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BacterioFiles Episode 1

In this show, I outline my plans, and then report on three exciting stories: microbial symbiosis with herbivorous ants, self-destructing cyanobacteria, and a bacterial immune system.


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H1N1 More Risky Than Seasonal Flu in Children with Sickle Cell Disease

Infection with the H1N1 virus, or swine flu, causes more life-threatening complications than seasonal flu in children with sickle cell disease, according to research from Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. The findings, presented Dec. 7 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, ... Read More

UCLA researchers demonstrate that stem cells can be engineered to kill HIV

Researchers from the UCLA AIDS Institute and colleagues have for the first time demonstrated that human blood stem cells can be engineered into cells that can target and kill HIV-infected cells — a process that potentially could be used against a range of chronic viral diseases.

The study, p... Read More

Scientists identify bacteria responsible for citrus greening

Greening, a devastating disease that threatens citrus crops worldwide, is almost certainly caused by one species of bacteria, not a combination of bacteria and viral pathogens.

That’s the conclusion reached by researchers at the University of Florida, who used genetic analysis to study the in... Read More

Let Kids Eat Dirt: Over-Cleanliness Linked to Heart Disease

In a long-term study published in The Proceedings of the Royal Society B, U.S. researchers suggest that over-cleanliness could make babies more prone to inflammation later in life, and in turn raise the risk for stroke and heart disease.

Thomas McDade’s team studied more than 1,500 people in ... Read More

Escherichia coli and Salmonella derby

Escherichia coli and Salmonella derby on XLD agar Read More

Bacteria Engineered to Turn Carbon Dioxide Into Liquid Fuel

Global climate change has prompted efforts to drastically reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas produced by burning fossil fuels.

In a new approach, researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have genetically modified a cyanobacterium to c... Read More

Fast Method for Preparing Flu Vaccine: Use Bioreactors Instead of Chicken Eggs

A shortage of flu vaccines may soon become a problem of the past. Researcher Manon Cox has developed an alternative process for producing large quantities of safe and effective vaccines at twice to four times the usual speed. The process is based on using cells in bioreactors instead of fertilis... Read More

Bacterial protein mimics its host to disable a key enzyme

Helicobacter pylori infects up to 90 percent of people in the developing world and causes gastric ulcers and cancers of the gut. Now scientists have revealed a subterfuge used by the bacterium to trick stomach cells into playing along. By injecting a protein into the stomach lining that mimics a... Read More

Mechanism discovered by which body's cells encourage tuberculosis infection

Scientists have discovered a signaling pathway that tuberculosis bacteria use to coerce disease-fighting cells to switch allegiance and work on their behalf. Epithelial cells line the airways and other surfaces to protect and defend the body. Tuberculosis bacteria co-opt these epithelial cells i... Read More

Penn, Georgia Get $14.6M for Pathogen Database

The University of Pennsylvania and the University of Georgia have won a $14.6 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to expand a pathogen genomic database that serves as a resource for scientists studying infectious diseases, Penn said today.

The Eukaryo... Read More

CDC: About 1 in 6 Americans have had swine flu

Swine flu has sickened about 50 million Americans, and killed about 10,000, according to new estimates released by federal health officials on Thursday.

That means about 1 in 6 Americans have had the illness, said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.... Read More

Escherichia coli

Escherichia coli showing lactose fermentation EMB agar. Note green sheen on colony. Read More

North Korea Reports Swine Flu Outbreak

North Korea acknowledged nine cases of swine flu on Wednesday, but relief officials in South Korea reported that dozens of North Koreans had died of the flu.

North Korea’s official news agency, K.C.N.A., said the nine cases had been confirmed in the capital of Pyongyang and in Sinuiju, a town... Read More

Unexpected Weakness in H1N1's Method for Evading Detection by the Immune System

The H1N1 influenza virus has been keeping a secret that may be the key to defeating it and other flu viruses as well.

Researchers at Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) have found what they believe is a weakness in H1N1's method for evading detection by the immune system.

... Read More

Coinfecting Viruses and Mycoplasmas Can Appear To Cooperate

Very different kinds of pathogen-in this case, one a virus, the other a mycoplasma- can act as if cooperating when infecting cultured cells, with one augmenting the potency of the other, according to Peter Lidsky and Vadim I. Agol of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow, Russia, and t... Read More

Obama's Open Government Plan Includes Open Access for Research Publications

The White House plans to make data and information from federally-funded research available for public access and use as part of the Open Government Directive that President Barack Obama announced this week.

The administration yesterday posted a notice in the Federal Register seeking comments... Read More

Microscopecam

Every day from 10 AM - 4 PM Eastern Standard Time, the Smithsonian Institution hosts Microtheater: A tremendous array of organisms is too small to be seen with the naked eye. This microscope cam offers an up-close glimpse of such little-known life forms as paramecia, rotifers, amoebas, and volvo... Read More

Researchers Demonstrate Nanoscale X-Ray Imaging of Bacterial Cells

An ultra-high-resolution imaging technique using X-ray diffraction is a step closer to fulfilling its promise as a window on nanometer-scale structures in biological samples. In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers report progress in applying an approach to "lensless"... Read More

New And Faster Test For Detecting Sepsis-Causing Bacteria

An article published online first and in an upcoming edition of The Lancet reports that identification of sepsis-causing bacteria using a new microarray platform is highly accurate and delivers results an average of eighteen hours faster than the current gold-standard system. It uses techniques ... Read More

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