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UNC School of Medicine researchers prove HIV targets tissue macrophages

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Investigators in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine have clearly demonstrated that HIV infects and reproduces in macrophages, large white blood cells found in the liver, brain and connective tissues of the body. This dis... Read More

Study offers clearest picture yet of how HIV defeats a cellular defender

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- A new study offers the first atomic-scale view of an interaction between the HIV capsid - the protein coat that shepherds HIV into the nucleus of human cells - and a host protein known as cyclophilin A. This interaction is key to HIV infection, researchers say. Read More

Researchers Sequence Genome from 1979 Russian Anthrax Outbreak



Bacillus anthracis had been studied by multiple countries as a potential biological weapon because of the stability of its spores and its ability to cause acute pulmonary disease. While offensive anthrax weapons development programs were halted in the United States and United Kingdom in the ... Read More

Young Inventors Work On Secret Proteins To Thwart Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Three young inventors and students at Stanford University are working to develop proteins that fight antibiotic resistant bacteria. They are optimistic they have found something that works. The proteins the team is developing attack "something that's essential to bacterial survival". But they wo... Read More

Zika Sharing

Of all the scientific results that my laboratory has produced over the years, I am most satisfied by those that maximally benefit the field. In this category falls the assay for determining the titer of Zika virus in plaque forming units per milliliter.

In ‘Counting Zika Virus’ I described o... Read More

Newly discovered HIV genome modification may put a twist on vaccine and drug design

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that HIV infection of human immune cells triggers a massive increase in methylation, a chemical modification, to both human and viral RNA, aiding replication of the virus. The study, published February 22, 2016... Read More

Gut microbes may play a role in Parkinson's disease

Many people with Parkinson’s disease also experience digestive symptoms (like constipation) for some time before their diagnosis. But until recently, research on the degenerative disease and how to treat it has focused on understanding how Parkinson’s works in the brain.

In a new study out th... Read More

Thermos device quickly detects Zika for only $2

Engineers have developed a rapid, low-cost genetic test for Zika. The $2 device, about the size of a soda can, doesn’t require electricity or technical expertise and only needs a bit of saliva. Read More

Bacteria take 'RNA mug shots' of threatening viruses

Scientists from The University of Texas at Austin, the Stanford University School of Medicine and two other institutions have discovered that bacteria have a system that can recognize and disrupt dangerous viruses using a newly identified mechanism involving ribonucleic acid (RNA). It is similar... Read More

TWiV 406: Pow, right in the enteroids!

The TWiV team discusses eye infections caused by Zika virus, failure of Culex mosquitoes to transmit the virus, and replication of norovirus in stem cell derived enteroids.


Hosts:  Read More

Flu vaccine shows promise for reducing risk of influenza-associated atrial fibrillation

Philadelphia, PA, February 2, 2016 - Influenza is significantly associated with an increased risk of new-onset atrial fibrillation, which could be reduced through influenza vaccination, according to new findings reported HeartRhythm. Read More

Moving to Zika Virus

I have worked on polio virus in my laboratory at Columbia University for 35 years. When that virus is eradicated--perhaps in the next few years--we will have to destroy all of our virus stocks. When that happens, I can either go home, or find another virus.

When Zika virus stepped into the w... Read More

Zika virus plaque assay

Several weeks ago we perfected a plaque assay for Zika virus, based on our existing assays for enteroviruses. Shown is a photograph of two plates stained with crystal virolet with clearly delineated plaques. The cells are Vero and the Zika virus strain is MR766, an African isolate. Anyone intere... Read More

Zika from sex, the byway but not the highway

Can Zika virus be sexually transmitted? Perhaps in very rare cases, but the main mode of transmission is certainly via mosquitoes. That’s why I’ve shamelessly stolen a quote on this topic from Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University: Mosquito transmission is the highway, whereas sexual tr... Read More

Antibiotic stewardship - a community effort

As we highlighted in our previous blog, antibiotic stewardship – the careful use of appropriate antibiotic administration – can have positive effects. A small change from a difference in clinical lab reporting led to less drug use, which led to fewer drug-resistant infections. When we think of a... Read More

Why neural stem cells may be vulnerable to Zika infection

Zika's hypothesized attraction to human neural stem cells may come from its ability to hijack a protein found on the surface of these cells, using it as an entryway to infection. In Cell Stem Cell on March 30, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco show that the AXL surface r... Read More

Microbial Identification and Tracking: the Next Generation

How do you identify an unknown microbe? If you’ve taken an introductory microbiology lab course in the past twenty years, chances are you were assigned an unknown bacterium that you had to identify through differential media and biochemical assays. Newer techniques like qPCR are being standardiz... Read More

Tracking Bacterial Imbalance in the ICU

The human microbiome is the diverse population of microorganisms that live on and in the body. Many thrive on the skin and in the mouth, but the majority live in the intestines. Over the last decade or so, microbiologists have become increasingly aware of how a person's microbial mix likely play... Read More

National hospital hand-washing campaign effective but expensive

Many hospital patients were protected from a dangerous bug and at least 96 years of life will be saved each year, said Professor Nicholas Graves from QUT's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI). Read More

Study: Cities have Individual Microbial Signatures

Washington, DC – April 19, 2016 – Cities have their own distinct microbial communities but these communities don’t vary much between offices located in the same city, according to a new study. The work, published this week in mSystems, an open access journal from the American Society for Microbi... Read More
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