The squiggly guys in this article's cover image are Propionibacterium acnes. These bacteria live in low-oxygen conditions at the base of hair follicles all over your body. They mind their own business, eating cellular debris and sebum, the oily stuff secreted by sebaceous glands that help keep things moisturized. Everybody has P. acnes bacteria—which are commonly blamed for causing acne—but researchers took a bigger view and discovered P. acnes may also play a part in keeping your skin clear.
New research suggests the bacteria that causes listeriosis may be a bigger threat in early pregnancy than previously thought. Usually considered a danger to late pregnancy, scientists suggest early undiagnosed miscarriages could be caused, in some cases, by infection with Listeria.
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.
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.
Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK), a rare eye infection caused by the Acanthamoeba ameba found in tap water, affects a few dozen people in the US every year. In some cases, it can have devastating effects, like what Irenie Ekkeshis has experienced; She was blinded by AK in her right eye due to a contaminated contact lens.
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.
When a dead body is discovered, finding out when the person died is just as important as finding out how the person died. Determining the time of death has always involved lots of complicated scientific detective work and less-than-reliable methods. However, a study by Nathan H. Lents, a molecular biologist at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, is the first of its kind to show how microbes colonize a body's ears and nose after death.
A new study published on April 12 in Medscape gives us an update on the Hantavirus genus of pathogens, which spread viruses via rodents that can cause fatal diseases in humans, such as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS).
A vaccine against HIV might prevent the disease that we can't seem to cure. Some HIV patients make antibodies that can take down the virus, much the way a vaccine might. But, scientists haven't been able to provoke that type of response in other people. However, in a process that might work in humans, a group of researchers has successfully generated antibodies in cows that neutralize multiple strains of HIV.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News: New Study Shows that Superbug E. Coli Gets Stronger & More Dangerous When Doctors Use the Wrong Antibiotics
Although their effectiveness is waning, antibiotics remain a front-line defense against many infections. However, new science reveals using the wrong antibiotic for an infection could makes things much worse.
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?
News: New Study Unveils the True Story of Kuru, a Fatal Brain Disease Spread by the Cultural Practice of Eating the Dead
Kuru is called the shaking disease, its name derived from the Fore word for "to shake." Caused by an organism that infects the part of the brain that controls coordination, people afflicted with kuru shake uncontrollably.
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.
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.
An innovative new wound dressing has been developed by a research team at Lodz University of Technology in Poland that uses crustacean shells to create a bandage that packs an antimicrobial punch — and even more potential to help solve a global problem.
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.
The herpes simplex virus (HSV) can cause devastating complications for infected newborns whose mothers have genital herpes. Understanding risk and research can help you, and your baby, when the time comes.
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.
We know that healthcare-related facilities can be fertile ground for antibiotic-resistant bacteria, but recent research suggests your produce aisle might be too.
Regarding foodborne pathogens, eating fish is not as hazardous as it was a few years ago — but if fins are on the menu, it's good to have a heads-up about what's good and what's bad these days.
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.
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.
You may not have heard of visceral leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis, or lymphatic filariasis, and there is a reason for that. These diseases, part of a group of infections called neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), impact more than a billion people on the planet in countries other than ours. Despite the consolation that these often grotesque illnesses are "out of sight, out of mind," some of these infections are quietly taking their toll in some southern communities of the US.
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.
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?
For younger children, a day at the playground is not complete without some sandbox time. Long a favorite of children and parents, sandboxes could also be sheltering dangerous pathogens.
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.
As researchers learn more and more about our intestinal bacteria—also called the gut microbiome—we're finding out that these microbes aren't just influencing our health and wellness, they're a useful tool for improving it, too.
Add breathing in your house as another possible danger to your health. If your home is sick, it's possible you could get sick 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.
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.
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.
By looking for the mechanism that allows influenza A to invade lung cells, scientists also discovered a treatment that might block the virus from taking hold there.
What's in a sneeze? Quite a lot—dirt, mucus, and infectious germs—it seems. And sneezing the right way can reduce the germs you share with neighbors.
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.