Microbiology

Viroids: Brazilian Plants Are Infested With 200 Natural Pathogens, But Here Is How Science Can Help

An annotated list of 219 pathogens that infect plants in Brazil, including many agriculturally important species, shows just how precarious things can be when it comes to maintaining an affordable, sustainable food supply. ...

Article - News Staff - Aug 6 2020 - 10:36am

IBD: How A Class Of Killer T Cells Goes Rogue

Between 6 and 8 million people worldwide suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, a group of chronic intestinal disorders that can cause belly pain, urgent and frequent bowel movements, bloody stools and weight loss. New research suggests that a malfunctio ...

Article - The Conversation - Aug 23 2020 - 3:56pm

How Does A Virus Win?

To estimate infection rates of viruses like SARS-CoV-2, immunologists use a basic reproduction number, known as R0 (pronounced “R naught”)- an expression of the number of people likely to catch a disease from one contagious person- and a Susceptible-Infect ...

Article - News Staff - Sep 29 2020 - 10:40am

Nature Likes Life And Death Struggle, Which Is Why Evolution Prefers More Severe Diseases Like COVID-19

A new study found that natural selection, a key mechanism in biological evolution, favors pathogens with more virulence- how much harm they cause- at the point the disease emerges in a new host species. Not too much, or else everything will be dead, but n ...

Article - News Staff - Nov 12 2020 - 9:55am

Does Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) Vaccine Provide Protection Against COVID-19?

Mumps IgG titers, levels of IgG antibody, have been correlated to lowered severity in recovered COVID-19 patients who had the Merck MMR II vaccine, and that has led a group to speculate that the MMR vaccine may protect against COVID-19. ...

Article - Hank Campbell - Nov 20 2020 - 3:32pm

The Next Plague: VEEV?

While the world recovers from the third coronavirus pandemic of the last 17 years, it's important to be mindful that nature is always evolving new ways to kill. It's why scientists need to create a new influenza vaccine each year. ...

Article - News Staff - Nov 23 2020 - 1:03pm

Thanksgiving Dinner Means A Bacterial War For Your Teeth

On Thanksgiving Day, it will be all hugs and football for many people, but inside their mouths one of the biggest wars of the year will be taking place. Streptococcus mutans and other harmful bacteria get their own holiday feast and S. mutans gets to launc ...

Article - News Staff - Nov 24 2020 - 2:31pm

SARS-CoV-2 Mutations Have Not Been Evolving To Increase Transmissibility

After originating in Wuhan, China in late 2019, the latest form of coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and its third pandemic of the last 17 years, has spread COVID-19 across the globe. Some countries claim fewer cases, like China, while some can't know figures, ...

Article - News Staff - Nov 25 2020 - 11:04am

COVID-19: What Do Viral Shedding And Reinfection Mean? What's The Difference?

Over recent weeks and months, we’ve heard of several COVID cases in which people have tested positive after previously clearing the virus. Scientists are hopeful being infected with COVID-19 confers immunity for a length of time. But some of these instanc ...

Article - The Conversation - Nov 30 2020 - 7:08pm

COVID-19: The Immune Systems Of The Overwhelming Majority Do Quite Well

Early in the pandemic, many researchers feared people who contracted COVID could be reinfected very quickly. This was because several early studies showed antibodies seemed to wane after the first few months post-infection. It was also partly because norm ...

Article - The Conversation - Dec 1 2020 - 6:01am