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U.S. Now Leads World in Swine Flu Cases

Confirmed cases of H1N1 swine flu in the United States climbed to more than 2,500 by Monday, and the U.S. now surpasses Mexico as the country most affected by the outbreak, according to World Health Organization figures.

The number of deaths in the United States linked to the illness rose to ... Read More

ASM GM 2009 Live

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Bacteria Play Role in Preventing Spread of Malaria

Bacteria in the gut of the Anopheles gambiae mosquito inhibit infection of the insect with Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria in humans, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Scientists with the Bloomberg School’s Malaria Research I... Read More

SDSU Live - Swine Flu/H1N1 Live Panel

San Diego was one of the primary regions of the H1N1 outbreak, inducing a lot of public anxiety and media coverage. They had a confirmed case of H1N1 on our campus and their child care center closed down because on the number of kids with flu-like
symptoms. The campus spent a lot of time on ou... Read More

Fear of a Swine Flu Epidemic in 1976 Offers Some Lessons, and Concerns, Today

Here's a history piece on the 1976 swine flu epidemic in which vaccines were developed and distributed throughout the U.S. And while swine flu did not break out into a pandemic, many people developed Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare neurological condition that causes temporary muscle weakness or ... Read More

Key Protein Keeps Chronic Infection In Check

Why is the immune system able to fight off some viruses but not others, leading to chronic, life-threatening infections like HIV and hepatitis C?

A new UCLA AIDS Institute study suggests the answer lies in a protein called interleukin-21 (IL-21), a powerful molecule released by immune cells d... Read More

New Method Used To Detect Antibiotics In Honey

A team of chemists from the University of Almería (UAL) has developed a method to simultaneously detect the presence of 17 antibiotics in honey within less than 10 minutes. The researchers have shown that traces of antibiotics used to treat diseases among bees can be found in some commercial hon... Read More

Rating Pandemics: Tweaking the WHO Scale for Next Time…

The title pretty much sums up the main thrust of the post, which also includes section on cheap, rapid diagnostic tests that not only can identify known pathogens, but provide quite a bit of information about novel pathogens (link to a great Pop!Tech video lecture by Ian LIpkin). There's also a ... Read More

The Mitochondria Song

Over at the World's Fair Science blog David Ng has come up with this song about mitochondria.



























It sort of reminds me of a Social Distortion song. Read More

Digital Disease Detection — Harnessing the Web for Public Health Surveillance

Wow, the NEJM is really knocking out some great "perspectives" in their most recent issue.

The Internet has become a critical medium for clinicians, public health practitioners, and laypeople seeking health information. Data about diseases and outbreaks are disseminated not only through onli... Read More

Researchers have developed a formula to reduce methane gas in cattle

The air smells cleaner in Canda thanks to thanks to University of Alberta researchers who have developed a formula to reduce methane gas in cattle.

By developing equations that balance starch, sugar, cellulose, ash, fat and other elements of feed, a Canada-wide team of scientists has given be... Read More

Viruses represented as lace doilies

Artist Laura Splan has created lace doilies, aka ornamental mats, of the herpes and SARS viruses.

Excerpt from Artists's Bio: My work explores perceptions of beauty and horror, comfort and discomfort. I use anatomical and medical imagery as a point of departure to explore these dualities an... Read More

Top flu expert warns of a swine flu-bird flu mix

Bird flu kills more than 60 percent of its human victims, but doesn't easily pass from person to person. Swine flu can be spread with a sneeze or handshake, but kills only a small fraction of the people it infects.

So what happens if they mix?

This is the scenario that has some scientists ... Read More

Salmonella

A photomicrograph of Salmonella bacteria. Courtesy of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Read More

Yeast Cells Are Set to Fly for Space Experiment

It is perhaps fitting that a NASA satellite to carry yeast into orbit has roughly the shape and dimensions of a bread box.

The tiny 10-pound satellite known as PharmaSat will be hitching a ride aboard an Air Force Minotaur 1 rocket next to the main payload, a military reconnaissance satellite... Read More

Raw milk bill moves to Vermont's Senate

Raw milk is often criticized as a vessel for foodborne pathogens, but advocates claim when handled and consumed correctly it's as safe as pasteurized milk. Artisan cheese makers in particular are in favor of raw milk because in their view it makes better, tastier and unique cheeses.

Vermont, ... Read More

Cooking Up Millions of Viruses for a New Vaccine

As soon as Doris Bucher learned that a new strain of swine flu had turned up in the United States, she e-mailed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offering to send materials that might be useful in making a vaccine.

Her colleagues at the C.D.C. had a better idea. Less than a week... Read More

Food Safety Restaurant Ratings Coming to Windsor Canada

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is launching a very public food safety program in Windsor, Canada. Patrons are being encouraged to look for restaurants with 5 star ratings. In the US we have the AAA diamond ratings for food quality but I would love to see something similar here.

On June ... Read More

The Future of Science Journalism

This is a look at the future of science journalism and whether online media can truly replace the professionalism found in today's withering science desks in traditional media. I'm all for new media, but Chris Mooney's comments got me thinking.

Chris Mooney, the youngest panelist and a promin... Read More

Pandemics come in waves

A new perspective from NEJM looks at past pandemics and how they came in waves, and suggests this history should help us prepare for the next wave of H1N1 should one occur.

Vast amounts of time and resources are being invested in planning for the next influenza pandemic, and one may indeed h... Read More

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