Plastic is well-known for sticking around in the environment for years without breaking down, contributing significantly to litter and landfills. But scientists have now discovered that bacteria from the guts of a worm known to munch on food packaging can degrade polyethylene, the most common pl... Read More
It is a fascinating quirk of nature: Simple bacteria have an immune system with a memory, which allows them to destroy invading viruses they have encountered in the past.
The phenomenon is more than just a scientific curiosity. In just two years, scientists have discovered how to repurpose th... Read More
Scientists from the University of Bern have developed a novel substance for the treatment of severe bacterial infections without antibiotics, which would prevent the development of antibiotic resistance.
Ever since the development of penicillin almost 90 years ago, antibiotics have remained t... Read More
The late computer scientist Randy Pausch wrote many inspirational things about life and academia during his struggle with pancreatic cancer. As we approach 2015, his words are helpful to me, and perhaps to others. About life, about academia, about helping others...and making our dreams come tr... Read More
In 1976, a group of health workers took a pair of film cameras to what was then known as Zaire and documented their discovery of a new, deadly virus.
Today we know that virus as Ebola.
A 27-year-old Belgian microbiologist named Peter Piot and his colleagues were the first to scientifically... Read More
More than 15 million people in the United States live with food allergies that impact every meal they eat. For some, accidentally ingesting a snack that their body deems taboo can ignite a violent biological response. Every three minutes someone is rushed to the emergency room due to a food alle... Read More
Look what the cat dragged in! The parasite Toxoplasma gondii, a common protozoan transmitted by cats, can effect mammalian brain cells in strange ways. In rodents, the parasite has been shown to inhibit fear and actually attract them to the smell of cat urine. Humans can be infected through c... Read More
Fecal transplants can be life-saving for people with stubborn bacterial infections, but they're not for the faint of heart. So doctors have come up with a way to make them more palatable – the frozen poop pill.
People infected with Clostridium difficile suffer debilitating diarrhea, but the b... Read More
This episode: Fruit flies have microbes that help them get more nutrition out of low-quality food!
(8.4 MB, 9.1 minutes)
The bacteria that cause cholera grab genes from other organisms in a particularly predatory and precise way, new research finds: They spear neighboring cells with a kind of poison-tipped spike.
Bacteria often grab genes from other organisms and incorporate that DNA into their own genomes. But... Read More
Chinese researchers have discovered what they say is the first ‘virological penicillin’ – MIR2911, a molecule found naturally in a Chinese herb called honeysuckle.
Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) is a well-known Chinese herb. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it has been used to effectively tr... Read More
The multidrug-resistant, incredibly contagious Shigella has popped up in 32 US states in the past year. The bacteria infect your intestines and trigger crampy rectal pain, bloody or mucus-laced diarrhea and vomiting. What can you do? Vigilant hygiene. And if you do get sick, go for an over-the-c... Read More
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] -- A new study provides evidence from lab experiments that a drug already used in people to fight tapeworms might also prove effective against strains of the superbug MRSA, which kills thousands of people a year in the United States. Read More
Many different microbes can cause pneumonia, and treatment may be delayed or off target if doctors cannot tell which bug is the culprit. A novel approach—analyzing a patient's breath for key chemical compounds made by the infecting microbe—may help detect invasive aspergillosis, a fungal infecti... Read More
Let's face it: colonoscopies are pretty unpleasant. But what if you could eat a spoonful of yogurt to check for cancer rather than enduring that procedure? MIT professor Sangeeta Bhatia is working on engineered bacteria that detects colorectal cancer. Read More
Rivers and streams could be a major source of antibiotic resistance in the environment.
The discovery comes following a study on the Thames river by scientists at the University of Warwick’s School of Life Sciences and the University of Exeter Medical School.
The study found that greater n... Read More
New results from a safety and immunogenicity study, which included a challenge phase to test efficacy, indicate that a live attenuated enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) vaccine candidate, given in combination with a novel adjuvant, provided significant protection against disease. This repr... Read More
It may come as a bit of a surprise to learn that bacteria have an immune system - in their case to fight off invasive viruses called phages. And like any immune system - from single-celled to human - the first challenge of the bacterial immune system is to detect the difference between "foreign"... Read More
Bovine viral diarrhea virus infections result in one of the most costly diseases among cattle with losses in U.S. herds estimated at $2 billion per year, according to professor Christopher Chase of the South Dakota State University Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department.
"It is an immu... Read More