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Rare rains bring death to microbes of the Mars-Like Atacama Desert

The Atacama Desert in northern Chile is the driest and oldest desert on earth. It has been an arid place for the last 150 million years, and hyperarid (an extremely dry place) for the last 15 million years. In the Atacama, rain is extremely rare,... click to read more

  • Armando Azua-Bustos | Research Scientist at Centro de Astrobiología, Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial, Madrid, Spain
Views 3514
Reading time 4 min
published on Apr 12, 2019
A bacterium with the power of changing the course of Human history

Our work started when we discovered that Neolithic farmers from Sweden from 4,900 years ago were infected with Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes plague, one of the most devastating infectious diseases of all times. This finding could potentially explain, why there was an unexpectedly... click to read more

  • Nicolás Rascovan | Postdoctoral Research Fellow at MIVEGEC Institute, Université de Montpellier, Montpellier, France
Views 3792
Reading time 3.5 min
published on Mar 15, 2019
Finding Dracula’s silver bullet: the fight against a bloodthirsty fungus

That's correct, the darkness loving, light fearing, blood sucking prince of darkness, Count Dracula was a fungus. In our recent research, we describe that just like Dracula, the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus "wants your blood". The parallels are uncanny, both prefer dark places (Dracula: a coffin,... click to read more

  • Joe Hsu | Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA
Views 4697
Reading time 3.5 min
published on Jan 16, 2019
Virus infection: may the (binding) force be with you?

Virus-related infections are diseases we have all experienced. From the common flu or cold to hepatitis, mononucleosis, and AIDS, viruses are the lead cause of numerous illnesses. Even though trillions of virus particles peacefully occupy our inner body, some others are real troublemakers. But why... click to read more

  • Martin Delguste | PhD student at Louvain Institute of Bimolecular Science and Technology, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium
  • David Alsteens | Professor at Louvain Institute of Bimolecular Science and Technology, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium
Views 3871
Reading time 4 min
published on Jan 11, 2019
Gut bacteria orchestrate the transmission of overweight from mother to babe

Women who are overweight during pregnancy often deliver large babies by cesarean section, who have a greater chance of becoming overweight themselves as they grow older. A popular explanation for this mother-infant transmission of overweight is that the mother vaginally transfers "obesogenic" bacteria to her... click to read more

  • Anita L. Kozyrskyj | Professor at Dept Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, USA
Views 4953
Reading time 3 min
published on Nov 14, 2018