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Vaccine quest boosted by HIV that infects monkeys

AN HIV virus modified to infect monkeys could be a big step forward for HIV research.

The disclosure last month that an experimental vaccine against HIV may not be as effective as first thought highlighted a nagging problem with HIV-vaccine research: that there is no effective way of testing ... Read More

Biologists Discover Bacterial Defense Mechanism Against Aggressive Oxygen

Bacteria possess an ingenious mechanism for preventing oxygen from harming the building blocks of the cell. This is the new finding of a team of biologists that includes Joris Messens of VIB, a life sciences research institute in Flanders, Belgium, connected to the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Th... Read More

Lifestyles of the slimy and contagious

Back in 1885, a German-Austrian pediatrician by the name of Theodor Escherich was investigating an unusually high incidence of infant mortality due to severe diarrhea. Using the newer, more powerful microscopes, he soon isolated a rod shaped bacteria derived from a residue best left unmentioned.... Read More

Eek! Our Skin Is Full Of Bugs

No matter how much yogurt we eat or kambucha we drink, no matter how much we hear about how bacteria can be beneficial to us, it still can seem creepy that there are up to 1,000 species of bacteria and fungi lounging around on our skin at any given time--1 trillion or so microscopic residents.
... Read More

Two Fresh Sleeves of LB/Tet Plates

Here's what you can get out of about a liter of LB agar. They have a very low concentration of Tetracycline in them to allow for a more permissive growth pattern. All in a night's work! Read More

A Plethora of Phenotypes

My narration in this video might have been a little more accurate, so I'll clarify here:

Essentially we are trying to make a protein in B. megaterium fluoresce with GFP, green fluorescent protein. We are doing so by transforming it with a plasmid that gives resistance to Tetracycline, an ant... Read More

Self-healing concrete

A video of Henk Jonkers of Delft University of Technology, recipient of the Delft Design & Engineering Award, describing self-healing concrete made with bacteria that will lead to enormous savings on building and structural maintenance and repair costs. Read More

Malaria Gaining Resistance in Southeast Asia

"Malaria that is resistant to the best available drug is more widespread in Southeast Asia than previously reported, new research shows. The worrisome finding poses a risk that travelers could carry this strain of the malaria parasite to other parts of the globe and unwittingly spread it, scient... Read More

Differentiation of two distinct clusters among currently circulating influenza A(H1N1)v viruses

Analysis of all complete genome sequences of the pandemic influenza A(H1N1)v virus available as of 10 September 2009 revealed that two closely related but distinct clusters were circulating in most of the affected countries at the same time. The characteristic differences are located in genes en... Read More

Swine flu kills four in Saudi Arabia on Hajj pilgrimage

"Four pilgrims have died of swine flu as they take part in this year's annual Mecca pilgrimage, Saudi officials say.
Three of the victims - a woman from Morocco and men from Sudan and India - were in their seventies. The fourth was a 17-year-old girl from Nigeria.

The Health Ministry said no... Read More

The amateur scientist (that's us)

Marketing guru Seth Godin has made some interesting observations on why many New Yorkers avoided getting in line for the H1N1 vaccine.

"The news here is not that people are irrational, giving too much credence to the dramatic and the local and the short-term (that's not news), but that people... Read More

Molecular Biology Animation by VIB

A detailed animation from VIB, Flanders Institute for Biotechnology, a nonprofit research institute conducting pioneering research in the life sciences. More than 1000 scientists explore the molecular mechanisms responsible for the functioning of the human body, plants and microorganisms. Read More

H1N1 Infections in the U.S. May have 'Peaked'

Although federal health officials decline to use the word “peaked,” the current wave of swine flu appears to have done so in the United States.

Flu activity is coming down in all regions of the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday, though it is still rising in H... Read More

Nanoparticles used in common household items cause genetic damage in mice

Titanium dioxide nanoparticles, found in everything from cosmetics and sunscreen to paint and vitamins, caused systemic genetic damage in mice, according to a comprehensive study conducted by researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles indu... Read More

Outbreak of Salmonella Infection (1954)

A film commissioned by the U.S. Air Force that shows a demonstration of what happens during the course of a Salmonella outbreak. The video examines source and means of contamination, factors aiding the survival and transfer of the organism, conditions of environment and general food handling pra... Read More

How to Debate a Creationist

Here's a pocket reference guide on how to debate a creationist that was created by Michael Shermer, Executive Director of the Skeptics Society. The guide contains a list of arguments put forth by creationists and answers put forth by evolutionists.

For example, answers address such arguments... Read More

TWiV 59: Dog bites virus

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A TWiV panel of five considers the finding of Streptococcus pneumoniae in fatal H1N1 cases in Argentina, hysteria in the Ukraine over pandemic influenza, and human vaccinia infection after contact... Read More

TWiV 59

Nick writes:


I’m a bit behind in my Twiv listening, but I’d like to comment on something you said in Twiv 47. You have reminded us several times in the past that “viruses are not alive” and you embellished on this during Twiv 47 by saying that if they are not alive, they can’... Read More

Mineral Crusts pictures

Photos of the mineral crust created by microbes. Read More

Lava Cave Minerals Actually Microbe Poop

Colorful cave deposits long thought to be ordinary minerals are actually mats of waste excreted by previously unknown types of microbes, scientists say. The microbes were found on the walls of lava tubes in Hawaii, New Mexico, and the Portuguese Azores islands, a volcanic archipelago in the Atla... Read More
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