Pathogens

Category archives for Pathogens

Check out this explanation in the New York Times science section of the 5 second rule. For the record, this will not stop me from eating fallen food off the floor. But that’s just now I roll.

I started writing a lengthy response to a reader comment on one of Heather’s posts, but decided it could use a post of it’s own. The question: As to being pathogenic, is it possible that many bacteria are pathogenic if given sufficient opportunity? [snip] It seems largely to me that the line between pathogenic and…

The best offense is a good defensin

If you were going to design the perfect immune system, what would you do? This question is often posed to beginning immunology students, and the best answer may be so obvious that it doesn’t occur to most. The best immune system is one that prevent pathogens from ever gaining access to your squishy bits in…

Domesticated Phages

There’s more to learn about the viruses that infect bacteria over at Discover. This time, it’s Ed Yong talking about the bits of DNA that can be leftover in bacterial genomes from viral infections, and how they might actually be helping their hosts: These captives are called cryptic prophages and they can make up a…

Cholera is shitty

(No pun intended) This just sucks: As cholera rampages through Haiti, some epidemiologists are warning that the country could face more than half a million cases over the coming year. Yet tracking and treating the disease is proving increasingly difficult as civil unrest grips the county. As if Haiti hasn’t already suffered enough. Vibrio cholerae,…

Our Microbial Organ

Did you know that bacteria make up 90% of the cells in your body? That they make up ~5% of your mass? That they colonize you at the moment of birth and are different if you were born via c-section than if you were born naturally? All this and more in the SITN production, “Our…

[This post was originally published at webeasties.wordpress.com] Antibiotics are awesome. They can be credited with saving more human life than any other invention and have been one of the best advancements in public health second only (maybe) to sanitation. But, as with all things pathogen related, the microbes are fighting back. Antibiotic resistance is on…