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Students Send Microbe Experiment on Space Shuttle Atlantis

An experiment by college students that will study how microbes grow in microgravity is heading to orbit aboard space shuttle Atlantis.

Undergraduate and graduate students at Texas Southern University in Houston developed the experiment that will fly as part of the STS-129 mission. The mission... Read More

TWiV 58: Nipah virus in ferrets



Vincent, Dick, and Alan are joined by emergency medicine physician Dr. Joshua Stillman to talk about passive antibody therapy for Nipah infection in ferrets, annual influenza immunization of children, facemasks to pre... Read More

2011 Raw Oyster Ban Shucked

The Gainsville Sun is reporting that opposition has put a stop for now to a federal proposal that would have halted the sale of raw oysters from the Gulf of Mexico unless they were treated for a potentially deadly bacteria.

The Food and Drug Administration announced last month that effective ... Read More

Structure Of HIV Coat Could Lead To New Drugs

Structural biologists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have described the architecture of the complex of protein units that make up the coat surrounding the HIV genome and identified in it a "seam" of functional importance that previously went unrecognized.

"Our lab experime... Read More

E. Coli Outbreak Traced to Company That Halted Testing of Ground Beef

A deadly outbreak of E. coli has been traced to a large producer of ground beef that stopped testing its ingredients years ago under pressure from beef suppliers.The outbreak has fueled a growing concern among grocers that not enough is being done to protect their customers.

The United State... Read More

Pig Poo = Power

Stinking lagoons of pig poo created by thousands of animals in giant pig farms can pollute rivers, poison groundwater and pump out clouds of methane and carbon dioxide. Using microorganisms to break down slurry makes sense for two reasons. The first is environmental protection, but the methane p... Read More

5 Pathogens Linked to Risk for Stroke

A new study is linking cumulative exposure to five common pathogens with an increased risk for stroke. The infections in order of significance are Chlamydia pneumoniae, Helicobacter pylori, cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex viruses 1 and 2. Read More

No-entry Zones For AIDS Virus

The AIDS virus inserts its genetic material into the genome of the infected cell. Scientists of the German Cancer Research Center have now shown for the first time that the virus almost entirely spares particular sites in the human genetic material in this process. This finding may be useful for... Read More

Behavior Modification Could Ease Concerns About Nanoparticles

In an advance that could help ease health and environmental concerns about the emerging nanotechnology industry, scientists are reporting development of technology for changing the behavior of nanoparticles in municipal sewage treatment plants -- their main gateway into the environment. Their st... Read More

TWiP 1: Introduction to Parasitism



Vincent and Dick provide an overview of parasites and parasitism.


Download TWiP #1 (41 MB .mp3, 57 minutes) Read More

How to make a styrofoam-like packing material with fungi

A new form of biodegradable shipping material by a company called Ecovative is created by filling a reusable mold with agricultural waste like rice husks and is then sprayed with mushroom root cells. The cells eat the husks and grow to form a dense network that packs the mold. After baking, the ... Read More

Holy water dispenser combats spread of swine flu

Luciano Marabese, an Italian inventor has combined his Catholic faith and ingenuity to create the electronic terracotta holy water dispenser. It functions like an automatic soap dispenser in public lavatories - a churchgoer waves his or her hand under a sensor and the machine spurts out holy wat... Read More

EU Clears Prodesse’s H1N1 Test

Prodesse’s molecular diagnostic test for H1N1 swine flu infections has been cleared by EU regulators for commercialization in Europe.

The firm, which recently became a subsidiary of Gen-Probe, received the CE Mark clearance for its ProFlu-ST assay as a diagnostic to differentiate among influe... Read More

CDC: Swine flu has sickened 22 million in 6 months

Government health officials say swine flu has sickened about 22 million Americans since April.

They say about 4,000 have died, including 540 children.

The startling new figures — about four times higher than previous death estimates — don’t mean swine flu has suddenly gotten worse. Instead... Read More

Common cold may hold off swine flu

A virus that causes the common cold may be saving people from swine flu. If this intriguing idea turns out to be true, it would explain why swine flu's autumn wave has been slow to take off in some countries and point to new ways to fight flu.

"It is really surprising that there has not been ... Read More

Government-developed honeybees are equipped with a keen sniffing ability to root out a deadly parasite

"In an effort to stem a massive bee die-off, government scientists have developed a population of honeybees that can root out a main culprit in the epidemic -- a parasite that feeds on pupae in nests and spreads viruses within hives.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists hope the p... Read More

Swine flu: One killer virus, three key questions

ED note - this is a very well thought-out piece from Nature that serves as a great overview of the H1N1 virus and pandemic.

As the world mobilizes against the H1N1 flu pandemic, researchers are working to answer pressing questions about the virus. Brendan Maher visited pathologists at the US... Read More

Where Germs Hide

Which items have the most germs?

CBS News correspondent Kelly Wallace reported that scientists now say it's the things we use most that harbor the most germs, and the more germs, the more likely viruses are present.

Just where are these germ factories?

Dr. Charles Gerba -- also known as... Read More

Bacteria in intestines play role key role in weight gain, study finds

A high-fat, high-sugar diet does more than pump calories into your body. It also alters the composition of bacteria in your intestines, making it easier to gain weight and harder to lose it, research in mice suggests. And the changeover can happen in as little as 24 hours, according to a report ... Read More

The deep-sea crab that eats trees

Deep under the ocean, there is a species of crab that eats trees.

The crab survives by eating wood that has sunk to the ocean floor, comprising trunks and leaves swept into the sea, as well as the odd shipwreck.

Inside the stomach of the crab, also called a squat lobster, are bacteria and ... Read More

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