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Obesity and the Microbiome
A large body of evidence is emerging showing that the microbiome has a role in obesity and I cover some...
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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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Researchers use child immune response genes to distinguish between types of infections

  At a time when there is great concern over the risks of antibiotic resistance, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have found a new way to distinguish between fevers in children caused by either bacteria or viruses.   In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Hu, Yu, Crosby, and Storch measured utilization of genes for the immune response in febrile children, some of which turned out to be infected with bacteria or one of three different...

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Predatory Bacteria and Human Health

  There are many example strains of pathogenic bacteria that have developed resistant to drugs. The reduced effectiveness of antibiotic drugs for treating infections is increasingly a concern for doctors and patients alike. Pneumonia is caused by a microbial infection of the lungs, and if untreated it can be painful and fatal. Traditionally pneumonia is treated by using antibiotic drugs to combat the infecting microbes. However, Klebsiella pneumoniae is one example of a drug resistant bacteria tha...

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New Method Discovered to Detect Proteins Using Nano-sensors

  A team of researchers from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) recently discovered a new method called parallel protein analysis to detect mircoorganismal activity in human bodily fluids. They have designed a test that can identify thousands of different proteins and detect the presence of viruses. The new method is very quick and cost effective. One of the chemists involved in the research, Professor Carsten Sönnichsen, said “ we see possible applications this technique in medicine...

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Living at the mouth of an underwater volcano

  Deep-sea hydrothermal vents play host to an exciting array of marine life. At the base of these ecosystems are intricate communities of microorganisms. These bacteria and achaea survive at an astonishing range of temperatures, from more than 120°C at the mouth of the vents, to less than 10°C farther away. Characteristic to some genera is the assembly of orange and white “mats,” masses of bacteria turned colorful from the oxidation of sulfur. A recent article fo...

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The biofilm matrix

  In the microbial world, cooperation between multiple species is a novel way to combat the pressures of nutrient limitation, chemical damage, and other struggles that microorganisms constantly face. As such, dynamic and complex communities are frequently formed. An example of this is the biofilm—a thick, highly structured aggregate of microorganisms that often forms in aqueous environments, particularly along surfaces or at water-air interfaces. Biofilms owe their success to the fact that,...

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MRSA: Farming up trouble

  MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) has distressed hospitals for more than forty years and also has been infecting individuals outside of healthcare settings since 1995. MRSA is responsible for 94,000 infections and 18,000 deaths every year in the United States. Because MRSA initially appeared on a US farm, many scientists, such as epidemiologist Tara Smith, have dedicated their research in determining whether farms’ use of antibiotics is contributing to the increa...

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Cycloviruses could be causing neurological infections

  According to this article, it seems that a group of viruses known for their circular genome found in a few severe cases in Vietnam and Malawi could be linked to neurological diseases such as brain inflammation. This group of viruses is referred to as cycloviruses. More studies would need to be done to prove the connection between the two. For the cases in Vietnam, vexed researchers kept coming up short with answers for patients with infected central nervous systems. After considerable di...

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Cure for Cancer May Lie in the Intestines

  According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 8 million people die every year from Cancer in the World. This number translates to about 15% of all deaths in the world annually. It’s no wonder researchers all across the globe are racing for a cure. Two of the primary treatments for Cancer are radiation therapy and chemotherapy (chemo). Unfortunately, although these treatments may kill Cancer, they oftentimes harm areas of the body that are healthy as well, which can be detrimental...

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Adenovirus capable of jumping from monkey to human discovered.

  Adenoviruses are a family of viruses that commonly infect human beings, causing anything from cold and flu-like symptoms to death depending on the particular virus and health of the infected individual. Viruses can only infect cells that have specific receptors on their outer membrane. These receptors are often very specific which is why viruses are usually limited to a particular species. However, a newly discovered adenovirus has been found to jump between primate species and humans. The adeno...

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Gut Microbes Can Split a Species

  This article introduces a new concept regarding speciation. Before, the main focus around speciation, the splitting of a species from one another, was primarily based on environmental influences. Seth Bordenstein and Robert Brucker began to investigate gut microbes of being the culprits behind the speciation of jewel wasps.

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