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The Search for Genes Leads to Unexpected Places

Carl Zimmer describes how Ed Marcotte at the University of Texas at Austin and his search for therapies that can kill tumors by restricting blood vessel growth found the genes potential new drugs can target in yeast.

"The scientists took advantage of a peculiar feature of our evolutionary hi... Read More

A plant virus that switched to vertebrates

Viruses can be transmitted to completely new host species that they have not previously infected. Usually host defenses stop the infection before any replication and adaptation can take place. On rare occasions, a novel population of viruses arises in the new host. These interspecies infections ... Read More

True or False: All Metazoans Need O2

Elio Schaechter of Small Things Considered ponders a recent discovery that small multicellular animals, members of the Loricifera and metazoa groups, are able to survive in an anoxic environment known as L’Atalante Basin, a brine “lake” at the bottom of the Mediterranean.

"Life without air—a ... Read More

ASMCUE Microbrew Sessions

Abstracts submitted for this year's ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators "Microbrew: Mixing Ideas for Successful Teaching Strategies in
Microbiology" sessions are now available.

Just 23 days left until San Diego, hope to see you there!

Jennifer Herzog
Chair, ASMCUE 2010 Steering ... Read More

Caltech Biologists Link Gut Microbial Equilibrium to Inflammatory Bowel Disease

We are not alone—even in our own bodies. The human gut is home to 100 trillion bacteria, which, for millions of years, have co-evolved along with our digestive and immune systems. Most people view bacteria as harmful pathogens that cause infections and disease. Other, more agreeable, microbes (k... Read More

Putting Bacterial Antibiotic Resistance Into Reverse

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

Pressure-Cooking Algae Into a Better Biofuel

Heating and squishing microalgae in a pressure-cooker can fast-forward the crude-oil-making process from millennia to minutes.

University of Michigan professors are working to understand and improve this procedure in an effort to speed up development of affordable biofuels that could replace ... Read More

Soil Microbes Produce Less Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Than Expected With Climate Warming

In dark, rich soils on every continent, microbes dealing with the effects of climate change aren't accelerating global warming the way scientists had predicted, a study by researchers at the University of California at Irvine, Colorado State University and Yale University shows.

Results of th... Read More

The secrets of intelligence lie within a single cell

Late at night on a sultry evening, I watch intently as the predator senses its prey, gathers itself, and strikes. It could be a polecat, or even a mantis - but in fact it's a microbe. The microscopic world of the single, living cell mirrors our own in so many ways: cells are essentially autonomo... Read More

Fundamental Discovery About How Gene Expression Functions in Bacteria

Researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center have discovered and characterized a general mechanism that controls transcription elongation in bacteria. The mechanism, described in the April 23 issue of Science, relies on physical cooperation between a moving ribosome and RNA polymerase (RNAP) that... Read More

South Africa Redoubles Efforts Against AIDS

South Africa, trying to overcome years of denial and delay in confronting its monumental AIDS crisis, is now in the midst of a feverish buildup of testing, treatment and prevention that United Nations officials say is the largest and fastest expansion of AIDS services ever attempted by any natio... Read More

Scientists crack code of critical bacterial defense mechanism

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Scientists have combined chemistry and biology research techniques to explain how certain bacteria grow structures on their surfaces that allow them to simultaneously cause illness and protect themselves from the body's defenses.

The researchers are the first to reproduce a s... Read More

Former Cleveland Browns receiver Joe Jurevicius sues team, doctors, Cleveland Clinic over staph infection

Former Browns receiver Joe Jurevicius, who returned to Cleveland in 2006 to try to help his beloved Browns win a Super Bowl, is suing the team, the Cleveland Clinic and two team physicians over a staph infection that most likely has ended his NFL career.

The suit, filed Friday in Cuyahoga Cou... Read More

TWiV 79 letters

Ben writes:


I really enjoyed your podcast about reverse transcription.  I was wondering what makes retroviruses like HIV impossible for our bodies fight off.  Are there any retroviruses that can be eliminated from the body?


Paula writes:


I was browsing on the "Chronic ... Read More

TWiV 79: Red hot chili viruses



On episode #79 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent and Alan converse about making published science accessible to everyone, global eradication of poliomyelitis, and whether a plant virus can cause d... Read More

The e.coli threat lurking in a free dab of lipstick

Women are putting their health at risk by dabbing on lipstick, moisturiser and mascara from cosmetics tester packs at high street beauty counters.

In a recent study, researchers found that every make-up tester pack they analyzed was contaminated by the e.coli bug.

The two-year investigatio... Read More

Possible shigella outbreak in Kansas City

The Kansas City Health Department is warning the public about a possible outbreak of shigella infections.

Shigella is a highly-contagious bacterial infection spread from person to person, through handshaking, orally, or even through food or water. It is most commonly transmitted among childre... Read More

Virginia Tech Research Team Sequences Genome of Bacterium Discovered in College Garden

Under the supervision of a Virginia Tech plant pathologist, a group of high school, undergraduate, and graduate students isolated and characterized a formerly unknown group of bacteria.

The bacteria strain belongs to the plant pathogen species Pseudomonas syringae. One bacterium of this group... Read More

NASA official battles the microbes of space travel

Here's a brief biography on Catharine Conley, NASA's planetary protection officer, that looks at what her job entails:

"Her job is as serious as a NASA post can be. In addition to protecting potential extraterrestrial life and monitoring for contamination on trips back to Earth, the protectio... Read More

Beer consumption increases human attractiveness to malaria mosquitoes

A recent paper published in PLoS One looks at the relationship between alcohol consumption and Anopheles gambiae (the primary African malaria vector).

BACKGROUND:
Malaria and alcohol consumption both represent major public health problems. Alcohol consumption is rising in developing countrie... Read More

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