1. Microbes

    How a germ killer could backfire

    A common ingredient in toothpaste and hand sanitizers kills germs on contact. But it also can kill the helpful germs that make water safer.

  2. Microbes

    Convincing bacteria they’re alone

    Caffeine may be the trick to confusing some bacteria into thinking they’ve not yet summoned enough troops to launch a successful attack on their host. It could prove an alternative to antibiotics for certain infections.

  3. Animals

    Even penguins get the flu

    Scientists have just identified ‘live’ bird flu virus in Antarctic penguins. But the infections may not be novel. There are some signs these germs have been infecting local wildlife for up to 80 years.

  4. Health & Medicine

    Infected cutting boards

    Germs can hitchhike into the kitchen on meat and many types of produce. A new study finds that some of those germs are particularly nasty. They are immune to the one or more of the drugs doctors would prescribe to wipe out the infection.

  5. Health & Medicine

    New ‘Heartland’ disease emerges in U.S. Midwest

    A new viral disease causes major pain and flu-like symptoms. At present, no treatment or cure exists.

  6. Plants

    Wily bacteria create ‘zombie’ plants

    Scientists have discovered how some plant pathogens ensure their own survival by transforming flowering plants into strictly leaf-producing ones. These green ‘zombies’ attract insects that the parasites need to help them spread to other plants.

  7. Microbes

    A success for designer life

    Synthetic biologists are scientists who create custom organisms in the lab. Their efforts have just taken a big step forward. They have created the first lab-made yeast chromosome. The advance could lead to entirely synthetic organisms customized to produce food, fuel or medicine.

  8. Animals

    Sea otters picked up swine flu

    A new study finds that large numbers of sea otters off of the U.S. Pacific coast have been exposed to the ‘pandemic’ type of this killer virus.

  9. Microbes

    Return of the giant zombie virus

    Scientists have discovered a new type of virus in Siberian soils. It's the largest virus ever discovered. And guess what: It could infect cells even after 30,000 years in cold storage.

  10. Health & Medicine

    Some of chocolate’s health benefits may trace to ‘bugs’

    Dark chocolate offers people a number of health benefits. A new study finds that the breakdown of chocolate by microbes in the human gut be behind some benefits.

  11. Microbes

    Arctic thaw is spreading wildlife diseases

    Polar animals are encountering new, killer parasites as melting ice unlocks their access to new hosts.

  12. Health & Medicine

    HIV: Reversing a death sentence

    New research suggests the infection, while serious, can be treated — and maybe cured.