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Patterns: Medicare Coverage Drives Antibiotic Use

Now that older people have prescription drug coverage from Medicare, they are using more antibiotics, a new study has found.

That may not sound surprising. But the authors of the study say it could be worrisome.

Among the drugs being taken more often, the researchers pointed out, are new ... Read More

Vaccination Is Steady, but Pertussis Is Surging

For four weeks, my 11-year-old daughter has been coughing. It is not your run-of-the-mill summer cold, but a violent, debilitating cough that takes over her body, usually at night.

During these fits, her face turns red, and tears start streaming from her eyes. She coughs so hard she eventuall... Read More

The human Genome is composed of viral DNA

Evidence from over 2 million viral/human alignments, shows that the human genome is composed of viral DNA.
This is not just retroviruses (XMRV and HIV-1) but common viruses such as the rhinovirus, Epstein-Barr, influenza, herpes, papillomavirus, coronavirus and many more. This supports the idea... Read More

Malaysia coordinates bacteria surveillance for superbug

The Malaysian Institute of Medical Research (IMR) is coordinating bacteria surveillance for the New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM-1) gene, which makes bacteria resistant to almost all antibiotics and thus turning them into “Superbugs”.

Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merica... Read More

Louisiana's agriculture department recalls sausage

Louisiana's agriculture department says Veron Foods LLC of Prairieville is recalling 250 tons of ready-to-eat sausage and hog's head cheese because of possible contamination by bacteria.

The Department of Agriculture and Forestry says investigation of an illness revealed a sample contaminated... Read More

Nickel imitates the action of bacteria

Nickel allergy is the most common contact allergy in the western world, with people affected reacting to costume jewellery, coins and even medical implants. Now we know why: it seems nickel imitates the action of bacteria.

Matthias Goebeler at the University of Giessen in Germany and his coll... Read More

Are banknotes contaminated with dangerous levels of bacteria?

Apparently not, according to food microbiologist at the University of Ballarat Dr Frank Vriesekoop.

The urban legend has been shattered by a global research team led by Dr Vriesekoop after one of his students asked him about sanitation in food outlets and the handling of money.

Similar res... Read More

High Temps Play Role in Spreading Arkansas Rice Disease

Hot nights are accelerating panicle blight, a seed-borne bacterial rice disease that can cut yields by up to 60 bushels per acre.

The rod-shaped bacteria responsible for panicle blight destroy or rot the developing rice grains, resulting in what’s known as kernel blanking, or partial blanking... Read More

Researchers develop MRSA-killing paint

Building on an enzyme found in nature, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have created a nanoscale coating for surgical equipment, hospital walls, and other surfaces which safely eradicates methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the bacteria responsible for antibiotic r... Read More

Conidial head of Aspergillus restrictus

Conidial head of Aspergillus restrictus, sterigma on vesicle bear spores Read More

Legionnaires' disease spread by a paving machine

It was hard enough for health officials to track down the source of the original outbreak of Legionnaires' disease, at the old Bellevue Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia, in 1976.

Imagine if the disease had been caused by a moving target.

That's what happened last year in southeastern Spain,... Read More

Disaster in the making

At first glance, the Christmas Atoll south of Hawaii seems to be a tropical paradise.

That may be true above the waterline, but explorations of the surrounding seas by San Diego-based researchers found corals were dead or diseased, sharks and other large predators were scarce and only small ... Read More

What will gobble the spilled oil?

Whether or not ecological disaster follows the BP spill may hinge on what eats the oil first.

"Right now it's a race between the microbes and the fish," said marine biologist Larry McKinney of Texas A&M University, a specialist in the Gulf of Mexico.

Ideally, microbes will win, transformin... Read More

Studies pinpoint key targets for MRSA vaccine

Two recent studies provide evidence for a new approach to vaccines to prevent infections caused by drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus -- better known as MRSA – the leading cause of skin and soft tissue, bloodstream and lung infections in the United States. One demonstrates a way to counteract... Read More

Shape Matters: The Corkscrew Twist of H. Pylori Enables It to 'Set Up Shop' in the Stomach

The bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which lives in the human stomach and is associated with ulcers and gastric cancer, is shaped like a corkscrew, or helix. For years researchers have hypothesized that the bacterium's twisty shape is what enables it to survive -- and thrive -- within the stomach'... Read More

Future-proofing antibiotics...

By now many people will be aware of one of this week's topics of conversation, the emergence of the resistance determinant New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase 1 (or NDM-1), which is an enzyme that confers resistance to a group of very useful antibiotics, the carbapenems; it does this by cleaving the a... Read More

Vaccine sales up 16 pct in 2009, still growing

Global sales of vaccines grew by a healthy 16 percent last year, when sales shot up to $22.1 billion, healthcare market research publisher Kalorama Information reported Friday.

Its researchers are forecasting vaccine sales will rise at a compound annual rate of 9.7 percent during the next fiv... Read More

Bacteria can 'smell' their environment, research shows

Research has shown that bacteria - among the simplest life forms on Earth - have a sense of smell.

Scientists from Newcastle University in the UK have demonstrated that a bacterium commonly found in soil can sniff and react to ammonia in the air.

It was previously thought that this "olfact... Read More

New Drug-Resistant 'Superbug' Claims First Life

A new drug-resistant "superbug" that originated in South Asia has claimed the life of a Belgian man. It’s the first reported death from bacteria with the New Delhi metallo-lactamase-1 gene,Agence France-Presses reported. The gene, which is found in a number of different bacteria, produces an en... Read More

TWiV 95: Does a virus shift in the woods?

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On episode #95 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Dickson, Alan, and Rich consider the end of the influenza H1N1 pandemic, dengue in Florida, vaccinia virus infection in Brazilian monkey... Read More

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