Laboratories are invariably out of the public eye—until there is a problem. In Canada, The Canadian Press reported earlier this year that audits had uncovered serious flaws in the tracking and accountability of dangerous pathogen specimens at federal laboratories. In response, the Public Health ... Read More
Nigeria, once the worst-afflicted country in the world, has been free of the parasitic infection Dracunculiasis, aka guinea worm, for the past 12 months according to the Carter Center.
People can become infected with guinea worm when they drink pond water infested with microscopic fleas, in w... Read More
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 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
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. Conidium discharged into lid of petri dish. Phase. (450X) Read More
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
"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
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
(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 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
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
"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 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
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
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
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
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
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