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China: Gaps Seen in Government’s Ability to Detect Disease Outbreaks

Despite advances made since the emergence of SARS and avian flu, China’s ability to detect new outbreaks remains “underdeveloped,” a leading Chinese health official acknowledged last week.

The comment appeared in an article in the journal Health Affairs written jointly by Dr. Zijian Feng, dir... Read More

Lifting a Veil of Fear to See a Few Benefits of Fever

Fever is common, but fever is complicated. It brings up science and emotion, comfort and calculation.

As a pediatrician, I know fever is a signal that the immune system is working well. And as a parent, I know there is something primal and frightening about a feverish child in the night.

... Read More

Biostorage Scheme Turns E. Coli Bacteria into Hard Drives

A group of students at Hong Kong's Chinese University are making strides towards storing such vast amounts of information in an unexpected home: the E. coli bacterium better known as a potential source of serious food poisoning.

"This means you will be able to keep large datasets for the long... Read More

Latent TB treatment a greater risk to older adults

Older adults treated for an inactive tuberculosis infection may be at increased risk of suffering liver damage from the medication, a study published Monday suggests.

Canadian researchers found that among all Quebec residents treated for so-called latent tuberculosis (TB) over six years, thos... Read More

Microbe lives on lab-grown proteins

Synthetic proteins designed in the lab—using genetic sequences never before seen in nature—work much like the real thing to sustain life.

“What we have here are molecular machines that function quite well within a living organism even though they were designed from scratch and expressed from ... Read More

Measles virus makes 'ball-room dance' type movements to spread

Proteins on the surface of a cell twist a viral protein into position, allowing the virus to start infection and cause Measles, all in a movement as graceful as a ballroom dance, say Mayo Clinic researchers.

A team led by Roberto Cattaneo, a Mayo molecular biologist, has described the crucial... Read More

H1N1 Pandemic Flu Points to Vaccine Strategy for Multiple Flu Strains

The search for a universal flu vaccine has received a boost from a surprising source: the 2009 H1N1 pandemic flu strain. Using blood samples from patients infected with the 2009 H1N1 strain, researchers developed antibodies that could bind H1N1 viruses from the last decade, as well as the 1918 f... Read More

Bacteria Colonize Tongue Piercings Differently

Tongue-piercers should pick their studs wisely -- even though the risk of oral infection is generally low, certain types of studs, particularly stainless steel, may collect more bacteria, researchers found.

Though none of the 85 young people in the study ever got periodontitis, bacterial load... Read More

Software for Programming Microbes

Genetically modified microbes could perform many useful jobs, from making biofuels and drugs, to cleaning up toxic waste. But designing the complex biochemical pathways inside such microbes is a time-consuming process of trial and error.

Christopher Voigt, an associate professor at the Univer... Read More

TWiV 115: Color me infected

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

TWiV 115 Letters

Vinayaka writes:


Some additional info that I gathered on viruses on the verge of elimination (may or may not be new to you):


It appears that the next virus on the list of FAO to eradicate is PPR virus ( Read More

Malaysia delays release of GM mosquito designed to combat dengue fever after environmentalist protests

Malaysia has delayed a landmark field trial to release genetically modified mosquitoes designed to combat dengue fever, an official said Tuesday, following protests from environmentalists.

In the first experiment of its kind in Asia, 4,000-6,000 male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were originally s... Read More

AIDS gel prevents infection in monkeys

An experimental gel protected female monkeys from the AIDS virus in a test designed to mimic human sexual transmission, researchers said on Wednesday.

The gel uses an AIDS drug along with a zinc compound and protected all animals tested from infection with the monkey version of HIV, the resea... Read More

Chilean Researchers Working on Alcoholism Vaccine

A team of researchers in Chile are working to come up with a vaccine against alcoholism. If successful, the patient will get a shot a month and not crave alcohol anymore.

The genetic therapy is based on aldehyde dehydrogenase, a group of enzymes that metabolize alcohol and are thus responsibl... Read More

Circumcision helps stop wart virus, study finds

Researchers have documented yet another health benefit for circumcision, which can protect men against the AIDS virus, saying it can protect their wives and girlfriends from a virus that causes cervical cancer.

Wives and girlfriends of circumcised men had a 28 percent lower rate of infection ... Read More

Impact Of Flu Vaccine Opt-Out Is Being Seen As A(H1N1) Returns To Europe

As the UK and a number of European countries are now experiencing epidemics of influenza, including A(H1N1) which was the 2009 pandemic virus, the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) warns that the consequences of non-vaccination could emerge as a new flu e... Read More

World-first dengue trial launched in Cairns

Researchers at Cairns in far north Queensland are launching a biological assault on dengue fever with the release of thousands of specially-bred mosquitoes.

The world-first field trial is being staged in Cairns and aims to wipe out dengue fever.

Thousands of mosquitos bred in a laboratory ... Read More

Princeton Researchers Construct Wholly Artificial Proteins That Can Sustain Cell Life

In a breakthrough that’s sure to stir up some controversy, Princeton researchers have reported that they have for the first time created artificial proteins from scratch in the lab that have enabled the growth of living cells. To achieve this, they created genetic sequences never seen in nature ... Read More

Possible Role For Bacteria In Atherosclerosis

Dr. Emil Kozarov and a team of researchers at the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine have identified specific bacteria that may have a key role in vascular pathogenesis, specifically atherosclerosis, or what is commonly referred to as "hardening of the arteries" - the number one caus... Read More

Vaccination Goes From Bug Infection to Drug Injection

To date, the notion of inoculating people against drug use is a symbolic one – the idea being that anything from positive peer pressure to self esteem can render people resistant to the lure of drugs.

But such inoculation may soon become a much more literal concept: By combining a cocaine ana... Read More
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