From Swiss to cheddar, cheeses depend on the action of microbes for their flavor and aroma. But it's far from clear how these teams of microbes work together to ripen cheese.
To a cheese-maker, that's just the beauty of the art. To a scientist, it sounds like an experiment waiting to happen.
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The digital health revolution is still stuck.
Tech giants are jumping into the fray with fitness offerings like Apple Health and Google Fit, but there’s still not much in the way of, well, actual medicine. The Fitbits and Jawbones of the world measure users’ steps and heart rate, but they don... Read More
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researcher Dr Greg Ebert has won the Bupa Health Foundation Emerging Health Researcher Award 2014 for his work on developing a new therapy for chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.
Chronic hepatitis B is a viral liver disease that affects 230,000 Australia... Read More
In research published in Nature Chemical Biology, scientists from RIKEN in Japan have discovered a surprisingly simple mechanism through which enterics can adjust to the very different oxygen environments inside the human gut and outside. This research, which was led by Shigeyuki Yokoyama and Wa... Read More
While an Ebola epidemic has been raging in West Africa since March 2014, an outbreak of this haemorrhagic fever occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in August, leaving fears over the virus' spread to Central Africa. A study by the IRD, the Institut Pasteur, the CNRS, the CIRMF... Read More
How frequently do microbes exchange genes when living on a host? This question has been on my mind lately. Broadly speaking, the discovery of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) revolutionized the way we think about prokaryotic evolution. No more could we think only of inheritance via vertical descen... Read More
After the governors of New York and New Jersey decided that health workers who have returned from the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa should be subject to a 21-day quarantine, two Nobel laureates entered the fray. Bruce Beutler feels that the quarantine is the right thing to do, while Peter ... Read More
Vincent and Glenn meet up with Ann and talk about her long and productive career in virology, from biochemistry to bacteriophage lambda to retroviruses.
Plant-like microorganisms called algae are pretty interesting little creatures - some species form expansive 'algal blooms' that harm the environment, whereas others can be used to produce biofuel and food sources. Some can even infect humans and mess with their brains.
This diverse organism ... Read More
Researchers often describe the battle between the Ebola virus and the humans it occasionally infects as a race—one that people win only if their immune systems manage to pull ahead before the virus destroys too many of their internal defenses. What they may not know is that the virus is a cheat.... Read More
Since the worst Ebola outbreak on record ignited last December in West Africa, scientists have been racing to develop drugs and vaccines to combat the virus. Several experimental drugs have been given to patients, and a new study details how scientists think one of those drugs might neutralize t... Read More
The biological world around us is dominated by multicellular plants and animals. All of these intricate forms have evolved from far simpler, single celled ancestors.
What could explain the transition from single cells to cooperative groups, to groups of cells that put the prosperity of the wh... Read More
Modern sequencing techniques have shown that bats can carry a bacterial species previously been shown to cause deadly human infections in USA. There are more than 1,100 species of bats on Earth. The numbers of bats are estimated to outnumber every other group of mammals. "Bats are also highly mo... Read More
Scientific American health and medicine correspondent Dina Fine Maron talks about Ebola with tropical medicine and infectious disease expert Daniel Bausch of Tulane University at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
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An international team of bioengineers has boosted the ability of bacteria to produce isopentenol, a compound with desirable gasoline properties. The finding, published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, is a significant step toward developing a bac... Read More
The seafloor off the coast of Chile is carpeted with bacterial mats of gigantic proportions. They cover an area as large as that of the state of Alabama. Their total weight is of the order of 100 million tons, which probably makes this the largest single species microbiome on Earth. The mats con... Read More
Chagas disease - a parasitic infection that can cause severe heart disease and death if not caught and treated early - affects millions of people worldwide, mainly in Latin America. Now, new research suggests it is increasingly being seen in the southern US and poses an emerging potential public... Read More
Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany and collaborators from Heidelberg University, in the joint Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit, have obtained the first structure of the immature form of HIV at a high enough resolution to pinpoint exactly wher... Read More
Dengue virus infects hundreds of millions of people living in tropical countries every year. Transmitted via mosquito bites, the virus typically causes fever, but may also lead to potentially fatal organ failure. The development of mouse models of dengue virus infection could hasten an effective... Read More
Scientists across the United States say they cannot obtain samples of Ebola, complicating efforts to understand how the virus is mutating and develop new drugs, vaccines and diagnostics.
The problems reflect growing caution by regulators and transport companies about handling Ebola as well as... Read More