Midnight In The Desert — bacteria

Rare Bacterial Illness Hitting The U.S.

Posted by K R on

Rare Bacterial Illness Hitting The U.S.

Zika isn’t the only mosquito-borne illness to strike the United States. An outbreak of a rare bacterial illness is being reported in several states. The illness first appeared in Wisconsin, with 59 reported cases and has spread to Illinois and Michigan. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), it has been linked to 20 deaths. There is cause for concern because only 5-10 cases of the illness have been reported annually in every state. The Elizabethkingia anopheles bacteria was first discovered in the Anopheles gambiae mosquito, a species associated with meningitis, in 1911 in Gambia. It is named after...

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Could Alien Diseases Wipe Out Humanity?

Posted by K R on

Could Alien Diseases Wipe Out Humanity?

Space exploration is an essential enterprise for humanity. We need to go deeper into space to understand more about our planet and the universe, to pinpoint potential new homes in case this one goes kaput, to find new resources for mining metals and minerals, and maybe even to locate some intergalactic brothers and sisters. The space program has led to the development of new technologies and has been a source of hope for most of humankind. But with every scoop of extraterrestrial soil our rovers dig up, come some fears. The scoop could contain alien bacteria that might thrive here...

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Scientists discover way to improve effectiveness of antibiotics

Posted by K R on

Scientists discover way to improve effectiveness of antibiotics

Scientists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have discovered that antibiotics can continue to be effective if bacteria's cell-to-cell communication and ability to latch on to each other are disrupted. This research breakthrough is a major step forward in tackling the growing concern of antibiotic resistance, opening up new treatment options for doctors to help patients fight against chronic and persistent bacterial infections. The study, led by Assistant Professor Yang Liang from the Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences (SCELSE) at NTU, found that a community of bacteria, known as biofilm, can put up a strong line of defence...

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El Niño Opens Up a Bridge for Bacteria to Travel Between Continents

Posted by K R on

El Niño Opens Up a Bridge for Bacteria to Travel Between Continents

Major climate events have opened up land bridges during prehistory, along which animals and humans traveled to new continents. A new study proposes that major weather events, like El Niño, open up “water bridges” that allow bacteria to do the same. An international team of researchers has been working with the National Institute of Health (INS) in Peru, looking at the genetic history of pathogens that have sprung up in Latin America over the past few decades. They found odd correlations with pathogens that were already established in Asia. This could be attributed to people or livestock carrying the pathogen...

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China’s tap water could be a major breeding ground for “superbugs”

Posted by K R on

China’s tap water could be a major breeding ground for “superbugs”

China’s tap water won’t just give you a bad stomach. It could also be a breeding ground for so-called superbugs. Not only have large colonies of bacteria been found in the nation’s water pipes, but some otherwise harmless bacteria are becoming drug-resistant, according to a study led by Yu Xin, a scientist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The tendency of bacteria to become drug-resistant arises from the colonies growing so large that so-called “superbugs”—already-drug-resistant bacteria—can transfer resistance to otherwise largely harmless bacteria. Drug-resistant bacteria are immune to antibiotics, rendering useless the most common cure for many kinds of infections....

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