The New York Times asked readers to submit questions about swine flu. Here is a selection of some of the questions, along with answers based on interviews with experts. More questions and answers can be found at consults.blogs.nytimes.com.
The FDA has authorized the emergency use of a molecular diagnostic assay to identify cases of swine flu. The test has not been cleared for marketing by FDA, but the agency granted the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the authority to use the multiplex panel to diagnose patients in t... Read More
The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed swine flu cases in two more countries—the U.K. and New Zealand—bringing the total number of affected countries to at least six. Meanwhile, media outlets are reporting that Mexico may have as many as 2,000 suspected cases and 150 deaths.
There are some signs that the algae-based fuel industry might be ready to bloom. One of the industry's biggest and most well-heeled players, Sapphire Energy, announced last week that it would be producing 1 million gallons of diesel and jet fuel a year by 2011, double its initial estimates. From... Read More
The rapidly developing swine flu scare has activated a global response from the public health community and alarmed hundreds of millions of people, but there are a number of reasons why people should remain realistic and calm concerning the scope of the problem, according to Dr. X. J. Meng, a vi... Read More
In 1976 there was a Swine Flu scare in the US. This is a public service announcement from that time. Read More
Malaria kills between one million and three million people in sub-Saharan Africa every year, most of them children. Disease outbreaks, which also include meningitis and dengue, have only recently been linked to variations in rainfall: more rain or drought can bring harsher epidemics. Using this ... Read More
A vaccine that protects babies against fatal bacterial infections was introduced in Rwanda last week, its first distribution in a third world country. Read More
John Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, houses one of the largest public drug library available to researchers interested in finding new uses for old and often forgotten drugs. "Already, researchers have used the library to discover that itraconazole, a drug used for decades to treat toenail ... Read More
According to the New York Times, the W.H.O. and public-health agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention find themselves in a delicate balance, obliged to provide information about potentially lethal diseases without causing panic.
Although health officials have held exerci... Read More
World health officials have raised the level of alert about a possible swine flu pandemic, since the virus seems to be spreading regularly from person to person. ""It's a significant step towards pandemic influenza, but it is a phase that says we are not there yet," said Keiji Fukada of the WHO.... Read More
At a speech to the National Academy of Sciences, President Obama vowed to increase total US spending on research and development by government and industry to 3% of GDP – up from the current figure of around 2.6%.
New details of the composition and structure of a needlelike protein complex on the surface of certain bacteria may help scientists develop new strategies to thwart infection. Read More
The Infectious Disease Association of California has issued guidelines for clinicians to help them identify possible patients suffering from this strain of swine flu.
Emily Lurie, a student at The University of Western Australia in Perth, has a nice blog called Adopt-a-Microbe in which she illustrates a particular microbe and provides some general information about it. Her work is very attractive and cute, and is ideal for teaching young people about the role... Read More
The American Public Health Association is providing and has collected many resources about the ongoing Swine Flu outbreak and influenza in general on their website www.getreadyforflu.org. Read More
An influenza vaccine that protects against death and serious complications from different strains of flu is a little closer to reality, Saint Louis University vaccine researchers have found.
"This is a significant first step in developing a universal vaccine to help protect against pandemic i... Read More
Mark O. Martin, guest blogger on Small Things Considered, has written an interesting piece on Chlorochromatium aggregatum. "With apologies to the old Turtle’s song (which knocked the Beatle’s “Penny Lane” off the Billboard charts in the spring of 1967), there are many ways that microbes interact... Read More
Researcher Jo Handelsman (recently interviewed for Meet The Scientist) runs microbial observatories in Wisconsin and Alaska and studies underground microbes detrimental to healthy soil. Microbial Observatory is a segment from CSREES' Partners Video Magazine's 19th episode, The Soil Explorers. To... Read More