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HIV Uses Autophagy For Its Own Means

Not satisfied with simply thwarting its host's defensive maneuvers, HIV actually twists one to its advantage, based on new findings from Kyei et al. in the July 27, 2009 issue of the Journal of Cell Biology. Vojo Deretic and colleagues suggest that autophagy—a stress response process—helps HIV t... Read More

HGS's Lupus Drug Shows Promise in Latest Trials

An experimental drug that aims to treat people afflicted with the autoimmune disease lupus showed promising results in its latest round of tests, giving its Rockville-based developer hope that it may have a financial success on its hands.

Human Genome Sciences is set to report the new results... Read More

The Lab Coat Is on the Hook in the Fight Against Germs

Picture a doctor in your mind’s eye, and what do you see? A stethoscope, maybe. Perhaps a little black bag. And almost certainly a white lab coat.

But that last item may be destined for oblivion.

The American Medical Association is studying a proposal made at its annual meeting in June th... Read More

GAO Says Tornado Alley Is Not the Best Place for DHS Infectious Disease Research Facility

The Washington Post is reporting "the Department of Homeland Security relied on a rushed, flawed study to justify its decision to locate a $700 million research facility for highly infectious pathogens in a tornado-prone section of Kansas, according to a government report."

"The department's... Read More

The Mean Gene Evolution Machine

Researchers at Harvard Medical School have created a new genome engineering machine officially called MAGE (multiplex automated genome engineering) that can tweak dozens of genes to create billions of unique microbial strains in a few days.

"MAGE relies on the tendency of cells to incorporate... Read More

UT Houston research identifies microbe that could trigger colic in babies

Published in the online edition of the Journal of Pediatrics, a study authored by researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston suspect an organism called Klebsiella, a normally occurring bacterium that can be found in the mouth, skin and intestines as the cause for bab... Read More

Rabies the third-biggest infectious disease killer in China

Despite economic and healthcare advances, the majority of China has not had easy access to human rabies vaccines and the disease has risen in recent years from fewer than 200 cases in the 1990s to 3,302 in 2007. This statistic makes rabies the third-biggest infectious disease killer in China aft... Read More

H1N1 may cause seizures in children

The NY Times is reporting that CDC officials are alerting doctors that H1N1/swine flu may cause seizures, after four children were hospitalized in Texas for neurological complications. All four children fully recovered without complications after being treated at a Dallas hospital.

"The annou... Read More

Interview with Craig Venter on designing algae to produce oil and partnering with Exxon Mobil

This is a short but interesting interview in the New Scientist that explores Craig Venter's partnership with Exxon Mobil to turn living algae into oil producing factories.

When asked what the desired outcome will be, Venter says:

"Our aim is to have a real and significant impact on the bil... Read More

All Your Biomass Are Belong to Us

"When Robotic Technology, Inc., and Cyclone Power Technologies announced earlier this month they had completed the first phase of their project to build a robotic vehicle that could scavenge sticks, grass, leaves and other biomass to fuel itself, the companies had no idea that their proposed mac... Read More

Could Bacteria-Filled Balloons Stop the Spread of the Sahara?

While many are supporting the idea of building a green wall of vegetation (i.e. trees) to prevent the march of sands on the creeping southern border of the Sahara, Architect Magnus Larsson is proposing that we also solidify the dunes using bacteria-filled balloons.

At a recent TED conference... Read More

150 Dead in Nepal Due to Cholera Outbreak

"The causative agent of cholera, Vibrio cholerae, has been detected in stool samples collected from the Jajarkot district in Nepal where more than 150 persons died of diarrhea in recent weeks.

When five suspected samples were subjected to laboratory test in Kathmandu following the Ministry of... Read More

Discarded chicken parts may provide an abundant source of biodiesel fuel

"Scientists in Nevada are reporting development of a new and environmentally friendly process for producing biodiesel fuel from "chicken feather meal," made from the 11 billion pounds of poultry industry waste that accumulate annually in the United States alone."

Here's the secret recipe:

... Read More

100 Incredible Lectures from the World’s Top Scientists

This blog posting has links to 100 lectures by notable scientists in the areas of biology and medicine, earth and environment and much more. It says, "thanks to the Internet, and our list of 100 incredible lectures, you’ve now got access to the cutting edge theories and projects that are changin... Read More

5 percent of penguins in the Galapagos may harbor malaria parasite

Biologists studying the penguins of Galapagos islands have found evidence that the animals harbor the malaria parasite plasmodium.

"Iris Levin of the University of Missouri at St Louis and her colleagues took blood samples from 362 Galapagos penguins – already listed as being threatened with ... Read More

AIDS-like disease found in wild chimpanzees

An international consortium has found that wild chimpanzees naturally infected with Simian Immunodeficiency Viruses (SIV) – long thought to be harmless to the apes – can contract an AIDS-like syndrome and die as a result. The findings are published in the July 23 edition of the journal Nature.
... Read More

2009 MicrobeLibrary Editor's Choice Award Winner: Mud and Microbes: a Time-Lapse Photographic Exploration of a Sediment Bacterial Community

Each year the ASM's MicrobeLibrary Visual Collection Editorial Committee presents the Editor's Choice Award to three visual resources (one animation, one still image, and one video) published over the past year. The chosen resources exemplify the criteria for publication in the MicrobeLibrary. T... Read More

New vaccine blocks malaria transmission in lab experiments

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute have for the first time produced a malarial protein (Pfs48/45) in the proper conformation and quantity to generate a significant immune response in mice and non-human primates for use in a potential transmission-blocking vaccine. Antibo... Read More

NIAID to start clinical trials of H1N1 vaccine

Scientists in a network of medical research institutions across the United States are set to begin a series of clinical trials to gather critical data about influenza vaccines, including two candidate H1N1 flu vaccines. The research will be under the direction of the National Institute of Allerg... Read More

Syphilis making comeback, gonorrhea more treatment resistant

According to Dr. David H. Martin, Professor and Chief of the Section of Infectious Diseases at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Medicine, "the number of cases of the asymptomatic Chlamydia trachomatis, the most common reportable infectious disease in the US, is growing; gonorrhea... Read More

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