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.
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.
Mosquitoes are a big problem, and citronella candles are not the solution. There are a lot of mosquito species. The American Mosquito Control Association reports there are more than 3000 mosquito species in the world, and about 200 of those occur in the US. The most common are the Aedes, Anopheles, and Culex species. These are also the three mosquito species most likely to transmit serious illness, and all of them live in the US.
Forget the rise of the machines. Tardigrades are set to outlive everything — even the bots. When the last echo of a whisper in a cell phone has long dissipated into space, the water bears will still be hanging out.
Add antibiotics to the possible list of culprits responsible for honeybee decline around the world. While it may come as a surprise, antibiotics are commonly mixed into feed used by commercial beekeepers to maintain their hives. In a recent study published in PLOS Biology, researchers from the University of Texas at Austin found antibiotics used to treat honeybees may be a contributing factor in individual bee death and colony collapse.
Dangerous to humans and dogs, Rocky Mountain Fever, along with several other tickborne infections, is on the rise.
No one can dispute the evolutionary success of bugs. The oldest insect fossils were found encased in crystallized mineral silica in Scotland in 1926, and they're between 396 and 407 million years old.
Cats give us so much—companionship, loyalty, love... and now the bird flu. Several weeks ago, a veterinarian from the Animal Care Centers of New York City's Manhattan shelter caught H7N2 from a sick cat. According to a press release from the NYC Health Department on December 22, "The illness was mild, short-lived, and has resolved." This isn't the first time cats have passed infections on to humans, but it is the first time they passed on the bird flu—avian flu H7N2, to be exact.
Onshore, or on a boat, have you ever wondered what swims below in the dark water? Using standard equipment and a new process, marine scientists can now get a good look at what is swimming by—just by analyzing the water.
Using extreme time-lapse microscopy, scientists watched a virus take over a bacteria to create a cell that looked and functioned more like a plant or animal cell. True story.
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.
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.
Our quest to find new antibiotics has taken a turn — a turn down the road, that is. A team of scientists from the University of Oklahoma is scooping up roadkill and searching for bacteria on them that might yield the world's next antibiotic.
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?
The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the largest living system on the planet. Yet more than 90% of the reef is bleaching because of the loss of a tiny algae that lives within the coral.
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.
A tiny louse is responsible for decimating the citrus industry. Diaphorina citri, the louse in question, better known as the Asian citrus psyllid, harbors and spreads the "Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus" bacteria that causes citrus greening disease.
You know the signs—sneezing, fever, nagging cough, no energy, no appetite. It's the flu, but this time, it's your dog who's down and out. Yes, dogs get the flu, too. However, a team from the University of Rochester Medical Center and their collaborators have developed a new vaccine that may make the doggy flu a thing of the past.
A robust appetite for imported foods is leading to increased disease outbreak in the US. Despite the locovore and slow food movements, America's demand for foreign foods is picking up. According to a study published in the journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases, demand for imported fresh fruits, vegetables, and seafoods has jumped in recent years.
You can get eggs and high-quality compost from backyard chickens—but you can also get Salmonella.