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Slime Mold in Residence

By Ashley P. Taylor | March 2, 2018

At Hampshire College, students and faculty use the amoeba Physarum polycephalum—both a “visiting scholar” and a model organism—to examine human societal and political quandaries.  


In one of the first looks at the urinary virome, researchers find hundreds of viruses, most of which have never been sequenced before. 


Millions of measurements from 23 people who consumed extra calories every day for a month reveal changes in proteins, metabolites, and gut microbiota that accompany shifts in body mass.

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A new study identifies microorganisms residing in the human fallopian tubes and uterus, but some researchers are skeptical of the findings. 


Vaginal birth leads to changes in the development of offsprings’ microbiomes not seen among mice born via C-section, which researchers suspect might contribute to the weight differences.


E. coli that make indoles protect older worms, flies, and mice from frailty. 

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The composition of the gut microbiota varies by time of year and is more diverse than that of industrialized groups.


A Northwestern University plague researcher has been charged with a brutal murder. Here’s what we know about him.


An oral mix of a pre- and probiotic can decrease deaths from the condition, according to the results of a large clinical trial conducted in rural India. 


In tissue samples from rhesus macaques, researchers find the virus in the same immune-privileged sites where Ebola has been found to persist in humans.


Plant-Derived Volatiles May Serve as Future Antifungals

Mar. 9, 2018 — A research team has developed a novel screening method to identify antimicrobial properties of volatile substances. With this assay, they tested the vapour-phase-mediated activity of 175 essential ... read more

Discovery Fills Gap in Search for Better Treatments for Ebola, Other Viruses

Mar. 7, 2018 — Researchers have found the Ebola polymerase (enzyme), which may lead to more effective research and better treatments for the often fatal infection, and other related viral ... read more

Mar. 7, 2018 — Rare plant species suffer more from disease than commoner species. The fact that rare species are more susceptible to attack by micro-organisms living in the soil, such as fungi and bacteria, may in ... read more

Mar. 7, 2018 — "Vet" service provided by smaller fish is key to keeping coral reefs healthy, a new study ... read more

Applied Math Reveals the Key to Stopping Norovirus Lies -- Literally -- In Our Own Hands

Mar. 7, 2018 — From stately cruise ships to Olympic host cities, recent headline-grabbing outbreaks prove that norovirus, an incapacitating stomach bug, can strike anywhere and anytime. A new study uses ... read more

Mapping the Genome Jungle: Unique Animal Traits Could Offer Insight Into Human Disease

Mar. 7, 2018 — An interdisciplinary team of scientists are using animals' unique traits to pinpoint regions of the human genome that might affect ... read more

Why the Latest Shingles Vaccine Is More Than 90 Percent Effective

Mar. 7, 2018 — A new study has shown how the body's immune system responds to the new shingles vaccine, Shingrix, making it more than 90 percent effective at protecting against the ... read more

Mar. 6, 2018 — A mosquito's ability to replicate and transmit a virus depends on the metabolic environment of tissues in its midgut: the primary site of infection. By targeting the sphingolipid pathway, which ... read more

Mar. 6, 2018 — Calcium ions enable cells to communicate with one another, allowing neurons to interact, muscles to contract, and the heart's muscle cells to synchronize and beat. To better understand these ... read more

New Method to Improve Crops

Mar. 6, 2018 — Researchers have developed a new way to breed plants with better traits. By introducing a human protein into the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana, researchers found that they could ... read more

Bioengineering Team's 'Circuit' Work May Benefit Gene Therapy

Mar. 6, 2018 — Researchers have designed genetic 'circuits' out of living cellular material in order to gain a better understanding of how proteins function, with the goal of making ... read more

New Way to Potentially Fight Ebola

Mar. 6, 2018 — Researchers have shown an innovative antibody delivery method could be an effective way to prevent and treat Ebola infection. They demonstrated that delivering a monoclonal antibody gene to a cell ... read more

Chlorine Bleach Is Main Ingredient in Toxic Cocktail That Destroys Bacteria

Mar. 6, 2018 — Certain white blood cells protect us from bacteria by engulfing them. A research team has now observed the process under the microscope, thanks to novel fluorescent ... read more

Mar. 6, 2018 — The earliest oxygen-producing microbes may not have been cyanobacteria. Ancient microbes may have been producing oxygen through photosynthesis a billion years earlier than we thought, which means ... read more

New Test Extends Window for Accurate Detection of Zika

Mar. 6, 2018 — Diagnosis of Zika infection is complex. Molecular tests for exposure are only reliable in the first two to three weeks after infection. Antibody tests are confounded by cross-reactivity of antibodies ... read more

Mar. 6, 2018 — Socially transmitted, nitrogen-providing microbes have opened a new ecological frontier for herbivorous turtle ... read more

Bacteria Resistant to Last-Resort Antibiotic, Missed by Standard Tests

Mar. 6, 2018 — Microbiologists have detected "heteroresistance" to colistin, a last-resort antibiotic, in already highly resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae, a bacterium that causes blood, soft tissue and ... read more

Mar. 5, 2018 — The social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum is a powerful social study system because of the hard work of generations of cell and molecular biologists who have figured out many of the mechanisms of ... read more

Mar. 5, 2018 — Engineers are developing their FlatScope as a fluorescent microscope able to capture three-dimensional data and produce images from anywhere within the ... read more

Mar. 5, 2018 — Scientists have used experiments to retrace the chemical steps leading to the creation of complex hydrocarbons in space. They showed pathways to forming 2-D carbon-based nanostructures in a mix of ... read more

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