Great HAI work! I'm not through it yet. I want to question, though, whether fomites are really important in influenza transmission. I don't think so.
[flu can transmit by fomites in guinea pigs: Read More
A top New York chef teams up with Harvard scientists to explore the role of bacteria in fermentation. He hopes to better understand and tweak the process to create new and unique flavors to entice the palate. Sharon Reich reports. Read More
For the first time, researchers have found a particular kind of molecular switch in the food poisoning bacteria Salmonella Typhimurium under infection-like conditions. This switch, using a process called S-thiolation, appears to be used by the bacteria to respond to changes in the environment du... Read More
The proportion of young women diagnosed with genital warts in Australia has seen a significant decline thanks to the HPV vaccine, suggests a new paper. In 2007, Australia became one of the first countries to implement a nationally funded quadrivalent human papillomarivus (HPV) vaccination progra... Read More
Food microbiology laboratories continue to submit false negative results and false positive results on a routine basis. A retrospective study of nearly 40,000 proficiency test results over the past 14 years, presented today at the 113th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, ... Read More
Face masks help prevent people from getting the flu. But how much protection do they provide?
You might think the answer to this question would be well established. It’s not.
In fact, there is considerable uncertainty over how well face masks guard against influenza when people use them ou... Read More
IF we’re to believe half a century of daytime TV commercials, housekeeping is war — a perpetual battle against the sneaky soldiers of nature. For decades, we’ve armed ourselves with cleaning products to slay bacteria, scrape away fungus and torture mites. As our household organisms move up the e... Read More
In the latest of a slew of studies examining the role of the so-called microbiome -- the mix of microscopic critters that colonize our bodies and our environment -- in human health, Harvard researchers said Wednesday that part of the reason that Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery works so well in ... Read More
Scientists who worked with the Nobel prize-winning pioneer discuss his legacy alongside footage and previously unseen interviews. Max Perutz, the Austrian-born British molecular biologist, founded the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) at Cambridge University in the postwar years where he... Read More
The genome of mysterious bacteria that lurk in hospital drains has been sequenced.
Low levels of the bacteria, known only as candidate phylum TM6, have been found in water systems around the world, yet because they could not be cultured in the lab, almost nothing was known about them.
The ... Read More
The arms race between bacteria and viruses just got a microscopic bit hotter.
The phenomenon, which was published in Nature this week, was discovered by Kimberly Seed and colleagues when they looked at bacteriophages who usually infect and kill the bacterium responsible for cholera Vibrio cho... Read More
Placement of copper objects in intensive care unit (ICU) hospital rooms reduced the number of healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) in patients by more than half, according to a new study published in the May issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, in a special topic issue focused ... Read More
A newly discovered rodent virus that resembles hepatitis C could give research chimps a break.
The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) is expected to make a decision imminently on how many of its 360 research chimps should be retired on the grounds that most studies can be done in other an... Read More
One of the big mysteries of AIDS is why some HIV-positive people take more than a decade to progress to full-blown AIDS, if they progress at all. A group of investigators from the Multi-Center AIDS Cohort Study (MACS), housed within the UCLA AIDS Institute, may have uncovered the key to this var... Read More
Few people check into a hospital expecting to come down with a severe case of diarrhea while undergoing care for an entirely unrelated problem. And even fewer expect to die of the hospital-acquired intestinal infection that causes the watery stools. Yet for approximately 14,000 Americans each ye... Read More
More than 30 years after the discovery of the AIDS virus, experts are optimistic that a cure for the disease will be found, and that an end to the AIDS epidemic is possible.
But they caution there is still a lot of work to be done.
Since the first cases of AIDS were reported in 1981, more ... Read More
Two back-to-back papers were published last week that provide a detailed analysis of what it would take for avian influenza H5N1 and H7N9 viruses to switch to human receptors. A single amino acid change in the viral hemagglutinin protein is sufficient to quantitatively change binding of the viru... Read More
Researchers from the University of Tübingen have been able to show for the first time how microorganisms contributed to the formation of the world's biggest iron ore deposits. The biggest known deposits -- in South Africa and Australia -- are geological formations billions of years old. They are... Read More
What is more commonplace than saying that prokaryotic cells possess a nucleoid? It is implicit in the term prokaryote itself. Still, it was not shown definitively until the 1940s that bacteria and archaea have such differentiated structures made up of condensed DNA. It was the careful work of “b... Read More
Radioactive iron may be first fossil imprint of a nearby cosmic explosion. Sediment in a deep-sea core may hold radioactive iron spewed by a distant supernova 2.2 million years ago and preserved in the fossilized remains of iron-loving bacteria. If confirmed, the iron traces would be the first b... Read More