Rubella, a disease with terrible consequences for unborn children, has finally been eliminated from the Americas, a scientific panel set up by global health authorities announced Wednesday. Read More
Humans are increasingly dependent on algae to suck up climate-warming carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sink it to the bottom of the ocean. Now, by using a combination of satellite imagery and laboratory experiments, researchers have evidence showing that viruses infecting those algae are d... Read More
I am a retired computer programmer and also a free market libertarian. I listened to a recent podcast where the subject of mandatory hand washing by food workers was tossed around. I would like to present a few more of the free marke... Read More
Sea stars are lovely marine invertebrates with a round central body connected to multiple radiating legs (photo credit). In the past year millions of sea stars in the west coast waters of North America have melted into piles of slime and ossicles. Sea star associated densovirus might be the caus... Read More
Explorations of how the microscopic communities that inhabit the human body might contribute to health or disease have moved from obscure to ubiquitous. Over the past five years, studies have linked our microbial settlers to conditions as diverse as autism, cancer and diabetes.
This excitemen... Read More
Scientists have traditionally studied bacteria in large numbers, not individually. Working with tens of millions of cells in a culture flask, they tracked their growth by looking at how much the cells dimmed light passing through a tube.
Using this method, scientists learned that populations ... Read More
Household pets can transmit infection to people, especially those with weak immune systems, young children, pregnant women and seniors, according to an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). Health care providers and pet owners should be aware of this risk to prevent illness in ... Read More
A new study suggests that Saharan dust played a major role in the formation of the Bahamas islands. Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science showed that iron-rich Saharan dust provides the nutrients necessary for specialized bacteria to pr... Read More
In a new study, researchers demonstrate for the first time how methanogens obtain electrons from solid surfaces. The discovery could help scientists design electrodes for microbial “factories” that produce methane gas and other compounds sustainably. Read More
New research shows that the whip-like appendages on many types of cells are able to synchronise their movements solely through interactions with the fluid that surrounds them.
Many different types of cell, including sperm, bacteria and algae, propel themselves using whip-like appendages know... Read More
The Ebola virus has proven deadly to both people and animals.
The epidemic that started in 2014 has so far taken the lives of over eight thousand people in West Africa. The virus also killed an estimated 5,500 gorillas in the Lossi Sanctuary of the Republic of Congo in 2003. But scientists sa... Read More
Proteins from salt-loving, halophilic, microbes could be the key to cleaning up leaked radioactive strontium and caesium ions from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant incident in Japan. The publication of the X-ray structure of a beta-lactamase enzyme from one such microbe, the halophile ... Read More
Microbiota buffs repeat it often these days, proudly reminding the public that the microbial cells associated with humans outnumber their host cells by a ratio of ten-to-one. In his letter in the February 2014 Microbe, however, Judah L. Rosner of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) makes a s... Read More
Two of the four known groups of human AIDS viruses (HIV-1 groups O and P) have originated in western lowland gorillas, according to an international team of scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Montpellier, the University of Edinbur... Read More
Imagine a pill that helps people control diabetes with the body’s own insulin.
Cornell researchers have achieved this feat in rats by engineering human lactobacilli, a common gut bacteria, to secrete a protein called Glucagen-like peptide 1 (GLP-1).
A 2003 study led by Atsushi Suzuki of th... Read More
Why a field researcher from America has exposed his colon to the gut microbiome of a tribesman from Tanzania.
It's not often we encounter a story that begins with a line like this:
“AS THE SUN set over Lake Eyasi in Tanzania, nearly thirty minutes had passed since I had inserted a turkey b... Read More
The World Health Organization expressed worry on Wednesday about a second cluster of Ebola virus patients in Nigeria — in the center of its oil industry — because one of the three confirmed victims was a doctor who had treated patients and socialized after he became contagious.
The doctor, in... Read More
Two miles below the surface of the ocean, researchers have discovered new microbes that “breathe” sulfate.
The microbes, which have yet to be classified and named, exist in massive undersea aquifers — networks of channels in porous rock beneath the ocean where water continually churns. About ... Read More
In mid-November, a W.H.O team which aimed to prepare a number of African countries for a potential Ebola outbreak ended up identifying an outbreak of the virus which causes Lassa Fever in Benin. Preventative measures designed to stem the outbreak of Ebola were used to effectively contain the v... Read More