It was the first underground movement in our planet's history: Primitive bacteria that lived 2.75 billion years ago built themselves caves to live in, according to a new study. Today, the traces they left behind are stoking hopes that similar life forms could exist on Mars.
Early Earth was a ... Read More
The oceans still contain mysteries with the potential to help humanity. For example, scientists have discovered a sea sponge they say could help fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Peter Moeller: What we found was a sponge growing in a pristine state. It was thriving in an environment that w... Read More
Health officials worldwide have a watchful eye on the Southern Hemisphere, where flu season is about to begin. How H1N1 circulates there may determine how aggressively U.S. health officials approach the flu in the fall.
Although it is far from certain that a vaccine for the bug often called s... Read More
In resource-limited countries, a lack of training, proper reagents, supplies, and equipment has impacted their laboratories' ability to identify key pathogenic bacteria and detection of antimicrobial resistance. This has led to an environment of syndromic diagnosis by clinicians who have little ... Read More
Somewhere out there, somewhere along the way, a single creature got all this started. A pig, presumably. Pig Zero.
Scientists suspect that two influenza viruses common in swine, one rooted in Eurasia and the other in North America, came together in a single cell within a pig. The two viruses ... Read More
Confirmed cases of H1N1 swine flu in the United States climbed to more than 2,500 by Monday, and the U.S. now surpasses Mexico as the country most affected by the outbreak, according to World Health Organization figures.
The number of deaths in the United States linked to the illness rose to ... Read More
Bacteria in the gut of the Anopheles gambiae mosquito inhibit infection of the insect with Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria in humans, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Scientists with the Bloomberg School’s Malaria Research I... Read More
San Diego was one of the primary regions of the H1N1 outbreak, inducing a lot of public anxiety and media coverage. They had a confirmed case of H1N1 on our campus and their child care center closed down because on the number of kids with flu-like
symptoms. The campus spent a lot of time on ou... Read More
Here's a history piece on the 1976 swine flu epidemic in which vaccines were developed and distributed throughout the U.S. And while swine flu did not break out into a pandemic, many people developed Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare neurological condition that causes temporary muscle weakness or ... Read More
Why is the immune system able to fight off some viruses but not others, leading to chronic, life-threatening infections like HIV and hepatitis C?
A new UCLA AIDS Institute study suggests the answer lies in a protein called interleukin-21 (IL-21), a powerful molecule released by immune cells d... Read More
A team of chemists from the University of Almería (UAL) has developed a method to simultaneously detect the presence of 17 antibiotics in honey within less than 10 minutes. The researchers have shown that traces of antibiotics used to treat diseases among bees can be found in some commercial hon... Read More
The title pretty much sums up the main thrust of the post, which also includes section on cheap, rapid diagnostic tests that not only can identify known pathogens, but provide quite a bit of information about novel pathogens (link to a great Pop!Tech video lecture by Ian LIpkin). There's also a ... Read More
Over at the World's Fair Science blog David Ng has come up with this song about mitochondria.
It sort of reminds me of a Social Distortion song. Read More
Wow, the NEJM is really knocking out some great "perspectives" in their most recent issue.
The Internet has become a critical medium for clinicians, public health practitioners, and laypeople seeking health information. Data about diseases and outbreaks are disseminated not only through onli... Read More
The air smells cleaner in Canda thanks to thanks to University of Alberta researchers who have developed a formula to reduce methane gas in cattle.
By developing equations that balance starch, sugar, cellulose, ash, fat and other elements of feed, a Canada-wide team of scientists has given be... Read More
Bird flu kills more than 60 percent of its human victims, but doesn't easily pass from person to person. Swine flu can be spread with a sneeze or handshake, but kills only a small fraction of the people it infects.
So what happens if they mix?
This is the scenario that has some scientists ... Read More
It is perhaps fitting that a NASA satellite to carry yeast into orbit has roughly the shape and dimensions of a bread box.
The tiny 10-pound satellite known as PharmaSat will be hitching a ride aboard an Air Force Minotaur 1 rocket next to the main payload, a military reconnaissance satellite... Read More
Raw milk is often criticized as a vessel for foodborne pathogens, but advocates claim when handled and consumed correctly it's as safe as pasteurized milk. Artisan cheese makers in particular are in favor of raw milk because in their view it makes better, tastier and unique cheeses.
Vermont, ... Read More