December 27, 2013 |
That Christmas crib toy you got junior? It might be just the thing to give him strep throat, according to a new study. The bacteria that cause strep throat may linger far longer on inanimate objects than previous lab tests suggested, according to University of Buffalo researchers. Streptococcus pneumoniae , the leading cause of ear and respiratory tract infection in children, and Streptococcus pyogenes , the bacterial culprit behind strep throat and skin infections, lingered on surfaces in cribs, toys and books many hours after they had been cleaned, according to a study published Friday in the journal Infection and Immunity.
December 26, 2013 |
Elizabeth Lopez maneuvered a massive steel claw over the side of a 134-foot sailboat and guided its descent through swaying kelp and schools of fish 10 miles off the coast of San Diego. She was hoping to catch pieces of a mysterious marine ecosystem that scientists are calling the plastisphere. This biological community starts with particles of degraded plastic no bigger than grains of salt. Bacteria take up residence on those tiny pieces of trash. Then single-celled animals feed on the bacteria, and larger predators feed on them.
November 25, 2013 |
Think some cheese smells like feet? Well, now there's a cheese that has more than just that foot odor - it's actually made from human foot bacteria. An exhibit in Dublin features cheese made by taking swabs of human bacteria - from armpits, mouths, in between toes and in belly buttons - and adding milk to it. Biologist Christina Agapakis worked with odor artist Sissel Tolaas to create the cheeses, which they hope will challenge how we think about bacteria. "Cheese is actually a really great model organism for us to think about good and bad bacteria but also good and bad smells," Agapakis said at a presentation at the PopTech conference last month.
October 9, 2013 |
With 300 people already sickened by a salmonella outbreak in Foster Farms chicken, consumers are being reminded to take extra precautions when handling raw poultry. High on that list is something counterintuitive: Don't wash raw chicken in the sink. Researchers say all that splashing can send bacteria soaring up to 3 feet away, onto your countertops, towels and dish racks. That increases the chance of it landing on other foods or on your hands. Here's what the U.S. Department of Agriculture has to say: "Some consumers think they are removing bacteria and making their meat or poultry safe.
October 3, 2013 |
Fecal transplants are gaining ground as a highly effective treatment for recurrent infection with the intestinal bacteria clostridium difficile . But the "yuck factor" of the procedure continues to deter physicians from offering it to patients who could benefit, said a practicing gastroenterologist, who has come up with a solution to the problem: a gelatin capsule filled with the highly compacted fecal matter of a patient's family member. "There is no smell. We basically have a little cubette of microbes and we pour it into the capsules," said Dr. Thomas Louie of the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.
September 20, 2013 |
Beware of magical discoveries: They generally require careful use lest the magic wear off. Even the genie's lamp gave only three wishes. Antibiotics, which at one point were viewed as miracle drugs providing cures for previously fatal illnesses, are among the discoveries that have been used too carelessly, giving rise to an era of resistant infections. Scientists have been concerned about these resistant bacteria - methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus , or MRSA, is probably the most familiar - for many years.