Owls are the natural predators of the rats carrying the deadly hantavirus, the Santiago Times newspaper reports. Long-tailed pygmy rice rats transmit the virus to humans as they come into contact with campers in the forest, while foraging for bamboo. But forest fires during Chile's summer months... Read More
Whether a man, a mouse or a microbe, stress is bad for you. Experiments in bacteria by molecular biologists in Peter Chien’s lab at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with others at MIT, have uncovered the mechanism that translates stress, such as exposure to extreme temperature, into bloc... Read More
Bacteria commonly found in drinking water creates conditions which enable other- potentially harmful – bacteria to thrive, says research by engineers from the University of Sheffield.
The research, published in the latest issue of Water Science and Technology: Water Supply, points the way to ... Read More
After watching Hollywood movies of medieval knights with neat haircuts and bright smiles, it may shock you to be reminded that our dear medieval cousins looked anything but clean. The truth is that hygiene was not a top priority in the Middle Ages and germs were in heaven. This was a time in whi... Read More
A new study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden finds that testing for human papilloma virus (HPV) allows for longer time between screening tests when compared to cytology-based testing. The study is published in the scientific journal British Medical Journal (BMJ).
Cervical screening progra... Read More
UC Davis scientists have uncovered a potential drug target for the development of an effective therapy against the debilitating, chronic form of the bacterial disease brucellosis, which primarily afflicts people in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries.
Brucellosis, which affects about 5... Read More
One would assume offhand that the pathways for synthesis and assembly of the major constituents of a bacterial cell “talk to each other,” i. e. they are tightly interwoven processes. Tampering with the biosynthesis of one should affect all the others, right? Wouldn’t you expect, for instance, th... Read More
Some time ago, we asked this Talmudic Question: Can you think of a place on Earth where there is free water but no microbes? (A sterile flask of nutrient broth in a lab, the insides of the body, or an IV bag in a hospital don't count.) Someone answered that perhaps deep in Antarctica there would... Read More
Frog-killing fungi, the methods bacteria use to evade antibiotics, and the hidden microbes deep inside an Antarctic lake: These are just a few of the topics covered in “Small Things Considered,” a microbiology blog run by Moselio Schaechter. Schaechter is former president of the American Society... Read More
Gastrointestinal parasitic infections, which are worm infections in the intestine, affect nearly one quarter of the world population and have been heavily linked with poverty in poorer regions.
They normally result in a chronic, long-lived infection associated with poor quality of life and he... Read More
A study conducted at the University of Strathclyde investigating the presence of Legionella in compost, has found that the bacteria exist in a significant number of commercial products.
The research, the first substantial analysis of Legionella in UK composts, suggests that the bacteria are a... Read More
Evolution is one of those enigmatic subjects we simply do not understand fully. We know it is a biological change at the genetic level that changes the overall nature of an organism. We're also sure that it requires a significant number of generations. Unfortunately, that means it is difficult t... Read More
Professor Yasien Sayed, research leader of the HIV Proteins Research Thrust, Protein Structure-Function Research Unit in the School of Molecular and Cell Biology, has led his group to international acclaim by solving the three-dimensional X-ray crystal structure of the South African HIV-1 subtyp... Read More
Usually, when you mention bacteria in connection with water, it’s a bad thing. But one Texas A&M engineering researcher believes the right bacteria are a natural weapon for fighting an emerging water contaminant: estrogen.
Increasingly sensitive methods of screening water for polluting substa... Read More
Forty years ago, a beloved neighbor was bedridden for weeks at a time with a mysterious ailment. She knew only that it involved her liver and that she must never drink alcohol, which would make things worse.
It was decades before the cause of these debilitating flare-ups was discovered: a vir... Read More
Glowing bacteria inside squids use light and chemical signals to control circadian-like rhythms in the animals, according to a study to be published on April 2 in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. The Hawaiian bobtail squid, Euprymna scolopes, houses... Read More
The H7N9 avian flu strain that emerged in China earlier this year has been subdued for now, but it would be a mistake to be reassured by this apparent lull in infections. The virus has several highly unusual traits that paint a disquieting picture of a pathogen that may yet lead to a pandemic, a... Read More
Researchers at the UNC School of Medicine have deployed a potential new weapon against HIV – a combination therapy that targets HIV-infected cells that standard therapies cannot kill.
Using mouse models that have immune systems composed of human cells, researchers led by J. Victor Garcia, PhD... Read More
Health officials are watching in horror as bacteria become resistant to powerful carbapenem antibiotics — one of the last drugs on the shelf.
As a rule, high-ranking public-health officials try to avoid apocalyptic descriptors. So it was worrying to hear Thomas Frieden and Sally Davies warn o... Read More
It is well known that aquatic birds are a major reservoir of influenza A viruses, and that pandemic human influenza virus strains of the past century derive viral genes from this pool. The recent discovery of two new influenza A viruses in bats suggests that this species may constitute another r... Read More