Scientists have discovered bacteria that eats toxic material and, well, poops pure gold. This microbial magician, named Cupriavidus metallidurans, when placed in a minilab full of gold chloride, a nasty toxin, gobbled up the poison and, in about a week, processed it out as 24-karat nuggets of th... Read More
A chemical widely used in soaps, toothpaste, and toys weakens muscles in mice. Triclosan, an antibacterial chemical, hinders muscle contractions at a cellular level, slows swimming in fish, and reduces muscular strength in mice, according to researchers at the University of California, Davis, an... Read More
I am glad you had a chance to get a glimpse of the BSL4 world. You might remember that I have been trying for 1 1/2 years to get you to see the Galveston National Laboratory, a facility with an actual ACTIVE program and a number of... Read More
This episode: Soil bacteria can help plants adapt to changing climate conditions!
We often think of the world around us as sterile and static, especially when we are in a hospital. In reality, every surface on earth is literally teeming with millions of bacteria.
Jack Gilbert, a microbiologist from the University of Chicago, has spent his career investigating these invisib... Read More
Simon Fraser University virologist Masahiro Niikura and his doctoral student Nicole Bance are among an international group of scientists that has discovered a new class of molecular compounds capable of killing the influenza virus.
Working on the premise that too much of a good thing can be ... Read More
A new study of giant viruses supports the idea that viruses are ancient living organisms and not inanimate molecular remnants run amok, as some scientists have argued. The study may reshape the universal family tree, adding a fourth major branch to the three that most scientists agree represent ... Read More
I comment a bit, as an educator, about the loss of Carl Woese. Not only the importance of his discoveries, but how he went about his work, remains of great value. Read More
There is a long history of anecdotal evidence to suggest that cranberries and other alternative therapies to long-term antibiotics can prevent recurrent urinary tract infections but are they really as effective as antibiotics or even a viable alternative for people who do not want to take antibi... Read More
A mysterious condition called Inclusion Body Disease (IBD) strikes captive boa constrictors and pythons, causing bizarre behavioral changes and eventually death. Scientists investigating an outbreak of IBD among snakes at the Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco report they may well have found a ... Read More
Since the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy in the mid-1990s, HIV infection has evolved from a near-certain death sentence to a manageable, chronic disease. Still, little is known about the long-term effects of HIV on human health. Two studies being presented today on cardiova... Read More
There is much in the way of microbial activity that is taking place in one of the world’s most poisonous dumps, which turns out to be cleaning up the place.
Take the 150-foot-high garbage dump in Colombia, South America. Soon it may have life as a public park thanks to work from researchers ... Read More
Many species exhibit cooperative survival strategies — for example, sharing food or alerting other individuals when a predator is nearby. However, there are almost always freeloaders in the population who will take advantage of cooperators. This can be seen even among microbes such as yeast, whe... Read More
Boasting more than 39,000 members worldwide – representing 26 disciplines along with a division dedicated to microbiology educators – ASM is a major actor in microbiological sciences. Professor David C Hooper MD, President of the Society, highlights the breadth of their influence
Could you... Read More
Clostridium difficile infection is an important cause of intestinal disease, primarily affecting hospitalized patients exposed to antibiotics. Infection has been associated with prolonged hospital stays and excess healthcare expenditures. In recent years, C. difficile infections have become more... Read More
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have identified a type of E. coli bacteria that may encourage the development of colon cancer.
The Liverpool team had previously shown that people with colon cancer and with the inflammatory bowel diseases, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, have... Read More
(another excerpt from Wired's Superbug blog)
News from the ICAAC meeting: The “Indian superbug” NDM-1 — actually a gene which encodes an enzyme which confers resistance to almost all known antibiotics — has been found for the first time in a pet, somewhere in the United States.
When you co... Read More
Exposure to cigarette smoke has long been associated with increased frequency of respiratory infections—which are harder to treat in smoke-exposed people than in those who lack such exposures. Now Ritwij Kulkarni of Columbia University, New York, NY, and colleagues show that cigarette smoke actu... Read More
Bacteria that live in the soil seem to be swapping antibiotic-resistance genes with other, more dangerous bacteria — the ones that cause devastating infections in humans, a new study indicates.
When a team of researchers analyzed bacteria they had grown from soil samples, they found the microbe... Read More