After California college student Luis Ortiz blacked out and was taken to the hospital in 2015, doctors were startled to discover the reason his brain was swelling—a one-centimeter long, wriggling tapeworm living within a ventricle in the middle of his brain.
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.
Viral infections have been the focus of attention in the development of autoimmune diseases—diseases where the body's immune system reacts to the body's own cells—because they trigger the immune system into action.
Despite the availability of a vaccine against it, almost 50% of men aged 18-59 in the US are infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV). Why?
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.
What would it be like to have clothing that killed microbes? Or paper that repelled pathogens? A research team from Rutgers University has developed a prototype out of metalized paper to zap the bad guys without being super expensive. Sound good? Read on.
Some studies have shown that vitamin D supplements help fight respiratory infections, but some haven't. A new study published in The BMJ clarified the confusion, and identified a group of people that might be better able to fight off colds and flu with vitamin D supplements.
Joe McKenna died when he was 30 years old. A young married man with his future ahead of him, he was cleaning up the station where he worked as a fireman. Struck by a piece of equipment fallen from a shelf, Joe complained of a sore shoulder. Over the next week, Joe worsened and ended up in the hospital. Chilled, feverish, and delirious, his organs shut down from an infection we'd now call septic shock.
The story of Helicobacter pylori is a real testament to the tenacity of medical researchers to prove their hypothesis. It took decades before the scientific world would accept that the bacteria H. pylori caused ulcers.
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.
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?
If you know that ticks spread Lyme disease, you may already know you might also catch a bunch of other infections from them. One of the lesser-known diseases spread by ticks is infection with the bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilium, called anaplasmosis.
Most females have had at least one urinary tract infection in their lifetimes. Recurrent UTIs are particularly problematic in young, sexually active women, where about 80% of the infections are caused by the bacteria Escherichia coli, better known as E. coli.
With a predicated increase in the number of Lyme disease cases in the coming spring season, new research endorses the use of bait boxes to control ticks on the rodents that serve as their hosts.
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.
What do Leo Tolstoy (writer), Beethoven (composer), Paul Gaugin (artist), and Adolf Hitler (politician) have in common? They are all considered to have suffered from the sexually transmitted disease syphilis.
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.
News: Defective Sugar-Loving White Blood Cells Could Be Why Cardiac Patients Get More Viruses, Like Shingles
People who have heart disease get shingles more often than others, and the reason has eluded scientists since they first discovered the link. A new study has found a connection, and it lies in a defective white cell with a sweet tooth.
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.
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.
Somewhere around 600–800 million people in the world are infected with whipworm (Trichuris trichiura), an infection they got from ingesting soil or water contaminated with feces of infected animals or people containing the parasite's eggs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A new medical development is going to change the way many of us look at getting the flu vaccine. A painless flu vaccine skin patch is making needles and vials a thing of the past. Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University have shown that a flu vaccine can be administered safely and comfortably with this new patch, which delivers the vaccine through a matrix of tiny dissolving microneedles.
Move over whole wheat — white bread may be back in style after a new study shows that it may be your gut microbes that decide what kind of bread is best for you.
Being a city dweller does not mean you cannot save the planet — or your food scraps. Climate change and resource management are big issues. Composting in any size space is not only possible, but it gives you a chance to reduce greenhouse gasses and reuse food scraps. Right now, about 40% of all food in the US goes to the landfill. In addition to planning meals and using your food in creative ways to reduce the amount that goes to waste, you can compost.
While it is easy to create and maintain your compost pile, you can enjoy it more knowing a few basic tips.
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.
Most people know atopic dermatitis by its common name, eczema—that dry, flaky skin that itches incessantly. Along with the scratching comes frequent skin infections, often with Staphylococcus aureus.
To shine light on the future of the relationship between humans and viruses, a team of researchers from the University of Oxford looked into the dim and distant past.
Bacteria gets a bad rap. Most headlines focus on the danger and discomfort posed by pathogens like bacteria, but many of the bacteria that live on and in us are vital to our health. Many products out there, called probiotics, are sold with the implication that they're supporting these healthy bacteria that share our bodies — but do they actually work?
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.
Colorectal cancer — cancer of the colon or rectum — is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the US. To reduce the chances of a diagnosis we are all urged to stop smoking, keep our weight down, decrease our intake of alcohol and red meat, keep active, and get screened for colon cancer. But, new research has found something that participates in the development of colorectal cancer that might not be as easy to control: A strep bacteria that promotes tumor growth.
Even before we are born, our immune system is hard at work. New research shows how the developing fetal immune system takes advantage of the time and opportunity of gestation — in the presence of mom's cells and tissues — to develop a sense of self.
Bioluminescence — the ability of an organism to produce and emit light — is nature's light show. Plants, insects, fish, and bacteria do it, and scientists understand how. Until now, though, we didn't know how fungi glow.