It’s not the pathogenic E. coli microbe itself that harms people who eat ground beef or other foods that contain it. Rather, it’s the toxins that E. coli produces that do the actual damage. Proper testing of food should look for both, though, since it is possible for one to be present without th... Read More
A court in New York yesterday ruled that patents on two genes linked to breast cancer are invalid.
By declaring that the genes can't be patented because they are essentially products of nature rather than inventions, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York state has effect... Read More
Even the most clapped-out jalopy could get a green upgrade thanks to a process that can turn plants into synthetic rubber for tyres – usually, the stuff is made from petroleum.
Isoprene is a synthetic version of natural rubber that is used primarily in tyres: it makes up as much as 27 per cen... Read More
Corpse upon corpse they lie, a carpet of emaciated, fungus-ridden carcasses. Where once healthy animals hung in slumber from the cave roof, now there is a mass grave on the floor. It is a scene that is repeated throughout the eastern US, from Vermont to West Virginia. America's bats are in crisi... Read More
Viruses can wreak havoc on bacteria as well as humans and, just like us, bacteria have their own defense system in place, explained Professor John van der Oost, at the Society for General Microbiology's spring meeting on March 31. Uncovering the workings of the bacterial "immune system" could be... Read More
"Carrying signs that read "Save the Microbiology Department," about 60 students, professors and staff members gathered Wednesday at noon to protest Montana State University's decision to dissolve their department.
While student organizers succeeded in gathering a well-mannered crowd outside M... Read More
Despite months of dire warnings and millions in taxpayer dollars, less than half of the 229 million doses of H1N1 vaccine the government bought to fight the pandemic have been administered -- leaving an estimated 71.5 million doses that must be discarded if they are not used before they expire.
... Read More
At the Spring 2010 meeting of the Society for General Microbiology In Edinburgh Vincent Racaniello spoke about ‘Social Media in Microbiology Education and Research’. In his presentation he gives a comprehensive overview of how he uses these new communication tools to promote the science of virol... Read More
As the dust settles from the swine flu pandemic, the notion that it was no worse than seasonal flu persists. But it seems that while the number of deaths in the US was comparable to a bad seasonal flu, swine flu claimed three times as many years of life because the victims were so young.
In P... Read More
Though proponents of unpasteurized milk tout its health benefits, including boosting immunity, scientific evidence remains shaky. More and more consumers are forgoing standard milk in favor of "raw" milk, milk that's unpasteurized and unhomogenized, essentially straight from the udder of the cow... Read More
When I worked at a vet hospital people asked me all the time whether dog's mouths were cleaner than humans. I always told them it was an old wive's tale & wondered about their personal hygiene. Turns out I was wrong! Read More
Misunderstandings about proper use of antibiotics have the potential to spread widely through social networks such as Twitter, according to a report in the April issue of AJIC: American Journal of Infection Control.
Researchers from Columbia University and MixedInk (New York, NY) studied the ... Read More
Bile secretions in the small intestine send signals to disease-causing gut bacteria allowing them to change their behaviour to maximise their chances of surviving, says Dr Steve Hamner, presenting his work at the Society for General Microbiology's spring meeting in Edinburgh. The findings could ... Read More
A federal judge on Monday struck down patents on two genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer. The decision, if upheld, could throw into doubt the patents covering thousands of human genes and reshape the law of intellectual property.
United States District Court Judge Robert W. Sweet issued... Read More
When Rachel Sarah took her daughter in for her first dental checkup a few years ago, she got a surprise. Not only did her 24-month-old have two cavities in her baby teeth, the pediatric dentist suggested she might have “caught” them from her mom.
“The dentist handed me this piece of paper tha... Read More
Cornell University researchers have found a new tool to help marine biologists better grasp the processes under the sea: They have created mathematical models to unveil the bacterial community dynamics behind afflictions that bleach and kill coral.
The research appears in PLoS Biology, publis... Read More
It's probably the nastiest, slimiest computer in the world. Powered by oat flakes instead of electricity, scientists in the UK have developed a rudimentary computer using a slime mold they have affectionately named Plasmobot.
"Most people's idea of a computer is a piece of hardware with softw... Read More
The growing resistance of antibiotics threatens to make gonorrhoea extremely difficult to treat, a Health Protection Agency official has warned. Current drugs are still effective but signs of emerging resistance mean treatments may soon need to be revised, Professor Catherine Ison says.
It co... Read More
According to new data presented March 28 at the spring meeting of the Society for General Microbiology, held in Edinburgh, it may be that using microbes to break up plastic is the way to go. Most people tend to consider plastic objects as being disposable, but in fact they can take up to several... Read More
Scientists are learning how our immune system senses and tracks down infection in the body by responding to chemical "scents" emitted by bacteria. Studying how immune cells manipulate their movement in response to external signals could shed light not only on how our immune system functions but ... Read More