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Updates: Whatever Happened to the Universal Flu Vaccine?

A goal in fighting influenza is a universal vaccine, one that works on many strains of the pathogen [see “Beating the Flu in a Single Shot”; Scientific American, June 2008]. But the virus’s outer coat, consisting mainly of proteins called hemagglutinin and neuraminidase, frequently mutate, forci... Read More

MIT Reels In RNA Surprise With Microbial Ocean Catch

An ingenious new method of obtaining marine microbe samples while preserving the microbes' natural gene expression has yielded an unexpected boon: the presence of many varieties of small RNAs — snippets of RNA that act as switches to regulate gene expression in these single-celled creatures.

... Read More

WHO is Investigating If Swine Flu is Man Made

Put your tinfoil hat on people! Virologist Adrian Gibbs, a developer of Tamiflu, suspects swine flu may have escaped from a lab. His effort to trace the virus's origins by decoding its genetic blueprint has led him to consider the possibility. In fact, the World Health Organization is taking his... Read More

Because Bacteria Can Live in Your Hair Piece

If your toupe or wig is not feeling so fresh, finally there is a product for you. This has got to be one of the cheesiest commercials I have ever seen for a sanitizing product. Thankfully I still have a full head of hair! Read More

Cheese and Microbes (MWV28)

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E.coli May Promote Bowel Cancer

Scientists at Edinburgh University have found a "strong" suggestion the bacteria is able to hamper the body's fight against bowel cancer.

They now hope the findings from their pilot study will lead to more research into the causes of the disease.

"Our laboratory work does strongly suggest... Read More

Drugs Urged for Swine Flu in Pregnancy

Pregnant women who get swine flu are at such high risk of complications like pneumonia, dehydration and premature labor that they should be treated at once with the antiviral drug Tamiflu — even though it is not normally recommended in pregnancy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sa... Read More

Soil Nitrogen Test Measures Microbial Nitrogen

Contrary to the prevailing view, cereal crops derive the majority of their nitrogen from the soil, not fertilizer. Soils differ considerably in microbial activities that determine nitrogen-supplying power, and these differences must be taken into account if nitrogen fertilizers are to be used ef... Read More

Analysis Of Flu Virus Could Lead To Better Vaccines

A team of Princeton University scientists may have found a better way to make a vaccine against the flu virus.

Though theoretical, the work points to the critical importance of what has been a poorly appreciated aspect of the interaction between a virus and those naturally produced defensive ... Read More

Mundo de los Microbios - Episodio 2

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mundodelosmicrobiosweblogo Read More

T4 Virus infecting a bacteria

Awesome CGI animation of a T4 virus infecting a bacterium. Read More

How Swine Flu Works

Stumbled across this short video on MetaCafe.com. Probably not the best one out there, it would be great to see a more comprehensive one. Read More

Viruses vs Prokaryotes vs Eukaryotes

A comparison of viruses, prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Read More

Many Swine Flu Cases Exhibit No Fever

Many people suffering from swine influenza, even those who are severely ill, do not have fever, an odd feature of the new virus that could increase the difficulty of controlling the epidemic, said a leading American infectious disease expert who examined cases in Mexico last week.

Fever is a ... Read More

Addressing Biosecurity Concerns Related to the Synthesis of Select Agents

DNA synthesis technology, in combination with other rapidly-evolving capabilities in the life sciences, such as directed molecular evolution and viral reverse genetics, has galvanized segments of the scientific community.1 It also has captured the attention of the general public and policymaker... Read More

Can the aviation fuel of the future be grown in plastic bags of wastewater? NASA thinks so

NASA is applying space technology to a decidedly down-to-earth effort that links the production of algae-based fuel with an inexpensive method of sewage treatment.

The space agency is growing algae for biofuel in plastic bags of sewage floating in the ocean.

The effort has three goals: Pro... Read More

Biohackers: A National Security Threat?

Here's an interesting article about biohackers, people who create homemade labs and tinker with microbes, and the national security issues these endeavors inevitably bring up. What's also of note is that it seems the Dept. of Homeland defense is monitoring this activity closely.

In Massachuse... Read More

tissue section h & e strain diptheritic tonsillitis

tissue section h & e strain diptheritic tonsillitis Read More

corynebacterium diptheriae on Tinsdale agar

corynebacterium diptheriae on Tinsdale agar Read More

Doctors Say Cell Phone Hygiene is as Important as Hand Hygiene in Flu Prevention

Do you know where your cell phone has been? Probably in your lint covered pocket, after being handled by fingers that have eaten food and touched many surfaces, and covered in your own spittle after your last call. Hey can I borrow your phone? No.

In a March 2009 study published in the Annals... Read More

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