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The very real danger of alfatoxins
Food products, especially harvested grains, need to be stored carefully. Proper management means storing...
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The 6th Edition of Through the Microscope is now available
The website, eBooks, and hard copy of Through the Microscope are now available. To purchase website access,...
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The stringent response can influence antibiotic resistance
Cancer is a horrible disease, killing over half a million people in the United States every year and...
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Gut disbiosys hinders the healing of spinal cord injuries
There has been a growing body of evidence that the microorganisms that live with us on our bodies deeply...
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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...
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Nanotechnology product has ability to slice cell membrane

  Normally when one thinks of microbes, they don’t imagine them being able to be mechanically cut as one cuts an onion. Microbes are extremely small and we don’t have blades fine enough to get the job done.  However, researchers at Brown University have shown that the cell membrane of human cells can be cut by graphene microsheets. Graphene is a relatively new nanomaterial that is a two dimensional layer of repeating carbon and is made by exfoliating it off of chucks of graphite u...

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Vaccines Various Methods of Creation Defend Against Disease

  Vaccines have been made ever since Edward Jenner created one for smallpox in the late 18th century. The 19th century saw a handful of vaccines created while the 20th witnessed a boom in creation. Today the process of making a vaccine in the United States is highly regulated by the FDA as well as the CDC. However, creating a vaccine is not a straightforward process. There are multiple ways in which a virus or bacteria and be used to create a vaccine that will protect a person for years to come....

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A New Model -- And Possible Treatment -- For Staph Bone Infections

  A recent article regarding a study on osteomyelitis, an incapacitating bone infection shows there may be a new treatment available. Bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus (staph), often cause osteomyelitis. The bacteria involved in these infections are often resistant to complete classes of antibiotics, making current treatments insufficient for use and making it very difficult to treatment.

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Structure and Evolution of Streptomyces Interaction Networks in Soil and In Silico

   Streptomyces are gram-positive, filamentous bacteria that are often found in ground soils.  They are prolific produces of antibiotics.  These microbes survive by secreting toxic antibiotics in an effort to kill surrounding, competing microbes. Different strains of Streptomyces produce different secondary metabolites (antibiotics and other secreted chemicals).  The presence of secondary metabolites can either inhibit or promote the growth of a cell.  With this in mi...

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Typhoid Toxin May Hold Answers To Mysterious Historical Disease

  Typhoid fever is a predominantly gastric bacterial disease that is found worldwide and is caused by the bacterium Salmonella entrerica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi). Typhoid is one of the most well documented diseases in history having ravaged populations as old as the Athenians of ancient Greece and as new as the citizens of Chicago less than a century ago. Modern sanitation and hygiene practices have all but eradicated the disease in developed nations but developing nations are still...

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Vitamin C helps control gene activity in stem cells

  Researchers have found that vitamin C is useful for enhancing gene activation. Why is this helpful to us? It can be applied to treating cancer or controlling vitro fertilization. This result was found by comparing mouse embryonic stem cells growing in many different mediums in accident. Then researchers began to find the mechanisms behind the result, and realized that vitamin C actually leads to the increased prevention of activation of an array of genes.    

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Genomic streamlining in marine microbes

  Knowledge about microbes has proven to be useful for gaining a better understanding of the environment. As an example, phytoplankton – a photosynthetic marine microorganism – was discovered to be a source of half the Earth’s supply of oxygen, thereby providing insight to our relationship with the ocean. However, researchers currently have an understanding about only a tiny fraction out of millions of existing microbial species. The problem is, most marine microbes cannot be...

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Mutations in influenza H5 HA can render droplet transmission ability

  Influenza viruses are a great threat to humans and have very well proven their pandemic nature such as the H1N1 pandemic in 2009. They contain the protein haemagglutinin (HA) which determines the host range by identifying specific receptors such as sialic acid linked to galactose by α2,6-linkages in humans. Recent studies at UW-Madison and University of Tokyo by Yoshihiro Kawaoka have identified a reassortant H5 HA/H1N1 virus that can be transferred through droplet transmission in a ferret model...

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A New Reason Why Red Meat, and Some Energy Drinks, May Be Bad for Our Heart

  For years it has been thought that consuming too much red meat may increase a person’s risk for heart disease. New research is indicating that it may not be the red meat that is the problem, but the microbes in our guts. High concentrations of the nutrient L-carnitine are found in red meat. L-carnitine helps transport fatty acids into the mitochondria of cells. The mitochondria are the energy powerhouses of cells. Doctor Stanley Hazen the section head of preventive cardiology and a biochem...

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Why TB Is Hard to Cure

  Mycobacterium is a type of bacteria that causes tuberculosis (TB) in humans. When dividing, cells usually split equally while copying DNA from the mother cell to the daughter cell. Recent research has shown that Mycobacteria behave in a unique manner, with cells dividing (through binary fission) asymmetrically. This means that the Mycobacteria all divide differently; they grow at different rates, sizes and have different vulnerability to antibiotics. Because the Mycobacteria cells...

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