Here’s an undeniable fact: In samples collected from seven of New York’s subway platforms, scientists discovered that we're surrounded in plumes of microbes wafting off other people’s skin. Here’s another undeniable fact: Those bacteria colonize all of our glands and follicles and the entire epi... Read More
The Ebola outbreak continues to roil West Africa, with the World Health Organization announcing Thursday that the death toll has climbed to 729 in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. More than 1,300 people are infected.
To help limit the spread of the disease the U.S. Centers for Disease Contro... Read More
Treating food products with select bacteriophages - viruses that target and kill bacteria - could significantly reduce concentrations of E. coli, a Purdue University study shows.
An injection of bacteriophages - also known informally as "phages" - nearly eradicated a toxin-producing strain of... Read More
Last week two American aid workers who had contracted Ebola while working in west Africa were released from a U.S. hospital and pronounced “recovered.” They had been flown to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta from Liberia earlier this month to receive care in the hospital’s specialized infect... Read More
In February 2014 I wrote about children in California who developed a poliomyelitis-like paralysis, also called acute flaccid paralysis or AFP. However, the cause of this paralysis was not known. The CDC has released its study of these cases and concludes “The etiology of AFP with anterior myeli... Read More
In the photo series "Impermanence," South Korean artist Seung-Hwan Oh creates colorful, otherworldly portraits with a little help from some "friends" — emulsion-consuming microbes, that is.
By immersing an exposed roll of medium-format positive film in water containing these bacteria and lea... Read More
When scientists launch a spacecraft into space, they're also launching thousands of bacteria along with it.
This article was originally published in the January 2015 issue of Popular Science.
To prepare the Curiosity rover for its trip to Mars, NASA scrubbed it with alcohol and baked it at... Read More
New understanding of how bacteria build their protective cell wall solves persistent puzzler.
Using a series of chemical and genetic tricks to interrogate a dizzying cast of characters involved in the process of building a cell wall, researchers believe they have discovered the hidden identit... Read More
A debilitating, mosquito-borne virus called chikungunya has made its way to North Carolina, health officials say. It's the state's first reported case of the virus.
The patient was likely infected in the Caribbean, according to the Forsyth County Department of Public Health. Chikungunya is prim... Read More
In this blog post, I discuss our Summer Research Program's "Lab Themed Dessert" competion, for which one of my students created a cake "sculpture" of Bdellovibrio attacking and invading E. coli. It was tasty, informative, and fun! My student clearly thought about Bdellovibrio a LOT during the ... Read More
Some people infected with pathogens spread their germs to others while remaining symptom-free themselves. Now, investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine believe they may know why.
When the scientists gave oral antibiotics to mice infected with Salmonella typhimurium, a bacte... Read More
According to the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance commissioned by the UK Prime Minister, failing to address the growing problem of drug-resistant infections could cause 10 million deaths a year and cost up to $100 trillion USD by 2050.
Now, researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusal... Read More
For patients who acquire an infection while in the hospital, each day of hospitalization increases the risk that the infection will be caused by a drug-resistant ... Read More
The Liberian man who was diagnosed with Ebola virus infection after traveling to Dallas, Texas, was treated with an antiviral drug called brincidofovir. This drug had originally been developed to treat infections with DNA-containing viruses. Why was it used to treat an Ebola virus infection? Read More
In the not too distant future each of us will be able to colonize our gut with genetically modified “smart” bacteria that detect and stamp out disease at the earliest possible moment. This scenario may sound like the premise for a sci-fi flick, but it is a very real possibility. Microbiome engin... Read More
The Ebola outbreak is out of control in Africa, but it is not a global threat, why? Read More
Ed Yong, a freelance science writer who authors the Not Exactly Rocket Science blog for National Geographic, has penned an opinion piece in the NY Times Sunday Review on how society needs to start thinking about the microbiome as an ecosystem with all the complexities that it entails and not as ... Read More
As the world experiences a wakeup call about the rise of drug-resistant infections, a new approach to creating smarter, “programmable” drugs could combat the two major problems with life-saving drugs today.
On the one hand, today’s antibiotics work a little too well. They not only kill infect... Read More
In a basement laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, two roboticists have harnessed the innate sensing, swimming, and swarming abilities of bacteria to power microscopic robots. Even though their work sounds like the prologue to a dark science fiction film, Ph.D. students Elizabeth Beatti... Read More
A woman with an incurable cancer is now in remission, thanks, doctors say, to a highly concentrated dose of the measles virus.
For 10 years, Stacy Erholtz, 49, battled multiple myeloma, a deadly cancer of the blood. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic say she had received every type of chemotherapy dr... Read More