Keyword: microbiology

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • At Tiny Scales, a Giant Burst on Tree of Life

    08/01/2015 12:35:32 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 5 replies
    Quanta Magazine ^ | 7/28/15 | Kevin Hartnett
    A new technique for finding and characterizing microbes has boosted the number of known bacteria by almost 50 percent, revealing a hidden world all around us.It used to be that to find new forms of life, all you had to do was take a walk in the woods. Now it’s not so simple. The most conspicuous organisms have long since been cataloged and fixed on the tree of life, and the ones that remain undiscovered don’t give themselves up easily. You could spend all day by the same watering hole with the best scientific instruments and come up with...
  • Cold, Dark and Alive! Life Discovered in Buried Antarctic Lake

    08/21/2014 12:25:29 AM PDT · by blueplum · 8 replies
    Live Science ^ | August 20, 2014 01:00pm ET | Becky Oskin, Senior Writer
    Antarctica, the coldest place on Earth, teems with microscopic life. Tiny organisms dwell on the ice and live inside glaciers, and now, researchers confirm, a rich microbial ecosystem persists underneath the thick ice sheet, where no sunlight has been felt for millions of years. Nearly 4,000 species of microbes inhabit Lake Whillans, which lies beneath 2,625 feet (800 meters) of ice in West Antarctica, researchers report today (Aug. 20) in the journal Nature. These are the first organisms ever retrieved from a subglacial Antarctic lake. "We found not just that things are alive, but that there's an active ecosystem," said...
  • Soaring MERS Cases in Saudi Arabia Raise Alarms

    05/03/2014 5:59:41 PM PDT · by neverdem · 16 replies
    Science ^ | 2 May 2014 | Kai Kupferschmidt
    Scientists are scrambling to make sense of a sharp increase in reported infections with the deadly Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) virus. In April alone, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have reported over 200 new cases—more than all MERS-affected countries combined in the preceding 2 years. That has sparked fresh fears that the virus may be about to go on a global rampage. The World Health Organization expressed alarm at the new numbers, and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) published an updated risk assessment on 25 April warning European countries to expect more imported...
  • Study: Unique Combination of Antibiotics Kills Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

    04/30/2014 10:11:51 PM PDT · by neverdem · 5 replies
    Sci-News.com ^ | Nov 15, 2013 | NA
    According to new research published this week in the journal Nature, an acyldepsipeptide antibiotic called ADEP in combination with the bactericidal antibiotic drug rifampicin eliminates the methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus.This scanning electron micrograph shows the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Image credit: NIAID. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacterium that is resistant to many antibiotics. It is responsible for several chronic infections such as osteomyelitis, endocarditis, or infections of implanted medical devices. These infections are often incurable, even when appropriate antibiotics are used.Senior author of the study, Prof Kim Lewis of Northeastern University, suspected that a different adaptive function of bacteria...
  • We Kill Germs at Our Peril - ‘Missing Microbes’: How Antibiotics Can Do Harm

    04/30/2014 9:41:21 PM PDT · by neverdem · 30 replies
    NY Times ^ | April 28, 2014 | Abigail Zuger M.D.
    You never get something for nothing, especially not in health care. Every test, every incision, every little pill brings benefits and risks. Nowhere is that balance tilting more ominously in the wrong direction than in the once halcyon realm of infectious diseases, that big success story of the 20th century. We have had antibiotics since the mid-1940s — just about as long as we have had the atomic bomb, as Dr. Martin J. Blaser points out — and our big mistake was failing long ago to appreciate the parallels between the two. Antibiotics have cowed many of our old bacterial...
  • CDC Urged To Investigate Mystery Polio-Like Illness Affecting California Kids

    03/03/2014 3:07:05 PM PST · by neverdem · 35 replies
    CBS San Francisco ^ | February 27, 2014 | NA
    WASHINGTON (CBS / AP) — Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer asked the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday to initiate a formal investigation into what has caused polio-like paralysis in about 20 children in California over the past 18 months. Boxer said “we need answers” in her letter to CDC Director Thomas Frieden. In particular, she wants the agency to look into whether the illness can be traced to a virus or environmental factors. She also wants to know whether the agency is aware of similar reports of paralysis nationwide...
  • Mushrooms used to clean up urban streams

