Are you looking for a little microbe magic? Think composting. Composting is a great way to reuse food and plant waste that you would otherwise throw into the trash, which would just end up in a landfill somewhere. During the composting cycle, microbes reduce this organic waste until it can be fed back into the soil as rich, crumbly compost. When returned to the soil, compost feeds plants and improves the nature of life underground. Sound like a great idea? It is — and it's easy.
To keep fungal pathogens at bay in their crowded homes, wood ants mix potions to create powerful protection for their nest and their young.
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.
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.
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.
Ah, wine. The bouquet fills your nose. The rich finish fills your mouth with soft flavors of oak and raspberries. The wine warms your belly and soothes your mind. Yeast and their biochemical factory help create this feast for your senses. Thanks to a research group from France, we now have a little more information on how that process works and a little more appreciation for yeast's contribution.
New weapons are needed to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Instead of drugs, scientists have discovered in an animal study that they may be able to harness vampire bacteria to vanquish pneumonia.
Earlier this year, NASA reported on findings that might point to water, and microbial life, on moons orbiting Jupiter and Saturn. Named Europa and Enceladus, those moons contain large oceans under their icy surfaces, which many speculate could hold microbial life.
Despite mounting scientific evidence that viruses can cause changes in learning and memory, the reasons have remained elusive.
Despite longer live spans, almost half a million people die of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) each year, many of them preventable.
As if the swollen, painful joints of rheumatoid arthritis weren't enough, the disease is the result of our immune system turning against cells of our own body. Ever since this realization, scientists have worked to find the trigger that sets the immune system off. Scientists believe that gut bacteria may have a role in initiating the abnormal immune response. Now, a team of researchers from Boston has figured out how that might occur.
News: Undergrad Student Scientist Made Beer Good for You — and Your Gut Microbes — by Adding Probiotics
When Chan Mei Zhi Alcine chose her senior project, she thought outside the box by thinking inside the bottle. Along with a research team at her university, she found a way to combine health and enjoyment, while meeting a challenge not so definitively met before in alcoholic beverages. She and a research team at her university claim they've created the world's first probiotic sour beer.
Some Montana inhabitants have been making impassioned pleas to legalize raw milk this week. The debate took place during a hearing on House Bill 325, which was held by the Senate Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation Committee on Tuesday, March 21.
How would you feel if the stethoscope used by your doctor to listen to your heart and lungs was teeming with potentially unfriendly bacteria?
There's now more reasons to make sick workers stay home—a new game theory study suggests adequate hand washing and other illness-aversion tactics aren't as useful as we thought to keep you from getting infected when a virus or bacteria is circulating.
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.
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.
With summer just ahead, you, or your children, may be looking forward to some pool time or the water park. When planning water-based fun this year, keep a heads-up for microbes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Whether or not a microbe is successful at establishing an infection depends both on the microbe and the host. Scientists from Duke found that a single DNA change can allow Salmonella typhi, the bacteria that causes typhoid fever, to invade cells. That single genetic variation increased the amount of cholesterol on cell membranes that Salmonella and other bacteria use as a docking station to attach to a cell to invade it. They also found that common cholesterol-lowering drugs protected zebrafi...
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ecosystem changes caused by agricultural choices in Brazil are creating a dangerous microbe mix in exploding populations of vampire bats and feral pigs.
We might think of Zika as a mosquito-borne virus that effects developing fetuses, but, it also can be passed through sex by either a man or a woman, just like herpes and other STD viruses. New research has shown that vaginal bacteria can inhibit sexually transmitted Zika virus and Herpes Simplex Virus-2 in women.
The food TV chefs prepare make our mouths water. From one scrumptious creation to another, they fly through preparation without frustration or error. They make us think we can do the same with similar ease and delectable, picture-perfect results. Some of us have noticed, though, that these TV chefs don't always adhere to the same safe food handling guidelines we've been taught to follow.
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.
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.