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Mosquito trial to cut dengue infection gets go-ahead in Malaysia

The Malaysian government has granted approval to release genetically modified sterile mosquitoes into the wild in an open field trial. Supported by a Wellcome Trust Translation Award, Oxford-based biotechnology company Oxitec is hoping that its method of controlling the mosquito population will ... Read More

Fungal threads are the internet of the plant world

Gardeners, keep an eye on your tomato plants. There's no knowing what they are plotting underground.

Some 80 per cent of plants are colonised by fungi that form the familiar network of fine white threads that hang off many roots. The threads, called mycorrhizae, take in water and minerals fro... Read More

This faster-growing E. coli strain's a good thing

A University of Illinois metabolic engineer has improved a strain of E. coli, making it grow faster. Don't worry, he believes his efforts will benefit human health, not decimate it.

"The average person hears E. coli and thinks of E. coli 0157:H7, a microorganism that causes horrific food pois... Read More

Haiti cholera outbreak prompts fresh UN aid plea

UN spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said that unless funds were provided, "all our efforts can be outrun by the epidemic".

She said the disease had so far infected at least 11,125 people in five of Haiti's 10 districts.

Aid agencies are battling to contain cholera in the capital Port-au-Prince, ... Read More

Uganda Seen as a Front Line in the Bioterrorism Fight

The laboratories of Uganda’s Ministry of Agriculture, Animals, Industry and Fisheries sit on the top of a quiet hill on a turnoff near the airport, behind an eroded fence. At the end of a hallway is a room with an unlocked refrigerator.

That is where the anthrax is kept.

Senator Richard G... Read More

Flu shots can pay off big for employers

Flu vaccinations for employees can help an employer's bottom line, according to a new study. Research presented Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Assn., found that for each employee vaccinated an employer can save $63 to $95 per person. Vaccinating an entire 150-person ... Read More

Tropical disease kills 300 in Southern Sudan

An outbreak of a parasitic tropical disease has killed more than 300 people in Southern Sudan — and the worst of the health crisis is yet to come, officials say.

The World Health Organization says the outbreak of kala azar, which began in September 2009 and has intensified in recent months, i... Read More

New Transportable Technology Detects Bacteria in Water

To keep soldiers in the battlefield healthy, the U.S. Army is exploring new ways to detect harmful bacteria in water.

Current techniques for analyzing water in the field can take as long as 24 hours to complete, according to Bart Lipkens of Western New England College in Springfield, Massachu... Read More

Survey: Deadly white-nose spreads to more NY bats

The caves and mines where bats hibernate across upstate New York continue to be hit hard by white-nose syndrome, a mysterious fungus killing America's bats, according to a survey released Wednesday.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation said the survey conducted early this year f... Read More

German scientists discover new treatment for antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Researchers have developed a process in mice to battle bacteria no longer treatable with prevalent antibiotics. The findings could have significant implications for dealing with hospital-acquired bugs.

Every year, over four million hospital patients in Europe develop an infection during their... Read More

Keeping the fungi away: did warm bodies put mammals on top in evolutionary history?

Did a warm body put mammals at the head of the evolutionary rat race? Aviv Bergman and Arturo Casadevall present evidence in an Observation piece in mBio this week that the warm mammalian body is no accident and our relatively high body temperature could represent the perfect evolutionary compr... Read More

Housekeeping Hot Spots for Germs

While healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) can come from numerous causative agents and may be carried by numerous modes of transmission, attention should be paid to the role of environmental surfaces throughout the facility – especially those surfaces commonly considered as germ "hot spots."

... Read More

Mundo de los Microbios - Episodio 70

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A continuación: Las bacterias y la terapia para el Alzheimer, etnia y tuberculosis, los microbios y sus ambientes, y el estímulo de la respuesta inmune a los tumores.

Las bacter... Read More

Infant Foods Should Be Screened for Mycotoxins

An international team of scientists calls for protecting complementary food for infants in developing countries -- especially those where corn is a staple food -- against fumonisin, a toxin produced by fungi. Until now, physicians thought the growth retardation of children in those regions was t... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 19 - Meager Meals Maintain Microbes

This episode: Archaea subsist on extremely little.

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Do 'probiotics' work?

A lot of people these days are taking "probiotics" to help with a host of health problems. Probiotics are live microorganisms, such as bacteria. But these bugs supposedly make people feel better instead of making them sick. This may sound odd. But there's some evidence that this approach could b... Read More

Myth of a Germ-Free World: A Closer Look at Antimicrobial Products

Killing microorganisms has become a national obsession. A pair of antimicrobial compounds known as triclosan and triclocarban are lately the weapons of choice in our war of attrition against the microbial world. Both chemicals are found in an array of personal care products like antimicrobial so... Read More

Cancer Breakthrough in New Blood Cell Source?

In a neat bit of cellular wizardry, human skin cells have been turned into blood cells.

The research could have huge implications for blood-related diseases such as leukemia and lymphoma, and could also eventually lead to new treatments for other types of tissues inside the human body.

"Th... Read More

Maine pine needles yield valuable Tamiflu material

A little-known raw material used in the most widely used antiviral flu medicine comes from the fruit of trees native to China. It turns out it also comes from pine trees in Maine's backyard.

Researchers at the University of Maine at Orono say they've found a new and relatively easy way to ext... Read More

Synthetic biology: Building machines from DNA

Synthetic biology is a science that lies at the intersection of biology and engineering – and is therefore quite an intriguing subject for a microbiologist to venture into. The microbiologist is used to seeing cells as complex and exciting organisms to explore and DNA as the starting point at wh... Read More
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