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Why Bird Flu Has Not Caused a Pandemic

Bird flu viruses would have to make at least two simultaneous genetic mutations before they could be transmitted readily from human to human, according to research published November 19 in PLoS One.

The authors of the new study, from Imperial College London, the University of Reading and the ... Read More

Study looks at viruses attacking bacteria

Scientists at Texas A&M University say they are investigating how some viruses, known for attacking humans and animals, instead attack bacteria.

The researchers said information about such viral attackers, called phages or bacteriophages, might aid in the treatment of bacterial infections.

... Read More

Sid the Science Kid Flu Vaccination Special Episode from Flu.gov

Stumbled onto this great resource provided by the folks at Flu.gov. HHS and the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research worked with the Henson Company to produce a special episode of the PBS kids TV show "Sid the Science Kid". This first aired on PBS on the 26th of Oct and will be ... Read More

A Genetics Company Fails, Its Research Too Complex

DeCode Genetics, a pioneering company that used the Icelandic population as its guinea pigs in detecting disease-causing mutations, filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday.

The company’s demise suggests that the medical promise of the human genome may take much longer to be fulfilled than its sponsor... Read More

Mundo de los Microbios - Episodio 28



Los temas que vamos a tratar esta semana son: plásmidos, estructuras productoras de esporas (“fruiting bodies”), sociomicrobiología, y el acto de lavarse las manos en las diferentes culturas.


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Treponema pallidum

Electron micrograph of Treponema pallidum from a patient Read More

Detonating Tumor-Killer Drug in Cancers on Command

Experiments at the Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute (PVLSI) at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass., reported in a recent British Journal of Cancer, confirm that University of Massachusetts Amherst chemical engineer Neil Forbes' delivery and trigger system has for the first time s... Read More

New Culprit for Viral Infections Among Elderly—An Overactive Immune Response

Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have found that exaggerated responses of the immune system explain why the elderly succumb to viral infections more readily than younger people. Published in the November 19 Cell Host & Microbe, the study bucks the general belief that declining immune respo... Read More

DOE and USDA Offer $4 Million for Biomass Genomics Research

DOE and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on October 12 that they will offer $4 million for genomics research projects to develop new plant feedstocks for biofuels. The new funding continues a commitment, begun in 2006, to conduct a joint fundamental research program in biomass... Read More

Better not cough: Santas lobby for swine flu shots

Forget cookies and milk. Santa wants the swine flu vaccine.

Many of the nation's Santas want to be given priority for the vaccine and not just because of those runny-nosed kids. There's also the not-so-little matter of that round belly. Research has suggested obesity could be a risk factor.
... Read More

Streptococcus pneumoniae

Streptococcus pneumoniae in sputum smear. Gram stain (1200X) Read More

The Startling Epidemiology of H1N1

Science cartoonist Jay Hosler drafted this comic for the cover of the program for The Allegheny Branch of The American Society for Microbiology (ABASM) meeting at Juniata College this weekend (November 20th and 21st). Amusing. To see more of Hosler's work visit Read More

Study Ties Restrooms to Illnesses on Cruises

It is the perfect way to spoil a vacation, and it has happened 66 times since 2005: an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness aboard a cruise ship. Now a study suggests one possible culprit: dirty restrooms.

Most restrooms on these ships are not being properly cleaned, the authors say, and a sa... Read More

FDA Bows To Pressure From Fans Of Raw Oysters

Facing political pressure from the Gulf Coast oyster industry, the FDA has backed off a plan to require raw oysters from the Gulf of Mexico to be treated to rid them of Vibrio vulnificus, a potentially deadly bacteria found in warm-water oysters. Harvesters and politicians had warned that the pl... Read More

The Winged Scourge featuring the Seven Dwarfs

Here's a fine Walt Disney Production from 1943 about the Anopheles genus of mosquitos and how it transmits the Plasmodium parasite from human to human. Our heros in this "motion picture" are the seven dwarfs who use a variety of methods to eliminate the "winged scourge." One not-so-green method ... Read More

Walt Disney's Insects as Carriers of Disease

Published in 1946 as a motion picture, Walt Disney Productions shows how the fly, the mosquito and the louse are carriers of dysentery, malaria and typhus, and tells how to get rid of these carriers through sanitary measures.

This was found by @TwistedBacteria on Twitter Read More

Larry Brilliant Speaks About Bird Flu at Google

A candid conversation with Larry Brilliant about pandemic bird flu (H5N1), the risks we face, the uncertainties, and to talk about the accuracy and inaccuracies in the mass media. This talk was presented in May of 2006, but it's interesting to watch in light of the current media environment arou... Read More

All about oomycetes - fine reading

The Small Things Considered blog has just started a three-part series on oomycetes, also known as water molds.

The first piece (published today) describes oomycete biology, the other two will focus on a particular oomycete: the late potato blight pathogen.

Here's a clip:

"As you know, ... Read More

Aiming Higher - Microbiology

A well produced university promotional video that takes a look at the daily workings of a microbiologist as well as a lab supervisor. Read More

Slowing Evolution to Stop Drug Resistance

Infectious organisms that become resistant to antibiotics are a serious threat to human society. They are also a natural part of evolution. In a new project, researchers at the University of Gothenburg are attempting to find substances that can slow the pace of evolution, in order to ensure that... Read More

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