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.
Have the sniffles? Yes. Does your head hurt? Yes. Coughing? Yes. Could you have influenza? Yes. How do you know the difference? With these symptoms, you could also have a cold.
It's always the snack you're most looking forward to that ends up being moldy when you open the fridge to grab it. Always. That slice of leftover pizza or chunk of cheese you've been thinking about all day? We've all been there. What separates us is how we choose to deal with it. Personally, I toss anything that has even the slightest hint of mold, but not everyone errs on the side of caution. Some people don't mind the risk and just cut off the green or fuzzy parts and eat the rest.
With warm weather comes bugs, and with bugs come bites, and with bites come itches. From ticks and spiders to mosquitoes and bees, insect bites come in sundry shapes and sizes, but they all commonly pull an itchy, red reaction out of our bodies.
Montezuma's revenge, the runs, the trots, or just diarrhea — everyone gets it sooner or later. What exactly is diarrhea good for, if anything?
You probably don't give much thought to buying yogurt in the store. You have your favorite brand, or maybe you like trying new varieties each week; either way, you just grab it and go.
All fields of study have their own language. For people interested in learning about microbes, the language can sometimes be downright difficult — but it doesn't need to be. From antibiotics to xerophiles, we have you covered in an easy-to-understand glossary.
The next time you suffer a cut or abrasion, think twice before you reach for the Neosporin. It's time, and mom, tested — you get a cut, you wash it carefully, then apply some triple-threat antimicrobial ointment. You may or may not slap on a band-aid. We won't cover it here, but so that you know, covering the wound with a sterile dressing or band-aid is a good idea.
When a stuffy nose hits, it feels like breathing clearly and easily may never come again. Allergies, colds, and even changes in weather can leave our sinuses blocked, with medicine seeming like the only option. But don't break out the medication just yet — relieving the pressure of a stuffy nose, a stuffy head, and stuffy ears can be as easy as touching a pressure point.
Lack of appetite often signals a cold or flu. Eating can be the last thing we want to do when we have a sore throat or are too fatigued or achy to even get out of bed. When hungry, we don't feel as strong as when we are well fed—and we more than likely aren't as strong.
Think of the coolest, most unique way to create art that you can. Got it? Now think about creating that art out of living things.
We know that healthcare-related facilities can be fertile ground for antibiotic-resistant bacteria, but recent research suggests your produce aisle might be too.
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.
If you've ever had chickenpox, the virus still lives in your body and it can be reactivated to become a case of shingles — a painful rash that occurs in a band on one side of your face or body. A new study has shown that people who get shingles have an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. The risk was highest in people under 40 years old, people who usually aren't at risk for heart disease.
Foodborne infections often occur through the contamination of equipment, food-prep tools, and unsanitary surfaces. A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reminds us that breast pump parts are part of the food-delivery chain — and they can become contaminated too.
There is a reason the Amanita phalloides mushroom is called the "Death Cap." It can kill you. Mushrooms are a type of fungi, an organism that produces thread-like mycelia that often produce spores. Spores allow the fungi to reproduce. Molds, lichens, and yeast are all fungi, but the most visible fungi are mushrooms. Some fungi are delicious, but others can cause disease or, and still others, like Penicillium, can cure it.
Once we recover from the respiratory infection pneumonia, our lungs are better equipped to deal with the next infection — thanks to some special cells that take up residence there.
A young child becomes very thirsty very often and seems tired all the time. A visit to the pediatrician determines she has type 1 diabetes. The onset of type 1 diabetes may seem sudden, and it can be, but the disease may actually have been triggered by common childhood viruses years earlier.
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 some, drinking raw milk is a way to get back to nature, improve family nutrition, and hedge against asthma and allergies. However, according to public health authorities, drinking raw or unpasteurized milk is a big mistake—even fatal. So what's the story?
News: Coffee Isn't the Only Thing Brewing in Your Nespresso—Extremophiles Could Be Living in Your Drip Tray
You just sat down, coffee in hand, and the day is ready to start. Now that you have taken a few sips, let me pose a question: What is living in that coffeemaker of yours? The answer might make you dump that coffee down the drain pronto.
Soy sauce is a sushi essential for most Americans and we don't often consider its exact origins whilst chowing down on that tuna roll.
The best go-to method for reducing your risk of infection is to wash your hands. Next time you reach for the soap, here is some news you can use.
When it comes to global warming, most of us think of carbon dioxide emissions. While carbon dioxide is the most important greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide emissions have stayed constant for the last three years. On the other hand, methane, the second most important gas, has been steadily rising since 2007.
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.
Koji is a culture made up of a certain fungus (mold) called Aspergillus oryzae, which has been used to ferment rice and soybeans in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean kitchens for centuries. Koji can actually have other involved fungi, but Aspergillus oryzae is the most common, and therefore the names can be used interchangeably. Its end purpose is to enhance the flavor of items like soy sauce, sake, and miso.
How do I get rid of these zits?! Whether its pimples, blackheads, or whiteheads, the name is the same, and the name is acne.
Step aside, ginger ale; ginger beer is here, and it's delicious. Ginger beer is made by fermenting a combination of ginger simple syrup, yeast, and water, which gives it its robust flavor and sparkling quality. It's extremely simple to make, but you do have to wait a bit for the final product. After a few days, though, your ginger beer will be sparkling and ready to drink as is, or in your favorite cocktail.
Yogurt is more than an excellent source of protein, calcium, and gut-healthy probiotic bacteria. A protein isolated from probiotic lactobacillus bacteria in yogurt is capable of inhibiting drug-resistant bacteria.
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.
HIV infections persist despite treatment that successfully decreases viral blood levels to the point where doctors can't detect the virus. But that doesn't mean the person is cured. The virus hides in the body, not replicating, just waiting for a chance to jump out of the shadows and reemerge.
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: Hospital Floors May Look Clean, but They're Teeming with Deadly Superbugs—Including MRSA, VRE & C. Diff
Hospitals are places we go to get well, and we don't expect to get sick or sicker there. But a study from researchers at the Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and Cleveland VA Medical Center in Ohio found that hospital floors in patient rooms were frequently contaminated with healthcare-associated pathogens—often dangerous multi-drug resistant bacteria.
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...
Staphylococcus aureus is a widespread bacteria — about a third of us have it on our body right now — usually in our nose or on our skin. And it probably isn't causing an infection. But, about 1% of people who have Staphylococcus aureus present have a type that is resistant to the antibiotic methicillin.
Twelve-year old Rory Staunton took a dive for a basketball during gym class and came up with a cut on his arm. The school nurse applied a couple of band-aids, without cleaning the cut, and off he went. In approximately three days, hospital physicians told his parents there was nothing else that they could do for their son; he was dead.
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?
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.
Have you ever had the stomach flu, aka the 24-hour flu? Well, chances are high that you never had influenza, but an intestinal infection called gastroenteritis.
News: Microbes Are Everywhere—But Those on Your Cell Phone Can Be Dangerous, Especially During Cold & Flu Season
It won't come as a surprise to hear that your cell phone, tablet, and laptop are loaded with bacteria and other organic material. While most of these bacteria are harmless, there are good reasons to reduce the capability of your mobile devices to infect you—or other people.