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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

Call for Entries for the 2010 ASM Public Communications Award

The ASM Public Communications Award, sponsored by ASM, recognizes outstanding achievement in increasing public awareness, knowledge and understanding of microbiology. Microbiology is concerned with issues such as the environment, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, laboratory and di... Read More

Nitrification floc

Nitrification floc. Note the unusual crown shaped bacterium (5200X) Read More

Did U.S. make mistake in skipping vaccine additive?

As U.S. health officials struggle to vaccinate tens of millions of Americans against the pandemic of swine flu, some are looking regretfully at one easy way to instantly double or triple the number of doses available -- by using an immune booster called an adjuvant.

These additives, often as ... Read More

Procter and Gamble recalls Vicks Sinex nasal spray

CNN is reporting Procter & Gamble is recalling Vicks Sinex nasal spray in the United States, Britain and Germany after finding it contained bacteria, the company said.

Procter & Gamble said it announced the voluntary recall after finding the bacteria in a small amount of product made at a pla... Read More

The future of the doctor's necktie may be at stake (or, what to get your doctor for the holidays)

Mounting evidence has emerged in recent years that doctors wearing ties might actually cause as much harm to patients as doctors who don't wash their hands. In one 2004 study of 42 doctors and medical staffers at the New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens, almost 50 percent of the neckties w... Read More

A Bacterium's Super Breathing Capability (VIDEO)

Here's a great little video put together by an NPR intern, Ilham Hassan about Geobiologist Kenneth Nealson and what he affectionately calls his bugs—bacteria. Nealson discovered the bacterium Shewanella oneidensis strain MR-1. Or just "MR-1" for short.

He found the microbe in Lake Oneida, bac... Read More

Crohn's blamed on lazy immune cells

A mysterious bowel disease thought to be caused by an over-exuberant immune system may paradoxically be triggered by immune cells that don't do enough in the early stages of bacterial infection.

Since some treatments for Crohn's disease aim to suppress the immune system, it's possible these d... Read More

Cigarettes Harbor Many Pathogenic Bacteria

Cigarettes are "widely contaminated" with bacteria, including some known to cause disease in people, concludes a new international study conducted by a University of Maryland environmental health researcher and microbial ecologists at the Ecole Centrale de Lyon in France.

The research team de... Read More

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