Science Magazine has recently published a study carried out by Dr. Robert Brucker and Dr. Seth R. Bordenstein from Vanderbilt University in Nashville (USA) that seems to provide clues reinforcing the “hologenome theory of evolution”. This research suggests that the gut microbiome may have a fund... Read More
In this blog, I share some "first word that comes to mind" responses of my freshman biology class to the words "germ," "bacteria," "cell," and "DNA." The way that we perceive an idea or concept definitely impacts our relationship with it. Thus, finding out what students think, coming into our ... Read More
How much a person eats may be only one of many factors that determines weight gain. A recent Cedars-Sinai study suggests that a breath test profile of microorganisms inhabiting the gut may be able to tell doctors how susceptible a person is to developing obesity.
The study, published online T... Read More
When you peer through the smear on the screen of your smartphone, thousands of tiny microbes are staring back at you, waiting to hitch a ride on your fingertips.
Harmful microbes lurk everywhere — doorknobs and faucets, locker rooms and hospitals. It's enough to make a germophobe afraid to to... Read More
For the second time in a matter of weeks, a group of researchers reported a link between the food people eat and bacteria in the intestines that can increase the risk of heart attacks.
Two weeks ago, the investigators reported that carnitine, a compound found in red meat, can increase heart d... Read More
The first cell may have originated in a salty soup in which large biomolecules cluster spontaneously to form a protocell, chemists at Radboud University Nijmegen discovered. PNAS published their work on July 1.
How did the first cell originate in evolution? It is a chicken or the egg causalit... Read More
The story of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in farm animals is not a simple one. But here’s the pitch version: Yet another study has reinforced the idea that keeping animals in confinement and feeding them antibiotics prophylactically breeds varieties of bacteria that cause disease in humans, dis... Read More
The environment significantly influences whether or not a certain bacterium will block mosquitoes from transmitting malaria, according to researchers at Penn State.
The researchers used a species of malaria parasite that affects rodents, Plasmodium yoelii, and the mosquito, Anopheles stephens... Read More
We continue our series of images that have made a difference in microbiology. This one, published by John Cairns in 1963 has earned a most deserved place in textbooks and reviews. It shows a radioautograph of an intact E. coli chromosome in the act of replicating. From this image, Cairns conclud... Read More
Pertussis, a respiratory illness commonly known as whooping cough, is a very contagious disease caused by a type of bacteria called Bordetella pertussis. Since the early 1980s, there has been an overall trend of an increase in reported pertussis cases. In this video participants discuss the resu... Read More
Viruses are obligate intracellular parasites, which means that they must enter a cell to reproduce. As virions are too large to diffuse passively across the plasma membrane, cellular pathways for uptake of extracellular materials provide entry routes. The first step in entry is adherence of viru... Read More
An Auckland scientist has invented molecules that can attach themselves to any surface in a few minutes and modify every type of cell or virus. The potential for the technology is huge - from attacking cancer cells to protecting newborn babies. Read More
Ancient antimicrobial treatment could help to solve modern bacterial resistance. Like werewolves and vampires, bacteria have a weakness: silver. The precious metal has been used to fight infection for thousands of years — Hippocrates first described its antimicrobial properties in 400 bc — but h... Read More
A rising percentage of parents say they won't have their teen daughters vaccinated to protect against the human papilloma virus, even though physicians are increasingly recommending adolescent vaccinations, a study by Mayo Clinic and others shows. More than 2 in 5 parents surveyed believe the HP... Read More
It's easy to forget just how far medicine has progressed. While we may worry about the spread of infectious diseases like avian flu or meningitis today, those pathogens have nothing on fearsome pandemics in the distant past like the Plague of Justinian, which killed over 100 million people from ... Read More
The mysterious SARS-like virus that appears to be originating in the Middle East has claimed two more victims after people died from the infection in Germany and in Britain.
Their deaths brings to 11 the number of fatalities attributed to the virus, and six others have been determined to have... Read More
Sara Volz won the Intel Science Fair for her work on growing algae that's more efficient at making biofuels--and she does all her work in her bedroom.
Every year, the Intel Science Talent Search honors brilliant high school students for their contributions to the worlds of math and science. L... Read More
In the search for new antibiotics, researchers are taking an unusual approach: They are developing peptides, short chains of protein building blocks that effectively inhibit a key enzyme of bacterial metabolism. Now, scientists at the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIP... Read More