Vegetarianism is not exactly what springs to mind when considering spiders, which usually rely on web spinning and other finely tuned techniques to catch and eat other creatures. But one spider has now been observed to feed mostly on plants, shattering the common assumption that all spiders are ... Read More
H1N1 critical illness mostly affects young patients and is often fatal, according to the results of a Canadian and Mexican study and an editorial published online October 12 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
"Between March and July 2009, the largest number of confirme... Read More
Roasted lemurs and criminal gangs exporting precious hardwood: this is the sad state of affairs for Madagascar's legendary biodiversity. Since a military coup forced the president to resign in March, conservationists and biologists have watched as loggers have stripped the country's forests and ... Read More
Airborne microbial diversity is much greater than expected, albeit spare compared to that in the ocean and in the soil, according graduate student Robert M. Bowers, his advisor Noah Fierer, and their collaborators at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and elsewhere, who collected their data at... Read More
Infectious diseases currently cause about one-third of all human deaths worldwide, more than all forms of cancer combined. Advances in cell biology and microbial genetics have greatly enhanced understanding of the cause and mechanisms of infectious diseases. Researchers from Thomas Jefferson Uni... Read More
Although a wide spectrum of human papillomavirus is seen across the population of India, HPV-16 and HPV-18 are the most common types and a vaccination targeting these types could eliminate 75 percent of the cervical cancers in the region, according to data presented at the American Association f... Read More
An advisory panel for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the use of Gardasil, a vaccine for the human papillomavirus (HPV), for use in males. A new study, published yesterday in the British Medical Journal, found, however, that a public health campaign to vaccinate boy... Read More
Harvard scientists believe in the power of the good earth — literally. A team at the Boston-based college have created microbial fuel cell (MFC) batteries that derive energy from naturally occurring bacteria in soil. If the product takes off, the eco-friendly batteries could provide power for so... Read More
Americans who have become hyper- aware of swine flu as the disease sweeps the globe are overwhelming doctors’ offices, clinics and U.S. drugstores for the seasonal-flu vaccine as well, leading to shortages.
The two influenza strains, with similar symptoms and outcomes, may circulate concurren... Read More
A dispute between the editorial board of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) and an academy member has put the fate of three studies in question. In the wake of rows over a controversial paper published by the journal online in August — but not in print — two additional p... Read More
A Japanese company, Haruyama Trading Co., has developed a suit that it claims protects the wearer from the deadly H1N1 strain of influenza.
The company has produced 50,000 of the suits and will start selling them on Thursday, according to a company spokesman.
The suit is coated with the c... Read More
Although the swine flu outbreak of 2009 is still in full swing, this global influenza epidemic, the fourth in 100 years, is already teaching scientists valuable lessons about pandemics past, those that might have been and those that still might be. Evidence accumulated this summer indicates that... Read More
A search through decades-old frozen infant stool samples has yielded rich dividends for scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. The team customized a laboratory technique to screen thousands of samples for noro... Read More
Knowing what causes a disease may not make it easier to control and contain infection, but understanding how humans become infected and where the pathogens live may improve control. A National Science Foundation grant for $1.5 million over five years will allow an international team of researche... Read More
If you have ever taken a long road trip, the windshield of your car will inevitably be splattered with bugs by the time you arrive at your destination. Could the DNA left behind be used to estimate the diversity of insects in the region? In a study published online in Genome Research, scientists... Read More
Cheaters may prosper in the short term, but over time they seem doomed to fail, at least in the microscopic world of amoebas where natural selection favors the noble.
But why? Shouldn't "survival of the fittest" give the sneaky cheaters an edge? Not necessarily, as it turns out amoebas that c... Read More
Leishmania is a deadly parasitic disease that affects over 12 million people worldwide, with more than 2 million new cases reported every year. Until recently, scientists were unsure exactly how the parasite survives inside human cells. That mystery has now been solved according to a new study p... Read More
More so than many illnesses, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) frustrates those who suffer from it and those close to them, due to its nebulous assembly of symptoms, along with continued controversies over its etiology, diagnosis, treatment and even its nomenclature. Now, the discovery of a familia... Read More