The tracker that could head off hospital bugs

Scientists have devised a way of tracking the spread of antibiotic-resistant bugs within a hospital by analysing the smallest changes to the genetic signature of the microbe as it spreads from person to person.

Disinfectants make stronger superbugs

Disinfectants designed to keep bacteria out of homes and hospitals could be fuelling the growth of superbugs. Scientists found that exposing infectious bacteria to increasing amounts of disinfectant turned the bugs into hardy survivors. The bacteria also developed resistance to the antibiotic, ciprofloxacin – despite not having previously encountered the drug.

Luke Jerram's 'Viral Sculptures' exhibition debuts at The Smithfield Gallery

Visitors arrived at The Smithfield Gallery last week to see some of the world’s most deadly viruses and bacteria up close. Luke Jerram's Viral Sculptures sees some of the world’s most deadly diseases intricately rendered into translucent glass works.

Howard Jacobson: All the obsessive hand-washing in the world won't stop those nasty little germs

My swine flu buddy rings the helpline and they say, yes, sounds like swine flu to them

Bug holds key to alien life

A tiny purple bug discovered three kilometres under Greenland ice has been reawakened from a slumber lasting more than 100,000 years.

Dr Mark Fielder: There's no need to panic – not yet anyway

Pandemic status has been called because the number of cases of H1N1 has now reached a threshold value. This situation was, and is, expected. Cases of infection will continue to appear throughout the next few weeks or months as the disease spreads. As time progresses, cases are likely to lessen as the natural immunity of the population develops and control measures are implemented.

Sum, By David Eagleman

Matters of (after) life and death

When life as we know it became possible on Earth

The mystery of how our planet's atmosphere became rich in oxygen has finally been solved

The lost world beneath the Antarctic ice

British scientists search for life forms hidden more than 400,000 years ago beneath Antarctic ice

Deadly Companions, By Dorothy H Crawford

An irresistible book on a gruesome topic, this absorbing account of microbes will make you see the world anew. We learn that smallpox killed off the Stuarts and the lice-borne typhus bug R.prowazekii "played a key role" in defeating Napoleon.

Bacteria outbreak kills baby in neonatal unit

A baby has died and six others were in isolation last night after an infection broke out in a hospital's neonatal unit.

Baby dies in hospital bug outbreak

One baby has died and six others were in an isolation ward tonight after a bug hit a hospital's neo-natal unit.

Microcosm: E.coli And The New Science Of Life, by Carl Zimmer

From soiled nappies comes a tiny wonder – with a giant role in genetics

Big rise in deaths linked to C. difficile

Deaths linked to Clostridium difficile have risen by nearly three quarters, according to official figures published yesterday.

Tim Lott: It's a breakthrough. I can feel it in my... chromosomes, is it?

When I woke up Friday morning I was absolutely thrilled with the news on the radio. Something very, very important had happened in some laboratory somewhere. It was Dr Craig Venter, head of the research team who had been studying the thing, relaying the scoop to John Humphrys:

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Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

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Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

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David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
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UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

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