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Genome Sequencing Provides Unprecedented Insight Into Causes of Pneumococcal Disease

A new study led by researchers from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the UK has, for the first time, used genome sequencing technology to track the changes in a bacterial population following the introduction of a vaccine. The study follows how th... Read More

Anti-Depressant Link to Clostridium Difficile Infection

Certain types of anti-depressants have been linked to an increase in the risk of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) finds a study in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Medicine. Awareness of this link should improve identification and early treatment of CDI.

Certain types of anti-dep... Read More

To Defeat Bacteria, Researchers Think Like Bacteria

A new approach to treating antibiotic-resistant infections has been developed by University of Wollongong (UOW) and University of New South Wales’ (UNSW) researchers who have patented the new technology and entered into commercialization discussions with two French pharmaceutical companies.

A... Read More

Parents' Saliva On Pacifiers Could Ward Off Baby's Allergies

That word "microbiome" — describing the collection of bacteria that live in and on our bodies — keeps popping up. This time, researchers say that children whose parents clean their pacifiers by sucking them might be less likely to develop allergic conditions because of how their parents' saliva ... Read More

Map of H7N9 fatalities and confirmed infections in China

Shanghai Daily has a web page set up that shows the geographic distribution of H7N9 infections and fatalities in China. There is also a news feed, information on symptoms and a photo gallery. Click "source" to view. Read More

Transparency Unlocked: More New Saudi Coronavirus Cases Reported Quickly

(via Wired's Superbug blog) In my last post 36 hours ago, I raised questions about Saudi Arabia’s apparent delay in reporting new cases of the novel coronavirus that has been causing low-level unease since last summer. (For the full history of that, check these posts.) So it’s only fair to say t... Read More

Mystery bacteria 'cobwebs' found in nuclear cooling tank

Spring cleaning is always a good way to get rid of those hard-to-reach cobwebs that appear around the house. However, when they appear in cooling tanks for spent nuclear fuel and have never been seen there before, special attention is warranted.

Sometime in Fiscal Year 2011, “cobwebs” of bact... Read More

Marine Microbiology, Twitter Friends, and Shrunken Coffee Cups

In this blog entry, I discuss how marine microbiology is fascinating to students, as well as the topic leading me (via social media) to other marine microbiologists. One of those marine microbiologists made me a "shrunken coffee cup" (shrunken due to being carried below a kilometer of depth on ... Read More

Feds blame combination of parasite, virus, bacteria, pesticides for strange bee disappearance

A new federal report blames a combination of problems for a mysterious and dramatic disappearance of U.S. honeybees since 2006.

The intertwined factors cited include a parasitic mite, multiple viruses, bacteria, poor nutrition, genetics, habitat loss and pesticides.

The multiple causes mak... Read More

Chinese scientists slammed for creating mutant influenza virus in laboratory

Chinese scientists are being criticized for their “appalling irresponsibility” after they intentionally developed a new mutant influenza strain in a veterinary laboratory, the Independent reported.

Experts have warned that the new virus strains could potentially escape the lab, which could c... Read More

Now We Know What Early Earth Smelled Like

Early earth had a distinctive aroma. And it wasn't very nice. That's what scientists have now determined, using advanced imaging techniques to examine fossils nearly 1.9 billion years old that were collected from rocks around Lake Superior, Canada.

Their work has revealed spherical and rod-sh... Read More

Fluoride fights tooth decay by making bacteria less sticky

German scientists say fluoride reduces the ability of decay-causing bacteria to stick to teeth so it is easier to wash away when brushing or with saliva.

Karin Jacobs and colleagues said despite a half-century of scientific research, controversy exists over exactly how fluoride compounds redu... Read More

Uncovering Dark Oxidants And The Dangerous Effect They Have On Life

Of all the things that could be hazardous to your health, would you believe breathing oxygen makes the list?

Our bodies produce toxic chemicals in our cells, called oxidants, which we fight naturally and with foods that contain antioxidants like blueberries and dark chocolate. All forms of li... Read More

Discover Your Inner Scientist: Wolbachia In Nashville 2013

A CNN iReport about an integrative lab series known as the Wolbachia in Nashville includes area high school students from School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt with the purpose of bringing real-world scientific research on microbes into high school biology classes. Angela Eeds, director with... Read More

Feeling Blue, Trypanosoma brucei

Trypanosoma brucei, a protozoan parasite, is the causative agent of African sleeping sickness in humans (T. b. gambiense and T. b. rhodesiense) and nagana in cattle (T. b. brucei). These diseases result in much economic hardship and morbidity in Sub-Saharan Africa. The life cycle of these organi... Read More

Re-sensitizing Resistant Bacteria

Researchers use a protein-lipid complex found in human breast milk to increase the activity of otherwise-ineffective antibiotics against drug-resistant pathogens. A protein-lipid complex that naturally occurs in human breast milk can increase the sensitivity of methicillin-resistant Staphylococc... Read More

Malaria: A Vector Infecting Both Apes and Humans

In 2010, a study revealed that the main agent of malaria in humans, called Plasmodium falciparum, arose from the gorilla. Today, the vector which transmitted the parasite from apes to humans has just been identified. A Franco-Gabonese research consortium has determined which species of anopheles... Read More

Decades-old question: Is antibacterial soap safe?

It's a chemical that's been in U.S. households for more than 40 years, from the body wash in your bathroom shower to the knives on your kitchen counter to the bedding in your baby's basinet.

But federal health regulators are just now deciding whether triclosan — the germ-killing ingredient fo... Read More

Saudi Arabia Sars-like virus 'kills five'

Five people in Saudi Arabia have died from a Sars-like virus and two more are seriously ill, officials say. The seven cases were all from al-Ahsa governorate in the east of the country, the Saudi news agency SPA said citing health officials. The novel coronavirus (NCoV) causes pneumonia and some... Read More

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