This article comes from New Scientist writer Debora MacKenzie, winner of the 2010 ASM Public Communications Award. Read more about the award and her winning entry here. And now on to the article...
When Randy Cortright of the University of Wisconsin found an aromatic fluid floating in his beaker that smelled just like gasoline, he thought he had a problem. After all, the chemical engineer wanted to make fuel from plants for the hydrogen economy that was supposed to boom about now. Instead... Read More
Dozens of babies and young children, mostly in Western Australia and Queensland, have suffered adverse reactions after having the flu shot, including fevers and convulsions.
And the Queensland Coroner is investigating the death of a two-year-old Brisbane girl, found dead in her cot a day afte... Read More
Ten people on Oahu recently became ill with a rare type of salmonella after eating imported raw ahi tuna that was previously frozen, state health officials reported.
The salmonella Paratyphi B cases occurred between Feb. 27 and April 6 in people ranging in age from 5 to 35, said Janice Okubo,... Read More
The first whole genome sequencing of a pair of identical twins has uncovered little about the origins of disease - even though only one twin has multiple sclerosis (MS).
Identical twins inherit identical genomes but are exposed to different environmental influences. That means they can be eno... Read More
"Almost half of the ocean’s carbon fixation is done by eukaryotic phytoplankton, despite the fact that their presence is significantly less than the more abundant blue-green algae known as cyanobacteria.
Cyanobacteria, that grow in vast numbers in the sunlit surface waters of the oceans (the ... Read More
While most of the dead material in the ocean is recycled by bacteria, lipids are tough, fat-like molecules that "tend to be the least desirable to eat," says Everett Shock, a biogeochemist at Arizona State University. They generally get passed up and fall to the seafloor, where they become burie... Read More
New York City isn't exactly an oasis for wildlife, but its public-health officials are all too familiar with zoonotic diseases, which jump from animals to humans. Ten years before H1N1 erupted among students and killed a principal at an intermediate school in Queens, N.Y., another mysterious ill... Read More
You may cower in disgust when someone sneezes near you, but just seeing that person may make your immune system prepare for battle, a new study suggests.
Research published in the journal Psychological Science found that when people viewed a slide show of photos depicting symptoms of infectio... Read More
Too many American children do not receive recommended childhood vaccines for illnesses such as polio, measles, mumps, diphtheria and pertussis that were once thought to have been eradicated but are making a comeback in some areas. According to data from 2008, almost one-quarter of children ages ... Read More
Seems the microbes we share spaceship Earth with have figured out the best way to run a low-cost, no frills space program. Makes me wonder if bacteria from Buzz Aldrin (met him one time & shook his hand, so in a sense, I've gotten closer to the Moon than a lotta folks!) or Neil Armstrong are se... Read More
The Pap test has been enormously successful at reducing cervical cancer deaths, but it can miss early signs of malignancy, allowing undetected cases to become invasive.
New research from a large-scale screening program shows that testing the DNA from the human papillomavirus (HPV) in a sample... Read More
Days before travelers worldwide are to begin arriving for Shanghai’s world exposition, China has lifted a two-decade ban on travel to the country by people who carry the virus that causes AIDS or who have other sexually transmitted diseases.
The action also removed a longstanding ban on tra... Read More
The use of antibiotics to treat bacterial infections causes a continual and vicious cycle in which antibiotic treatment leads to the emergence and spread of resistant strains, forcing the use of additional drugs leading to further multi-drug resistance.
But what if it doesn't have to be that ... Read More
A scientist at Macquarie University is working with a Sydney hospital to develop a device, known as the Gated Auto-synchronous Luminescence Detector (GALD), which could radically improve the means of detection for infection-causing bacteria.
Physicist Dr Russell Connally has spent the past th... Read More
A new medicine that can break down cocaine and its metabolic products 1000 times faster than the human organism has been created. The enzyme derived from coca plant dwelling bacteria can be used to treat drug overdose.
So far doctors have no efficient way to mediate the toxicity of cocaine an... Read More
Evolutionary geneticist Francisco Ayala wasn't always attracted to life in the laboratory. As a young man in Spain, Ayala was ordained as a Dominican priest. Within a year, though, he gave up it up to study genetics at Columbia University. Since then, Ayala's research has focused on parasitic pr... Read More
The title isn't hype - upon reading this an entire world of possibilities stretched out before me. Limitless potential, just hopefully not for SkyNet - from what I've seen that machine is nothing but trouble . . . Read More
Mexico's National Service for Plant Health, Safety and Agri-Food Quality (SENASICA) has confirmed the presence of orange rust of sugar cane in the Municipalities of Villacomaltitlan, Tuzantan, Huehuetan, Mazatan y Huixtla, State of Chiapas; in Othon P. Blanco, State of Quintana Roo and in Ursulo... Read More
The Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune (MRNF) has recently detected the presence of white-nose syndrome (WNS) in certain bat populations in Québec. This infection, although potentially fatal for bats, does not pose a threat to humans, since to date no human infection connected to... Read More