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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

Global Flu Cases Top the 2,000 Mark

More than 2,000 people in 23 countries worldwide now have confirmed cases of the new strain of the H1N1 flu, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.

Over half of the 2,099 laboratory confirmed cases are in Mexico, the apparent epicenter of the virus, where 44 people are confirmed to h... Read More

MTS26 - Ian Orme - Tuberculosis

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Health Agencies Still Don't Grasp Full Power of Web-Based Communication Strategies

Interesting blog post on why health agencies such as the WHO and CDC need to develop a web-centric 24/7 communications strategy and more citizen friendly sites utilizing Web 2.0 tools. Read More

Tracking disease outbreaks via the internet

This thought provoking report suggests that it may be possible to track disease outbreaks via internet usage. An interesting concept that also has many caveats, as pointed out by CDC representatives in the article. Read More

photograph of carcass of swine showing lesions of swine erysipelas (b&w)

photograph of carcass of swine showing lesions of swine erysipelas (b&w) Read More

F.B.I. to Pay for Anthrax Inquiry Review of Bruce Ivins Investigation

Interesting, the FBI is paying the National Academy of Sciences almost $1M for a scientific review of their Anthrax investigation of Bruce E. Ivins, who is accused of sending the deadly letters in 2001. The academy panel will review genetic fingerprinting that led agents to Dr. Ivins’s Maryland ... Read More

Interesting Rhinovirus Study + Bonus Chicken Soup Recipe

This 2000 paper, published in Chest, shows that chicken soup is capable of inhibiting neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro, thus providing some evidence for the soup's traditional role as a home cure for respiratory infections.

Helpfully, the soup recipe used in the study is also included. And it ... Read More

TWiV Special: Dr. Peter Palese

On this special episode of This Week in Virology Vincent Racaniello and Dr. Read More

To Score High, Don’t Cover Your Mouth

You have only one sneeze. Use it wisely.

Yes, it’s Stop Swine Flu, the video game.

The action starts with a schplouuush of green mucus hitting your screen, then switches to a street somewhere. Your avatar stands among pedestrians. The background noises are coughs, sneezes, noses being blo... Read More

Does New Swine Flu Virus Kill By Causing A 'Cytokine Storm'?

The swine flu outbreak that began in Mexico and continues to spread around the globe may be particularly dangerous for young, otherwise healthy adults because it contains genetic components of the H5N1 avian influenza virus, which can induce a "cytokine storm," in which a patient's hyper-activat... Read More

Mechanism Behind Delayed Development Of Antibiotic Resistance Explained

Inhibiting the "drug efflux pumps" in bacteria, which function as their defense mechanisms against antibiotics, can mask the effect of mutations that have led to resistance in the form of low-affinity drug binding to target molecules in the cell. This is shown by researchers at Uppsala Universit... Read More

Conserved amino acid markers from past influenza pandemic strains

A recent paper published on Biomedcenteral by Jonathan E Allen , Shea N Gardner , Elizabeth A Vitalis, and Tom R Slezak discovers that new genetic markers for human host-specificity and high lethality in influenza viruses were identified by considering combinations of amino acids conserved amon... Read More

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