    03/01/2014 1:27:55 PM PST · by neverdem · 4 replies
    Corvallis Gazette-Times ^ | January 20, 2014 | Anthony Rimel
    A local group is attempting to clean the waters in Corvallis’ Sequoia Creek — and potentially the Willamette River beyond it — using an unusual tool: mushrooms. The process used by volunteers with the Ocean Blue Project, an ecological restoration nonprofit, is to place mushroom spawn and a mixture of coffee grounds and straw in burlap bags that mushrooms can grow in, and then place the bags so that water entering storm drains will filter through them. The technique is attempting to take advantage of the natural ability of mycelium — the underground part of fungi — to break down...
  • Middle Eastern Virus More Widespread Than Thought

    02/28/2014 3:27:01 PM PST · by neverdem · 7 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 28 February 2014 | Kai Kupferschmidt
    It's called Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, after the region where almost all the patients have been reported. But the name may turn out to be a misnomer. A new study has found the virus in camels from Sudan and Ethiopia, suggesting that Africa, too, harbors the pathogen. That means MERS may sicken more humans than previously thought—and perhaps be more likely to trigger a pandemic. MERS has sickened 183 people and killed 80, most of them in Saudi Arabia. A couple of cases have occurred in countries outside the region, such as France and the United Kingdom, but...
  • Progress Against Hepatitis C, a Sneaky Virus

    02/28/2014 3:07:41 PM PST · by neverdem · 10 replies
    NY Times ^ | February 24, 2014 | J E. Brody
    Forty years ago, a beloved neighbor was bedridden for weeks at a time with a mysterious ailment. She knew only that it involved her liver and that she must never drink alcohol, which would make things worse. It was decades before the cause of these debilitating flare-ups was discovered: a viral infection at first called non-A, non-B hepatitis, then properly identified in 1989 as hepatitis C... --snip-- But with two newly approved drugs and a few more in the pipeline, a new era in treatment of hepatitis C is at hand. These regimens are more effective at curing patients and...
  • Science Takes On a Silent Invader (quagga mussels and zebra mussels)

    02/28/2014 1:51:59 PM PST · by neverdem · 22 replies
    NY Times ^ | FEB. 24, 2014 | ROBERT H. BOYLE
    Since they arrived in the Great Lakes in the 1980s, two species of mussels the size of pistachios have spread to hundreds of lakes and rivers in 34 states and have done vast economic and ecological damage. These silent invaders, the quagga and zebra mussels, have disrupted ecosystems by devouring phytoplankton, the foundation of the aquatic food web, and have clogged the water intakes and pipes of cities and towns, power plants, factories and even irrigated golf courses. Now the mussels may have met their match: Daniel P. Molloy, an emeritus biologist at the New York State Museum in Albany...
  • Up to 140 infants possibly exposed to tuberculosis at Nevada hospital

    10/10/2013 3:14:47 PM PDT · by neverdem · 10 replies
    Associated Press ^ | October 09, 2013 | NA
    LAS VEGAS – Health officials urged tuberculosis testing for hundreds of babies, family members and staff who were at a Las Vegas neonatal intensive care unit this past summer, saying they want to take extra precautions after the death of a mother and her twin babies and the infection of more than 26 people. Authorities with the Southern Nevada Health District said Tuesday that they're working to contact parents of about 140 babies who were at Summerlin Hospital Medical Center's NICU unit between mid-May and mid-August, and have set up a temporary clinic to test them. Tests of hospital staff...
  • New Treatment for Gonorrhea Prevents Reinfection

    10/08/2013 3:17:32 PM PDT · by neverdem · 27 replies
    Scientific American ^ | September 25, 2013 | Rachel Feltman
    A nanoparticle-based cancer therapy has been found to thwart an antibiotic-resistant, sexually transmitted infection in mice A first step has been taken toward a treatment for gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease (STD) notorious for its high reinfection rates. This news comes within days of a troubling update from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control that placed the STD on a list of “urgent threats”(PDF) in the fight against drug-resistant bacteria. According to the CDC, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacteria that causes the malady in humans—which can initially result in painful inflammation and discharge, and can cause infertility and even death if...
  • Disarming HIV with a 'Pop'

    10/03/2013 7:38:59 PM PDT · by neverdem · 8 replies
    University Herald ^ | Sep 19, 2013 | NA
    Pinning down an effective way to combat the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus, the viral precursor to AIDS, has long been a challenge for scientists and physicians, because the virus is an elusive one that mutates frequently and, as a result, quickly becomes immune to medication. A team of Drexel University researchers is trying to get one step ahead of the virus with a microbicide they've created that can trick HIV into "popping" itself into oblivion. Previous image Enlarge Close Next image / Like Us on Facebook Its name is DAVEI - which stands for "Dual Action Virolytic Entry...
  • Is Your Illness Viral or Bacterial? A New Rapid Blood Test Can Tell

