From the Publisher
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Yesterday morning, I published a story about the silent spread of resistance against the antibiotic of last resort, colistin—a major step toward the emergence of a superbug resistant to all antibiotics. While reporting this story, I interviewed Alex
Look for major progress in these key areas
Just over a year after they were discovered in China, bacteria that can fend off colistin are being found all across the world.
“Proteins are built to a precision that would make human engineers blush—every atom is always in exactly the right position.”
To coordinate their behavior, the microorganisms can transmit signals much like neurons.
COMPANIES ARE BETTING A “LIQUID BIOPSY” CAN CHANGE CANCER TESTING.
During the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa in 2014, Pardis Sabeti led a team that sequenced virus genomes from infected patients, determining that the disease had most likely diverged from a strain in central Africa a decade earlier, and w
It has recently become clear that each one of us is more microbe than human—at least when it comes to the number of cells in our bodies. The bacteria that swarm through our guts, across our skin, and in every orifice you have outnumber our human cell
On a late summer evening in 1961, biochemist Osamu Shimomura was nearing the end of another frustrating day working with the jellyfish Aequorea victoria at the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Laboratories. For weeks he’d been trying to pin d
A group of newly discovered microbes, named after Norse gods, may belong to the lineage from which we evolved.
A new project could help protect patients by showing how microbes move throughout hospitals.
$460 million will go toward developing vaccines that prevent outbreaks like Ebola from taking the world by surprise.
What happens when cutting-edge medicine offers up conflicting answers?
New approaches to drug development are finally moving in on one of the most dangerous cancer genes.
THE BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER HAS LONG STYMIED DRUG DEVELOPMENT FOR BRAIN DISORDERS. RESEARCHERS HAVE FINALLY BEGUN TO BREAK THROUGH IT.
LAST YEAR, 1,175 rhinos were poached in South Africa, up from just 13 in 2007. This slaughter fuels a booming black market for animal products: In 2014, the United Nations estimated the illegal wildlife trade to be worth between $50 billion and $150
In his latest book, The Serengeti Rules: The Quest to Discover How Life Works and Why It Matters, Sean B. Carroll tells us the remarkable story of Robert Paine, who revolutionized ecology by throwing starfish out of tide pools. Paine’s bold experimen
A project that tried to reproduce the results of 50 landmark papers turned into an arduous slog—and that’s a problem in itself.
What happens when new technology meets old laws
In the next war, instead of a soldier going on a reconnaissance mission into enemy territory, consider this possibility: a cloud of “micro air vehicles,” flying cyborgs, with built-in cameras and microphones, that could be guided by remote control. W
A South American legend has it that, centuries ago, a native, suffering from high malarial fever, got lost in the Andes. Thirsty, he drank from a pool of stagnant water. The bitter taste prompted a ghastly realization: The surrounding cinchona trees,
Redefining “clean” in an era of the skin microbiome
Christina Farr 23ANDME This past August, with backing from Pfizer, researchers from 23andMe and Massachusetts General Hospital sent a ripple through the scientific community with the announcement that they had identified several genetic markers ass
The threat of drug-resistant bacteria grows more pressing with every year. These microbes can shrug off the most potent antibiotics, including some drugs of last resort. Some bacteria have become resistant to all of our available drugs. Scary stuff,