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Food-Borne Outbreaks: Keeping Lettuce and Other Fresh Produce Clean

The convenience of fresh-cut produce, which includes packaged lettuces, has greatly increased sales despite multiple foodborne outbreaks associated with these products. To reduce these risks, strict hygiene programs and sanitizers are used for decontamination once the food is harvested. Preventi... Read More

Swine Flu spreads throughout most of US

Swine flu has spread to 30 U.S. states and the number of countries with confirmed cases jumped to 20 from two in little more than a week. The expansion comes as Mexico’s president said his nation is winning the battle against the virus and may return to normal this week. Read More

WHO head indicates full flu pandemic to be declared

The World Health Organization is likely to raise its flu alert to the top of its six-point scale and declare a pandemic, its director-general indicated in an interview published on Monday.

In remarks setting the scene for another alert increase, but without saying when, WHO chief Margaret Cha... Read More

Influenza A (H1N1) aka Swine Flu Virus

Under a plate magnification of 37,800X, this colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) depicted the A/New Jersey/76 (Hsw1N1) virus, while in the virus’ first developmental passage through a chicken egg. Read More

Probiotics and Prebiotics

Lately, we have seen commercials that promote striking the balance of "good bugs" in our own gastrointestinal (GI) tracts. Our local grocery likely has a variety of colorfully packaged yogurts boasting "live and active cultures." These products are designed to keep the good microflora happy and ... Read More

TWIV 30: A/Mexico/4108/2009 (H1N1)




In episode 30 of This Week in Virology, hosts Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, Read More

Germ Sleuths Stalk Origin of Killer Flu

"I've got some bad news."

The voice on the conference call last week was Frank Plummer, a Canadian scientist who had just spent 24 hours analyzing virus samples from 51 seriously ill people in Mexico.

The news: Seventeen people carried a completely new type of flu virus, one which had its ... Read More

The Path of a Pandemic

Around Thanksgiving 2005 a teenage boy helped his brother-in-law butcher 31 pigs at a local Wisconsin slaughterhouse, and a week later the 17-year-old pinned down another pig while it was gutted. In the lead-up to the holidays the boy's family bought a chicken and kept the animal in their home, ... Read More

Mosquito Parasite May Help Fight Dengue Fever

Dengue fever is a terrible viral disease blighting many of the world's tropical regions. Carried by mosquitoes, such as Aedes aegypti, 40% of the world's population is believed to be at risk from the infection. What is more, previous exposure to other strains of the fever does not confer protect... Read More

Arcobacter: Foodborne Pathogen's Genome Exposed

If a little-known microbe called Arcobacter butzleri has contaminated the water you drink or the food you eat, this troublesome pathogen could make you sick. Symptoms include diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and fever, all of which can become chronic if left untreated.

But investiga... Read More

Forest Service closes caves to stop bat fungus

The U.S. Forest Service is closing thousands of caves and former mines in national forests in 33 states in an effort to control a fungus that has already killed an estimated 500,000 bats.

Bats have been dying at alarming rates from what scientists call "white-nose syndrome," so-named because ... Read More

Touch Surfaces and how microbes spread

With the advent of the rapid spread of H1N1 it is often a challenge to explain the need to be vigilant about hand hygiene. CNN's Randi Kaye reporting on Anderson Cooper 360 reports on how germs from one sneeze can spread to hundreds, maybe thousands. The video has a great animation and illustr... Read More

Kissing vs. Shaking Hands: You decide

I stumbled across this web video while on a search for resources about the importance of hand hygiene. Show this to your class and they will never forgot about the need for hand hygiene. With the recent outbreak of the new variant of H1N1 also known as Swine flu, you might be seeing this vid... Read More

Medical University of South Carolina Swine Flu Resources

MUSC has put together a nice page of Swine Flu related resources and FAQs. Read More

MUSC Professor Michael Schmidt, Ph.D, on Swine Flu (H1N1)

Michael Schmidt, Ph.D, a professor at the Medical University of South Carolina and a specialist in pandemic flu preparations, gives an overview of the Swine Flu virus and explains how it first reached South Carolina. Click Source to view. Read More

Swine flu virus starting to look less threatening

The swine flu virus that has frightened the world is beginning to look a little less ominous. New York City officials reported Friday that the swine flu still has not spread beyond a few schools. In Mexico, very few relatives of flu victims seem to have caught the virus.

One flu expert says t... Read More

American Society for Microbiology Emphasizes Hand Hygiene As Flu Protective Measure

As H1N1 influenza A (swine flu) spreads, keeping hands clean is one of the most important ways to prevent infection and illness. “Frequent handwashing is probably the single most effective and simplest intervention you can do to protect yourself and your family,” according to Dr. Judy Daly, spok... Read More

THE NUCLEOTIDAL WAVE - The Front Line of Mutant Food

For 50 bucks an hour, the UC Davis Plant Transformation Facility, one of the premier genetic-modification labs in the US, will offer its services to anyone with a dish of DNA, a vegetable, and a mutated dream. It is a place where ordinary supermarket fruits and vegetables are converted into new ... Read More

What If Scientists Didn’t Compete?

What if scientists, instead of rushing to publish or perish, chose to cooperate? Sean Cutler decided to do “a little experiment,” as he calls it, and you can see the results in the forthcoming issue of Science.

The journal carries an article by Dr. Cutler and 20 other researchers in the Unite... Read More

Sponge larvae: Your unlikely ancestors

Precambrian. About 700 million years ago, one of the most significant - and most mysterious - events in the history of life on Earth occurred. Suddenly, there was more to life than just single-celled microbes. Within a few tens of millions of years, an extraordinary array of large animals appear... Read More

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