In May 2011 a new strain of E. coli claimed 50 lives and struck 4000 more people as it spread around Europe from Germany. The worst outbreak of its kind on record, the event highlighted a new form of scientific cooperation — crowdsourcing — in which a genetic sequence of the bacteria was released into the public domain allowing all scientists to decode its DNA to work out how a usually harmless microbe turned into an efficient killer.
First human infections with avian influenza H7N9 virus – welcome to the next pandemic?
Viruses have historically been classified into one of two types – those with an outer lipid-containing envelope and those without. Not any more.
How ancient life may have come about – evidence suggests that early evolution may have been based on a collective sharing of genes.
The number of people diagnosed with measles in the outbreak centred on Swansea is already well over 500. But thousands of unvaccinated children are still at risk – and experts fear a child may die.
What lives inside a chicken? It might sound like a strange question to ask, but as the world’s most abundant food animal and an incubator of many bacteria – both helpful and harmful – the chicken’s gut is a microbial world worth exploring using the latest DNA sequencing technology.
Scientists have identified two drugs already approved for human use that show anti-prion activity and promise in treating these universally fatal disorders.
Researchers have attached cell lytic enzymes to food-safe silica nanoparticles, and created a coating with the ability to selectively kill Listeria.
Luminescent bacteria inside squid use light and chemical signals to control circadian-like rhythms in the animals.
Virus-imprinted nanoparticles may be used to fight virus infections.
Viruses play a significant role in cancer by directly causing aberrant cell growth through the action of transforming genes, the establishment of chronic inflammatory processes or virus-induced immunosuppression that predisposes to oncogenesis, or the provision of a critical first ‘hit’ in the multistage oncogenic process.
British scientists have used a new technique to develop a synthetic virus which heralds a major development in vaccines.
A dangerous infection which is becoming more common in people with cystic fibrosis can spread between patients.
We might have been wrong about how life began, says Peter Forbes. The truth could resemble a bowl of Cheerios. Creation: The Origin of Life/The Future of Life by Adam Rutherford