If you were a science professor, and you received two equally strong applications for the position of laboratory manager, one from a female, one from a male, which one would you pick? The answer might surprise you. Read More
Readers of this blog will remember the furor sparked by Fouchier’s experiments in 2011 in which he developed an avian influenza H5N1 isolate that could transmit among ferrets by aerosol. When Fouchier was ready to publish the results, the Dutch government required that Fouchier apply for an expo... Read More
Transfer of antibiotic resistance genes among gram negative bacteria in sewage and lake water and easy access of these
bacteria to the community are major environmental and public health concern. The aim of this study was to determine transfer of the
antimicrobial resistance genes from resista... Read More
Virologist Hilary Koprowski died on 11 April 2013 at the age of 96. His main accomplishments are nicely summarized in the New York Times, but for a more comprehensive overview of his life, I highly recommend his biography Listen to the Music by Roger Vaughan. I did not have many opportunities to... Read More
Hepatitis B virus (HBV, illustrated) is a substantial human pathogen. WHO estimates that there are now 240,000,000 individuals chronically infected with HBV worldwide, of which 25% will die from chronic liver disease or hepatocellular carcinoma. The hepatitis B virus vaccine is highly effective ... Read More
Hans Martin, professor emeritus, Technical University Darmstadt, Germany, reflects on the mysteries of L-forms, strains of bacteria that lack cell walls.
"L-forms are bacterial variants with defective cell walls and irregular growth and multiplication. They arise after peptidoglyc... Read More
Miravirsen is a drug that binds to and blocks the function of a cellular microRNA called miR-122 that is required for the replication of hepatitis C virus (HCV). Treatment of chimpanzees chronically infected with HCV with this drug leads to suppression of viral replication. The results of a phas... Read More
Based on a Twitter conversation with two microbiology educators, I share a story of how (through a survey) I encourage students to look deeply at their study strategies and promote "ownership" in their classroom experience. Read More
Data collected over winter 2009 by five World Health Organisation National Influenza Centres in the southern hemisphere were used to examine the circulation of pandemic and seasonal influenza A strains during the first pandemic wave in the southern hemisphere. There is compelling evidence that t... Read More
New recommendation encourages physicians to prescribe _antibacterials_ instead of antibiotics for bacterial infections. This recommendation is based on compelling evidence that the word "antibiotic" confuses almost everyone, including some doctors. The confusion leads to strong patient demands... Read More
A Brief Introduction to Genetics is a short documentary film created using motion graphics as the main visual component. It is a film that explores the history of genetics & genomics and the underlying concepts that provide the foundational knowledge that today's research is built upon. The film... Read More
Researchers studying the role of mutation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the development of biofilms claim the process is similar to "mutation selection that occurs during neoplastic progression and tumor development, and may help to explain why structural and genetic heterogeneity are characteris... Read More
To honor the memory of Robert Austrian for his pioneering and important research on pneumococci and pneumococcal diseases, Wyeth is sponsoring research awards for young scientists in the field of pneumococcal vaccinology.
Wyeth has selected the International Symposium of Pneumococci and Pne... Read More
We have been using HeLa cells in my laboratory since 1982, when I arrived at Columbia University Medical Center fresh from postdoctoral work with David Baltimore at MIT. I brought with me a line of HeLa cells and used them for 30 years for our research on viruses. Here is a story of how we lost ... Read More
Where does the virus come from? How is it spread? Can we predict when and where outbreaks will occur? What factors determine how sick a person will become if they are infected with West Nile virus?
To help answer the many questions people have about this multi-faceted virus, the American Acad... Read More
Archaeans are among the earliest forms of life that appeared on Earth billions of years ago. It’s now generally believed that the archaea and bacteria developed separately from a common ancestor nearly 4 billion years ago. Millions of years later, the ancestors of today's eukaryotes split off... Read More
A group of virologists lead by Yoshihiro Kawaoka and Ron Fouchier have sent a letter to Nature and Science outlining the experiments they propose to carry out with influenza H7N9 virus. Avian influenza H7N9 virus has caused over 130 human infections in China with 43 fatalities. The source of the... Read More
In order to feed the growing global population that is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, agricultural yields will need to increase by 70-100%. However, increasing this yield using current methods is not a viable option. Not only is it environmentally damaging, it is also not economically feas... Read More