A common group of bacteria found in acid bogs and sewage treatment plants has provided scientists with evidence of a 'missing link' in one of the most important steps in the evolution of life on Earth -- the emergence of cells with a nucleus containing DNA (eukaryotic cells).
For billions of ... Read More
In a heroic act of sacrifice, HIV-infected white blood cells known as T cells self-destruct to prevent proliferation of the virus, according to a new study. Unfortunately, their sacrifice is in vain, as the mass die-off of T cells debilitates the body's immune system, resulting in the immune dis... Read More
A new study has pointed out that infants are more efficient at digesting milk than adults due to a difference in the strains of bacteria that dominate their digestive tracts.
Researchers from the University of California, Davis, and Utah State University have identified the genes that are mos... Read More
Jillian Banfield trades in hell holes. In September, she could be found wading through the dark, hot, sulphurous innards of Richmond Mine at Iron Mountain, California, where blue stalactites ooze the most acidic water ever discovered, with a pH of −3.6. A year before that, she was pumping up a t... Read More
Denmark has had its first case of infection with a New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-1 (NDM-1) superbug, reports Politiken newspaper.
NDM-1 has caused major concern in European countries as such bacteria are resistant to conventional antibiotics.
The patient concerned is a 57-year-old woman... Read More
Researchers at Tufts University School of Engineering have reported the first successful production of the antibiotic erythromycin A, and two variations, using E. coli as the production host.
The work, published in the November 24, 2010, issue of Chemistry and Biology, offers a more cost-effe... Read More
Natgure, 25 November 2010, has a fascinating article by Lizzie Buchen on a collaboration among Jill Banfield (UC Berkeley), a geologist, Michael Morowitz (University of Pittsburgh), a neonatal surgeon, and David Relman (Stanford University), a pioneer in the field of microbiome studies, to apply... Read More
Today NASA officials announced that a tiny satellite launched last week has started conducting astrobiology experiments in low-Earth orbit.
No bigger than a bread box, the Organism/Organic Exposure to Orbital Stresses, or O/OREOS, satellite lifted off from the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska ... Read More
Scientists at Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology have solved a long-standing mystery about HIV infection–namely how HIV promotes the death of CD4 T cells. It is the loss of this critical subset of immune cells that leads to the development of AIDS. Most immune cells that die during H... Read More
The epidemic in Haiti could easily get worse despite efforts to control it, say the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization (PAHO).
Dr. Scott Dowell infectious disease specialist said "with regard to the eradication of cholera in Haiti, we have little hope ... Read More
Satellite tracking of wild birds in Asia suggests they may be spreading H5N1 avian influenza from India or Tibet to Mongolia when they fly north in the spring, according to a recent report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The Nov 16 issue of FAO AIDE News, the ... Read More
Thousands of deaths could be saved every year when the first vaccine produced specifically for Africa is rolled out in Burkina Faso on 6 December.
MenAfriVac will be offered to 12.5 million people aged 1 to 29 in the country to protect against meningitis A, the variation of the Neisseria meni... Read More
It was already nicknamed "Conan the Bacterium" for its ability to withstand radiation. Now it seems Deinococcus radiodurans could, in theory, survive dormant on Mars for over a million years.
Lewis Dartnell at University College London and colleagues froze the bugs to -79 °C, the average temp... Read More
In the highlands of East Africa, malaria transmission has skyrocketed over recent decades. New research suggests rising temperatures are at least partly to blame.
A mathematical model of malaria transmission developed by Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) scientists showed that warming co... Read More
China had an estimated 1.3 million new cases of tuberculosis (TB) in 2008, of which 112,000 were multi-drug resistant (MDR-TB). Over the period 2001, TB was the second largest cause of death among China's 39 notifiable communicable diseases. In a Policy Forum, published in this week's PLoS Medic... Read More
Researchers funded by the BBSRC Crop Science Initiative have made a discovery that could instigate a paradigm shift in breeding resistance to late blight (Phytophthora infestans) - a devastating disease of potatoes and tomatoes costing the industry £5-6Bn a year worldwide.
By studying the in... Read More
Traditional virus diagnostic tools such as ELISA and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) remain strong diagnostic options, but they require significant infrastructure and sample preparation time. Now a team of researchers led by Boston University Assistant Professors Hatice Altug (ECE) and John Conn... Read More
HIV-negative gay and bisexual men can lower their likelihood of acquiring the AIDS virus by taking an antiretroviral drug mix, concludes a study in which healthy men received either the medication or a placebo. The finding, published online November 23 in the New England Journal of Medicine, sug... Read More
You won’t be the only one feasting this Thanksgiving. Harmful bacteria await their own holiday meal, launching one of the biggest assaults of the year on your teeth.
Thankfully, a few foods common at the holiday dinner table—like cranberries and wine—offer new leads in the effort to stop toot... Read More
In the discussion of alternative energy and fuels, algae have been bubbling to the top of the proverbial feedstock pool. Algae, the little green guys responsible for everything from making your Dairy Queen Blizzard solid to forming the basis of our current fossil fuels, are being looked at long ... Read More