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Targeting amyloid to stop HIV

Amyloid protein structures are best known for the troubles they pose in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. Now researchers are trying to exploit their presence in a very different place – in semen – to find a new way to stop HIV.

Scientists have created a substance that targets amyloid struc... Read More

Protected by Ice, RNA Could Generate, Evolve Into Life

Abstract - A crucial transition in the origin of life was the emergence of an informational polymer capable of self-replication and its compartmentalization within protocellular structures. We show that the physicochemical properties of ice, a simple medium widespread on a temperate early Earth,... Read More

Daycare puts children with lung disease at risk for serious illness

Exposure to common viruses in daycare puts children with a chronic lung condition caused by premature birth at risk for serious respiratory infections, according to a study from Johns Hopkins Children's Center published in the October issue of Pediatrics.

The researchers say their findings sh... Read More

Careers after Biological Sciences - James Lonnen

Dr. James Lonnen is the Commercial Laboratory Director in the Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation at the University of Leicester. He studied Biological Sciences (Microbiology), one of a suite of Biological Sciences degrees available at the University of Leicester, and graduated in... Read More

Dance your Ph.D. 2010 - Mechanism of Integration of NBU1, a Bacterioides Mobilizable Transposon

Here's the second place winner in Science Now's "Dance Your PhD 2010" worldwide dance competition.

The microbiology of the bowels has never been danced so gracefully. Read More

Saving Young Lives in Zambia

Anti-malarial drugs are being used inappropriately for sick children in Zambia -- a problem that can be addressed by arming community health workers with a simple rapid-diagnostic test and a supply of antibiotics, a study led by researchers at Boston University School of Public Health has found.... Read More

Perspective: H1N1 will either cause low or moderate mortality or go extinct

The 2009 swine flu virus faces two probable fates: it will either continue to cause low or moderate mortality or it will go extinct. That’s the judgment of the authors of a new Perspectives piece in mBio, which points out that the impact of the virus this flu season will depend largely on the d... Read More

A mat of microbes 'as big as Greece' off the coast of Chile

Moselio Schaechter of the Small Things Considered blog discusses one of the largest biomass entities in the oceans that was explored as part of the decade-long Census of Marine Life, a global network of researchers in more than 80 nations engaged in a scientific initiative to assess and explain ... Read More

One Theory Behind Adult-Onset Celiac Disease: Gut Bacteria

For years researchers thought that celiac disease — whose sufferers experience an autoimmune reaction to gluten protein — began only in childhood. A new study, however, suggests not only that the number of cases is on the rise, but that the disease can manifest itself in middle-aged and even eld... Read More

City Living Promoted Resistance to Infectious Disease (SciAm podcast)

City living has obviously influenced human culture—as have often been noted, how you gonna keep ‘em down on the farm after they’ve seen Paree'? But urban life may have also influenced human genes, making the descendants of ancient city dwellers more resistant to disease. That's according to a st... Read More

Computer model shows US vulnerable to MDR-TB epidemic

While the U.S. has made great progress in the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis, the nation has become more susceptible to potential epidemics of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), according a study led by Johns Hopkins researchers. Computer simulations show that as TB prevalence ... Read More

Almost half of gay men who have HIV don't know they are infected, CDC says

A recent analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that 1 in 5 gay and bisexual men in the United States is infected with HIV and almost half of those infected are unaware of their status.

Each year about 56,300 Americans become infected with HIV and about 18,000 die ... Read More

Marsden grant takes microbiology to the extreme

Dr. Charles Lee is a FRST Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Biological Sciences at The University of Waikato. His research into the microbial ecology of extreme environments received a significant financial boost on Friday when the 2010 Marsden Fund grants were announced. The F... Read More

Battle of the bacteria

Researchers from the University of Nottingham have discovered that in Staphylococcus aureus infections, bacteria defective in Quorum Sensing (QS) can benefit from opting out of toxin production and can quickly outnumber other bacteria, thereby reducing infection severity.

“This opens up the i... Read More

Key Molecule for Keeping Other Oral Microorganisms in Check Uncovered

A University of Oklahoma research team has uncovered a key to arresting the growth of thrush -- a type of oral yeast infection that sickens patients with compromised immune systems, diabetes and newborns as well as healthy individuals, who may contract the disease following antibiotic treatment ... Read More

High hopes held for new rabies therapy

A trial of a new human monoclonal antibody treatment against rabies has been successful, shaping up as a potential alternative to expensive alternatives derived from horse serum or human blood.

The new cost-effective rabies therapy developed by MassBiologics at the University of Massachusett... Read More

Taiwan: 7.8% of children are carriers of drug-resistant staph bacteria

An average 7.8 percent of children under 5 years of age in Taiwan are carriers of multidrug-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) , a type of bacteria that can cause deadly infections, a study showed Saturday.

Among children under six months, 11 percent carry the bacteria without symptoms, a... Read More

New ways to fight bacteria

Doctors and infectious bacteria are locked in an arms race. In this ever-escalating battle, the bacteria evolve ways to avoid every drug humans throw at them.

The conflict has intensified lately as more and more bacteria — particularly those lurking in hospitals — become able to resist nearly... Read More

TWiV 100: TWiV catches a big fish

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On episode #100 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Alan, and Rich celebrate the 100th episode by talking about viruses with Nobel Laureate David Baltimore.

Host links Read More

TWiV 100 Letters

Damon writes:

I've been having an enjoyable time on my commute lately catching up with TWiV. Today I listened to #26 (Poxviruses), which included a discussion of Tysabri and PML. I work at Millipore which sells many products that go into a MAb production train, includ... Read More

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