Christen Brownlee

All Stories by Christen Brownlee

  1. Yellow color gives microbe its power

    The bright-yellow pigment that tints the bacteria that cause staph infections is pivotal to the microbe's virulence.

  2. Health & Medicine

    Codes for Killers: Knowledge of microbes could lead to cures

    Scientists have deciphered the DNA of the parasites responsible for African sleeping sickness, Chagas' disease, and leishmaniasis.

  3. Bacterial tresses conduct electricity

    New research suggests that several species of Geobacter bacteria use hairlike structures known as pili to move electrons.

  4. Same Difference: Twins’ gene regulation isn’t identical

    As identical twins go through life, environmental influences differently affect which genes are turned on and which are switched off.

  5. Health & Medicine

    Stem cell shift may lead to infections, leukemia

    Aging of blood-producing stem cells could be responsible for the relatively high incidence of infections and myeloid leukemia in the elderly.

  6. Muscle Men: Lab-grown cells mirror source’s characteristics

    Researchers studying muscle cells maintained in petri dishes burn sugar and fat with the same efficiency as do the people from whom the cells are isolated.

  7. Sound Off

    By using bits of RNA to eliminate the effects of selected genes, scientists are developing new ways to study gene function and treat diseases.

  8. Making a Muscle: Engineered fibers grow in the lab and in mice

    Scientists have created slivers of muscle that produce their own network of blood vessels.

  9. Health & Medicine

    Alcohol increases bacterium’s virulence

    Drinking alcohol can increase the ability of one type of bacteria to cause disease.

  10. Health & Medicine

    Ready-to-eat spinach bears tough microbes

    Bagged spinach may contain a significant number of bacteria, many of which are resistant to several antibiotics.

  11. Health & Medicine

    Raisins may combat cavity-causing bacteria

    Raisins may fight the bacteria that cause cavities rather than contribute to tooth decay.

  12. Biofilm-producing bacteria could stabilize buildings

    Bacteria that ooze a sticky matrix could help stabilize the soil beneath structures in earthquake-prone areas.