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