This is a tale about microbes, a man who became a hermit, and the parchment that carries both of their stories.
On the airplane, in the middle of cold and flu season, your seatmate is spewing, despite the clutch of tissues in their lap. Your proximity to an infectious person probably leaves you daydreaming (or is it a nightmare?) of pandemics and estimating how likely it is that this seatmate's viral or bacterial effusions will circulate throughout the plane and infect everyone on board.
Andre was enjoying the carefree life of a 12-year-old with his friends, riding his bike and playing sports, like all kids that age. Schoolwork wasn't hard for him, and his grades showed that.
A deadly type of brain tumor and Zika-related brain damage in developing fetuses are devastating brain conditions that, at first glance, may seem unrelated. However, thanks to new research, their paths seem to cross in a way that could benefit patients. A new study has shown that Zika kills brain cancer stem cells, the kind of cells most resistant to treatment in patients with glioblastoma, a deadly brain tumor diagnosed in about 12,000 people in the US each year.
A recent initiative by the Cherokee Nation American Indian Tribe delivers a success story for knocking out a silent killer — Hepatitis C.
For the first time, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved medication to treat children with a serious infection called Chagas disease, which stealthily infects and damages the hearts of millions of victims a year.
As the fish farming industry struggles to become more environmentally friendly, it just gained another problem. Fish food loaded with antibiotic-resistant genes.
Plants all around us capture sunlight every day and convert it to energy, making them a model of solar energy production. And while the energy they make may serve the needs of a plant, the process isn't efficient enough to generate power on a larger scale. So, scientists from the University of California found a way to treat bacteria with chemicals that turned them into photosynthesis machines, capable of generating products we can convert into food, fuels, and plastics.
A virus easily spread among trout and salmon could make it harder to keep your favorite fish on the menu.
In the case of rotting food, microbes are not our friends. Now, scientists have developed a new food wrap coated with tiny clay tubes packed with an antibacterial essential oil that can extend the shelf life of perishable food, so we can waste less and eat more.
People infected with HIV take many different types of pills every day to decrease the amount of virus in their body, live a longer and healthier life, and to help prevent them from infecting others. That could all be in the past as new clinical trials testing the safety and effectiveness of a new type of treatment — injections given every four or eight weeks — look to be equally effective at keeping the virus at bay.
The bacteria in our gut — a community called the gut microbiome — have been in the spotlight a lot lately. What we're learning about how our intestinal bacteria adapt and grow with our bodies could help athletes perform better, according to researchers starting a company focused on creating probiotics that mimic athletes' microbiomes.
On June 11, 2016, an Arizona woman died from what appeared to be several infections, including pneumonia. She likely caught at least one of these from her dog.
Blowing dust and fungal spores are creating a public health problem that could be just a slice of what's to come with climate change.
If you have a taste for sweets, you have at least one thing in common with mosquitoes. While too much sugar is unhealthy for humans, a new product makes sweets deadly to mosquitoes.
A vaccine against HIV might prevent the disease that we can't seem to cure. Some HIV patients make antibodies that can take down the virus, much the way a vaccine might. But, scientists haven't been able to provoke that type of response in other people. However, in a process that might work in humans, a group of researchers has successfully generated antibodies in cows that neutralize multiple strains of HIV.
When the climate changes, so do all the things that rely on the climate, including people, plants, and pathogens. A European study recently took a broad look at what kind of microorganisms are most likely to be affected as climate change heats, cools, dries, and wets the world around us.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) drive over eight million people to seek medical attention every year. Almost all — as many as 90% — of those infections are caused by Escherichia coli. Copper can kill bacteria, but E. coli has found a way to capture the copper, preventing its antibacterial action. Now, researchers have found that, in a cruel irony, the bacteria use the copper it grabs as a nutrient to feed its growth.
More prescriptions for antibiotics are written for ear infections than any other type of infection. A new study comparing the incidence and causes of ear infections in children between the ages of six months and three years found that the incidence of ear infections over the last decade has dropped significantly since the 1980s.
Whether or not a microbe is successful at establishing an infection depends both on the microbe and the host. Scientists from Duke found that a single DNA change can allow Salmonella typhi, the bacteria that causes typhoid fever, to invade cells. That single genetic variation increased the amount of cholesterol on cell membranes that Salmonella and other bacteria use as a docking station to attach to a cell to invade it. They also found that common cholesterol-lowering drugs protected zebrafi...
The incidence of tuberculosis (TB) is dropping in the US, but the World Health Organization (WHO) considers it to be epidemic in the rest of the world — there were over 10 million new cases in 2016.
