To keep fungal pathogens at bay in their crowded homes, wood ants mix potions to create powerful protection for their nest and their young.
Antibiotics used to prevent diseases in livestock are creating a world of hurt for humans and the soil we depend on for food. Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is a global health issue. The overuse, underuse, and poor use of these life-saving drugs is rapidly removing them as a treatment option for serious infections in humans—plus bacteria are naturally adaptive.
If you have encountered bed bugs lately, you are not alone. While the pesticides used to fight these pests are losing effectiveness, a fungus shows promise in knocking the bugs out of beds everywhere.
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.
After a brief reprieve, Zika fear is back with a vengeance as the US mosquito population booms. And we're just now seeing the true impact of this devastating virus, as babies of mothers infected with the virus are being born.
Specialized cells in the lining of the gut may provide a key to preventing an infectious brain disease caused by misfolded proteins.
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.
Bacteria gets a bad rap. Most headlines focus on the danger and discomfort posed by pathogens like bacteria, but many of the bacteria that live on and in us are vital to our health. Many products out there, called probiotics, are sold with the implication that they're supporting these healthy bacteria that share our bodies—but do they actually work?
When just floating peacefully in the water with their brood mates, the Culex mosquito larvae in the image above does not look very frightening. But in their adult form, they are the prime vector for spreading West Nile virus — a sometimes mild, sometimes fatal disease.
You may not have heard of visceral leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis, or lymphatic filariasis, and there is a reason for that. These diseases, part of a group of infections called neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), impact more than a billion people on the planet in countries other than ours. Despite the consolation that these often grotesque illnesses are "out of sight, out of mind," some of these infections are quietly taking their toll in some southern communities of the US.
The ability of one microbe to adapt is giving it a whole new career as a sexually transmitted disease. Usually content with the back of the throat and nose of those who carry it, the dangerous pathogen Neisseria meningitidis has adapted to cause an illness that looks a lot like gonorrhea.
Devastating and deadly, land mines are a persistent threat in many areas of the world. Funding to clear regions of land mines has been decreasing, but new research may offer a less dangerous method of locating hidden, underground explosives by using glowing bacteria.
Warning: If you are eating and for some reason still decided to click on this article, turn around now. Maui, Hawaii health officials have reported finding at least six cases of angiostrongyliasis, a parasitic lungworm that infects humans. Colloquially, it's known as rat lungworm disease. And if you think that name is awful, just wait until you hear what it does to the human body.
All fields of study have their own language. For people interested in learning about microbes, the language can sometimes be downright difficult—but it doesn't need to be. From antibiotics to xerophiles, we have you covered in an easy-to-understand glossary.
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.
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.
This month, Iowa issued their first hepatitis C virus epidemiological profile and the news was not good. The number of cases of hepatitis C reported in Iowa between 2000 and 2015 rose nearly threefold, from 754 cases in 2000 to 2,235 cases in 2015.
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.
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: 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.
The culprit probably wasn't what doctors were expecting when a 57-year-old man in Hong Kong came to the hospital. The patient was admitted to the intensive care unit in critical condition. A clue to the cause of the infection would lie in the man's profession—he was a butcher.
A young child becomes very thirsty very often and seems tired all the time. A visit to the pediatrician determines she has type 1 diabetes. The onset of type 1 diabetes may seem sudden, and it can be, but the disease may actually have been triggered by common childhood viruses years earlier.
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.
News: Coffee Isn't the Only Thing Brewing in Your Nespresso—Extremophiles Could Be Living in Your Drip Tray
You just sat down, coffee in hand, and the day is ready to start. Now that you have taken a few sips, let me pose a question: What is living in that coffeemaker of yours? The answer might make you dump that coffee down the drain pronto.
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.
A 'superbug' fungus is currently running riot in the hospitals of New York and New Jersey. This outbreak of Candida auris has contributed to 17 deaths in NYC, according to recent reports.
News: Malaria Eliminated in the US, but Causing a World of Hurt — Know What You Can Do to Protect Yourself When Traveling
While no longer native to the United States, hospitalization from malaria occurs in this country more than most would believe. Why is that, and what can you do to protect yourself when you travel abroad to regions where malaria is active?
Every party has a pooper, and that's why you're reading this article. We don't mean to be a downer on such a fun day as 4/20, but it's important to make sure you know about the source of your pot, especially if you're one of the 2,299,016 people who use medical marijuana in the US.
This just in! Some of Frito-Lay's chips might be bad for your health for reasons other than the fact that they're deep fried potatoes.
News: Teeny Sponges Being Created to Float in Your Blood, Sop Up Bacterial Toxin & Prevent Flesh-Eating Disease
It's not the bacteria itself that takes lives and limbs during invasive flesh-eating bacteria infections. It's the toxins secreted by the group A Streptococcus bacteria invading the body that causes the most damage.
When you think ticks, one of the first things to come to mind is Lyme disease. However, as terrible as Lyme disease is, there's another threat from ticks rising in rank in Connecticut and the Northeast — one that is spreading and that hospitals are not prepared for — the Powassan virus.
News: The Latest in HIV Prevention — Syringe Vending Machines in Vegas & On-Site Testing at Walgreens
It's about time people acknowledged that judging drug users would do nothing productive to help them. In the US this week, two new programs are launching that should help addicts be a little safer: Walgreens Healthcare Clinic will begin offering to test for HIV and hepatitis C next week, and Las Vegas is set to introduce clean syringe vending machines to stop infections from dirty needles.
News: Step Aside Penicillin — A Deep Dive into Fungus Genes Reveals Over 1,300 Potential Antibiotics Waiting to Be Discovered
On October 17, 1943, a story in the New York Herald Tribune read "Many laymen — husbands, wives, parents, brothers, sisters, friends — beg Dr. Keefer for penicillin," according to the American Chemical Society. Dr. Chester Keefer of Boston was responsible for rationing the new miracle drug, penicillin.
Electrical impulses course through our heart and keep it beating. That's why a jolt from an automated external defibrillator can boost it back into action if the beating stops. But new research says there may be more to keeping a heart beating than just electrical impulses.
Our quest to find new antibiotics has taken a turn — a turn down the road, that is. A team of scientists from the University of Oklahoma is scooping up roadkill and searching for bacteria on them that might yield the world's next antibiotic.
For regions that experienced a boom in mouse populations last year, scientists say 2017 could see a surge in cases of Lyme disease.
As summer mosquito season approaches, researchers are warning people with previous exposure to West Nile virus to take extra precautions against Zika. A new study found that animals with antibodies to West Nile in their blood have more dangerous infections with Zika than they would normally.
The theme for 2017's World Malaria Day, which is today, April 25, is "End Malaria for Good." For many Americans, this might seem like an odd plea. Especially since Malaria is seemingly an obsolete problem here. However, on World Malaria Day, it's important to remember the danger of malaria is still very much present in the US. And around the world, the disease is at the epicenter of a global crisis.
Phase 2 of a Zika vaccine trial began in the United States this week, along with Central and South America.
Most females have had at least one urinary tract infection in their lifetimes. Recurrent UTIs are particularly problematic in young, sexually active women, where about 80% of the infections are caused by the bacteria Escherichia coli, better known as E. coli.