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Gene Therapy Trial Succeeds In Boosting Protective Protein In Patients With Hereditary Lung Disease

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the University of Florida in Gainesville have safely given new, functional genes to patients with a hereditary defect that can lead to fatal lung and liver diseases, according to clinical trial findings slated to appear this week ... Read More

Flip-flops are a magnet for dangerous, deadly bacteria

Lab tests conducted on two pairs of flip flops that were worn for four days revealed Staphylococcus aureus contamination in the rubber. If the bacteria made its way into your foot via a cut, it could enter the bloodstream and cause some serious problems.

"It can make you pretty sick if it got... Read More

Is the Frog-Killing Chytrid Fungus Fueled by Climate Fluctuations?

This much is clear: frogs are dying.

One third of the world's 6,260 amphibian species are globally threatened or extinct. The primary threat to their survival is still habitat destruction, which impacts 61 percent of known amphibian species. But climate change and the deadly chytrid fungus co... Read More

Ralstonia solanacearum

Amazing pathogen. Phytobacteria Ralstonia solanacearum (green cells) inside Potato vascular tissue. Read More

Curing viral diseases before they have even evolved

The New Scientist has an interesting story out about Michael Goldblatt, who once led the biodefense program for the Pentagon's research arm, DARPA, and now heads Functional Genetics, a biotech company in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Goldblatt, along with a few other researchers, "are working on an en... Read More

A Spotter's Guide to Human Viruses

The New Scientist has published a nifty gallery of "psychedelic"-like images of human viruses. Many of them are from Government agencies so they are public domain. Click "source" to view the entire collection.


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Water filter turns filthy water drinkable

Much of the world lacks access to clean drinking water. Engineer Michael Pritchard did something about it -- inventing the portable Lifesaver filter, which can make the most revolting water drinkable in seconds. This is a pretty amazing demo. Read More

New DNA Vaccine Inhibits Deadly Skin Cancer in Mice

A new DNA vaccine inhibited malignant melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer, in mice by eliciting antibodies that target a gastrin-releasing peptide which is known to play a key role in cancer development. The researchers from China and the U.S. report their findings in the July 2009 issue of ... Read More

Nathan Wolfe's jungle search for viruses

Virus hunter Nathan Wolfe is outwitting the next pandemic by staying two steps ahead: discovering deadly new viruses where they first emerge -- passing from animals to humans among poor subsistence hunters in Africa -- before they claim millions of lives. Read More

Thailand's Kasetsart University's Microbiology Department

You don't have to speak Thai to enjoy this promotional video from Kasetsart University's microbiology department in Thailand. (I like how they use "Micro World" in it.) Read More

Earth History: Time Flies, No Matter What the Scale (Experiment)

In this two-part activity, which uses discovery and an inquiry approach, the participants will be given cartoon drawings representing significant events in the history of the Earth and asked to place them on a timeline made of colored ribbon. Then they mathematically relate the geologic time sca... Read More

University of Utah develops a new 'molecular' condom for women that protects against HIV

University of Utah scientists developed a new kind of "molecular condom" to protect women from AIDS in Africa and other impoverished areas. Before sex, women would insert a vaginal gel that turns semisolid in the presence of semen, trapping AIDS virus particles in a microscopic mesh so they can'... Read More

Marine Microbes Creating Green Waves In Industry

New technology designed to analyse large numbers of novel marine microbes could lead to more efficient and greener ways to manufacture new drugs for conditions such as epilepsy, diabetes, flu and other viruses, as well as improving the manufacture of other products such as agrochemicals.

Rese... Read More

Muscle vs Mussels: California's Campaign to Reduce Quaggas

California and federal officials are sizing up diverse strategies in their campaign to contain trillions of quagga mussels, dime-sized invaders threatening water and power supplies in California and across the Southwest.

Vivacious reproducers ā€“ a single quagga can produce 1 million eggs in a ... Read More

Understanding Cicadas and their Bacterial Symbionts

How do cicadas gather the nutrients they need to survive, despite their low-nutrient diet? John McCutcheon, a molecular biologist at the University of Arizona, says that cicadas supplement their diet by maintaining complicated relationships with two species of specialized bacteria that live insi... Read More

Half of Connecticut's Honey Bees Infected by American Foulbrood

The AP is reporting 10% of Connecticut's registered beehive population is seriously infected with the American foulbrood bacterium, Paenibacillus larva, another 40% of hives show a low level exposure in their brood chambers, where eggs develop into adults.

Experts say the findings are troubl... Read More

A Biochemical Way to Reduce Drug Side Effects?

Despite what the overcrowded, overpriced shelves of your pharmacy might suggest, pharmaceutical companies struggle to find new drugs these days. The low-hanging fruit is long gone, and the main discovery method that served so well in past decades is generating far fewer hits today. But a fresh s... Read More

Routine tests turn up avian flu in Minnesota turkeys

Thousands of turkeys in Minnesota have been quarantined after a strain of avian flu (H7N9) was found at a poultry farm there. Experts say that the strain is markedly less virulent than H5N1, the Asian strain that has caused more than 250 human deaths and millions of poultry deaths.

"It would ... Read More

Germ warfare scientist Wallace Pannier dies at 81

Wallace L. Pannier, a germ warfare scientist whose top-secret projects included a mock attack on the New York subway with powdered bacteria in 1966, has died of respiratory failure and other natural causes, his widow said.

He died Thursday in Frederick. He was 81. Read More

TWiV 44: No hysteria



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