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Self-Destructing Bacteria Improve Renewable Biofuel Production

An Arizona State University research team has developed a process that removes a key obstacle to producing lower-cost, renewable biofuels. The team has programmed a photosynthetic microbe to self-destruct, making the recovery of high-energy fats--and their biofuel byproducts--easier and potentia... Read More

More than 20% of U.S. Water Treatment Systems Violate Key Provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act

More than 20 percent of the nation’s water treatment systems have violated key provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act over the last five years, according to a New York Times analysis of federal data.

That law requires communities to deliver safe tap water to local residents. But since 2004... Read More

Dr. Jesse Lazear, Yellow Fever and the Mosquito Hypothesis

In recognition of a new campaign aimed at vaccinating 12 million persons in Benin, Liberia and Sierra Leone by WHO’s Yellow Fever Initiative, Welkin Johnson, Associate Blogger for Small Things Considered and Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School, ha... Read More

Entomophthora coronata

Entomophthora coronata. Conidium discharged into lid of petri dish. Phase. (450X) Read More

MTS39 - Paul Turner- Pandemic in a Petri Dish

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'Rational drug design' identifies fragments of FDA-approved drugs relevant to emerging viruses

A massive, data-crunching computer search program that matches fragments of potential drug molecules to the known shapes of viral surface proteins has identified several FDA-approved drugs that could be the basis for new medicines -- if emerging viruses such as the H5N1(avian flu) or H1N1/09 (sw... Read More

KLM Airlines Complete First Passenger Flight Powered by Biofuel

"Dutch airline KLM has completed a fifth jet biofuel test flight—and the first with passengers other than flight crew. Using a 50–50 blend of regular jet fuel and biofuel refined from camelina oil in one of its four engines, the flight carried 42 "observers" for an hour on November 23 from Amste... Read More

CDC's FluSurge 2.0 update available for download

The CDC has announced FluSurge 2.0 a spreadsheet-based software modeling oprogram which provides hospital administrators and public health officials estimates of the surge in demand for hospital-based services during the next influenza pandemic. FluSurge can estimate the number of hospitalizatio... Read More

Microbes help mothers protect kids from allergies

(Ed. note- this is taken from a press release but represents valid research)

A pregnant woman's exposure to microbes may protect her child from developing allergies later in life. Researchers in Marburg, Germany find that exposure to environmental bacteria triggers a mild inflammatory respons... Read More

President Obama Establishes New Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues

President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order creating a new Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. He also announced that he has appointed Amy Gutmann to serve as Chair and James W. Wagner to serve as Vice Chair of the Commission.

President Obama said, “As our nation... Read More

CDC FluView - U.S. influenza activity decreases for November 22-28, 2009

During week 47 (November 22-28, 2009), influenza activity continued to decrease in the U.S.:

* 956 (15.4%) specimens tested by U.S. World Health Organization (WHO) and National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS) collaborating laboratories and reported to CDC/Influ... Read More

Researchers find a novel mechanism by which drugs block HIV-1 from entering host cells

"Publishing in PLoS Pathogens, researchers at from the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson have found a novel mechanism by which drugs block HIV-1 from entering host cells.

Cellular invasion by HIV-1 requires the concerted action of two proteins on the viral surface: gp120 and gp41. The functio... Read More

Colorado College Students Take First Place at ASM Rocky Mountain Branch Meeting

Colorado College students Nicole Laniohan ’09 and Nguyen Nguyen ’11 took first prize for the best undergraduate poster presentation at the Rocky Mountain Branch meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. Laniohan and Nguyen, who worked with CC Associate Biology Professor Phoebe Lostroh, p... Read More

Personalised vaccines could protect all children

Children whose genetic make-up means they may not be protected by the standard form of a vaccine could in future be given a personalized shot. This is the prospect raised by the discovery of gene variants that seem to predict whether an individual will produce enough antibodies in response to a ... Read More

Cholera Epidemic Infects Thousands in Kenya

Not long ago, the news was full of reports about two male Humboldt penguins at a zoo in Germany that adopted an egg, hatched it and reared the chick together. It seems like every time you turn around, the media spotlight has fallen on another example of same-sex liaisons in the animal kingdom.
... Read More

Potent two-pronged antibiotic provides hope for future drugs

A two-headed compound obtained from soil bacteria may hold the key to developing the next generation of antibiotics, researchers in the UK report. The compound, called simocyclinone, was found to shut down crucial bacterial enzymes in an unusual two-pronged attack.

It is hoped the research c... Read More

The Attendee's Guide to Scientific Meetings

Julian Davies, Professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia and a Fellow of the Royal Society, has authored a humorous post on the Small Things Considered blog on the various methods an attendee of a scientific meeting can employ to enhance "maximum satisfaction and poise" one gets o... Read More

Review Shows Safety of H1N1 Vaccine, Officials Say

An extensive review of adverse effects from the swine flu vaccine indicates that the vaccine is safe, with side effects no different from those of seasonal flu vaccines, health officials reported on Friday.

The information comes from two monitoring networks. One is the Vaccine Adverse Event ... Read More

Cholera Epidemic Infects Thousands in Kenya

A cholera epidemic is sweeping across Kenya, with 4,700 cases reported in the past month and 119 deaths in what Kenyan officials are calling “one of the worst outbreaks in a decade.”

The most stricken areas are the arid swaths of northern Kenya, which were hit this year by a devastating droug... Read More

Experimental drug is combating hepatitis C in chimps, researchers say

The antiviral, which is already being tested for safety in humans, has exhibited no toxic side effects and has not allowed development of resistance, a characteristic that plagues other treatments.

An experimental antiviral drug that works by a different mechanism than existing drugs has been... Read More

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