A new study of UK tuberculosis (TB) patients has shown that, for those with a certain genetic profile (genotype), supplementation of vitamin D to their standard antibiotic regimen reduces the time needed for TB bacteria to clear from sputum culture by almost a week for the population studied. Th... Read More
Genetic resistance to antibiotics is not the only trick bacteria use to resist eradication - they also have a second defence strategy known as persistence that can kick in.
Researchers reporting in the Journal of Medical Microbiology have now demonstrated for the first time that interplay occ... Read More
A 13-member Expert Panel of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) has published guidelines for the treatment of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) to assist health care providers in treating adult and pediatric patients afflicted with MRSA infections.
The guideline... Read More
The first study to link a childhood vaccine to autism was based on doctored information about the children involved, according to a new report on the widely discredited research.
The conclusions of the 1998 paper by Andrew Wakefield and colleagues was renounced by 10 of its 13 authors and lat... Read More
New York Times article by David Tuller, a journalism professor at Berkeley, on chronic fatigue syndrome and the retrovirus XMRV. The main focus of the article are four papers published in the journal Retrovirology at the end of 2010 which pointed to contamination as a potential issue for those a... Read More
Jonathan M. Rothberg fancies himself the Steve Jobs of biotechnology. While much less known than the Apple leader, Dr. Rothberg is also a wealthy entrepreneur with a reputation as a visionary, a masterful promoter and a demanding boss.
But what Dr. Rothberg really means is that he wants to d... Read More
Have you ever seen a person with smallpox? We rejoice that probably you haven’t. In 1977 the disease was eradicated. Only two known research collections of smallpox virus remain, in laboratories in Russia and the United States.
This month, the World Health Organization is debating whether to ... Read More
When an antibiotic is consumed, researchers have learned that up to 90% passes through a body without metabolizing. This means the drugs can leave the body almost intact through normal bodily functions.
In the case of agricultural areas, excreted antibiotics can then enter stream and river en... Read More
About one-third of the human population is infected with a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii, but most of them don't know it. Though Toxoplasma causes no symptoms in most people, it can be harmful to individuals with suppressed immune systems, and to fetuses whose mothers become infected during ... Read More
When men learn the HPV vaccine—which protects women from cervical cancer—can prevent anal cancer, they’re more willing to get vaccinated, a new study shows.
Last month the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, Gardasil, to prevent anal cancer and a... Read More
Disparities in flu vaccination rates based on race, ethnicity, and age grow even larger in years when the vaccine supply is limited or delayed.
A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that the gap in seasonal influenza vaccination rates for African Americans, Hi... Read More
As Republicans take control of the US House of Representatives, science could take a hit – despite a new Congressional measure to boost funding.
"There's going to be a big fight," says Michael Lubell of the American Physical Society in Washington DC. "The question is who blinks first."
In ... Read More
Researchers have found a new way of testing for tuberculosis that is fast, cheap and widely available: large rats that can smell the bacteria in a sputum sample.
There are expensive and complicated laboratory tests for tuberculosis, and the World Health Organization recently endorsed a new ma... Read More
Maggots. Rotten meat. Pus-oozing sores. Grossed out yet? Probably. The emotion of disgust is universal, strong and easy to invoke. A single disgusting photo is all it takes to make most of us say, "Ick."
And that's for a good reason. Just as fear protects us from a lion that would eat us, "... Read More
Japanese bird sanctuaries, poultry farms and zoos went on high alert last month after several species of migratory birds in different regions were found dead of what appeared to be H5N1 avian influenza.
The virus frightened flu specialists when it resurfaced in Hong Kong in 2003 and quickly s... Read More
Frustrated by paywalls on scientific papers? Biologist Rosie Redfield has set up a blog site called Science Leaks that provides links to “peer-reviewed scientific papers that been liberated from behind journal-subscription paywalls.”
The idea is to ensure that research, especially research pa... Read More
Chronic fatigue syndrome causes a host of debilitating symptoms: profound exhaustion, disordered sleep, muscle and joint pain and severe cognitive problems, among others. But what causes the syndrome itself?
Since the first cases in the United States were identified in the 1980s, scientists ... Read More
Plans to divert £10m from the Scottish pandemic flu budget to the Commonwealth Games fund have come under fire.
Labour's health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie criticised ministers for pledging to transfer money set aside for extra vaccines and antivirals.
She said the ongoing threat of a swine... Read More
We’ve written about the growing problem of Clostridium difficile, a bacterium that, like antibiotic-resistant staph, is posing a health threat in hospitals. One study found that C. diff is infecting more than 1 in 100 hospital inpatients.
And now we have a clearer picture of how C. diff is sp... Read More
A strong argument that the novel human retrovirus XMRV is not a laboratory contaminant is the the finding that viral DNA is integrated in chromosomal DNA of prostate tumors. Why does this result constitute such strong proof of viral infection?
Establishment of an integrated copy of the viral ... Read More