News: Bacteria Turn Off Plant Genes to Help Parasites Destroy Billions of Dollars of Crops Every Year
Before you bite into that beautiful tomato in your garden, the tomato fruitworm, or the Colorado potato beetle, might have beat you to it.
A new study just out reveals that HIV takes hold in the human body with the help of cells that usually work to heal, not kill.
Seagrass may help your favorite beach stay a little less toxic. A new study, led by Joleah Lamb, a postdoctoral researcher in the Harvell Lab at Cornell University, found that coastal seagrasses reduce levels of pathogens dangerous to humans and marine organisms in near-shore waters.
Responding to the emergence of Zika in the US, researchers investigated what type of repellent works best to reduce your odds of a mosquito bite from Aedes aegypti, the mosquito species that spreads the Zika virus.
News: We've Finally Developed a Test for Mysterious Prion Diseases— Parkinson's & Alzheimer's Could Be Next
Prion diseases are a group of infectious brain diseases that causes extensive tissue damage, resulting in sponge-like spaces in brain tissue. Prions include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (often called mad cow disease), and chronic wasting disease in hoofed ruminant mammals.
News: 14 Types of Bacteria & 10 Strains of Fungus Are Responsible for All the Delicious Flavors of Cheese
If you want to appreciate the value of microbes, look no further than a chunk of cheese. Because cheese roughly traces back to the Neolithic Era, we might say the earliest cheesemakers were the first humans to manipulate microbes—without even knowing it. Now, thanks to microbiologists and the long tradition of cheesemaking, we know a lot more about the microbes that make our favorite types of cheese possible.
Jostled in the airport, someone is coughing in line. The air looks empty but it is loaded with microbes that make their way into your body. You get sick. You give it to your family, and that's pretty much it. But what if you were so contagious that you spread it to your entire community and beyond?
Avian flu is making the news again with new human cases in China reported in January. What does "avian flu" mean to you—and how dangerous is it?
Every year, 100-200 people in the US contract leptospirosis, but usually 50% of the cases occur in Hawaii where outdoor adventurers are exposed to Leptospira bacteria found in freshwater ponds, waterfalls, streams, and mud. That's why it's so alarming that two people in the Bronx have been diagnosed with the disease and a 30-year-old man has died from it.
At a global security conference in Munich, philanthropist and businessman Bill Gates spoke about the next pandemic and a dire lack of global readiness. Here's how his statement could come true—and how to be ready when it does.
Have the sniffles? Yes. Does your head hurt? Yes. Coughing? Yes. Could you have influenza? Yes. How do you know the difference? With these symptoms, you could also have a cold.
Six people have died from fungal infections in Pittsburgh hospitals since 2014—that fact is indisputable. The rest of the situation is much vaguer. A lawsuit has been filed against the hospitals on behalf of some of the deceased patients, alleging that moldy hospital linens are to blame. While the lawyers argue over who's at fault, let's look at how this could have happened.
Some studies have shown that vitamin D supplements help fight respiratory infections, but some haven't. A new study published in The BMJ clarified the confusion, and identified a group of people that might be better able to fight off colds and flu with vitamin D supplements.
The rate of preterm birth has been increasing in the United States for unknown reasons, causing increased health risks for infants born too soon. But researchers may have found a signal that could help doctors plan ahead for, or even prevent, early birth with a simple swab of the vagina and cervix during pregnancy.
Scientists are constantly on the search for new organisms, species, and other types of life. A special group of these researchers, calling themselves "bioprospectors," dive deep into mines to find unique lifeforms with special properties not found anywhere else.
Some bacteria can already do it—generate electric current, that is—and those microbes are called "electrogenic." Now, thanks to the work of a research group from the University of California, Santa Barbara, we know how to easily turn non-electrogenic bacteria into electricity producers.
A tiny louse is responsible for decimating the citrus industry. Diaphorina citri, the louse in question, better known as the Asian citrus psyllid, harbors and spreads the "Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus" bacteria that causes citrus greening disease.
We usually associate Salmonella bacteria with a dangerous type of food poisoning, but they actually are pretty good at seeking out tumors. That trait made the bacteria a great candidate to deliver a protein that would help knock tumors out.
News: Fighting Nightmare Bacteria Is Like a Game of Whack-a-Mole—It Keeps Popping Up in Unexpected Places
The pathogen referred to as a "nightmare bacteria" is quietly adapting and spreading faster than anticipated.
A recent study underscores a connection between climate change and infectious disease, raising concerns about our quickly warming planet.
News: New Study Shows that Superbug E. Coli Gets Stronger & More Dangerous When Doctors Use the Wrong Antibiotics
Although their effectiveness is waning, antibiotics remain a front-line defense against many infections. However, new science reveals using the wrong antibiotic for an infection could makes things much worse.
News: New Research Shows How Flesh-Eating Leishmania Parasites Hide in Our Bodies to Fight Future Infections
Transmitted by a sandfly one-third the size of a mosquito, parasitic Leishmania protozoa are responsible for a flesh-destroying disease that kills an estimated 20,000 people per year. Two new studies offer understanding of how the parasite provides immunity through persistence and why some people suffer more virulent forms of the disease.
