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New kids on the molecular block

Great news here - the sort of thing that should lead on CNN or Fox but never will in my lifetime. However, since this advance may significantly extend my lifetime by subduing a variety of gnarly diseases, perhaps I'll eventually be proven wrong. Read More

Hostile volcanic lake teems with life

Argentinian investigators have found flamingos and mysterious microbes living in an alkaline lagoon nestled inside a volcano in the Andes. The organisms, exposed to arsenic and poisonous gases, could shed light on how life began on Earth, and their hardiness to extreme conditions may hold the ke... Read More

Ecosystems under threat from ocean acidification

Acidification of the oceans as a result of increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide could have significant effects on marine ecosystems, according to Michael Maguire presenting at the Society for General Microbiology's spring meeting in Edinburgh this week. Postgraduate researcher Mr Magu... Read More

BacterioFiles Episode 9

In this show, I report on four exciting stories: bacterial fingerprints, bacteria in space, fungi that swap genes, and bacteria fighting for resources.




























(10 MB, 11 minutes)

Post questions or comments here,... Read More

The secret, social lives of bacteria: Exclusive interview with Bonnie Bassler

In 2002, bearing her microscope on a microbe that lives in the gut of fish, Bonnie Bassler isolated an elusive molecule called AI-2, which showed not only that almost all bacteria can communicate -- but that they do so all the time. (Watch her 2009 TEDTalk!) The TED Blog interviewed Bassler ... Read More

Test uses DNA to detect Lyme disease

Sin Hang Lee, Ph.D., a Milford Hospital pathologist has developed a test to positively diagnose Lyme disease, and to identify the bacterium that causes it within days of infection.

That is a major advance in treating a disease that is common in the region but difficult to diagnose with standa... Read More

TWiV 76: XMRV with Professor Stephen Goff

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On episode #76 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent speaks with Stephen Goff about the origin of the retrovirus XMRV and its association with prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome. Read More

1.5-million-year-old Antarctic Microbe Community Discovered

A add-on to the picture posted here.


A living time capsule of sorts has been found buried under hundreds of feet of Antarctic ice — a colony of microbes that have been sealed off from the rest of the world for mo... Read More

Molecular Brake for the Bacterial Flagellar Nano-Motor

Biozentrum researchers have now discovered that Escherichia coli bacteria harness a sophisticated chemosensory and signal transduction machinery that allows them to accurately control motor rotation, thereby adjusting their swimming velocity in response to changing environments. The research re... Read More

Essential Oils to Fight Superbugs

Essential oils could be a cheap and effective alternative to antibiotics and potentially used to combat drug-resistant hospital superbugs, according to research presented at the Society for General Microbiology's spring meeting in Edinburgh.

Professor Yiannis Samaras and Dr Effimia Eriotou, f... Read More

Gene-Altered "Enviropig" to Reduce Dead Zones?

Move over, bacon. Here comes something greener.

A genetically engineered pig recently approved for limited production in Canada makes urine and feces that contain up to 65 percent less phosphorous, officials have announced.

That could be good news for lakes, rivers, and ocean deltas, where... Read More

Diverse Wheat Tapped for Antifungal Genes

Asian wheat may offer novel genes for shoring up the defenses of U.S. varieties against Fusarium graminearum fungi that cause Fusarium head blight (FHB) disease.

According to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) plant molecular biologist Guihua Bai, the FHB resistance found in today's U.S. wh... Read More

Dr. Rita Colwell Wins Stockholm Water Prize

Dr. Rita Colwell, an expert on the prevention of waterborne infectious diseases, has been awarded the 2010 Stockholm Water Prize, widely recognized as the world's premier award for water related research or policy work.

The prize, which includes a $150,000 award and a crystal sculpture, honor... Read More

Swine flu vaccination rates vary widely around the country

Vaccination rates for the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus have varied widely around the country, with New England having the highest vaccination rates and the South having the lowest, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

... Read More

What do animal studies tell us?

Rodent of the Week is devoted to highlighting promising animal research. We shine this little spotlight on animal research because, typically, it's an area we tend to ignore. While often fascinating, animal studies are conducted at such an early stage in the research process that it's irresponsi... Read More

Out of This World: New Study Investigates Infection of Human Cells in Space

In a first-of-its-kind experiment, the unique conditions of spaceflight will be used to examine how cells remain healthy or succumb to disease, particularly in the face of stress or damage.

At 3:21 a.m. PDT on April 5, ASU Biodesign Institute researchers Cheryl Nickerson and her team, includi... Read More

An alkaline lagoon inside a Volcano in Argentina teems with life

Argentinian investigators have found flamingos and mysterious microbes living in a salty, alkaline lagoon nestled inside a volcano in the Andes. The organisms, exposed to arsenic and poisonous gases, could shed light on how life began on Earth, and their hardiness to extreme conditions may hold ... Read More

Do you want to know what is in your vaccines?

The recent discovery of contaminating porcine circovirus 1 DNA in Rotarix underscores the power of deep sequencing to ensure the purity of viral vaccines. The price of deep sequencing is now low enough that it is possible to use this technology to examine not just viral vaccines, but any biologi... Read More

Take that Dengue fever, & how 'bout some of this!

As if I needed another reason to hate mosquitoes, thankfully the ones that transmit Dengue fever don't hang around the DC Metro area much. Guess this just proves that old say - "the bacterium enemy of my viral enemy is my friend" - even truer than it was before.

P.S. Anything that helps p... Read More

Virus 'cloaking device' explained by Oregon scientists

In our escalating arms race with infectious microbes, a handful of the toughest opponents have developed weapons that render vaccination seemingly worthless.

Oregon scientists now say they've figured out the defensive weapons of one the trickiest of these resilient attackers: cytomegalovirus,... Read More

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