• Tsunami dumped tropical disease on North American coastline

    Scientists solve a riddle and sound a warning. Mark Bruer reports.

    When a deadly tropical infection appeared on the chilly west coast of North America in 1999, its origin was a mystery...

    Earth Sciences October 1, 2019
  • The looming threat of C-diff

    The risk of a major gut-bug epidemic looms.

    The freshly rolled lawn you walk on, the potatoes you boil, the bacon under the eggs on a brunch plate and the handsh...

    Body and Mind May 12, 2019
  • Prawn shells: from waste to wonder wound healer

    Molecule in prawn and lobster shells could battle superbugs.

    The stinkiest waste item ever – prawn, crab and lobster shells – could soon be made into an anti-microbial wound cove...

    ASC Edits January 10, 2019
  • The ethical quandary of human infection studies

    Using poor but healthy people as guinea pigs raises questions.

    In February of last year, 64 healthy adult Kenyans checked into a university residence in the coastal town of Kilifi....

    Health November 27, 2018
  • A shining bat

    Using dust and light to understand infection.

    This tri-coloured bat (Perimyotis subflavus) glows in the half-light because it has been coated in fluorescent dust a...

    Animals November 19, 2018
  • Scottish tattoo gets noticed for all the wrong reasons

    In a unique case, a woman discovers that skin ink can result in a very long recovery.

    When the woman presented at the Glasgow rheumatology clinic a couple of years ago complaining of severe leg pain, the...

    Biology June 18, 2018
  • Trypophobia and the science of disgust

    Is this ‘unusual but common’ condition simply a fear of holes?

    Editor’s note: Readers who feel an aversion to images of clusters of holes or roughly circular objects may wish to av...

    Behaviour April 2, 2018
  • What are school sores and how do you get rid of them?

    School sores usually clear up within a few weeks, without any scarring.

    Impetigo, or “school sores”, is a contagious infection of the very top layer of skin. It’s most common in children ag...

    Biology February 4, 2018
  • What makes the flu turn deadly?

    The influenza virus sweeps through communities each winter.

    What is influenza? The influenza virus is a microscopic pathogen – around a thousandth the width of a human hair in s...

    Biology November 7, 2017
  • Three-minute thesis: Does breathing kill?

    When bacteria reach the central nervous system, the results can be deadly.

    Scientist Heidi Walkden, Griffith University. PhD title Bacterial infection of the brain: how bacteria penetrate the ...

    Biology November 2, 2017
  • You bowel me over

    You’re never alone with the Giardia parasite.

    Credit: Media for Medical / Getty ImagesThis digitally colourised scanning electron micrograph depicts a Giardia la...

    Biology February 13, 2017
  • How microbes gain a foothold in mucous

    Some bacteria have evolved tricks to stick to slippery surfaces.

    Upon infection with bacteria (red), mucosal cells usually lift away. Some bacteria, though, force them to stick. Cred...

    Biology May 13, 2016
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