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image: How Bacteria Eat Penicillin

How Bacteria Eat Penicillin

By Shawna Williams | April 30, 2018

Scientists work out the specific genes and biochemical steps required for digesting the very drugs designed to kill microbes.

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image: Preterm Labor May Be Sparked by Fetal Immune Reaction

Preterm Labor May Be Sparked by Fetal Immune Reaction

By Ruth Williams | April 25, 2018

Immune cells targeting maternal antigens are abundant in the blood of premature infants, suggesting fetal intolerance of mom may instigate early labor.  

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Rather than getting a gene for its original function, a horizontal gene transfer provides the raw material for evolutionary innovation.

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image: Some Antibiotics Rev Up Host Immune Response to Viruses

Some Antibiotics Rev Up Host Immune Response to Viruses

By Shawna Williams | April 9, 2018

The antimicrobial drug neomycin protects mice from some viral infections, complicating the picture of the relationship between antibiotics and susceptibility to viruses.

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The drugs’ disruption of the microbiome makes a subsequent flavivirus infection more severe.

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image: Monitoring Mutations with Microfluidics

Monitoring Mutations with Microfluidics

By Ruth Williams | March 15, 2018

A device dubbed the “mother machine” enables real-time observation of mutagenesis in single bacterial cells.  

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image: Slime Mold in Residence

Slime Mold in Residence

By Ashley P. Taylor | March 2, 2018

At Hampshire College, students and faculty use the amoeba Physarum polycephalum—both a “visiting scholar” and a model organism—to examine human societal and political quandaries.  

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Including microbiome composition in predictions of whether a person is obese can significantly improve their accuracy, according to an analysis.

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image: Stem Cell Vaccine Protects Mice From Cancer

Stem Cell Vaccine Protects Mice From Cancer

By Ruth Williams | February 15, 2018

Stem cells and cancer cells have enough molecular similarities that the former can be used to trigger immunity against the latter.

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image: Bacteriophages Plentiful in Women’s Bladders

Bacteriophages Plentiful in Women’s Bladders

By Abby Olena | February 2, 2018

In one of the first looks at the urinary virome, researchers find hundreds of viruses, most of which have never been sequenced before. 

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