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Life from scratch

Dr. Craig Venter, known for his role as a pioneer in the human genome project, has taken a major step towards creating life from scratch: transplanting the entire genome from one bacterium cell to another. Commence the ethics wars.
posted by charmston on Jun 28, 2007 - 32 comments

"By early 2005, nearly one-third of the wounded soldiers admitted to the National Naval Medical Center had been colonized by the bacteria."

Rumors were circulating at the hospital that insurgents dosed their homemade bombs with the flesh of dead animals. ---multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter, and how we brought it to Iraq ourselves. "My colleagues and I have been looking for Acinetobacter baumannii in soil samples for years, and we haven't found it," she says. "These organisms are quite rare outside of hospitals." In other news, conditions in Iraqi hospitals are so bad due to lack of even the most basic supplies they're calling it a breach of the Geneva Conventions.
posted by amberglow on Jan 22, 2007 - 62 comments

S(ch)ickening

83 percent of fresh, whole broiler chickens in the U.S. contain campylobacter or salmonella, the leading bacterial causes of foodborne disease. This is a disturbing increase from the 49 percent that tested positive in 2003. What’s more, most of the bacteria showed resistance to one or more antibiotics, and more expensive premium brands were actually more likely to contain salmonella. Is the problem factory farming? Rampant antibiotic use? Or are chickens just really gross?
posted by kyrademon on Jan 9, 2007 - 59 comments

bacterial art

The Art of Edgar Lissel " Lissel works with bacteria, using their photo-tactical characteristics for his images."
posted by dhruva on Nov 15, 2006 - 2 comments

The Rise of Slime

Altered Oceans: A Primeval Tide of Toxins The fireweed began each spring as tufts of hairy growth and spread across the seafloor fast enough to cover a football field in an hour. When fishermen touched it, their skin broke out in searing welts. Their lips blistered and peeled. Their eyes burned and swelled shut. Water that splashed from their nets spread the inflammation to their legs and torsos.
posted by MetaMonkey on Aug 1, 2006 - 32 comments

Fractal Bacteria

These images remind us never to underestimate our opponent. -- The science behind the art (.pdf). Fractal art by way of bacteria growin' in a petri dish. A few more images here.
posted by Gator on Mar 7, 2006 - 7 comments

Bruce Sterling's "We See Things Differently

We See Things Differently - a 1989 story from the perspective of an Arab visitor to a future, run-down America. By Bruce Sterling, science fiction writer and one of the founders of cyberpunk. Besides his science fiction, Sterling is also known for his 1992 book The Hacker Crackdown, available free on-line, and the Viridian Design Project. He's also an entertaining science writer; here's a column he wrote on bacterial resistance.
posted by russilwvong on Oct 6, 2005 - 28 comments

Synthetic Bacterial Computers

Multilingual bacteria are being used in synthetic biology techniques to display computer functionality.
posted by peacay on Apr 29, 2005 - 9 comments

Dark Galaxy, Nature Nukes & Ancient Bacteria

First starless, “dark galaxy” discovered.
Natural nuclear reactor found in Gabon.
NASA scientists revive 32,000 year-old bacterium.
Gin.
posted by mcgraw on Feb 25, 2005 - 21 comments

Ebola. Only, fuzzy.

Giant Microbe Plush Toys. We make stuffed animals that look like tiny microbes—only a million times actual size!
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Feb 16, 2004 - 13 comments

The Little Almost People - Bacteria

Ahhh bacteria, our little friends, what can't they do? Fight Off AIDS Virus in Women? Check. light up our world? Check. Wipe out all the little fishies in the sea? Check. Eat our flesh? Check. Change out CDs? Check. Heck, they may even work together better than us so it's important you Know your good and bad bugs, or just Learn more. The cute little buggers even have their own Museum.
posted by Blake on Sep 11, 2003 - 9 comments

The Bacteria Whisperer

The Bacteria Whisperer
“Bonnie Bassler discovered a secret about microbes that the science world has missed for centuries. The bugs are talking to each other. And plotting against us.”
posted by o2b on Mar 21, 2003 - 13 comments

Resistant-bacteria reports cause alarm

Resistant-bacteria reports cause alarm Another good reason to avoid Fenway Park and the Redsox
posted by Postroad on Mar 2, 2003 - 3 comments

Antibiotics no good anymore?

First vancomycin-resistant bacteria found in Detroit. This is worrisome, as vancomycin is usually the last antibiotic of choice when fighting a bacterial infection. Bacteria are both helpful and hurtful to the human body, but the little bugs seem to evolve much more quickly than humans own immune systems. Have we seen an end to antibiotics used in the fight against bacteria? What alternatives do we have?
posted by WolfDaddy on Nov 12, 2002 - 37 comments

Starving Bacteria of Iron Helps Wipe Out Body Odor.

Starving Bacteria of Iron Helps Wipe Out Body Odor. Scientists find that blocking bacteria's supply of iron works better at suppressing B.O. than the traditional deodorant method off killing off the bacteria with ethanol.
"expert odor assessors who sniffed the participants' armpits found that the experimental combination worked better than ethanol at reducing odor, with longer-lasting effects."
Just when you think *your* job stinks. Now, when will they come up with a way to suppress the Indian cooking odor in my apartment building?
posted by Tubes on May 21, 2002 - 16 comments

Hitch a ride on a meteorite.

Hitch a ride on a meteorite. New evidence that bacteria could survive a trip between planets.
posted by homunculus on Jan 11, 2002 - 3 comments

Interesting hypothesis that Europa's seas are swimming with bacteria.

Interesting hypothesis that Europa's seas are swimming with bacteria. Preliminary results show that all three species, the ordinary gut bacteria Escherichia coli, and extremophiles Deinococcus radiodurans and Sulfolobus shibatae, are just as good at explaining Europa's IR spectrum as the [magnesium sulphate] salts.
posted by skallas on Dec 13, 2001 - 10 comments

Anthrax Appears To Be Home Grown.

Anthrax Appears To Be Home Grown. Something more than sensationalist anchor people reading off tele-prompters. A low key approach to questions I think a lot of people have
posted by Grok09 on Oct 30, 2001 - 20 comments

Germs from Jupiter? Viruses from Venus?

Germs from Jupiter? Viruses from Venus? Nope, just live space-borne bacteria discovered floating around Earth. "Although the bugs from space are similar to bacteria on Earth, the scientists said the living cells found in samples of air from the edge of the planet's atmosphere are too far away to have come from Earth." (via waldo.net)
posted by carobe on Aug 2, 2001 - 8 comments

Scientists discover possible microbe from space.

Scientists discover possible microbe from space. Scientists has recovered microorganisms in the upper reaches of the atmosphere that may have originated from outer space. The living bacteria, are unlike any known on Earth, but the astrobiologists want to keep the details under wraps until they are absolutely convinced that these are extraterrestrial. Do not adjust your set...
posted by lagado on Nov 28, 2000 - 4 comments

Oldest liveing organism

Oldest liveing organism found in salt cave in New Mexico. 250 million and counting. What gets me is this quote: ``If something can survive 250 million years, what's the difference .. another 250 or longer,'' wonder if digital data can be stored in bacterium.
posted by stbalbach on Oct 20, 2000 - 7 comments

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