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Sugar cane industry in Mexico threatened by Orange Rust

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

White nose syndrome detected in several of Québec's bat populations

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

Chew on this: Cactus gum for water purification

The best way to purify water could be hiding in a cactus. It turns out that an extract from the prickly pear cactus is effective at removing sediment and bacteria from dirty water.

Many water purification methods introduced into the developing world are quickly abandoned as people don't know ... Read More

Office of Naval Research highlights microbial fuel cells for Earth Day

Showcasing its energy research initiatives for an Earth Day event on April 22 at the Pentagon, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) highlighted the microbial fuel cell, a device that could revolutionize naval energy use by converting decomposed marine organisms into electricity.

These fuel cell... Read More

Genetically engineering E.coli to produce proteins

For the first time researchers at Texas A&M University have successfully incorporated two different noncanonical amino acids into a single protein in E. coli bacteria.

The discovery means that bacteria could soon be genetically engineered to produce proteins that have been modified with vario... Read More

You don't need modern transportation to fuel a flu pandemic

The H1N1 “swine flu” emerged in California and Mexico just about a year ago and made its way around the globe in about two months. Would it have spread more slowly without the benefit of planes, trains and automobiles?

Perhaps, but not by much. That’s the conclusion of a new study examining t... Read More

The Healing Blade - a role-playing fantasy game based on infectious disease

Two physicians, Dr. Arun Mathews and Dr. Francis Kong, have produced a role-playing fantasy game called, "The Healing Blade." Similar to "Pokemon," "Yu-Gi-Oh" or "Magic: The Gathering," the game is built around a fantasy world, complete with sorcerers, villains and heroines. Characters are divid... Read More

Earth Microbes May Contaminate the Search for Life on Mars

Bacteria common to spacecraft may be able to survive the harsh environs of Mars long enough to inadvertently contaminate Mars with terrestrial life according to research published in the April 2010 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

The search for life on Mars remain... Read More

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
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