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?
Bats are an important part of the US economy. They devour metric tons of bugs every night that would otherwise ravage crops and also be generally disgusting-looking and make you itchy. But they're in danger from a nasty fungal infection called white-nose syndrome, which has just popped up in Texas and has been spreading across the country.
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.
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.
Warning: If you are eating and for some reason still decided to click on this article, turn around now. Maui, Hawaii health officials have reported finding at least six cases of angiostrongyliasis, a parasitic lungworm that infects humans. Colloquially, it's known as rat lungworm disease. And if you think that name is awful, just wait until you hear what it does to the human body.
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.
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.
Call them what you will—moss piglets, water bears, or by their real name, tardigrade—but these intriguing tiny creatures can come back from the brink of death. They can survive boiling, deep freezing, UV radiation, completely drying out, and even a trip to space—without the benefit of being in a spacecraft.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Phuket, the island in Thailand typically associated with paradise and most recently, illegally-run hotels, now has a different problem—a stray cat with the claws of death.
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?
Ecosystem changes caused by agricultural choices in Brazil are creating a dangerous microbe mix in exploding populations of vampire bats and feral pigs.
News: Rat Breeders in Illinois Are Just the Latest Victims of Unappreciated Hantaviruses That Infect Humans
A recent pathogen outbreak in Illinois is just one of many outbreaks of an underappreciated, but serious, viral infection passed from rodents to humans. These hantaviruses have been cropping up more frequently in the last decade or so, giving us more reason to clean out our dusty attics, basements, and garages.
Lyme is a growing threat as we move into warmer weather in the US. Researchers have said this year could be one of the worst for this tick-borne disease, as a skyrocketing mouse population and warmer temperatures increase the risk.
For regions that experienced a boom in mouse populations last year, scientists say 2017 could see a surge in cases of Lyme disease.
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.
Most people are familiar with the decline of honeybee colonies around the world. Among other threats, Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is eroding the capability of honeybees to maintain their hives and provide their services to human farmers.