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Parents' vaccination fears remain high

Numerous studies have debunked the theory that childhood vaccines cause autism, and autism researchers are now, for the most part, focusing on other potential causes of the disorder. But one in five parents still believe that vaccines may cause autism, according to a study released online Sunday... Read More

Hot Off the Press: Current Research Papers in Microbiology

In an ideal world, we would have time to read every great paper coming out in all the microbiology journals each month. Instead we have to focus our reading on the topics that directly impact our research. But reading papers from other fields can often help us to find new methods or generate id... Read More

Virginia Reports No Additional CWD Positives; Response Planning Underway

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) has received laboratory results from all chronic wasting disease (CWD) samples collected through the 2009-2010 hunting season, and no additional positives were found. Since 2002, nearly 5,000 samples have been collected in Virginia, an... Read More

Rising Threat of Infections Unfazed by Antibiotics

A minor-league pitcher in his younger days, Richard Armbruster kept playing baseball recreationally into his 70s, until his right hip started bothering him. Last February he went to a St. Louis hospital for what was to be a routine hip replacement.

By late March, Mr. Armbruster, then 78, was ... Read More

Could Mini Labs and Plant-Based Vaccines Stop the Next Pandemic?

The H1N1 virus's rapid spread worldwide last year exposed the weaknesses in the global system for swiftly developing, manufacturing and distributing vaccines for newly identified strains of influenza. In Texas, researchers are attacking the first two of these problems through Project GreenVax, ... Read More

Toilet Seats: Can You Catch Infections from Them?

Recently in the news, there was a noted “rash” of toilet seat rashes caused from contact with harsh cleaning chemicals that rubbed against the bottoms and thighs of toddlers. While these skin eruptions were caused by direct irritation, it reminds me of why so many women, including myself, never ... Read More

Mars's Environment Shown to Be Hostile, but Not Untenable for Earthly Microbes

Microbes similar to those on Earth would have a tough time surviving the harsh environment of Mars, but it is not inconceivable that they could persist there given a little protection, according to a new study. The finding supports similar, previous work and lends credence to the theory that if ... Read More

Cholera - a model problem solved?

Studying cholera just got a little easier, thanks to a new (old) animal model. For years, cholera research has relied on some less than ideal animal models: infant mice, which don't develop the diarrhea characteristic of severe cholera infection, and infant rabbits, which require surgery to inf... Read More

Plasmodium malariae

Plasmodium malariae band form trophozoite. (1000X). Read More

Novel Compound Found Effective Against Avian Influenza Virus

A novel compound is highly effective against the pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus, including some drug-resistant strains, according to new research led by a University of Wisconsin-Madison virologist.

The work, published in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Pathogens on Feb. 26,... Read More

In Blitz to Kill One Kind of Infectious Bacteria, Other Untreatable Strains Emerge

Move over MRSA; a new battery of Gram-negative bacteria are quietly carving out big names for themselves, killing thousands of hospital patients each year as doctors look on with few effective tools to fight them. What’s worse, though these resistant strains are spreading, there are no effectiv... Read More

Cannabinoid receptor activation blocks HIV Tat protein induced macrophage migration: a new avenue for therapeutics

We all are very familiar with the effects of cannabinoid receptor stimulation on the body. Relaxation, pain relief, and increased appetite probably come first to mind. These psychoactive effects result from activation of the CB1 receptor found on cells in the brain by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)... Read More

E. Coli as Sole Indicator of Water Pollution Questioned

In Ireland, bacterial contamination of water is a national concern, with the Environmental Protection Agency reporting that over 25% of groundwater samples were contaminated with E. coli in the 2004 to 2006 period. E. coli is the most important indicator used in Ireland and its presence indicate... Read More

Newly Engineered Enzyme Is a Powerful Staph Antibiotic

With their best chemical antibiotics slowly failing, scientists are increasingly looking to nature for a way to control deadly staph bacteria -- the culprit behind most hospital infections. Naturally toxic for bacteria, enzymes called lysins have the promising ability to obliterate staph, but th... Read More

Multiple Sclerosis Onset: Could Mycobacteria Play a Role?

A non-pathogenic bacterium is capable to trigger an autoimmune disease similar to the multiple sclerosis in the mouse, the model animal which helps to explain how human diseases work. This is what a group of researchers from the Catholic University of Rome, led by Francesco Ria (Institute of Gen... Read More

HIV drug resistance lasts about 1 year in women treated with nevirapine to prevent infant infection

A new international study reported in PLoS Medicine confirms that a single dose of nevirapine (sdNVP) can lead to HIV treatment failure in women who receive the drug to prevent transmission of the AIDS virus to their infants. However, the increased risk of failure could only be detected in women... Read More

Beewolves Protect Their Offspring With Antibiotics; Digger Wasp Larvae Use Bacteria Against Infections

Digger wasps of the genus Philanthus, so-called beewolves, house beneficial bacteria on their cocoons that guarantee protection against harmful microorganisms.

Scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena teamed up with researchers at the University of Regensburg and th... Read More

TWiV 71

Jennie writes:


I wonder whether we have entered a new chapter in the book of human knowledge sharing. I'm often working physically when I listen to my favorite science podcasters (TWIV, TWIP and Mark Crislip).... so your entertaining program is intertwined with raking leaves,... Read More

TWiV 70

Tom writes:


I just finished listening to the Original Antigenic Sin episode where you were talking about Wol... Read More

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