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The Berkeley Pit

“To go to Berkeley Pit Lake, you have to complete a forty-hour Hazmat program—and that’s just to stand next to the water,” advises Andrea Stierle, a research professor at the University of Montana-Missoula, who began studying samples from the Pit sixteen years ago. And when employees of the Mont... Read More

TWiV 172 Letters

Greg writes:


Dear TWiV,


The epidemiology episode with Michael Walsh was great. I loved the philosophical detour into counterfactual statements, time travel, and the meaning of causation. TWiV may indeed be viral, but from listening to it I fee... Read More

Biosecurity Can Help Prevent Spread of EHV-1 Infections

The neurologic form of the equine herpesevirus-1 (EHV) called equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy (EHM), a potentially fatal disease of horses, can largely be avoided by instituting and maintaining standard biosecurity measures, which are readily available from the American Association of Equ... Read More

Vorticella

A single Vorticella species. Taken from the Wistreich Collection, appearing exclusively on MicrobeWorld. Read More

Princeton University researchers develop tooth attachment that detects bacteria

It may not be the latest style in bovine bling, but researchers at Princeton University say a golden tattoo attached to a cow’s tooth could one day tell you something about your health.

The remote sensing device has the ability to detect a single bacterium, and to demonstrate, scientists at P... Read More

Influenza H5N1 virus versus ferrets, round two

The second of two papers on avian influenza H5N1 virus that caused such a furor in the past year was published today in the journal Science. I have carefully read the paper by Fouchier and colleagues, and I assure you that it does not enable the production of a deadly biological weapon. The resu... Read More

HPV Vaccine Reduces Infection, Even in Unvaccinated: Evidence of 'Herd' Protection

The HPV vaccine not only has resulted in a decrease in human papillomavirus infection in immunized teens but also in teens who were not immunized.

The study is believed to be the first to show a substantial decrease in HPV infection in a community setting as well as herd protection -- a decre... Read More

Selection-driven Gene Loss in Bacteria

Bacterial genomes differ dramatically in size: from 140Kb to 13Mb (those numbers might be off now...please let me know if something has broken the record. Yes, I know the lower estimate can change based on semantics, but there are a bunch in that range). Although we have some clues as to how sel... Read More

RNA virus encodes microRNA which may influence oncogenesis in bovine host

This exciting paper addresses a mystery in tumor virology as to how, Bovine Leukemia Virus (BLV), a retrovirus that is frequently recovered in B cell lymphomas, contributes to oncogenesis. microRNAs have rapidly become significant players in cell cycle regulation/tumorigenesis and are also expr... Read More

Bird Flu Research That Stoked Fears Is Published

The more controversial of two papers describing how the lethal H5N1 bird flu could be made easier to spread was published on Thursday, six months after a scientific advisory board suggested that the papers’ most potentially dangerous data be censored.

The paper’s publication, in the journal S... Read More

Scientists Discover New Trigger for Immense North Atlantic Plankton Bloom

Across the horizon and miles out to sea toward the north, the Atlantic Ocean's own spring and summer ritual is unfolding: the blooming of countless microscopic plant plankton, or phytoplankton.

In what's known as the North Atlantic Bloom, an immense number of phytoplankton burst into color, f... Read More

Millions of diabetics could die of tuberculosis

A third of the world’s human population is infected with a dormant tuberculosis bacteria, primarily people living in developing countries. The bacteria presents a lifelong TB risk. Recent research out of the University of Copenhagen demonstrates that the risk of tuberculosis breaking out is four... Read More

NSABB Members React to Request for Second Look at H5N1 Flu Studies

Members of a U.S. government biosecurity advisory board are offering a range of reactions to the news that they are being asked to take a second look at two controversial flu studies. Some have not previously spoken publicly about the issue, which has sparked a global debate about biosecurity ve... Read More

Drug Combo Cuts Malaria Risk in HIV Patients

Treatment with lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra) reduced the risk that HIV-infected children would become co-infected with malaria, researchers said here.

Compared with treatment based on non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs), therapy with the protease inhibitor-based combinati... Read More

phytoplankton seem from space

In this Envisat image, a phytoplankton bloom swirls a figure-of-8 in the South Atlantic Ocean about 600 km east of the Falkland Islands.

During this period in the southern hemisphere, the ocean becomes rich in minerals from the mixing of surface waters with deeper waters. Phytoplankton depen... Read More

A world free of 1 of the most virulent animal diseases?

One of the most economically devastating diseases in the world for those who raise cows, sheep, pigs, goats, deer and other cloven-hoofed animals is foot and mouth Disease (FMD). This incredibly contagious and fast-spreading disease causes fever, blisters on the feet and mouth (hence the name), ... Read More

A third dose of MMR is safe but do we really need one?

It was recently reported - at the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases 15th Annual Conference on Vaccine Research - that the rate of adverse effects from a third dose of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is the same as those of the second dose. This was conducted as part of a C... Read More

Can India remain polio-free?

India has been free of polio for over one year. This is a remarkable accomplishment, considering that just 30 years ago the country recorded 200,000 cases of the disease annually, or one every three minutes. With polio endemic in two neighboring countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and in the mo... Read More

So how does Respiratory Syncytial Virus infect your lungs?

Respiratory Syncytial Virus is an extremely common infection in humans. Generally in healthy adults there is little or no disease but in infants or the elderly this lung infection can often be fatal and we do not yet have a vaccine. Over at Rule of 6ix, I ask a couple of questions to the first a... Read More

NTU scientists invent superbug killers

The superbugs have met their match.

Conceived at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), it comes in the form of a coating which has a magnetic-like feature that attracts bacteria and kills them without the need for antibiotics.

The killer coating, which has shown to destroy 99 per cent of... Read More

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