Food-poisoning outbreaks linked to disease-causing strains of the bacterium Escherichia coli are normally associated with tainted meat products. However, between 20-30% of these are caused by people eating contaminated vegetables, as was seen in the 2011 outbreak in Europe that caused 53 deaths.... Read More
Influenza viruses evolve rapidly, making it hard to develop protective vaccines against them. Despite a great deal of effort, scientists have found it difficult to forecast which way the virus’ evolution would take it. Now, thanks to improvements in our ability to study viruses and a new mathema... Read More
A new device from Macquarie University can manipulate objects as small as 50 nanometers wide — about a thousandth of the width of a human hair and small enough to allow direct manipulation of a single viral capsule.
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I have found that students become involved, energized, and enthusiastic when I give them opportunities to explore topics in my classes using their own creative approaches and interests. So this semester, in my Biology 111 course at the University of Puget Sound, I found that students explored f... Read More
Teaming beneath Sweden's thawing permafrost is a previously undiscovered microbe known as methanongen (Candidatus Methanoflorens Stordalenmirensis). As its name suggests, the microbe does one thing really well: release methane into the atmosphere, presenting a feedback loop of gas production tha... Read More
Babies who are exposed to both bacteria and allergens in the first year of life are less likely to develop asthma and allergies, a study finds.
It's the latest wrinkle in the hygiene hypothesis — the notion that exposure to bacteria trains the infant immune system to attack bad bugs and ignor... Read More
This is a paper from the Geomicrobiology lab at the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin. It was recently published in a special issue of Geomicrobiology Journal focused on geomicrobiology of subsurface microorganisms in cave environments.
In this study we attemp... Read More
OpenBiome, a company based in Cambridge, Mass., has opened a facility that collects stool samples from healthy, pre-screened individuals. It then processes those "donations" and readies them for shipment to hospitals, where they are put into the colons of people with the deadly gut infection Cl... Read More
The Twivsters discuss how reverse transcriptase encoded in the human genome might produce DNA copies of RNA viruses in infected cells.
A bill to track drug-resistant infections has been introduced in Florida, inspired in part by FRONTLINE’s Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Janet Adkins, a Republican, requires the state health department to maintain an online record of the type and location of any a... Read More
There’s nothing like an outbreak of Ebola virus disease to bring a small, struggling African nation to international notice. One week we couldn’t place it on a map; the next week, after Ebola virus disease strikes, we know the body count and the name of the capital and whether its airport has cl... Read More
Scientists have known for years that together, bacteria and plants can remediate contaminated sites. Ramakrishna Wusirika, of Michigan Technological University, has determined that how you add bacteria to the mix can make a big difference. Wusirika has also shed light on the biochemical pathways... Read More
University of Iowa researchers have developed a new vaccine that protects against lethal pneumonia caused by Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria, including drug-resistant strains like MRSA.
The research team was led by Patrick Schlievert, professor and chair of microbiology in the UI Carve... Read More
Doctors are reporting a second instance of a baby born with AIDS going into remission, or possibly cured, by aggressive treatment after birth. The first case, a child from Mississippi who is now 3 1/2, was reported last April. Doctors revealed the case Wednesday at an AIDS conference in Boston. ... Read More
esearchers from Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Harvard Medical School (HMS) have estimated that around 1 million children contract tuberculosis (TB) annually — twice the number previously thought to have the disease and three times the number of cases diagnosed every y... Read More
In his second expedition to South America, Darwin discovered many new species of animals and plants. The field observations obtained throughout this 5-year expedition provided the intellectual framework for the maturation of his ideas on evolution. It also introduced the world to a tiny (2-3 cm ... Read More
The campaign is called "Kick Back Ebola." But the posters pack a punch.
Sierra Leone has reported over 700 suspected Ebola cases, more than any other country this year. To help stop the outbreak, health workers have put up Ebola awareness signs all over Sierra Leone's seaside capital of Freet... Read More
Worried about you or your kids picking up the flu virus or other common illnesses at school, in restrooms or at the mall? There’s good reason: Viruses and bacteria run rampant on the surfaces you touch every day. We blow the lid on the 8 germiest public places and give you expert tips to avoid g... Read More
You'll need a strong stomach to walk into a new exhibit open at the Dublin Science Gallery: On display are cheeses cultured from the body bacteria of celebrities from the realms of science, food and art.
Eleven "cheese portraits" include a farmhouse cheese, a washed rind, a natural rind, a w... Read More
A controversy that has been brewing for several years in the world of influenza research may ignite again with the publication last week of a new paper that’s worth a read. I haven’t to date written about the controversy, which centers on what’s called “gain of function” research. In the case of... Read More