Bacteria, viruses and other germs sometimes set off the immune system to overreact, producing a severe condition called sepsis. Sepsis is so dangerous that it is the leading cause of death of children across the world, killing a million kids every year, mostly in developing countries. Probiotic bacteria might be able to prevent sepsis and infections, but no large research studies have been done to find out whether that actually works. Until now.
A recent study offers information that might help combat a deadly virus that affects an estimated 300,000 people each year in West Africa.
How can a drug used to treat cancer be effective against viruses, too? The answer lies in the drug's shared target — specifically, cellular components that control the activity of genes. A new research study showed that one such type of drug, histone methyltransferase inhibitors used in cancer clinical trials, has activity against herpes simplex virus, too.
Scientists know that bacteria create their own energy, get nutrients to run their cellular processes, and multiply. But, bacteria haven't been shown to respond to external mechanical stimulation or signals in a way that's similar to how our bodies respond to touch, until now.
While not cuddly to most, bats are shy, skilled flyers that fill an important role in their environments. A new study reveals a deadly disease decimating North American bat populations has stepped up its attack on vulnerable bat populations in the summer months.
How would you feel if the stethoscope used by your doctor to listen to your heart and lungs was teeming with potentially unfriendly bacteria?
For as long as 14,000 years, the First Nations people of the Heitsuk Nation have made their home along the Central Coast of the Canadian province of British Columbia. Among the territory's inlets, islands, rivers, and valleys lie a clay deposit on the north side of Kisameet Bay, near King Island. For as long as most can remember, the tribe has used the clay as medicine. Now science says microbes that live in that clay may have important antibacterial properties.
Crusty, itchy, red eyes? There is a decent chance you could have conjunctivitis, or pink eye, an infection of the thin lining around the eye and the eyelid, caused by bacteria, an allergen, virus, or even your contact lenses. Whatever the cause — you call up your doctor to get a prescription to clear it up, right? Not really.
News: Rare Raccoon Parasite Causing Blindness & Severe Brain Damage Could Be More Widespread Than We Knew
So cute, so furry, and so chock full of parasites. While raccoons are fun to watch, they are neither friendly nor clean — and they can make you sick in more ways than one.
For about a million Americans each year, a joint replacement brings relief from pain and restored mobility. But, 5–10% of those people have to endure another surgery within seven years, and most of those are due to an infection in their new joint. If doctors could treat infections more effectively, patients could avoid a second surgery, more pain, and another rehabilitation.
Regarding foodborne pathogens, eating fish is not as hazardous as it was a few years ago — but if fins are on the menu, it's good to have a heads-up about what's good and what's bad these days.
Unfortunately, the very places we go to receive health care put us at risk for becoming infected with superbugs, bacteria exposed to so many antibiotics that they have become immune to their effects. Clostridium difficile (C. diff) is one such bacteria. It causes inflammation of the colon and rampant diarrhea that can have life-threatening consequences. Part of its virulence lies in the tough spores formed by the bacteria. They are responsible for starting infections in the colon and for spre...
Love is the spice of life — it is also the microbes that couples share through sickness and in health, through the bathroom and in a hallway.
Gonorrhea infections reached a peak in 1975, then decreased until 2009, when infection rate started rising and has increased each year since. With the rise of antibiotic resistance, those numbers are only going to get worse — unless we find new treatments against the bacteria.
Infections with group A streptococcus, like Streptococcus pyogenes, claim over a half million lives a year globally, with about 163,000 due to invasive strep infections, like flesh-eating necrotizing fasciitis and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.
The growing list of dangerous antibiotic resistant organisms has just acquired three new members. Researchers have discovered three new species of Klebsiella bacteria, all of which can cause life-threatening infections and have genes that make them resistant to commonly used antibiotics.
The intestinal parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis has a dramatically increased infection rate this summer, and the source is still unknown, the CDC advised today. 2017 is a good year for Cyclospora looking for homes to start their families and a bad year for those of us who don't like food-stealing tenants living in our bodies.
More than one in ten people in the US have type 2 diabetes — that's over 29 million people. It's characterized by excessive sugar (glucose) in the blood due to the development of resistance to insulin, the hormone that normally metabolizes glucose.
When you have an infection, a doctor prescribes antibiotics to make the bacteria that causes it disappear. Sounds like a good idea, but the disappearance of microorganisms that have inhabited humans for millennia could be driving rising numbers of serious illness and debilitating conditions.