Viruses Up to Bat
Week of April 12

BatBats used to bear the unfair image that they’re all bloodsuckers. Many now appreciate that bats are invaluable in controlling the insect population, and in pollination and seed dispersal. Keep those in mind as we tell you what else bats are good at: as reservoirs for deadly viruses. That’s right – everything from SARS to the Ebola virus, as well as the new MERS virus, which is extremely deadly.

Now scientists are discovering that just under half of all fruit bats in a dozen African countries also harbor the Henipaviruses, which can be deadly to other animals and humans. A third of the bats also carry a rabies-like virus called The Lagos bat virus... More »

Putting Your Bacteria to Work
Week of April 5

Putting Your Bacteria to WorkIf you’re active in social networking, you probably know about crowdsourcing. It’s where startup companies or philanthropies use the internet to rally people and raise funds. Now, a biotech startup company called uBiome is using the same concept to rally people to donate their microbiome.

We each have a unique inventory of microbial life that coexists on and within our bodies. In fact, we each have ten times the bacteria over our own cells... More »

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