When a malaria-carrying mosquito bites a human host, the malaria parasite enters the bloodstream, multiplies in the liver cells, and is then released back into the bloodstream, where it infects and destroys red blood cells.
A mosquito becomes infected with malaria when it sucks the blood from an infected human. Once inside the mosquito, the parasites reproduce in the gut and accumulate in the salivary glands, ready to infect another human host with the next bite.
Dr. Brett Finlay explains why bacterial diseases continue to be a major health problem worldwide, causing a third of the world's deaths every year.
Dr. Finlay showcases three types of bacteria to illustrate how molecular biology is allowing researchers to probe the molecular workings of bacterial infections.
What medical secrets do venomous snails hold? How can listening in on bacterial conversations help develop new antibiotics? In four presentations, Dr. Bonnie L. Bassler and Dr. Baldomero M. Olivera reveal how a deeper understanding of nature and biodiversity informs their research into new...
Bacteria are capable of communicating and coordinating their activities with a molecular signaling system called quorum sensing.
The quorum sensing system is a target for a new class of drugs that interfere with virulence without killing bacteria.
In this 13-minute Q&A session, Dr. Bonnie Bassler answers questions on quorum sensing and other topics related to bacteria.
Microbes have been the dominant life form throughout Earth's history. Eukaryotes and animals evolved only after microbes evolved oxygen-generating photosynthesis.
A weekly image selected from the striking imagery produced every day by scientists around the world.
A 3D model of the dengue virus reveals a shape like a soccer ball with an outer coating of glycoproteins.
Dutch draper Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (1632–1723) built microscopes that allowed him to observe never-before-seen microorganisms, including this rotifer. He called them “animalcules.”
Pushing the limits of light microscopy to the nanoscale, new technology allows visualization of single proteins in cells.
This animated feature celebrates 17th-century citizen-scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, whose discoveries of microbes changed our view of the biological world.
Reef-building corals depend on brown-colored symbiotic algae for survival.
Fluorescence microscopy reveals bacterial communities in human dental plaque.
A germ-spreading sneeze unleashes a shower of large liquid droplets and a moist gas cloud of smaller ones.
Many groups of organisms, including some diatoms, are radially symmetrical, and look like circles when seen end on.
Leaf-cutter ants practice fungus agriculture to provide the ant colony with a steady source of food.
The variety of colors of cells in a honeycomb comes from pollen collected from different plant species.
An adult female Blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis), commonly known as the deer tick, awaits passing wildlife.
In four presentations, Donald E. Ganem, MD, and B. Brett Finlay, PhD, discuss the latest advances in understanding how pathogens invade the body and how this knowledge is leading to the development of new therapies. They also explain how new infectious diseases are recognized and how epidemics...
An activity that recreates zones of microbial activity in a glass column. To accompany the lecture series Changing Planet: Past, Present, Future.
Bacteria can transfer genetic material, and thus drug resistance, to other bacteria via conjugation.
Watch this animation to see the molecular tricks that an infectious strain of Escherichia coli uses to infect your gut.