1. Microbes

    The war on superbugs

    Doctors and scientists are exploring ways to stem the growing global crisis of antibacterial resistance.

  2. Microbes

    Explainer: What you can do to fight antibiotic resistance

    Doctors and scientists are not the only people who can help preserve the effectiveness of life-saving antibiotics. Even patients have a role to play, as these tips show.

  3. Microbes

    The HIV cure — that wasn’t

    Immediate and aggressive drug treatment of a baby born with HIV appeared to have cured the girl. In fact, a follow-up shows, she still has the disease.

  4. Microbes

    Superbugs: A silent health emergency

    Have antibiotics become too popular? Overusing these medicines fuels resistant germs that pose a global health threat.

  5. Microbes

    Explainer: Where antibiotics came from

    A mold proved the source of the first known antibiotic: penicillin. But chemical dyes would lead to the first antibiotics used in treating people.

  6. Microbes

    How a germ killer could backfire

    A common ingredient in toothpaste and hand sanitizers kills germs on contact. But it also can kill the helpful germs that make water safer.

  7. Microbes

    Convincing bacteria they’re alone

    Caffeine may be the trick to confusing some bacteria into thinking they’ve not yet summoned enough troops to launch a successful attack on their host. It could prove an alternative to antibiotics for certain infections.

  8. Animals

    Even penguins get the flu

    Scientists have just identified ‘live’ bird flu virus in Antarctic penguins. But the infections may not be novel. There are some signs these germs have been infecting local wildlife for up to 80 years.

  9. Health & Medicine

    Infected cutting boards

    Germs can hitchhike into the kitchen on meat and many types of produce. A new study finds that some of those germs are particularly nasty. They are immune to the one or more of the drugs doctors would prescribe to wipe out the infection.

  10. Health & Medicine

    New ‘Heartland’ disease emerges in U.S. Midwest

    A new viral disease causes major pain and flu-like symptoms. At present, no treatment or cure exists.

  11. Plants

    Wily bacteria create ‘zombie’ plants

    Scientists have discovered how some plant pathogens ensure their own survival by transforming flowering plants into strictly leaf-producing ones. These green ‘zombies’ attract insects that the parasites need to help them spread to other plants.

  12. Microbes

    A success for designer life

    Synthetic biologists are scientists who create custom organisms in the lab. Their efforts have just taken a big step forward. They have created the first lab-made yeast chromosome. The advance could lead to entirely synthetic organisms customized to produce food, fuel or medicine.