In 2008 researchers from the University of Southern Denmark showed that the drug thioridazine, which has previously been used to treat schizophrenia, is also a powerful weapon against antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as staphylococci (Staphylococcus aureus).
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria is... Read More
The gastropod mollusc Scaphander lignarius —a marine invertebrate found in North Atlantic and Mediterranean water— is the first organism, besides bacteria, in which the biosynthesis of lignarenones, organic molecules involved in organism’s chemical defence, has been identified. This is one of th... Read More
A clinical study published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases shows for the first time that an oral cholera vaccine (ShancholTM) provides sustained protection against cholera in humans for up to five years. The study showed the vaccine had a protective efficacy of 65% over a five-year period. The... Read More
Virologist John Holland passed away on 11 October 2013. I asked former members of his laboratory for their thoughts on his career and what he meant to them. Read More
If you think cold and flu season is tough, trying being an infant. A new research finding published in the November 2013 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology sheds new light on why newborns appear to be so prone to getting sick with viruses—they are born without one of the key proteins need... Read More
Vibativ (telavancin) has been approved by the FDA to treat HABP/VABP (hospital-acquired ventilator-associated bacterial pneumonia) caused by Staphylococcus aureus. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) added that telavancin should only be used when other treatments are not appropriate.
Telav... Read More
In a classic case of turning an enemy into a friend, scientists have engineered a protein from flesh-eating bacteria to act as a molecular “superglue” that promises to become a disease fighter. And their latest results, which make the technology more versatile, were the topic of a report here to... Read More
We often ignore what we cannot see, and yet organisms below the soil's surface play a vital role in plant functions and ecosystem well-being. These microbes can influence a plant's genetic structure, its health, and its interactions with other plants. A new series of articles in a Special Sectio... Read More
Looking like a small brown twig on the end of a crinkled yellow worm, the caterpillar fungus is for its believers a lifesaver, a cure for cancer and a potent aphrodisiac sometimes known as "Himalayan Viagra".
In a dirty, dimly-lit room in a backstreet of one of China's poorest rural towns, a ... Read More
By tracking the previously unknown movements of a set of specialized cells, Whitehead Institute scientists are shedding new light on how the immune system mounts a successful defense against hostile, ever-changing invaders.
Central to the immune response is the activity inside structures know... Read More
A new approach to treating antibiotic-resistant infections has been developed by University of Wollongong (UOW) and University of New South Wales’ (UNSW) researchers who have patented the new technology and entered into commercialization discussions with two French pharmaceutical companies.
A... Read More
The most important zoos of the future might not house endangered lions or tigers. Instead, they could hold disease-causing bacteria.
Scientists at the University of Texas have begun 3D printing microscopic habitats to study bacterial communities. They say the tiny "cages" are better at repro... Read More
Just in time for “Get Smart about Antibiotics Week,” I had a refreshing experience recently, working in a different rural hospital. Over that week, I didn’t see one patient with “superbugs” other than the occasional MRSA. No one had the now scarier Gram negative bugs known as ESBLs (extended spe... Read More
In a study published in Nature, the team from University College London and the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology explains how HIV uses molecules inside host cells in an infected person to avoid alerting the body’s innate immune system (IIS) – cells and mechanisms that for... Read More
Our understanding of microbial life is greatly biased by our narrow focus on microbes as they grow in the laboratory. Yet, as discussed previously in this blog, microbes can persist in various dormant forms for extended periods of time. Sporulation (from the Greek “spora” or seed) is perhaps the... Read More
Bathing all patients daily with a germ-killing soap and swabbing antibiotic ointment in their noses may be the best way to reduce the spread of deadly infections, including MRSA.
In a new study, these measures reduced the bloodstream infections caused by dangerous pathogens, including the dru... Read More
Health officials have been warning us about antibiotic overuse and drug-resistant "superbugs" for a long time. But today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is sounding the alarm in a new way.
For the first time, the CDC is categorizing drug-resistant superbugs by threat level. Tha... Read More
Since its appearance in the U.S. seven years ago, white-nose syndrome has decimated bat populations across eastern North America. Scientists say they've determined the culprit—a soil-dwelling fungus called Pseudogymnoascus destructans—and now they're investigating novel ways to stop it, includin... Read More
A small cicada-like insect called the Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri) threatens the world's citrus industries, transmitting an incurable and lethal citrus disease. This notorious pest harbors two bacterial species within cells specially prepared for the purpose of symbiosis. Whereas thes... Read More
An ancient skin fungus that has been killing frogs, salamanders, and other amphibians may be hiding in invertebrates such as insects.
The skin fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), also known as amphibian chytrid, got attention in 1993 when dead and dying frogs began turning up in Quee... Read More