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Saudi Arabia: Pilgrims Who Travel to Mecca This Fall Will Get an Oral Polio Vaccine on Arrival

Saudi Arabia has announced that everyone arriving for the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in November will have to swallow a dose of oral polio vaccine under the eyes of health officials.

The kingdom has become more and more aggressive in its fight against polio, which has hovered on the brink of ... Read More

Essay: Pregnancy Is No Time to Refuse a Flu Shot

Pregnant women are deluged with advice about things to avoid: caffeine, paint, soft cheese, sushi. Even when evidence of possible harm is weak or purely theoretical, the overriding caveat is, “Don’t take it, don’t use it, don’t do it.”

In a few contexts, the admonition is warranted; in most, ... Read More

Biofuel to be Made from Tuberculosis Bacteria

A team of researchers at MIT are engineering a strain of bacteria, which is similar to the type that causes tuberculosis, to produce biofuel.

The researchers say that the bacteria are useful because they are hungry for a number of sugars and toxic compounds and produce lipids that can be conv... Read More

Probiotics: Looking Underneath the Yogurt Label

When the label tells you the food you are buying “contains probiotics,” are you getting health benefits or just marketing hype? Perhaps a bit of both.

Probiotics are live micro-organisms that work by restoring the balance of intestinal bacteria and raising resistance to harmful germs. Taken i... Read More

Where the Worst Germs Lurk

They lurk on the kitchen sponge, your computer keyboard and the dirty laundry. Flush the toilet and they become airborne. Strangers leave them behind on airplanes, gas pumps, shopping carts, coffeeshop counters and elevator buttons. Your desktop, office microwave handles, and the exercise bike a... Read More

Diverse fish reduce coral disease

Coral reefs where lots of different kinds of fish swim are healthier than overfished ones, scientists have shown.

Researchers showed a reduced incidence of coral disease in areas of the Philippines where fishing is banned, compared with neighbouring areas.

They conclude that some types of ... Read More

Borrelia vincenti strain N19

Electron micrograph of Borrelia vincenti strain N19 Read More

Light, Photosynthesis Help Bacteria Invade Fresh Produce

Exposure to light and possibly photosynthesis itself could be helping disease-causing bacteria to be internalized by lettuce leaves, making them impervious to washing, according to research published in the October issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Salmonella enteri... Read More

The Naming Of Cronobacter Sakazakii


Enterobacter sakazakii, a gram-negative bacillus, is a rare cause of bloodstream and central nervous system infections. In 2007, following extensive study, it was proposed that the original taxonomy of Enterobacter sakazakii be revised, to consist of five new species moved to a new genus, ide... Read More

Healthy Pet, Healthy You (MWV32)

Animal, human and environmental health are inexorably intertwined. Diseases are making the jump from animals to humans and vice-versa at an increasing pace. The emergence of animal borne diseases such as Avian flu, Ebola, and most recently H1N1 (swine flu), demonstrate the need for an integra... Read More

Don’t Blame Flu Shots for All Ills, Officials Say

As soon as swine flu vaccinations start next month, some people getting them will drop dead of heart attacks or strokes, some children will have seizures and some pregnant women will miscarry.

But those events will not necessarily have anything to do with the vaccine. That poses a public rela... Read More

Detailed Glimpse Of Chemoreceptor Architecture In Bacterial Cells

Using state-of-the-art electron microscopy techniques, a team led by researchers from Caltech has for the first time visualized and described the precise arrangement of chemoreceptors—the receptors that sense and respond to chemical stimuli—in bacteria. In addition, they have found that this spe... Read More

HIV’s Ancestors May Have Plagued First Mammals

The retroviruses which gave rise to HIV have been battling it out with mammal immune systems since mammals first evolved around 100 million years ago – about 85 million years earlier than previously thought, scientists now believe.

The remains of an ancient HIV-like virus have been discovered... Read More

New Antibacterial Chemical Compound Discovered

Antibiotic resistance has been a significant problem for hospitals and health-care facilities for more than a decade. But despite the need for new treatment options, there have been only two new classes of antibiotics developed in the last 40 years.

Now a promising discovery by McMaster Unive... Read More

Microbiology: Free-for-all On The Leaf Surface

For the first time, ETH Zurich scientists have examined the genes and proteins of bacteria that live on leaves to clarify which unicellular organisms are found on leaf surfaces and what they are doing there.

Bacteria are everywhere: in the ground, on the seabed, in boiling hot sources, in the... Read More

University of Toronto researchers identify how food-borne disease spreads between cells

University of Toronto researchers are part of an international team which has uncovered a previously unknown mechanism that plays an important role in the spread of listeria, the trigger behind the food-borne disease listeriosis, which caused a deadly outbreak in Canada in the summer of 2008.

... Read More

Intense tracking for swine flu shot's side effects

More than 3,000 people a day have a heart attack. If you're one of them the day after your swine flu shot, will you worry the vaccine was to blame and not the more likely culprit, all those burgers and fries?

The government is starting an unprecedented system to track possible side effects as... Read More

TWiV 51: ALVAC-HIV and AIDSVAX B/E

Unable to embed Rapid1Pixelout audio player. Please double check that:  1)You have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.  2)This web page does not have any fatal Javascript errors.  3)The audio-player.js file of Rapid1Pixelout has been included.

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDick Despommier, and  Read More

Sequencing-Based Approach Helps Map Genetic Interactions in Bacteria

Researchers from the Howard Hughes Medical Research Institute and the Tufts University School of Medicine reported in the advance, online edition of Nature Methods this week that they have come up with a method for identifying genes needed for bacterial survival — and mapping genetic interaction... Read More

A Better Bug for Biofuels

While most attempts to engineer biofuel-producing microbes have focused on well-known organisms such as yeasts and E. coli, scientists also hope to co-opt the unique metabolic functions of some of the microbial world's less-studied creatures. Anthony Sinskey and his team at MIT have been catalog... Read More
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