This blog post by Washington Post reporter Ezra Klein examines the author's feelings towards antibiotics and antimicrobials in meat production, along with their potential for causing antibiotic-resistance. With other countries already moving away from non-therapeutic antibiotic use in animals, K... Read More
Less than one third of healthcare workers in Germany and elsewhere have themselves vaccinated against classic influenza. This reluctance is astounding, firstly because vaccination against influenza viruses is considered safe and effective and secondly because it has been proved to prevent nosoco... Read More
Fine Reading: The Good-Enough Clockus of Prochlorococcus by Elio Schaechter from the Small Things Considered blog reviews a recent report from Ilka Axmann's lab in Berlin that concerns the marine cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus and it's biological clockworks.
"The authors propose that their da... Read More
Researchers have identified a role for rare, right-handed versions of amino acids. This so-called D-form of nature's building blocks allows bacterial cell walls to adapt to changes in the environment, says a study in Science this week -- marking one of the few times the D-aminos have been linked... Read More
An interesting article on how colleges and universities are using traditional media in combination with social media to get out H1N1/swine flu prevention tips to their student commuities.
"Most cases of that strain (sometimes called “swine flu”) have been mild to moderate so far, but with so ... Read More
A team of scientists led by U of C grad Casey Hubert has detected high numbers of heat loving, or thermophilic, bacteria in subzero sediments in the Arctic Ocean off the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen. The bacterial spores might provide a unique opportunity to trace seepages of fluids from hot ... Read More
The investigative work of a group of public health graduate students who work for the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has helped find the sources of the country's two most recent major salmonella outbreaks, in peanuts earlier this year and in jalapeño peppers (previously blamed on tomatoes)... Read More
Researchers from the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, Italy, analyzed three strains of the common probiotic Lactobacillus for their immunological properties and efficacy to treat or prevent inflammatory bowel disease in mice. The results suggests that each probiotic strain should be char... Read More
A recent paper published in PLoS suggests that the warming of the Mediterranean Sea's surface water is turning "marine snow," mostly organic detritus falling from the upper layers of the water column, into marine mucilage, a gelatinous evolving stage of marine snow, which can reach huge dimensio... Read More
PLoS One has published an interesting paper that considers using smart phones for scientific field data collection and suggests mobile apps could also be beneficial for recruiting ‘citizen scientists’ to contribute data easily to central databases through their mobile phone.
Here's the abstr... Read More
A wireless, credit-card-sized sensor that can detect whether health care workers have properly washed their hands upon entering a patient's room is being studied at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center. The device could greatly reduce the number of hospital acquired infections nat... Read More
In a decade-long initiative to protect millions of families from malaria in sub-Saharan Africa, a U.S. government-funded project helped sell 50 million bed nets in seven countries, crafted a voucher system to allow the poor to receive them for free or partial cost, and created enough incentives ... Read More
Small businesses play a key role in protecting employees’ health and safety as well as limiting the impact to the economy and society during an influenza pandemic. Advance planning for pandemic influenza, a novel infectious disease that could occur in varying levels of severity, is critical. Com... Read More
Australian researchers may have uncovered a clue as to why some people who catch swine flu suffer life-threatening illness.
And if they are right, there is an existing weapon in the treatment arsenal that could help reduce the pandemic death toll. The group found that pregnant women who becam... Read More
Scientists in Pennsylvania report that boosting production of crops used to make biofuels could make a difficult task to shrink a vast, oxygen-depleted "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico more difficult. The zone, which reached the size of Massachusetts in 2008, forms in summer and threatens marin... Read More
Bean plants' natural defences against bacterial infections could be unwittingly driving the evolution of more highly pathogenic bacteria, according to new research published September 10 in Current Biology.
The study sheds new light on how bacterial pathogens evolve and adapt to stresses from... Read More
Researchers have found a pair of compounds that kill dormant tuberculosis bacteria in monkey and lab-grown human cells, according to a study to be published on Thursday. The discovery could lead to new drugs that disable the microbe, which lies inactive in approximately two-thirds of the world's... Read More
This New York Times article examines the shortage of funding for biotechnology and life sciences companies as traditional major investors pull back. Even as the industry experiences a surge in new funding this quarter, overall investment remains at mid-1990's levels. The state of the industry, h... Read More
In order to be able to ward off disease pathogens, immune cells must be mobile and be able to establish contact with each other. The working group around Professor Dr. Oliver Fackler in the Virology Department of the Hygiene Institute of the Heidelberg University Hospital has discovered a mechan... Read More