    09/21/2013 1:47:30 AM PDT · by neverdem · 5 replies
    Healthline ^ | September 18, 2013 | David Heitz
    A blood test developed by Duke University researchers will help doctors learn whether a patient's infection is caused by a virus or bacteria. A blood test developed by researchers at Duke University can predict with tremendous accuracy whether someone with, say, pneumonia has a viral or bacterial infection, even if it's a previously unknown strain. The test, described today in the journal Science Translational Medicine, could someday help stop the unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics to patients who have viral infections. Although the study's authors say the timing of their report is coincidental, on Monday the director of the U.S. Centers...
  • Drug-Resistant Superbugs Kill at Least 23,000 People in the U.S. Each Year

    09/20/2013 5:43:09 PM PDT · by neverdem · 8 replies
    Scientific American ^ | September 16, 2013 | Dina Fine Maron
    Each year, more than two million people in the United States develop antibiotic-resistant infections, and at least 23,000 of them die as a result, says the first-ever national snapshot of the issue. That toll only rises when other conditions exacerbated by these infections are included in the count. Because itÂ’s difficult to attribute a death directly to antibiotic-resistant microbes (as opposed to illnesses that put the person in the hospital to begin with), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says these figures probably underestimate the scale of the problem. CDC today released the findings as part of a...
  • Is a Slim Physique Contagious?

    09/06/2013 11:44:52 AM PDT · by neverdem · 50 replies
    ScienceNOW ^ | 2013-09-05 | Beth Skwarecki
    What makes some people slender and others full-figured? Besides diet and genetics, the community of microbes that lives inside us may be partially responsible. New research on twins suggests that lean people harbor bacteria that their obese counterparts don't have. And, given the chance, those bacteria may be able to prevent weight gain. But don’t dig your skinny jeans out of the closet just yet. So far, the work has been done only in mice. What's more, the bacterial takeover requires a healthy, high-fiber diet to work, illustrating the complex relationship between diet, microbes, metabolism, and health. Our intestines are...
  • Prevention: Probiotics cut C. difficile risk

    09/03/2013 7:11:20 PM PDT · by neverdem · 22 replies
    Family Practice News ^ | 08/07/13 | Bruce Jancin
    VAIL, COLO. – The strategy of a short course of probiotics prescribed to prevent development of Clostridium difficile–associated diarrhea in patients on antibiotic therapy for any of myriad indications is attracting serious attention in both pediatrics and adult medicine. Interest in this low-cost and demonstrably low-risk preventive strategy has been driven by a recent favorable meta-analysis by the Cochrane Collaboration. Dr. Samuel Dominguez The Cochrane analysis included all 23 randomized controlled trials of probiotics for the prevention of C. difficile–associated diarrhea in adults or children taking antibiotics. The trials, three of which were conducted in children, included 4,213 subjects, none...
  • Virus pinpointed in US dolphin die-off

    08/27/2013 5:35:15 PM PDT · by neverdem · 9 replies
    Nature News ^ | 27 Aug 2013 | Lauren Morello
    More than 300 bottlenose dolphins have stranded themselves along the US East Coast this summer, and now researchers think they know why: they are sick. Preliminary tests suggest that cetacean morbillivirus, a cousin of the virus that causes measles in humans, is killing dolphins from New York to North Carolina, officials with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said today. Since 1 July, 333 dolphins have beached themselves, more than twice the normal yearly average for that stretch of coastline, prompting NOAA to declare an ‘unusual mortality event’ on 8 August. Many of the dolphins that have washed...
  • Drug-resistant superbug is spotted in Nebraska

    08/22/2013 6:12:10 PM PDT · by neverdem · 13 replies
    Omaha World-Herald | August 16, 2013 | Bob Glissmann
    Copyright ©2013 Omaha World-Herald®. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, displayed or redistributed for any purpose without permission from the Omaha World-Herald. Here's the link.
  • Schumer Calls For More Research Into Tick-Borne Diseases: Late Summer Is Peak Lyme Disease Season

    08/11/2013 3:49:18 PM PDT · by neverdem · 24 replies
    CBS NY ^ | August 11, 2013 | NA
    Late summer is peak Lyme disease season. As a result, Sen. Charles Schumer has urged the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study new and potentially fatal tick-borne illnesses.The New York Democrat has urged the CDC to look into two diseases that have already been found in the state.Schumer noted that New York City and on Long Island lead the state in Lyme disease infections. play Schumer Calls For More Research Into Tick-Borne DiseasesWCBS 880's Monica Miller Reports In addition to Lyme disease, ticks are known to carry Babesiosis, Powassan virus and Borrelia miyamotoi.Schumer said those diseases are...