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Energy and Commerce Leaders Release Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 Draft

For those of you interested in the Food Safety Enhancement Act click source above to view the official discussion site, see a pdf of the draft language and view a pdf summary document. This is currently being discussed in the House today. Read More

House to Update Food Safety Enhancement Act

Looks like today is the day that the House will mark up the Food Safety Enhancement Act that will put into place new food safety regulations.

here are some highlights from the draft bill via the Daily Kos:

* Gives the FDA mandatory recall authority.

* Requires all food producers... Read More

New Accurate Diagnostic Test For Swine H1N1 Influenza Using RT-PCR Technology

A new, easy-to-perform method for detecting both seasonal influenza A virus and the emerging H1N1 swine-derived influenza A virus in human clinical samples offers a fast, sensitive, and cost-effective diagnostic test that runs on standard laboratory equipment. This timely and broadly applicable ... Read More

Cleaning Air With Bacteria?

Yes, it sounds crazy, but Bio-Reaction Industries says it has devised a way to exploit bacteria to cleanse the air inside paint shops and factories.

Water, microorganisms, soil and a ball that could pass like a cat toy: Together, they can drastically cut the cost of air purification, accordin... Read More

Structure Of Bacteria Responsible For Traveler's Diarrhea Identified

Montezuma's Revenge explained?

Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), the Naval Medical Research Center and the National Institutes of Health, have solved the structure of thin hair-like fibers called "pili" or "fimbriae" on the surface of bacteria that cause traveler's d... Read More

P.S.I. – Are my soybeans wearing different genes?

At points this student made video borders on the absurd, but that's what makes Plant Science Investigations fun to watch.

"The video PSI – Are my soybeans wearing different genes? is inspired by the popular TV show “CSI-crime scene investigations”. Here, however, the investigators are solvin... Read More

WHO on verge of declaring H1N1 flu pandemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) is on the verge of declaring the first influenza pandemic in more than 40 years, but wants to ensure countries are well prepared to prevent a panic, its top flu expert said on Tuesday.

Keiji Fukuda, acting WHO assistant director-general, voiced concern at t... Read More

Microbes help us and harm us

Microbes are extremely small organisms such as bacteria, protozoa and fungi. Even though we can't easily see them, they are all around us. Like it or not, microbes live on us and inside us. When people talk about "germs," they're generally talking about microbes.

Many diseases are caused by m... Read More

New Antibiotics Could Come From A DNA Binding Compound That Kills Bacteria In 2 Minutes

A synthetic DNA binding compound has proved surprisingly effective at binding to the DNA of bacteria and killing all the bacteria it touched within two minutes. The DNA binding properties of the compound were first discovered in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Warwick by Profess... Read More

C. elegans may provide the key to the fountain of youth

Interesting conclusion of research on the roundworm C. elegans by a group at the Massachusetts General Hospital led by Sean P. Curran and Gary Ruvkun suggest that while "people die, one part of them, at least in principle, is immortal."

"The finding may provide an explanation for the many rec... Read More

Super-Resolution Microscopy Captures Molecules in Motion

A new electron microscopy technique called structured illumination microscopy for filming cellular processes, developed by scientists at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Farm Research Campus, captures up to 11 images per second at twice the resolution.
{movremote}http://www.hhmi.or... Read More

Disease Prevention is Top Priority for Americans, says Poll

More than 70 percent of Americans rank prevention as the most important health care reform priority, and overwhelmingly support increasing funding for prevention programs to reduce disease and keep people healthy.

"In a new public opinion poll released today by the Trust for America's Health ... Read More

Interview with a Biohacker: Meredith Patterson

h+ magazine is a new web-based periodical that covers "technological, scientific, and cultural trends that are changing — and will change — human beings in fundamental ways."

In the Summer 09 issue, which you can view by clicking source above, there are many interesting articles and interview... Read More

FDA warns against using Clarcon skin products

A routine FDA investigation uncovers substandard manufacturing processes at a company that makes 'antimicrobial' skincare products. Oops. Read More

Winnipeg researcher charged with smuggling Ebola material into U.S.

Video from the CBC reports a former researcher at the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg is facing charges in the United States after allegedly trying to smuggle genetic material from the Ebola virus across the Manitoba-North Dakota border. This is raising all kinds of flags in Canada over se... Read More

What is the definition of "pandemic" anyway?

Apparently there is a lot of debate over the term. From the NY Times:

Generations of people have used the term to describe widespread epidemics of influenza, cholera and other diseases. But as the new H1N1 swine influenza virus spreads from continent to continent, it is clear that a useful de... Read More

Addressing the dilemma of "forward contamination"

The dilemma known as 'forward contamination' has been facing NASA since the first foray into space. Essentially, scienitists want to ensure that microbes from Earth don't jeopardize the integrity of samples collected by rovers in case there is a discovery of life on another planet.

"Now rese... Read More

Mycoplasma fermentans. Photomicrograph, stained. Note colonial morphology after 14 days growth on agar (400x)

Mycoplasma fermentans. Photomicrograph, stained. Note colonial morphology after 14 days growth on agar (400x) Read More

The next flu pandemic may be hibernating in an Arctic glacier or a frozen lake

According to research presented at the American Society for Microbiology's 109 General Meeting in Philadelphia, Rogers and Z. Koçer, of Bowling Green State University in Ohio, found that influenza viruses can easily survive freezing in pond water, and emerge from the melting ice strong enough to... Read More

Researchers work to improve the effectiveness of the flu vaccine

Vaccines intended to help the body to fight off the flu bug may actually give the bug an edge, researchers say.

That doesn't mean vaccines are bad, it just may help explain why they aren't as good as they could be, says Dr. Andrew Mellor, director of the Immunotherapy Center at the Medical Co... Read More

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