samples risk contamination during their journey to Earth. So, one option ... Read More

Mix and match microbes to make probiotics last

Scientists have tried to alter the human gut microbiota to improve health by introducing beneficial probiotic bacteria. Yet commercially available probiotics do not establish themselves in the gut. A study published September 29 in Cell Host & Microbe suggests that it is possible to alter the mi... Read More

BacterioFiles 272 - Parasite Prevents Pollution Poisoning

This episode: Worm parasites infecting brine shrimp help them survive better in arsenic-polluted environments!

(7.9 MB, 8.6 minutes)

Show notes: 
Read More

New Discovery Offers Hope for Crohn’s Disease

Exciting new research in the medical journal MBio, the journal of the American Society for Microbiology, offers hope for sufferers of the debilitating illness known as Crohn’s Disease.

Crohn’s is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that involves inflammation of the lining of the bowels and th... Read More

This Little Amoeba Committed Grand Theft

About 100 million years ago, a lowly amoeba pulled off a stunning heist, grabbing genes from an unsuspecting bacterium to replace those it had lost.

Now Rutgers and other scientists have solved the mystery of how the little amoeba, Paulinella, committed the theft. It engulfed the bacterium, k... Read More
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