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HIV invades through leaky cells: study

HIV infects women by weakening a cell barrier in the reproductive tract that normally keeps viruses out, Canadian researchers have discovered. HIV breaks down the tight bonds between epithelial cells, which usually form a protective layer that prevents viruses from infecting other cells.

This... Read More

Modified virus splits water

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have found a novel way to mimic the process by which plants use sunlight to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. They used a modified virus as a "biological scaffold" that can assemble the nanoscale components needed to split a water molec... Read More

Cellulosic Ethanol: Expanding Options, Identifying Obstacles

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are figuring out how to turn wheat straw into ethanol "gold," and learning more about the bacteria that can "infect" ethanol plants and interfere with fuel production.

At the ARS National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR) in Pe... Read More

UC study tests vaccine against bacteria

An experimental vaccine could be the newest weapon against a dangerous bacterial infection on the rise in hospitals and nursing homes around the United States.

Doctors at the University of Cincinnati and University Hospital are part of a national clinical trial testing a C. difficile - or C. ... Read More

TWiV 77

Wladimir writes:


In regard to your question as to cases of known alteration of host behavior by virus that increases the rate of contact among hosts (Twiv 70), the most dramatic example is given by rabies. This extraordinary virus can convert a neurologically and behaviorally... Read More

TWiV 77: Non-nuclear proliferation

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On episode #77 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Alan, and Rich revisit circovirus contamination of Rotarix, then discuss poxvirus-like replication of mimivirus in the cell cytoplasm, a... Read More

Poliovirus vaccine safety

The contamination of the rotavirus vaccine Rotarix with porcine circovirus 1 DNA was revealed by deep sequencing. The same technique was also used to demonstrate that oral poliovirus vaccine does not contain viruses that can cause poliomyelitis. Read More

New method of in-barrel fermentation allows for cask ale to be served on the go

A brewing trick could enable cask ales, unfiltered and unpasteurized beer, to be served on trains, aircraft and cruise ships. While ale normally takes two days to settle after each jolt, British brewer Marston's has developed a cask beer that can be poured a minute after the barrel has been move... Read More

Mid-stage trial notes efficacy in investigational hepatitis C treatment

Patients with chronic genotype 1 hepatitis C fared better when given an investigational drug developed by Johnson & Johnson division Tibotec and Vertex Pharmaceuticals than when given the standard therapy, after they had failed previous treatments, according to results of a mid-stage trial publi... Read More

It’s Swine Flu’s Anniversary

It’s been exactly a year since the first diagnosed case of swine flu in San Francisco and six months since President Obama declared the pandemic a national emergency.

Last October, the city’s public health department administered 20,000 vaccines in a three-day period. Then, one day in January... Read More

Army: Broken procedures led to lab infection

An Army lab at Fort Detrick said Tuesday it did not follow proper procedures last November when a researcher infected herself with the tularemia bacteria.

The researcher at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases was exposed to the bacteria between Nov. 13 and 17, and ... Read More

Federal agency recommends not washing meat, chicken before you cook it

It's surprising.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends not washing raw poultry, beef, pork, lamb, or veal before cooking it. Chicken, too.

Bacteria in raw meat and poultry juices can be spread to other foods, utensils, and surfaces, the USDA says in its fact sheet "Washing Food: Do... Read More

How Immune Cells 'Sniff Out' Bacteria

Scientists are learning how our immune system senses and tracks down infection in the body by responding to chemical "scents" emitted by bacteria. Studying how immune cells manipulate their movement in response to external signals could shed light not only on how our immune system functions but ... Read More

A nanovaccine reverses diabetes in mice

Researchers are finding clever ways to explore nanotechnology for medical therapies. In a study published Thursday in the journal Immunity, researchers used a "nanovaccine" to reverse diabetes in mice with the disease.

Nanoparticles are spheres that are thousands of times smaller than any typ... Read More

MSU's Microbiology Department Saved by University President

Microbiology students who staged a rare campus protest at Montana State University are expressing gratitude after President Waded Cruzado approved a plan to save their department.

Microbiology, the study of microbes that affect health and the environment, lost a lot of strength several years ... Read More

Scientists embracing open science

Writer Chelsea Wald has authored an overview on what "open science" is and includes several quotes from people who actually practice it.

"History is replete with stories of scientists who hid their ideas from their competition; consider Leonardo da Vinci, whose odd backward writing may have b... Read More

Retailers caught selling used lingerie

A Today Show expose on the practice of major retailers who resell used under garments. This segment features a brief interview with a microbiologist who makes it clear what sort of dangers this practice can expose people to. Remember to always wash new clothes before you wear them. Click source ... Read More

Fragile X marks it's spot by altering brain pathways

Like many, in my pre-teen years I watched pro wrestling for it's entertainment value.
Years later I came across the tragic case of wrester Chris Benoit, who murdered his wife & young son before taking his own life. Rumors had it that the highly athletic & competitive Benoit experienced domes... Read More

Did van Leeuwenhoek actually observe yeast cells in 1680?

Nanne Nanninga, Emeritus Professor of Molecular Cytology, Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, authors a guest post on Small Things Considered that questions whether van Leeuwenhoek actually observed yeast cells in 1680.

"It is common knowledge tha... Read More

How Ducks Host Influenza Unharmed: Could Findings Shield Humans from Bird Flu Viruses?

A University of Alberta-led research team has discovered an influenza detector gene that could potentially prevent the transmission of the virus to humans.

Katharine Magor, a U of A associate professor of biology, has identified the genetic detector that allows ducks to live, unharmed, as the... Read More
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