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November 1, 2012 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times
Inflammatory bowel disease -- a range of conditions including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis -- afflicts an estimated 1.4 million Americans.  Now some scientists in France have come up with a  novel potential therapy: an enzyme that calms down the gut delivered via a genetically engineered bacterium. The approach -- tested so far only on mice and pieces of inflamed human gut tissue in the lab -- was reported in a paper in this week's Science Translational Medicine . Crohn's and ulcerative colitis, which range in severity and can be chronic or recurring, develop when parts of the body's immune system turn traitor  and -- for poorly understood reasons -- start attacking the gut.  Symptoms include diarrhea, cramping, weight loss, ulcers and intestinal scarring.
August 31, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Think your doctor's white coat is as clean as a whistle? It might not be. A study finds that dangerous germs could be lurking on nurses' and doctors' uniforms. Researchers from Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem cultured three spots on the uniforms of 75 nurses and 60 physicians working in a 550-bed hospital. Potential pathogens (also known as infectious agents, or germs) were found on 63% of the uniforms, and antibiotic resistant bacteria were found on samples from 14% of nurses' uniforms and 6% of doctor's uniforms.
July 16, 2013 | By Russ Parsons
A new study from Penn State University published in the Journal of Food Science reaffirms the necessity to be extremely careful when handling and cooking chicken, even -- and maybe especially -- if it comes from the farmers market. The study , which was limited in size, found that 90% of the 100 chickens purchased at local farmers markets tested positive for campylobacter , a bacteria that can cause serious food poisoning. That compared with only 20% of grocery story chickens carrying the bacteria.
November 12, 2009 | Thomas H. Maugh II
A high-fat, high-sugar diet does more than pump calories into your body. It also alters the composition of bacteria in your intestines, making it easier to gain weight and harder to lose it, research in mice suggests. And the changeover can happen in as little as 24 hours, according to a report Wednesday in the new journal Science Translational Medicine. Many factors play a role in the propensity to gain weight, including genetics, physical activity and the environment, as well as food choices.
March 12, 2013 | By Eryn Brown
What happens in a day at the roller derby?  For one thing, scientists have discovered and reported Tuesday in the journal PeerJ , a lot of bacteria get swapped around. Researchers at the University of Oregon's Biology and Built Environment Center , a collaboration of architects and biologists who study how design affects the kinds of microbes that live among us, and how it influences our health, recently examined the microbiomes -- the ecosystems of thousands of microorganisms -- on the skin of three roller derby teams before and after a competition.
June 25, 2010 | By Jessie Schiewe, Los Angeles Times
Concern about a newborn's bacterial flora is not a topic you're likely to hear discussed in the waiting room of the maternity ward — but that may change. A new study has found that the way in which babies are delivered exposes them to specific bacteria that could play a role in their future health. The study, published online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that babies delivered vaginally had microbes on their bodies that resembled their mother's vaginal bacteria, and babies delivered via caesarean section had bacterial communities like those commonly present on adult skin.
September 16, 2010 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
Bacteria that attacked the plumes of oil and gas resulting from the Deepwater Horizon gusher in the Gulf of Mexico mainly digested natural gas spewing from the wellhead — propane, ethane and butane — rather than oil, according to a study published in the journal Science. The paper doesn't rule out the possibility that bacteria also are consuming oil from the spill, the authors said. Instead, it suggests that natural gas primed the growth of bacteria that may have gone on to digest "more complex hydrocarbons" — oil — as the spill aged and propane and ethane were depleted.
September 30, 1986 | Associated Press
Legionnaires' disease bacteria has been found in waters near the Mt. St. Helens volcano, according to a state study made public Monday, and officials recommended keeping the public out of the area devastated by the volcano's 1980 eruption pending further investigation. The bacteria were found in the waters of Spirit Lake, the upper Toutle River and Coldwater Creek.
August 22, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
Nothing gets our attention like pain. But pain is more than the body's miniature cattle prod to get us to heed a wound, rest a swollen ankle, or stop eating chili peppers. Pain may be the language between animals and microbes. Far from being a product of an inflamed immune system, aggravated nerves far from the spine and brain appear to communicate with invading bacteria and regulate the fight against them, according to a study published online Wednesday in the journal Nature.
August 4, 1996 | From Times Wire Reports
Inspectors tracing the source of a food poisoning epidemic in Japan have found a deadly bacteria in beef at a slaughterhouse that distributes nationwide, according to news reports. The E. coli 0157 bacteria, which has killed seven people and sickened more than 9,000 since June, has been linked to tainted school lunches, but the specific food that carried it has been a mystery.
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