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Why Asexual Organisms Are on Their Last Legs

Scientists who study how organisms reproduce know that asexual reproduction is more efficient — for one thing, it’s about twice as fast as sexual reproduction, since every offspring can produce more.

But if the asexual way is so efficient, why do almost all animal species reproduce sexually, ... Read More

Seattle Group Paying F.D.A. for Work on a Pneumococcal Disease Vaccine

A nonprofit organization is paying the Food and Drug Administration to help develop a better vaccine against pneumococcal disease in poor countries.

In the last decade, such vaccines have sharply decreased hospitalizations for the disease in the United States. The bacteria, Streptococcus pneu... Read More

Bacteria and Higher Organisms (Video)

Symbiosis: bacteria and higher organisms.Video on how a bioluminescent marine bacterium called Vibrio fischeri colonizes a specific tissue of Euprymna scolopes, a small Hawaiian squid. Discussion by Karen L. Visick, Ph.D., Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Loyola Medical Center. Read More

Of Wines and Vines - Managing malolactic fermentation

Wine lovers will delight in this guest blog post on Small Things Considered and adaptation from an article in the January 2010 issue of Wines and Vines by John Ingraham, a retired UC Davis Professor of Microbiology, on how he and his colleagues tamed the "capricious and independent" cycle of mal... Read More

Unique glass microspheres show promise for medicine, energy

Networks of interconnected pores in the shells of the Savannah River National Laboratory’s Porous Walled Hollow Glass Microspheres give the tiny “microballoons” unique capabilities for potential use in targeted drug delivery, hydrogen storage and other uses.

Hollow glass microspheres have be... Read More

Tobacco plant-based treatment thwarts West Nile virus, says study

No vaccine currently exists for West Nile Virus, but a new therapeutic made from tobacco plants has been shown to arrest the infection, according to a new study.

Elderly individuals and those with depressed immunity are particularly vulnerable to West Nile, a mosquito-borne illness that can c... Read More

Ireland - At least 50% of antibiotic use in hospitals is inappropriate

At least 50 per cent of antibiotic use in hospitals is inappropriate, according to a new report from the national Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) which yesterday published guidelines on proper antimicrobial stewardship in hospitals in Ireland.

The report warns that in addition to... Read More

Henrietta Lacks’ ‘Immortal’ Cells

Medical researchers use laboratory-grown human cells to learn the intricacies of how cells work and test theories about the causes and treatment of diseases. The cell lines they need are “immortal”—they can grow indefinitely, be frozen for decades, divided into different batches and shared among... Read More

Spray-on Science: Liquid Glass protects against everything from bacteria to UV radiation

According the the UK's Daily Telegraph -

"The versatile spray, which forms an easy-clean coating one millionth of a millimetre thick – 500 times thinner than a human hair – can be applied to virtually any surface to protect it against water, dirt, bacteria, heat and UV radiation.

The spra... Read More

Bacteria-killing protein to combat E.coli in red meat

A bacteria-killing protein that would be applied to raw meat during processing to “significantly reduce” the presence of E.coli is under development for the meat industry.

US-based Ecolab Inc announced it has joined forces with AvidBiotics Corps to commericalize its proprietary protein-based ... Read More

Researchers show how Listeria induces infected immune cells to sabotage their own defensive response

In the Feb. 15 issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine, Laurel Lenz, PhD, and his colleagues report that macrophages infected by the bacteria Listeria release interferon-αβ (IFN- αβ), which makes them and nearby immune cells unresponsive to activation signals. This reduces immune resistanc... Read More

Varicella lesions

Varicella lesions. Nine year old male (1X) Read More

Compound Found That Targets Wide Range of Viruses

The development of antibiotics gave physicians seemingly miraculous weapons against infectious disease. Effective cures for terrible afflictions like pneumonia, syphilis and tuberculosis were suddenly at hand. Moreover, many of the drugs that made them possible were versatile enough to knock out... Read More

Henrietta Lacks: How One Woman's Cells Changed Medicine

ABC World News has published a brief article on the history of HeLa cells and the controversy over how they were acquired and then used to generate windfall profits for many medical-related companies. Often described as one of the greatest medical discoveries of our time, HeLa cells originally c... Read More

International Team Publishes Malaria Parasite GWAS

An international group of researchers has published the first genome-wide association study on the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, looking for genes associated with antimalarial drug resistance and more.

The team used a custom microarray to assess nearly 200 culture adapted P. falcipa... Read More

Spongiform Brain Diseases Are Caused by Aberrant Protein, New Research Shows

Scientists have determined how a normal protein can be converted into a prion, an infectious agent that causes fatal brain diseases in humans and mammals.

The finding, in mice, is expected to advance the understanding of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, or TSEs, a family of neurodeg... Read More

Cave Expert to Discuss Microbiology

A woman featured in an IMAX film and National Geographic Explorer magazine will talk about what she finds in caves on Tuesday, Feb. 2 as a part of Indiana State University's Biology Speaker Series.

Hazel Barton, a biology professor at Northern Kentucky University, will talk about cave microbe... Read More

Scientists say crack HIV/AIDS puzzle for drugs

Scientists say they have solved a crucial puzzle about the AIDS virus after 20 years of research and that their findings could lead to better treatments for HIV.

British and U.S. researchers said they had grown a crystal that enabled them to see the structure of an enzyme called integrase, wh... Read More

The spray-on liquid glass that could protect us from dirt and bacteria

A revolutionary substance known as 'liquid glass' that protects against bacteria and UV radiation is set to take the medical industry by storm.

The invisible non-toxic spray, which forms an easy-clean coating one millionth of a millimetre thick, can be applied to any surface to protect it aga... Read More

TWiV 68: Ode to a plaque

Unable to embed Rapid1Pixelout audio player. Please double check that:  1)You have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.  2)This web page does not have any fatal Javascript errors.  3)The audio-player.js file of Rapid1Pixelout has been included.

On episode #68 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Alan, and Rich are enthralled by movies of vaccinia virus plaque formation, then consider how repulsion of superinfection virions leads ... Read More

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