If you've ever enjoyed the scent of a pine forest or sniffed a freshly cut basil leaf, then you're familiar with terpenes. The compounds are responsible for the essential oils of plants and the resins of trees. Since the discovery of terpenes more than 150 years ago, scientists have isolated som... Read More
The pathogen Escherichia coli O157:H7 can spread, likely airborne, more than one tenth mile downwind from a cattle feedlot onto nearby produce, according to a paper published ahead of print in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. The high percentages of leafy greens contaminated with E. coli ... Read More
Scientists waging war against Ebola are mining a cache of microscopic weapons hidden in Ebola survivors’ blood.
Made by the immune system, the weapons are antibodies, small proteins that target and neutralize invading virus particles. Scientists aren’t sure about the molecular specifics yet, ... Read More
Oncolytic virotherapy has shown impressive results in preclinical studies and first promising therapeutic outcomes in clinical trials as well. Since viruses are known for a long time as excellent vaccination agents, oncolytic viruses are now designed as novel anticancer agents combining the aspe... Read More
A common polymorphism – a variation in a person’s DNA sequence that is found with regularity in the general population – can lead to a chain of events that dictates how a tumor will progress in certain types of cancer, including a form of breast cancer as well as ovarian cancer, according to new... Read More
Researchers say that a vaccination they have developed to fight a brain-based, wasting syndrome among deer and other animals may hold promise on two additional fronts: protecting US livestock from contracting the disease, and preventing similar brain infections in humans. Read More
Vincent, Alan, Rich and Kathy discuss how interleukin 10 modulation of Th17 helper cells contributes to alphavirus pathogenesis.
In a new study, published this week by the journal Royal Society Open Science, a British scientist reports the riddle of the "missing" plastic as solved: It sits in deep waters, broken down into tiny fibers and embedded in the sediment of the most remote places on Earth.
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Treating patients with the deadly Ebola virus takes doctors, drugs, and a whole lot of chlorine.
The Ebola treatment units being deployed across Sierra Leone are built by teams of logisticians—“logs” in disaster aid parlance—who can drop into a bare field and construct a mini city in a matter... Read More
Remember that worrisome new form of botulinum toxin we told you about in late 2013, the one that supposedly had to be kept secret out of fear it could be used as a bioweapon that would evade all of our medical defenses?
Well, as it turns out, it's not that scary after all. The antitoxin store... Read More
Some researchers who study the virus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome got an early Christmas present: permission to resume experiments that the federal government abruptly halted in October.
The scientists were trying to modify the MERS virus so that it's better able to sicken mic... Read More
Its name means "bending over in pain." It has no treatment or vaccine. Its symptoms resemble Dengue fever. And it has infected more than 1 million people -- 155 of them fatally -- since spreading to the Americas one year ago.
The mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus has long been diagnosed in tra... Read More
For four years, researchers at Universite catholique de Louvain have been trying to find out how bacteria can withstand antibiotics, so as to be able to attack them more effectively. These researchers now understand how one defense mechanism works and the results of their research have been publ... Read More
When you’re the size of a human, you worry about lions and tigers and bears. But if you’re a bacterium, a tiny nematode worm, just a millimetre long, can be a vicious predator. Nematodes are among the most common animals on the planet, and many of them hunt bacteria in soil and water. The microb... Read More
Saint Louis University research findings published in the December issue of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy report a family of molecules known as nucleotidyltransferase superfamily (NTS) enzyme inhibitors are promising candidates for new herpes virus treatments.
The findings could lead ... Read More
Most vaccines work by inducing an immune response characterized by neutralizing antibodies against the respective pathogen. An effective HIV vaccine has remained elusive so far, but researchers have continued to make progress, often employing innovative methods. A new study reports that a combin... Read More
Parkinson’s disease sufferers have a different microbiota in their intestines than their healthy counterparts, according to a study. Researchers are now trying to determine what the connection between intestinal microbes and Parkinson’s disease is.
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While human families are easily illustrated as a tree, bacterial families look more like a heap of branches. Scientists are trying to trace the connections between those branches in an effort to learn more about the bacteria that harm us, and those that do not.
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Novel test could slash wait time and curb inappropriate prescriptions.
Antibiotic resistance, which transforms ordinary microbes into menaces that cannot be easily controlled, is exacting a growing toll on the human population. More than two million people in the U.S. develop drug-resistant i... Read More
Why should we consider this year's Nobel Prize in chemistry, and why in our 'Pictures Considered' section in the first place? A hint comes from one of the many press releases: "... for improving the resolution of optical microscopes." Aha! Microscopes are at the heart of microbiology since Rober... Read More