Although both cooperation and conflict are decisive forces in evolution, some of the most successful microbial strategies for survival have arisen from cooperation. At times, two or more microorganisms can even come together to breathe as one. Breathing, or respiration, accomplishes a most chal... Read More
This article covers the history, pros and cons of the Hologenome Theory of Evolution with quotes from Richard Jefferson, Eugene Rosenberg, Seth Bordenstein, Jerry Coyne and others. You can access the article for free in the next 10 days by logging in to the New Scientist site. For more on the ho... Read More
The latter half of the 19th century was a critical period in the development of Western, or what is now complimentarily called modern, medicine. The famed chemist Louis Pasteur and the physician Robert Koch established on a firm intellectual foundation the notion that the cause of infectious dis... Read More
Understanding what happens to a soybean root hair system infected by symbiotic, nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria, Bradyrhizobium japonicum, could go a long way toward using this symbiosis to redesign plants and improve crop yields, benefitting both food and biofuel production. Because of their exte... Read More
"Like rolling back a rock and seeing the ecosystem change," says the lead author of a study in mBio this week. It's a classical experiment in grade school ecology, except that the ecosystem is the microbiome of the human penis. And the "rock" is the foreskin, removed in adulthood for the sake of... Read More
I've spent most of the week with the flu. I'd heard flu season was starting early this year, but I wasn't prepared for it to be this early, in part because predictions for flu outbreaks are still not that precise—especially in germy places like here in New York City.
But a new approach, borro... Read More
The detailed changes in the structure of a virus as it infects an E. coli bacterium have been observed for the first time, report researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UT Health) Medical School this week in Science Expres... Read More
Good morning, everyone! Are you ready for that first cup of coffee? Apparently a strain of bacteria is, too. Researchers have engineered E. Coli bacteria that are "addicted" to caffeine. Why? That's a very good question. The latest creation is not a new idea. Researchers have been engineering or... Read More
Lasers are the new DNA. It is called matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization–time of flight (MALDI-TOF) and it uses mass spectrometry to quickly test for hundreds of different pathogens in a small sample using a single automated device. MALDI-TOF is increasingly being used in clinical micr... Read More
Long suspected as a cause of acne, the pore-dwelling bacterial species Propionibacterium acnes may not uniformly deserve its bad name. While some strains of the bacterium are associated with pimples, investigators have found another strain is associated with clear skin, according to a study publ... Read More
Dengue epidemics continue to break out in South America. Last year, more than 100,000 people contracted dengue fever in Rio de Janeiro alone. In its fight against the deadly virus, the city is employing unique methods.
The endless battle against Rio de Janeiro's mosquitoes takes Luciano do Ca... Read More
Researchers from Radboud University Nijmegen and B-WARE Research Centre have discovered new methane-consuming bacteria in the soil beneath the Brunssummerheide peatland reserve in Limburg, the Netherlands. Although the bacteria may be the result of environmental pollution, they are now consuming... Read More
A recorded version of a live streaming video episode of This Week in Microbiology (TWiM), a podcast about unseen life on Earth, with Vincent Racaniello, a Higgins Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immu... Read More
The strain of bacteria that caused a fatal outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in a Veterans Affairs hospital in western Pennsylvania is "almost identical" to the strain found there more than three decades ago, a newspaper reported.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (http://bit.ly/ZBHAYG ) said Sun... Read More
The CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) system is a bacterial RNA interference-like system which captures short fragments of DNA from plasmids, phage, and other nucleic acid parasites. After being expressed, these molecules then serve as a surveillance system wher... Read More
German scientists say fluoride reduces the ability of decay-causing bacteria to stick to teeth so it is easier to wash away when brushing or with saliva.
Karin Jacobs and colleagues said despite a half-century of scientific research, controversy exists over exactly how fluoride compounds redu... Read More
The polio virus has been found in the sewers of Cairo, and it appears to have come from Pakistan, the World Health Organization said Wednesday. Egypt has not had a case of polio since 2004. A vaccination drive is being planned for Feb. 25, and health workers are canvassing the neighborhoods wher... Read More