Latest News

New powerful antibiotics discovered using machine learning
Bacteria are amazing creatures. They adapt rapidly to any stress that is put on them or at least some...
Read more
Top Publishers Sued over Collusion in Textbook Market
Textbook prices are out of control and this is why I spent years of my life writing and running this...
Read more
Americans are fatter than ever and processed food is to blame
Before diving into this article we need to clarify how being obese is measured. There are many ways to...
Read more
Through the Microscope updates
An important feature of Through the Microscope is the animations that depict important processes. Often...
Read more
Obesity and the Microbiome
A large body of evidence is emerging showing that the microbiome has a role in obesity and I cover some...
Read more
News

News

Messages list

Show all entries

A new avenue of attack against drug resistance pathogens

  Some pathogens are becoming resistant to many of the treatments we have for them. It is serious enough that the World Health Organization has declared antimicrobial resistance worthy of attention rivaling that of climate change. Strains of Staphylococcus aureus and Neisseria Gonorrhoeae are feared to be close to escaping treatment with antimicrobials. Researchers around the world are racing to discover new treatments for these multi-drug resistant pathogens. Shu Lam, a 25-year-old PhD student at...

Read more of A new avenue of attack against drug resistance pathogens

The epigenetic clock

  Have you ever noticed that some people seem to age faster than other people? I am not talking about individuals with Progeria. Instead, I mean just in your regular group of friends, how some seem to age faster than others. Many will chalk this up to poor nutrition, too much drinking, bad habits like smoking, and a lack of exercise. However, even if you factor all those things out, it seems like some people just age faster than others. Enter professor Steven Horvath of UCLA. Dr. Horvath works on...

Read more of The epigenetic clock

Evolution of bacteria and drug resistance

  This frightening experiment demonstrates how important it is that we manage our antibiotics carefully and avoid overuse. A giant bacterial growth chamber was created. The bottom layer was solid medium, and the top was a semi-solid medium that bacteria could swim through. The edges of the chamber had no antibiotics, while an area adjacent has a dose that would normally kill a typical strain of E. coli. Next to that area, was a third that had 10x a lethal dose, next to that 100x a lethal does, and...

Read more of Evolution of bacteria and drug resistance

New treatments for <i>Clostridium difficile</i> infections

  Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) causes a great deal of suffering in the elderly and now more frequently in the general population. CDI can occur after treatment with broad-spectrum antibiotics. Infections with this microbes causes severe gastrointestinal distress, including bloating and gas. Left untreated, and even when treated, it can be fatal. When treated with conventional antibiotics, there is often recurrence, which is understandable, since antibiotics often cause the problem in the...

Read more of New treatments for Clostridium difficile infections

Fungal Friends of Plants and Trees

  When most folks think of fungi, they think of rotten fruit, decaying trees, or mushrooms. These are all good examples, but there is much more to the vast world of fungi than meets the eye. (Of course that makes sense since most fungi are microscopic.) One particular group of fungi, the ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi, form mutualistic symbiotic relationships with tree roots where the fungi integrate intimately with the roots of the tree and help it absorb water and minerals from the soil. This re...

Read more of Fungal Friends of Plants and Trees

Microbes come to the rescue for Celiac's Disease?

  Ciliac's disease is a debilitating condition where sufferers have an immunologic reaction to gluten, a protein commonly found in wheat, barley, and rye. Consumption of gluten results in severe digestive issues and other health problems. Researchers at Boston University, Headed by Eva Helmerhorst, have described the isolation of a protease from Rothia mucilaginosa that is capable of degrading the epitope in gluten that causes the immune response. After isolation, the enzyme was compared to other...

Read more of Microbes come to the rescue for Celiac's Disease?

Microbes come to the rescue for Celiac's Disease?

  Ciliac's disease is a debilitating condition where sufferers have an immunologic reaction to gluten, a protein commonly found in wheat, barley, and rye. Consumption of gluten results in severe digestive issues and other health problems. Researchers at Boston University, Headed by Eva Helmerhorst, have described the isolation of a protease from Rothia mucilaginosa that is capable of degrading the epitope in gluten that causes the immune response. After isolation, the enzyme was compared to other...

Read more of Microbes come to the rescue for Celiac's Disease?

Gas vesicles as a staining technique

  http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-08/ciot-dut082516.php

Read more of Gas vesicles as a staining technique

The earth’s family tree just got bigger

  Professor Jillian Banfield’s group has been research the diversity of various communities for many years. As the power of DNA sequencing has moved from a being able to generate a 500 bp in 2 weeks in the 1980, to thousands of basepairs a day in the 1990’s, to hundreds of thousands in 2000, and now with illumina technology, billions of base pairs a day, so has our understanding of what makes up the environment. Up until a few years ago, a molecular census of of a microbial community would involve...

Read more of The earth’s family tree just got bigger

GMO food of no real danger

  I&nbsp;love science and microbiology. I&nbsp;love fitness and nutrition. If you take care of your body and feed it well, it goes a long way to having great quality of life. So I am always interested in fitness and nutrition. Having the perspective of a scientist, any claims I read for a fitness routine or nutrition regimen have&nbsp;to backed by good solid evidence. This can be very hard to come by.&nbsp;Nutrition research is extremely difficult, because you are dealing with food.&nbsp;The fo...

Read more of GMO food of no real danger