Archive for the ‘Lab’ Category

Battling Superbugs: Two New Technologies Could Enable Novel Strategies For Combating Drug-Resistant Bacteria

A scanning electron micrograph depicts numerous clumps of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, commonly referred to by the acronym MRSA.
Source: Janice Haney Carr/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In recent years, new strains of bacteria have emerged that resist even the most powerful antibiotics. Each year, these superbugs, including drug-resistant forms of tuberculosis and staphylococcus, infect more than 2 million people nationwide, and kill at least 23,000. Despite the urgent need for new treatments, scientists have discovered very few new classes of antibiotics [...]

On/Off Switch For Aging Cells Discovered By Scientists

Victoria Lundblad and Timothy Tucey.
Source: Courtesy of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Scientists at the Salk Institute have discovered an on-and-off “switch” in cells that may hold the key to healthy aging. This switch points to a way to encourage healthy cells to keep dividing and generating, for example, new lung or liver tissue, even in old age. In our bodies, newly divided cells constantly replenish lungs, [...]

How Pneumonia Bacteria Can Compromise Heart Health

Microlesions (indicated by circles) in the heart of a mouse 30 hours after induction of invasive pneumococcal disease.
Source: Orihuela et al.

Bacterial pneumonia in adults carries an elevated risk for adverse cardiac events (such as heart failure, arrhythmias, and heart attacks) that contribute substantially to mortality — but how the heart is compromised has been unclear. A study published on in PLOS Pathogens now demonstrates that Streptococcus pneumoniae, the bacterium responsible for most cases of bacterial [...]

Making Light Of A Serious Situation


The last item on a hospitalized patient’s agenda is to contract more illnesses during their stay. Unfortunately, The CDC estimates that 5% t of all hospital admissions result in infections that patients acquire during their stay while receiving treatment for other conditions. This culminates in 1.7 million infections and 99,000 deaths each year, as well [...]

Wireless Sensor Transmits Tumor Pressure

Wireless interstitial fluid pressure sensor shown to scale on a dime.
Source: Image courtesy of National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

The interstitial pressure inside a tumor is often remarkably high compared to normal tissues and is thought to impede the delivery of chemotherapeutic agents as well as decrease the effectiveness of radiation therapy. While medications exist that temporarily decrease tumor pressure, identifying the optimal window to initiate treatment — when tumor pressure is lowest — [...]