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New Drugs May Attack Flu, but Not in Time

Besides the vaccines aimed at preventing flu, new drugs are on the way to treat it once it strikes. But it is not clear whether they will arrive in time to make a difference in thwarting the H1N1 flu pandemic.

New drugs are needed, researchers say, because there are now only four approved flu... Read More

Technique Identifies New Drug and Vaccine Targets in Record Time

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) researchers have devised a new method called Tn-seq for rapidly identifying genes that are crucial for survival of bacteria – cutting the time it takes to pinpoint promising new vaccine and drug targets from years to weeks.

In an article published in th... Read More

Seasonal Cold or Swine Flu? Moms Face Tough Calls

Parents like the author of this article are facing a series of hard choices as flu season begins this fall...

I sent my 11-year-old son to school today with a stuffy nose and mild cough, as I've done countless times in the past. Now, though, I'm wondering whether I should have kept him home. ... Read More

Lack of Sleep Increases the Risk of Catching a Cold.

Researchers found that people who averaged less than 7 hours sleep per night were more susceptible to rhinovirus infection. Read More

Photomicrographs of smears of fowl blood showing Borrelia anserina

Photomicrographs of smears of fowl blood showing Borrelia anserina Read More

Benefit and Doubt in Vaccine Additive

Are Americans obligated to use an unproven vaccine to help protect people in other countries from the flu pandemic?

That is the crux of a debate over adjuvants — a class of substances that somewhat mysteriously increase the potency of vaccines. Early studies suggest that adjuvants (pronounce... Read More

Hepatitis B Vaccinations at Birth Are Tied to Less Liver Cancer, Taiwan Study Finds

Vaccinating children against hepatitis B at birth can significantly reduce liver cancer in older children, a new study in Taiwan has found.

Hepatitis B vaccination at birth became standard policy in Taiwan in 1984. For the 20-year follow-up study, scientists at the National Taiwan University... Read More

Better world: Vaccinate your children

If you have ever taken a stroll through an old graveyard, you may have winced at the surprising number of tombstones bearing witness to the young age of their occupants. In the past, around 1 in 3 children died before their fifth birthday. It was common for children to perish from diphtheria, me... Read More

H1N1 Clinicians Questions and Answers

This briefing from the CDC covers common clinician questions regarding who should receive the H1N1 vaccine, how providers can receive the vaccine and information on priority target groups. Read More

'Evolutionary forecasting' for drug resistance

Rice University biochemists are developing a system of "evolutionary forecasting" to better understand the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance.

"Our goal is to show antibiotic makers which sets of genes a pathogen will modify to become drug-resistant," said Yousif Shamoo, the principal invest... Read More

New chemically-activated antigen could expedite development of HIV vaccine

Scientists working to develop a vaccine for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) report they have created the first antigen that induces protective antibodies capable of blocking infection of human cells by genetically-diverse strains of HIV. The new antigen differs from previously-tested vacc... Read More

New Drugs May Attack Flu, but Not in Time

Besides the vaccines aimed at preventing flu, new drugs are on the way to treat it once it strikes. But it is not clear whether they will arrive in time to make a difference in thwarting the H1N1 flu pandemic.

New drugs are needed, researchers say, because there are now only four approved flu... Read More

Small Things Considered: Good Guys, Bad Guys

excerpted from Moselio Schaechter's blog (http://schaechter.asmblog.org)...

Because it prefers to dine on some of our valued crop plants, the pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum) is considered a major pest—thus a Bad Guy from our perspective. Pea aphids are not without their enemies. Enemy number... Read More

DARPA awards Duke $19.5 million to detect viral infection before symptoms appear

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the research arm of the U.S. Department of Defense, has awarded Duke University $19.5 million for an effort led by the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy (IGSP) to design a portable, easy-to-use diagnostic device that can reveal who... Read More

Magnetic switch for drug delivery implants

Researchers have developed an "on/off" switch for implantable drug delivery systems that uses an external magnet to trigger the internal release of the medicine. The half-inch implant stores the drug inside a nanoengineered membrane containing magnetitie. An external magnetic field causes the me... Read More

Where Will Synthetic Biology Lead Us?

In “A Life of Its Own," Michael Specter explores the opportunities and challenges posed by the emerging field of synthetic biology. “No scientific achievement has promised so much, and none has come with greater risks or clearer possibilities for deliberate abuse,” Specter writes. Synthetic biolo... Read More

Killer fungus breaks chemical stalemate

A killer fungus may break the chemical stalemate that is hampering anti-malaria efforts.

Mosquitoes that carry malaria are becoming increasingly resistant to insecticides. In theory, spraying two different types of insecticide at once postpones resistance, as bugs that resist one type are kil... Read More

What to do with dirty diapers?

If you are studying the gut flora of infants you would save them to run samples on a microarray, which I doubt is what our colleague will be doing with his daughter's after her debut later this afternoon. The article linked above discusses a study (http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi/10... Read More

Anatomy of a Pandemic

CBCNews.ca has a really great interactive time line that "illustrates some key dates in the evolution of the first pandemic of the 21st century."

Click "source" to view. Read More

Pets can get MRSA from their owners

MRSA, the microbe also known as the flesh eating bacterium, not only infects humans, but can also be transmitted from people to animals and then back again.

"In a study this summer in The American Journal of Infection Control, Elizabeth A. Scott and her colleagues at the Center for Hygiene a... Read More

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