What's in a sneeze? Quite a lot—dirt, mucus, and infectious germs—it seems. And sneezing the right way can reduce the germs you share with neighbors.
You know the signs—sneezing, fever, nagging cough, no energy, no appetite. It's the flu, but this time, it's your dog who's down and out. Yes, dogs get the flu, too. However, a team from the University of Rochester Medical Center and their collaborators have developed a new vaccine that may make the doggy flu a thing of the past.
News: Researchers Have Just Discovered How a Hospital Fungus Forms Slime, Becomes Drug Resistant & Kills Patients
It hasn't even been eight years since Candida auris was discovered—cultured and identified from the ear canal of a patient in Japan—and now it's drug-resistant, setting up residence in hospitals, killing patients, and wreaking havoc across the globe.
News: Research Published in mBio Shows How Gut Bacteria Can Help Chubby Dogs Live a Better—& Longer—Life
As fun as it is to see Fido's face light up when you feed him table scraps, American dogs are getting fat. The good news is that research is homing in on nutritional strategies to boost canine capabilities to maintain a healthy weight.
News: New Finding Shows How Deadly, Flesh-Eating Strep Toxins Help the Bacteria Burrow Deeper into Tissues
Where in the world did it come from? All of a sudden, one day, someone had an infection with flesh-eating bacteria. It captured headlines and worldwide attention because it was such a severe, strange, uncontrollable, and really disgusting condition.
News: Chronically Missing Just 1 Hour of Sleep a Night Makes Your Body Ripe for Sickness, New Study Says
Sleep lets our body processes rest and restores us for the next day, so a bad night's sleep can ruin the following twenty-four hours and even make us feel sick. Now, new research published in the journal Sleep cements the idea that loss of sleep actually leaves us vulnerable to sickness.
Ah, wine. The bouquet fills your nose. The rich finish fills your mouth with soft flavors of oak and raspberries. The wine warms your belly and soothes your mind. Yeast and their biochemical factory help create this feast for your senses. Thanks to a research group from France, we now have a little more information on how that process works and a little more appreciation for yeast's contribution.
In the summer of 1976, 4,000 American Legionnaires descended upon the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for a four-day convention. Several days later, many of the attendees experienced symptoms of severe pneumonia. By the beginning of August, 22 people had died. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that about 180 people were sickened and 29 people died before this mysterious outbreak burnt out.
It feels like someone reached into your chest and squeezed. Your head throbs in unison with your heartbeat. Clammy dread coats your body in sweat. Whether you call 911 or someone does it for you, the ER is your next stop.
News: New Study Unveils the True Story of Kuru, a Fatal Brain Disease Spread by the Cultural Practice of Eating the Dead
Kuru is called the shaking disease, its name derived from the Fore word for "to shake." Caused by an organism that infects the part of the brain that controls coordination, people afflicted with kuru shake uncontrollably.
News: Dangerous Bacterial Films Communicate with Electric Pulses, Which Means We Could Zap Them to Interfere
Lighthouses and signal fires may have been the first social media. Without the ability to share language, a distant light meant "humans here." A new study from the University of California, San Diego, finds that bacteria can also send out a universal sign to attract the attention of their own, and other bacterial species.
Using extreme time-lapse microscopy, scientists watched a virus take over a bacteria to create a cell that looked and functioned more like a plant or animal cell. True story.
There are all kinds of theories—many supported by science—about what causes Alzheimer's disease. Tangles of protein called ß-amyloid (pronounced beta amyloid) plaques are prominently on the list of possible causes or, at least, contributors. An emerging theory of the disease suggests that those plaques aren't the problem, but are actually our brains' defenders. They show up to help fight an infection, and decades later, they become the problem.
Humanity is standing on an infection precipice. As antibacterial resistant grows, we're running out of options, and a recent scary case of total antibiotic resistance is a frighting view of our potential future. In the end, it was septic shock that took the life of a 70-year old woman with an incurable infection. One of few such cases in the US, her death could nonetheless be the shape of things to come.
We all know you are what you eat—or so the expression goes—but it's good to remember that what you are (at least intestinally) is mainly bacteria. A new study has shown that what you eat, and how your gut microbiome reacts to that food, might be a key player in your risk of developing a certain type of colon cancer—and changing your diet can help decrease your risk.
Lack of appetite often signals a cold or flu. Eating can be the last thing we want to do when we have a sore throat or are too fatigued or achy to even get out of bed. When hungry, we don't feel as strong as when we are well fed—and we more than likely aren't as strong.
News: We've Found the Back Door HIV Uses to Hide in the Brain—& It Could Help Us Take the Virus Down
Over 1.2 million people in the US are infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)—and one out of eight of them don't know it. Even after decades of intense research into the virus, there's still no cure for it. One of the big problems is that the virus hides out in certain cells of the body, resisting treatments that kill it.
Despite the availability of a vaccine against it, almost 50% of men aged 18-59 in the US are infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV). Why?