An interesting read on how labs create vaccines for viruses. In this case the article mostly focuses on a facility in Westchester, NY who is working fast on a vaccine for swine flu (H1N1).
"the process involves repeated rounds of injecting the two types of virus into eggs, and sorting and pur... Read More
The link in the source field above will download the CDC's handwashing flyer which they just pushed out for public distribution in response to concerns about H1N1 (Swine Flu). Read More
This is an absurd story but is humorous nonetheless. It looks like Afghanistan has succumbed to Swine Flu fears and has quarantined it's nation's only pig, a gift from China that resides in Kabul's Zoo.
Afghanistan's only known pig has been locked in a room, away from visitors to Kabul zoo wh... Read More
This is a great article by Carl Zimmer in the NY Times (@carlzimmer on Twitter) about the evolution process of viruses.
"Some viruses use DNA, like we do, to encode their genes. Others, like the influenza virus, use single-strand RNA. But viruses all have one thing in common, said Roland Wolk... Read More
These images are amazing and beautiful.
From Wired - "A virus so large and strange that it’s redefined the very concept of a virus has been photographed for the first time. It’s even weirder than expected." Read More
The Welcome Trust has funded an interactive Flash game that can be played on the web that teaches young people how the flu is spread. You start off as a flu virus and the goal is to infect others. Along the way, you get educational information about viruses. Here are some of the instructions: Y... Read More
An international team of scientists has determined the structure of the chlorophyll molecules in green bacteria that are responsible for harvesting light energy.
The team’s results could one day be used to build artificial photosynthetic systems such as those that convert solar energy to elec... Read More
This recent talk at TED by Bonnie Bassler on bacterial communication (aka quorum sensing) was a viral hit among the science geeks on Twitter. It is a very educational and well thought out presentation that is great for personal viewing or showing in the classroom. It's a must watch! Read More
An interesting article on the challenges facing researchers who are developing the second generation of antibiotics. "Quorum sensing is now known to be widespread in the bacterial world, and many researchers hope to develop ways to disrupt it. Kim Janda, a chemical biologist at the Scripps Resea... Read More
The New York Times has published a nice FAQ ,if you will, about H1N1 and what the general public should keep in mind in terms of worry, protection and symptoms. The article also talks about what public health response is feasible and should be expected. Read More
The CDC has provided and updated MP3s of three H1N1/swine flu-related PSAs for broadcasters, radio stations or the public to use. The latest versions now use the name Influenza A/H1N1 as opposed to swine flu. Hopefully this won't confuse people. Read More
Freelance photographer Nicola “Okin” Frioli has taken a collection of photographs/portraits of people wearing surgical masks in Mexico City. It's an interesting art project that looks at the impact swine flu has on the city's residents. Read More
The convenience of fresh-cut produce, which includes packaged lettuces, has greatly increased sales despite multiple foodborne outbreaks associated with these products. To reduce these risks, strict hygiene programs and sanitizers are used for decontamination once the food is harvested. Preventi... Read More
Swine flu has spread to 30 U.S. states and the number of countries with confirmed cases jumped to 20 from two in little more than a week. The expansion comes as Mexico’s president said his nation is winning the battle against the virus and may return to normal this week. Read More
The World Health Organization is likely to raise its flu alert to the top of its six-point scale and declare a pandemic, its director-general indicated in an interview published on Monday.
In remarks setting the scene for another alert increase, but without saying when, WHO chief Margaret Cha... Read More
Under a plate magnification of 37,800X, this colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) depicted the A/New Jersey/76 (Hsw1N1) virus, while in the virus’ first developmental passage through a chicken egg. Read More
Lately, we have seen commercials that promote striking the balance of "good bugs" in our own gastrointestinal (GI) tracts. Our local grocery likely has a variety of colorfully packaged yogurts boasting "live and active cultures." These products are designed to keep the good microflora happy and ... Read More
"I've got some bad news."
The voice on the conference call last week was Frank Plummer, a Canadian scientist who had just spent 24 hours analyzing virus samples from 51 seriously ill people in Mexico.
The news: Seventeen people carried a completely new type of flu virus, one which had its ... Read More