Bacteria

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A virus is essentially an information system (encoded in DNA or RNA) surrounded by a protective coat. Tom Thai/Flickr

Disease evolution: our long history of fighting viruses

Humans have a deep history of viral infections, the evidence for which dates back to ancient DNA from Egyptian mummies.
No, not that kind of lime: the disease is named after a town in the US where the disease was first recognised.

Explainer: what is Lyme disease and does it exist in Australia?

The debate about Lyme disease and its presence in Australia has occupied media headlines and the minds of scientists and health professionals for over three decades.
This attractive specimen, collected from a doorknob in New York, loved being in space. Alex Alexiev/UC Davis

Bacteria found to thrive better in space than on Earth

One common terrestrial bacterium has been found to grow in the microgravity of the International Space Station than on Earth, although it remains a mystery why.
Using whole, unprocessed vegetables and washing them thoroughly will reduce risk of food poisoning. Waldo Jaquith/Flickr

Salmonella in your salad: the cost of convenience?

Illness from prepackaged salads isn't uncommon. So how do we protect ourselves from illness when eating salads?
Microbes can act as canaries in the coalmine for ocean pollutants such as sewage. Ne0Freedom/Wikimedia Commons

Microbes: the tiny sentinels that can help us diagnose sick oceans

There are more bacteria in the ocean than stars in the known universe. New genetic techniques are letting us use microbes as early warning systems for oceans in trouble from pollution and other stresses.
Early necrotising fasciitis is easily missed because the symptoms – fever, pain, swelling and tenderness at the affected site – may be non-specific or confused with a mild, superficial infection. Zurijeta/Shutterstock

Explainer: what causes necrotising fasciitis, the flesh-eating bug?

Port Melbourne VFL player Sam O'Sullivan is reportedly recovering in hospital after being infected with the flesh-eating disease "necrotising myositis".

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