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Purell is making the world safe for handshakers

Flu season is upon us, and one casualty is the good old-fashioned handshake.

Yes, that's right. Nearly 3 in 10 Americans are reluctant to shake your hand because they fear they will catch your germs, according to a survey released Wednesday.

You see, germs lurk everywhere. As a result, 21%... Read More

Some depression might have roots in immune-generated inflammation

The immune system works hard to keep us well physically, but might it also be partly to blame for some mental illnesses?

"The immune system may play a significant role in the development of depression," Andrew Miller, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University Schoo... Read More

Dream job 4: Intellectual property lawyer

Tim Austen realised that he wasn't cut out to be a scientist while growing cell cultures in the final year of his biochemistry degree. "I got in one Monday morning and discovered these really interesting things in my Petri dish," he says. "When I showed them excitedly to my colleague, he pointed... Read More

Pictures from the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C.

Click source to view a set of select pictures from the American Society for Microbiology's presence at the 2010 USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C. Read More

Chewing gum on the streets has up to 10 million thriving bacteria per gram

A volunteer group has been meeting up once a week to scrape gum off the streets of the Kabukicho entertainment district of Tokyo, averaging 309 specimens each time.

Kaoru Kumada, a professor at Tsukuba International University, conducted his research with the group.

His findings were repo... Read More

New oral polio vaccine may wipe out the disease

A new oral polio vaccine is making headlines today — and small wonder. Polio may have been wiped out in America, but that’s not true for parts of Africa. And it's there that a new vaccine may finally put an end to the crippling disease.

The bivalent oral polio vaccine, known as bOPV, immunize... Read More

Study: Listeria clever at finding its way into bloodstream

Pathogenic listeria tricks intestinal cells into helping it pass through those cells to make people ill, and, if that doesn't work, the bacteria simply goes around the cells, according to a Purdue University study.

Arun Bhunia, a professor of food science, and Kristin Burkholder, a former Pur... Read More

Fewer may get flu shots this year, surveys find

Only a year after the swine flu pandemic led Americans to line up for flu shots, many people are now spurning vaccines, two studies suggest.

Only 37% of people plan to definitely get vaccinated this year, a Consumer Reports survey shows. About 30% say they definitely won't get a shot, while 3... Read More

Researcher may have contracted virus carried by monkeys

It’s the stuff of doomsday movies: A new virus jumps from animals to people, with ominous possibilities.

At the California National Primate Research Center at the University of California, Davis, last year, a newly identified form of virus devastated a monkey colony and sickened a researcher,... Read More

Inside the Mind's Eye: Communicating Science in a New Media Era (MWV41)

Blogs, podcasts, and other new media outlets have changed the way people get their news. Immediate access to information presents new opportunities as well as challenges for science communication. Watch Carl Zimmer, science wr... Read More

Difference in Gene Numbers Responsible for Wide Variations in the Human Genome

When scientists announced in 2003 that they had finished the Human Genome Project, they were quick to clarify that sequencing of the full human genome not yet complete. As much as six percent of the genome was beyond the reach of available technology, leaving regions on the 23 pairs of human chr... Read More

MicrobeWorld at the 2010 USA Science and Engineering Festival

This past weekend the USA Science and Engineering Festival came to Washington, D.C. The American Society for Microbiology and MicrobeWorld were present with our own booth in which we offered several microbe-related activities for attendees of all ages.

In this picture, Barbara Hyde, director... Read More

Haptoglobin as an early serum biomarker of virus-induced type 1 diabetes in rats

Type 1 diabetes (T1D), formerly known as juvenile diabetes, is a multifactorial disease of complex etiology characterized by the autoimmune destruction of pancreatic beta cells. In addition to genetic susceptibility, it is generally accepted that environmental factors play important roles in tri... Read More

What does HIV sound like?

There is no question that HIV is an ugly virus in terms of human health. Each year, it infects some 2.7 million additional people and leads to some 2 million deaths from AIDS. But a new album manages to locate some sonic beauty deep in its genome. Sounds of HIV (Azica Records) by composer Alexan... Read More

Sepsis can lead to mental, physical decline: study

Older adults who develop sepsis — a serious, widespread bacterial infection -- are at risk of declining both mentally and physically in subsequent years, a new study has found.

The researchers say their findings suggest the long-term effects of sepsis are under-recognized and could account fo... Read More

Panel: Teens need another meningitis shot

A federal advisory panel is recommending that teens get a booster dose of the vaccine against bacterial meningitis.

They made the recommendation because the vaccine doesn't work as long as expected.

Three years ago, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices said the meningitis vacci... Read More

Groups moving forward to develop AIDS gel

Groups developing a gel to protect women from the AIDS virus say they are moving ahead to develop the product that was hailed as "groundbreaking" after a study on its effectiveness was released in July.

The developers, who met last week with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said the FDA... Read More

Scientists Helping Keep in-Demand Smoked Salmon Safe to Eat, Thanks to New Mathematical Model

Scientists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are helping ensure that the smoked salmon that's always a hit at festive gatherings also is always safe to eat, including among their achievements the development of a first-of-its-kind mathematical model that food processors and others c... Read More

Superbug infection in Brazil hospitals kills 18

Eighteen people have died in the Brazilian capital after contracting a hospital superbug.

They were infected with bacteria which produce the enzyme Klebsiella pneumoniae Carbapenemase (KPC), which renders most modern antibiotics ineffective.

It tends to infect hospitalised people whose imm... Read More

Alemtuzumab Raises CMV Infection Risk

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in kidney or kidney/pancreas transplant recipients occurs more frequently when alemtuzumab is used for induction instead of antithymocyte globulin (ATG), according to a new study from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

In addition, in alemtuzumab recip... Read More

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