Explore the Scary Side of Science

This Halloween, face the creepy, hair-raising reality of infectious pathogens.

Explore the Scary Side of Science

Halloween is a holiday steeped in supernatural lore; ghosts, goblins, vampires, and zombies abound. But if tales of the undead fail to terrify you, explore select Academy publications to get a taste of something really creepy—infectious pathogens.

From the sophistication and complexity with which pathogens costume themselves to exploit their human hosts, to the spooky way in which viral infections can jump from animals to humans, to the tricks bacteria strains play to achieve antibiotic resistance, real scientific research just might be scarier than fiction.

Chemical Biology of Infectious Diseases: TB, Toxins, and Biofilms
eBriefing

Chemical Biology of Infectious Diseases: TB, Toxins, and Biofilms

Conventional conceptions underestimate bacteria, characterizing them as self-contained and independent organisms lacking communicative ability. However, infections often involve stunningly sophisticated and architecturally complex biofilms, sometimes with multiple species working together to better exploit the host. This eBriefing explores the current concern over the state of antibiotic research.

A History of Resistance: Bacterial Adaptation and Pathogenesis
eBriefing

A History of Resistance: Bacterial Adaptation and Pathogenesis

Dr. Issar Smith spent over 42 years at the Public Health Research Institute studying the control of sporulation and gene regulation in Bacillus subtilis and pathogenesis in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Learn the nature of host-pathogen relationships, genetic approaches to understanding and fighting M. tuberculosis resistance, public health challenges to controlling TB, and more in this eBriefing.

Nosocomial Infections: Challenges in Vaccine Development
eBriefing

Nosocomial Infections: Challenges in Vaccine Development

Nearly 100,000 patients die in the United States every year from infections acquired while in the hospital, in particular, the spread of community-associated, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA). This eBriefing explores the current and emerging vaccines for nosocomial infections, host immunology, and the future of vaccine development.

The Forever War: Malaria versus the World
eBriefing

The Forever War: Malaria versus the World

Plasmodium parasite—the organism that causes malaria—is the focus of this Academy eBriefing. Speakers reveal the latest biological discoveries aimed to unravel the genetic basis of drug resistance, the biochemical processes that result in parasite infection in the human host, the mosquito\'s immune response to the parasite, and the global health and economic impacts of this infection.

A New Era: The Fight Against Antibiotic-Resistant Pathogenic Bacteria
eBriefing

A New Era: The Fight Against Antibiotic-Resistant Pathogenic Bacteria

Over 70 years ago, the discovery of antibiotic medications provided hope for the global population, but the heavy dependence on and unregulated use of antibiotics have led to the phenomenon of widespread antibiotic resistance. Experts discuss the difficulties of treating drug-resistant bacteria and novel strategies to produce efficient therapeutic compounds to which bacteria have limited resistance.

Human Swine Flu (H1N1) and Novel Influenza Pandemics
eBriefing

Human Swine Flu (H1N1) and Novel Influenza Pandemics

When novel influenza strains originate in animals such as birds or pigs and then make the jump to humans, the severity of the resulting disease is unpredictable. Experts discuss current data and insights into human swine flu, as well as strategies that could help quell the impact of future pandemic strains or a more virulent form of H1N1, and assessing the possibility of antiviral resistance.