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Oil Traveled Up the Gulf Food Chain, Scientists Say

While officials in Washington pick apart the sequence of events that led to the release of nearly five million barrels of oil in the Deepwater Horizon disaster, scientists are still trying to figure out where all of that oil went.

Some of it was captured in the spill response, some of it is s... Read More

Scientists to Congress: Pass the stem cell law ... while you still can

The people who bring you advances in medical research have an urgent message for Congress: Pass the Stem Cell Research Advancement Act … while you still can.

In a letter sent Friday to the leadership of the House of Representatives and the Senate, the deans of American medical schools, chief ... Read More

Preventing tuberculosis deaths in India

The most recent issue of The New Yorker has a fascinating article by Michael Specter on tuberculosis in India, where the most serious problem is not the unavailability or costs of drugs so much as the lack of proper diagnostic tests. This situation may change drastically with the availability of... Read More

Gouda cheese from Costco linked to E. coli outbreak in five states

Free samples and packages of Gouda cheese sold at Costco have been removed from store shelves after being linked to 25 cases of an E. coli outbreak in five Western states, according to health officials.

Costco, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Preventio... Read More

Flu vaccination in school kids helps protect everyone

Giving flu vaccines to as many school-age children as possible, by delivering it at school, for example, can help protect an entire community from flu, according to a new study.

Researchers led by Dr. W. Paul Glezen at Baylor College of Medicine created a study in which live attenuated influe... Read More

Stepping Up Exercise Could Help Beat The Cold Virus

There's always somebody passing around a cold virus — whether it's a stranger who sneezes in the elevator or a sick colleague who lends out a pen covered in germs. But not everyone who gets exposed to a common-cold virus goes on to get sick.

"Think about a household when one person gets sick,... Read More

Pandemic H1N1 Flu Hit Kids Hard in 2009

Among children hospitalized with the pandemic H1N1 flu last year in California, more than one-fourth ended up in intensive care units or died, California Department of Public Health researchers report.

"While hospitalization for 2009 H1N1 influenza in children appeared to occur at similar rat... Read More

Infection control

Leader of nation’s AIDS research effort laments complacency about the disease:

Q. You’re a 1962 graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, and your career as a physician, researcher, and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has been shaped by the emergence of ... Read More

Stranded California sea lions may pose serious health risk

A sharp increase in the number of sick and dead California sea lions has been reported along the Oregon coast in recent weeks, and necropsies conducted on dozens of the animals suggest that many may have died from leptospirosis.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease found in a variety of anima... Read More

Haiti cholera deaths over 500

A cholera outbreak in Haiti has killed more than 500 people, the World Health Organization said Sunday.

More than 7,000 people have fallen ill with the waterborne disease in a country now cleaning up from flooding brought on by Hurricane Tomas last week.

The storm hit parts of western Hait... Read More

Potential New Virus in Switchgrass Discovered

University of Illinois researchers have confirmed the first report of a potential new virus belonging to the genus Marafivirus in switchgrass, a biomass crop being evaluated for commercial cellulosic ethanol production.

The virus is associated with mosaic and yellow streak symptoms on switchg... Read More

U.S. food unregulated, illness unreported

A plate of food may come from many countries and is handled many times, increasing the risk of germs that can make people sick, U.S. microbiologists say.

Members of the American Academy of Microbiology issued a report, "Global Food Safety: Keeping Food Safe from Farm to Table," detailing how ... Read More

Virus threatens 50 million livestock in Africa: UN

A deadly virus that broke out in Tanzania earlier this year could expand across southern Africa and threaten more than 50 million sheep and goats in 15 countries, the UN's food agency warned on Tuesday.

The Small Ruminants Plague virus, or PPR under its French acronym, is "considered as the m... Read More

Unexpectedly Small Effects Of Mutations In Bacteria Bring New Perspectives

Most mutations in the genes of the Salmonella bacterium have a surprisingly small negative impact on bacterial fitness. And this is the case regardless whether they lead to changes in the bacterial proteins or not. This is shown by Uppsala University scientists in an article being published toda... Read More

Brazil worried as more superbug infections emerge

The spread of an antibiotic-resistant superbug in Brazil was worrying officials, as new cases emerged Saturday following the recent deaths of at least 18 people.

Three patients in the northern state of Pernambuco were in stable condition in intensive care suffering Klebsiella pneumoniae Carba... Read More

Hospitals Slow to Adopt Infection Prevention Program

Doctors insert into patients what is called a central line, which can be used to administer vital medications while monitoring various critical elements within the heart and blood.

But a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate shows that 250,000 patients with central lines contrac... Read More

TWiV 106: Making viral DNA II

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On episode #106 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Dickson, and Rich continue Virology 101 with a second installment of their discussion of how viruses with DNA genomes replicate their g... Read More

TWiV 106 Letters

Christina writes:

Hi TWiV guys,

I am currently attending Florida Gulf Coast University as a biology major. I am taking molecular genetics and a virology course. I have learned that, in a eukaryotic system, histones are bound to DNA through a force attraction b... Read More

Dengue fever at epidemic levels in Puerto Rico

When champion surfer Andy Irons was found dead in a Dallas hotel room this week, family members said they suspected he had dengue fever — a virus transmitted by mosquitoes in tropical countries.

Irons had been in Puerto Rico to compete in a surfing contest, but bailed out early because he was... Read More

New clues found to symptom-free HIV

There's still no vaccine for HIV, but researchers have made inroads in discovering new clues to why a minority of infected people can carry the virus without symptoms.

Only about one in 300 people infected appear to have an immune system that can naturally suppress the virus's replication, an... Read More
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