Tardigrades are some of the toughest but least well-known creatures on our planet. These tiny animals, also called moss piglets or water bears, are definitely of this earth, but some can boast that they've also traveled to space.
Every year, 100-200 people in the US contract leptospirosis, but usually 50% of the cases occur in Hawaii where outdoor adventurers are exposed to Leptospira bacteria found in freshwater ponds, waterfalls, streams, and mud. That's why it's so alarming that two people in the Bronx have been diagnosed with the disease and a 30-year-old man has died from it.
If you have encountered bed bugs lately, you are not alone. While the pesticides used to fight these pests are losing effectiveness, a fungus shows promise in knocking the bugs out of beds everywhere.
Antibiotics used to prevent diseases in livestock are creating a world of hurt for humans and the soil we depend on for food. Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is a global health issue. The overuse, underuse, and poor use of these life-saving drugs is rapidly removing them as a treatment option for serious infections in humans—plus bacteria are naturally adaptive.
Tell the truth. The bat picture creeps you out. You are not alone. But in reality, bats truly are some of our best friends. They gobble thousands of disease-spreading bugs a night. But they also carry viruses that can be deadly to humans. So, bats — friend or foe?
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.
Yes, bubonic plague—the Black Death that killed millions in the Middle Ages— is still out there. It even infects and kills people in the United States. Without treatment, half the people infected die, but the Food and Drug Administration approved ciprofloxacin in 2015 to treat plague, and it has just successfully been used to stop the infection in five people.
Despite legends to the contrary, it appears that the saliva of a Komodo dragon is not teeming with pathogenic bacteria that kills their prey. Its reputation to survive while colonized with lots of horrible disease-causing bacteria, true or untrue, has made it the subject of research in pursuit of natural antimicrobial agents and led scientists to some remarkable findings.
If you live with pets, you know where their tongue has been, yet you let them kiss and lick you all they want without even thinking twice about it. I've heard people say that a dog's mouth is very clean, and that their saliva, delivered by licking, can help heal wounds, but is that really true?
Bed bugs are brown and creepy. Could you spot one in your hotel room? A new study reveals most people are freaked out by bed bugs, but only about 35% could identify one.
During the millions of years they've been on earth horseshoe crabs have developed a trick that can save our lives even now — and may be especially useful in the fight against healthcare-associated infections.
For many of us, pets are important family members. They give us loyalty, companionship, and comfort. Now, researchers have given us another reason to welcome them into the family: Babies from families with furry pets — the majority of which were dogs — had higher levels of two types of beneficial gut bacteria.
Like humans, cats can suffer infections caused by ticks, and too often, the disease is fatal. Learn about tickborne diseases that affect cats and what you can do to protect Fluffy from an untimely demise.
A sometimes serious disease spread by fleas is making inroads in Texas, quietly doubling case numbers since 2008, and beginning to encroach on larger metropolitan areas.
Deadly rat lungworm parasites have found their way into Florida. The parasitic worm relies on snails and rats to complete its life cycle, but don't let this nematode's name fool you. This worm can cause meningitis and death in humans who inadvertently consume snails, frogs, or crustaceans harboring the infective parasite.
News: Scientists Are Using the Special Physics of Dragonfly Wings to Create Surfaces That Shred Bacteria on Contact
As drug-resistant bacteria become more commonplace, researchers are looking for new antibacterial strategies to disrupt disease-causing microbes. Some scientists are working to create new drugs, while others are trying out drug combinations. Another group, however, are ditching pharmaceuticals altogether and experimenting with non-drug alternatives.
As summer heats up, new maps from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gives us our best guess at where Zika-carrying mosquitoes could be hanging out this year in the US.
News: Research Published in mBio Shows How Gut Bacteria Can Help Chubby Dogs Live a Better—& Longer—Life
As fun as it is to see Fido's face light up when you feed him table scraps, American dogs are getting fat. The good news is that research is homing in on nutritional strategies to boost canine capabilities to maintain a healthy weight.
A virus easily spread among trout and salmon could make it harder to keep your favorite fish on the menu.
Our canine best friends could spread our bacterial worst nightmare, according to a recent study. The problem with drug-resistant bacteria is well known. Overused, poorly used, and naturally adaptive bacteria clearly have us outnumbered. As science drives hard to find alternative drugs, therapies, and options to treat increasingly resistant infections, humans are treading water, hoping our drugs of last resort work until we figure out better strategies.