Viruses are supposed to be small and simple—not even alive, just mobile genetic material after all. So what do we make of giant double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) viruses, one of which—the newly discovered Pandoravirus salinus—has an even larger genome than a hunky parasitic eukaryote called Encephalit... Read More
A major new technology has been developed by The University of Nottingham, which enables all of the world’s crops to take nitrogen from the air rather than expensive and environmentally damaging fertilisers.
Nitrogen fixation, the process by which nitrogen is converted to ammonia, is vital fo... Read More
A new device from Macquarie University can manipulate objects as small as 50 nanometers wide — about a thousandth of the width of a human hair and small enough to allow direct manipulation of a single viral capsule.
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Evolution is relentless process that seems to keep going and going, even when creatures live in a stable, unchanging world.
That's the latest surprise from a unique experiment that's been underway for more than a quarter-century.
Evolution is so important for biology, medicine and a genera... Read More
In prokaryotes, it only takes a small jazz band to get the music grooving: piano and a rhythm section suffice. The promoter region of a gene is a tiny stage on which RNA polymerase (p) and few transcription factors (dr, b) improvise on a tune, i.e. they initiate or skip transcription. By contras... Read More
Uzbek microbiologist Dilfuza Egamberdieva hopes to apply her new agricultural technique soon in Uzbekistan to boost the yield of economically important crops such as wheat, cotton, tomato and cucumber. She presented her work at this year's TWAS General Meeting.
Egamberdieva, group leader at t... Read More
Mould species of the genera Fusarium and Altenaria are considered the most important threats to Norwegian grain cereals because they produce toxins which can be a potential risk to food safety. F. avenaceum, the fungi most frequently isolated from Norwegian grain, produces enniatins which have b... Read More
Low birth weight infants are host to numerous microorganisms immediately after birth, and the microbiomes of their mouths and gut start out very similar but differentiate significantly by day 15 according to a study in mBio this week. Researchers from Stanford University and the University of Pi... Read More
Influenza viruses evolve rapidly, making it hard to develop protective vaccines against them. Despite a great deal of effort, scientists have found it difficult to forecast which way the virus’ evolution would take it. Now, thanks to improvements in our ability to study viruses and a new mathema... Read More
Saudi Arabia says one more person has died from a new respiratory virus related to SARS, bringing to 55 the number of deaths in the kingdom at the center of the outbreak.
The Health Ministry said Sunday that the 37-year-old man died in Riyadh. He was among 130 people who have been infected wi... Read More
As a virologist who has worked on poliovirus since 1979, I would be remiss if I did not note that today, 24 October, is World Polio Day. World Polio Day was established by Rotary International over a decade ago to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who led the first team to develop a vaccine a... Read More
It may sound like science fiction, but researchers at Yale and Harvard have taken the first steps towards a Dr. Frankenstein-type reality, by fundamentally changing the genetic code of an organism.
The scientists were able to rewrite the genetic alphabet of the common bacteria E.coli, creatin... Read More
“Implementation of infant rotavirus vaccination in 2006 has substantially reduced the burden of severe gastroenteritis among U.S. children younger than 5 years,” write Paul A. Gastanaduy, M.D., M.P.H., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, and colleagues. “Whether indirect ... Read More
Using technologies and computational modeling that trace the destiny of single cells, researchers describe for the first time the earliest stages of fate determination among white blood cells called T lymphocytes, providing new insights that may help drug developers create more effective, longer... Read More
Scientists in Canada have developed a paper-based device that checks if bacteria are resistant to certain antibiotics. The simple system could help users in remote areas pick the most appropriate treatment for bacterial infections.
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Scientists have known for years that together, bacteria and plants can remediate contaminated sites. Ramakrishna Wusirika, of Michigan Technological University, has determined that how you add bacteria to the mix can make a big difference. Wusirika has also shed light on the biochemical pathways... Read More
On the continental margins, where the seafloor drops hundreds of meters below the water’s surface, low temperatures and high pressure lock methane inside ice crystals. Called methane hydrates, these crystals are a potential energy source, but they are also a potential source of global warming if... Read More
A new type of botulinum toxin – the deadliest substance known – has been discovered. Because it does not yet have an antidote, the DNA sequence behind it has been withheld from public databases. This is the first time a sequence has been kept secret over security concerns.
Injecting a mere 2 ... Read More
Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have for the first time managed to measure the internal pressure that enables the herpes virus to infect cells in the human body. The discovery paves the way for the development of new medicines to combat viral infections. The results indicate good chance... Read More
A new virus called Pithovirus sibericum has been isolated from 30,000 year old Siberian permafrost. It is the oldest DNA virus of eukaryotes ever isolated, showing that viruses can retain infectivity in nature for very long periods of time. Read More