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The Most Interesting Microbiology-related Papers of 2010

Elio Schaechter and Mark Martin of Small Things Considered asked friends and colleagues to point to papers published in 2010 that tickled their fancy.

Excerpt:

Margaret McFall-Ngai - I'd vote for the paper on Drosophila microbes affecting the fly's mating behavior. The story from Eugene R... Read More

Early success for universal flu vaccine

There are signs that one bid to create a universal flu vaccine that would provide protection against all strains of flu is working. And this one might pack some extra evolutionary aces up its sleeve.

The flu vaccines humanity now has at its disposal work only against a few kinds of flu, for a... Read More

Is it time to refer to mitochondria as bacteria?

In the article, Trends in Microbiology - Time to recognise that mitochondria are bacteria?, Pallen argues for giving mitochondria their own family w/in bacteria.

I think that would be a good idea as they are really just a highly reduced form of bacteria. We give endosymbionts, even those wit... Read More

Lamprey boasts refined immune system

The primitive, predatory lamprey has a surprisingly sophisticated immune system, possessing structures within its gills that play the same role as the thymus, the organ where T cells develop in mammals, birds, and fish.

The finding suggests that in vertebrate evolution, having two separate or... Read More

Close Look at a Flu Outbreak Upends Some Common Wisdom

If you or your child came down with influenza during the H1N1, or swine flu, outbreak in 2009, it may not have happened the way you thought it did.

A new study of a 2009 epidemic at a school in Pennsylvania has found that children most likely did not catch it by sitting near an infected clas... Read More

X-ray shows ‘thrilling’ biology in action

The world’s first hard X-ray free-electron laser is taking remarkable “snapshots” of the inner life of proteins and viruses.

Two studies published in the journal Nature demonstrate the unique capabilities of the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), located at the Department of Energy’s SLAC Na... Read More

Official: 3 cholera victims in New York have recovered

Three people who contracted cholera at a wedding in the Dominican Republic before returning to New York have recovered, and the risk of their infecting anyone else is low, officials said Sunday.

None of the three adults had to be hospitalized, said Erin Brady, spokeswoman for New York's Healt... Read More

Raw Milk Cheesemakers Fret Over Possible New Rules

Federal regulators are considering whether to tighten food safety rules for cheese made with unpasteurized milk — and the possibility has cheesemakers and foodies worried that the result will be cheese that is less tasty and not much safer.

The new proposals, which are expected in the next s... Read More

Finland finds link between pandemic vaccine and narcolepsy cases

A preliminary report from Finnish health officials today said the link between narcolepsy in children and the Pandemrix 2009 H1N1 vaccine appears to be real, but more study is needed to explore the possible role of other factors.

The investigators from Finland's National Narcolepsy Task Forc... Read More

Boosting Body's Immune Response May Hold Key to HIV Cure

Australian scientists have successfully cleared a HIV-like infection from mice by boosting the function of cells vital to the immune response.

A team led by Dr Marc Pellegrini from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute showed that a cell signaling hormone called interleukin-7 (IL-7) reinvigorat... Read More

Agencies getting tough with ship ballast dumping

After decades of delay, government officials are beginning to crack down on cargo ships that allow foreign invasive species to hitchhike to U.S. waters, where they have turned ecosystems upside down and caused billions of dollars in economic losses.

Organisms as large as adult fish and as sma... Read More

Microbial Warfare in the Underworld: Searching for New Antibiotics

This month we talked with Dr. Christine Salomon, Assistant Professor at the Center for Drug Design in the University of Minnesota. Dr. Salomon’s work intersects chemistry and microbial ecology in the hunt for interesting new natural products with far reaching potential applications. While much... Read More

TWiV 119: Science and journalism with David Tuller

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Read More

Earth's Life Support Systems

In the search for life on Mars or any planet, there is much more than the presence of carbon and oxygen to consider. Using Earth's biogeochemical cycles as a reference point, elements like nitrogen, iron and sulfur are just as important for supporting life. As explored in studies published in Fe... Read More

Microbe Soap Dispenser

Full disclosure; Giant Microbes is an advertiser on MicrobeWorld... but this is a cool toy! Also a good reminder as to why we wash out hands. Read More

H1N1 Flu Vaccine Very Effective: Study

A single dose of the H1N1 swine flu vaccine was 93 percent effective during the 2009 pandemic, a new study found.

In order to assess the effectiveness of the vaccine -- known as the AS03-adjuvanted pandemic H1N1 vaccine -- Canadian researchers looked at 552 patients with flu-like illness who ... Read More

Nothing terrible about this towel

With all the talk of the dangers of staph- and MRSA-causing bacteria in locker rooms and gyms, it's no wonder the man behind the newest company protecting athletes from illness is someone familiar with the inside of a locker room. Former Pittsburgh Steelers great Franco Harris has long been know... Read More

Discovery of Jumping Gene Cluster Tangles Tree of Life

Since the days of Darwin, the "tree of life" has been the preeminent metaphor for the process of evolution, reflecting the gradual branching and changing of individual species.

The discovery that a large cluster of genes appears to have jumped directly from one species of fungus to another, h... Read More

Why Is HPV Vaccine Effective In Men?

Boys and young men who receive the human papillomavirus vaccine appear to be at reduced risk of contracting the virus and developing the genital warts associated with the common sexually transmitted disease, according to a large international study published this week in the New England Journal ... Read More

Could a smallpox vaccination scar ruin swimsuit season? Paul Offit on the Colbert Report

Paul A. Offit, M.D., a pediatrician specializing in infectious diseases and an expert on vaccines, immunology, and virology, appears on a recent episode of Comedy Central's Colbert Report.

Offit is the co-inventor of a rotavirus vaccine that has been credited with saving hundreds of lives eve... Read More
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