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Lungs Can 'Taste' Dangerous Bacteria, Researchers Say

The same taste buds we have on the tongue to detect bitterness also exist on lung muscle so that the airways can "taste" dangerous illness-causing bacteria, according to new research published Sunday that could lead to better treatments for respiratory conditions.

When the taste receptors in ... Read More

TWiV 104: The colony-collapse blues

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On episode #104 of the podcast This Week in Virology, The entire TWiV family reviews the latest ideas about colony collapse disorder of honeybees, and resurgence of monkeypox in Africa.

Host... Read More

TWiV 104 Letters

Kelly writes:

I know that I am behind on this but would you please do a complete broadcast of the suspected cause of CCD (colony collapse disorder) in honey bees. I am a bee keeper and would like to know more. Please don't be afraid to dumb it down.

Also would... Read More

A new strain of H1N1 emerging?

The H1N1 swine flu virus might be mutating. A new form of the virus has started to predominate in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore according to a new report in Eurosurveillance.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says more study will tell whether the new strain is deadly and whether the ... Read More

Potentially lethal 'superbug' spreading in Chicago hospitals

A potentially lethal germ resistant to even the most powerful antibiotics is spreading fast in Chicago health-care facilities, new research suggests.

This latest “superbug” is formed when common bacteria produce an enzyme called Klebsiella pneumoniae Carbapenemase, or KPC, that makes them res... Read More

Swine Flu Variant Linked to Fatal Cases Might Disable Clearing Mechanism of Lungs, Study Suggests

A variant of last year's pandemic influenza linked to fatal cases carried a mutation that enabled it to infect a different subset of cells lining the airway, according to new research. The study, to be published in the Journal of Virology, suggests that the mutant virus could have impaired the l... Read More

New Virus 'Jumps' From Monkey to Scientist, Causing Serious Illness

A never-before detected strain of virus that killed more than one-third of a monkey colony at a U.S. lab appears to have 'jumped' from the animals to sicken a human scientist, researchers report.

Although it's an unusual move for that type of virus and does warrant further monitoring, the res... Read More

Energy crisis: why bacteria can't build complex cells

There are some major evolutionary jumps that seem to have occurred only once. Eukaryotic cells contain membrane-enclosed structures to perform different functions, and they comprise all forms of multicellular life on Earth. They arose from prokaryotes only once in four billion years, and no prok... Read More

Scientists Open Electrical Link to Living Cells

The Terminator. The Borg. The Six Million Dollar Man. Science fiction is ripe with biological beings armed with artificial capabilities. In reality, however, the clunky connections between living and non-living worlds often lack a clear channel for communication. Now, scientists with the Lawrenc... Read More

Malaria-carrying mosquitoes might be splitting into new species

By any other name, the Anopheles gambiae mosquito would still bear—with its tiny buzzing wingbeats—the deadly threat of malaria, which can be passed to humans in a single blood-sucking bite. But what if this species were to split in twain?

Two new studies, published online October 21 in Scien... Read More

U.S. Science & Engineering Festival culminates this weekend on the National Mall

It's common knowledge that the U.S. no longer produces enough scientists and engineers to keep pace with the rest of the world. Now, the organizers of the USA Science & Engineering Festival are doing something about it, with a two-week, nationwide extravaganza for left-brain-leaning young people... Read More

Social media and microbiology education

Social media consists of Internet technologies that allow users to create and share content, and to foster dialogues among other users. Examples include software applications for communication (blogging, social networking, discussion forums), collaboration (wikis, social bookmarking), and multim... Read More

Making biofilms: what role for enzymes that act on biofilm signaling molecule?

Biofilms: whether it’s coating the opening of a geyser in Yellowstone Park or lining the surface of your shower curtain, the signaling molecule cyclic diguanylate (c-di-GMP) essentially tells bacteria in these ecosystems when to get-up-and-go or when to settle down and get comfortable. By regul... Read More

What the US midterm elections mean for science

America is angry: about lost jobs, the ballooning deficit, and the apparent failure of massive "stimulus" spending to improve the lot of citizens hammered by the worst economic slump since the 1930s. Above all, Americans are angry with politicians who promised change for the better.

As the co... Read More

Tweak Could Enhance Broccoli's Cancer-Busting Potential

Broccoli, a vegetable already renowned for its cancer-fighting potential, might now become an even more potent enemy to tumors everywhere. Scientists have made a key discovery into how the cruciferous veggie's compounds are used by the body, meaning that a little tinkering could make its protect... Read More

Universal flu vaccine one step closer

Feeling stuffy and miserable? Forgot your flu jab this year? What you need is a vaccine that will stop flu once and for all – and prospects for one have just got brighter.

A protein touted as flu's Achilles' heel when it was discovered last year has now been tested as a vaccine, and it worked... Read More

CDC: Rare, but one can get HIV via blood

Although getting an HIV infection via a blood transfusion in the United States is rare, federal health officials say it is possible and has occurred.

A report, published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, details the case of a patient wh... Read More

Synthetic DNA makers warned of bioterrorism threats

To make it harder for bioterrorists to build dangerous viruses from scratch, guidelines for firms who supply "custom DNA" are being introduced in the US.

The US and other countries restrict who can work with certain germs, but it might be possible to build some viruses from their genes. A num... Read More

Top Ten Bacteria Working in the Shadows

Childhood was a hazy mix of lace and mud — an age of cookie time, horseplay and the occasional cootie shot. It seems like a far cry from the fettered world of adulthood.

But there were darker forces at play, infiltrators that showed up everywhere we were — near us, on us, in us. Some working ... Read More

Alzheimer's protein may spread through infection

Neurologists have found that the brain plaques associated with Alzheimer's can form when the proteins responsible are injected into the bellies of mice, suggesting that the guilty proteins can get from the body's periphery to wreak havoc in the brain.

A protein called beta-amyloid makes up th... Read More
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