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How Low Can Life Go?

There is a thriving realm of mysterious microbes of potential importance to the global carbon budget hidden beneath the sea floor near where the Earth's crust is being pulled apart, according to new evidence from deep-sea explorers.

In the frigid depths of the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate off ... Read More

Staph Forecloses On Gingerbread Houses At Whole Foods

Let's be honest, chewing on the rock-hard roof of a gingerbread house that's been sitting around since the beginning of Advent is enough to make anyone a little queasy.

But there's another reason to steer clear of stale gingerbread if you bought a decorative cookie home at a Whole Foods Marke... Read More

Hydrogen production comes naturally to ocean microbe

A seemingly unremarkable ocean microbe turns out to be a multitasker — it can not only photosynthesize, but can also produce large amounts of hydrogen, opening up a potential way to make the gas cheaply for fuel.

The single-celled cyanobacterium Cyanothece 51142 can make hydrogen in air, Hima... Read More

United Nations sees decline in cholera mortality rate in Haiti

The humanitarian coordinator for the United Nations in Haiti, Nigel Fisher, says a decline is taking place here in the mortality rate from cholera, which has killed more than 2,400 people and affected more than 100,000 in the Caribbean nation over the last two months.

"Following the early day... Read More

Double-dippers at holiday parties definitely make the naughty list

Holiday party warning: Beware of eggnog and double-dippers. Either could be a good way for bacteria such as Salmonella and E. Coli to join the party.

This Give 'Em Health blog from the Hartford Courant shares tips from a University of Missouri food expert on how to avoid getting food poisonin... Read More

New gut bacteria regulate immunity

An abundant type of bacteria that resides in the intestines is critical for keeping the immune system of the colon in check, according to a study published online today (December 23) in ScienceExpress.
The results add to the growing body of literature that commensal microbes in the gut are key ... Read More

MSU seeks to improve polio vaccination in Nigeria

It takes a lot more than doctoring to fight a polio outbreak in West Africa, particularly when distrust and cultural barriers cripple vaccination campaigns.

This week, a team of Michigan State University communications experts is heading for Nigeria to find better ways to get the crucial publ... Read More

Metro Escalator Handrails Carry Most Bacteria

It's that time of year again, when hidden bacteria lurks among us! It seems everybody has a cold, the flu or at least, a case of the sniffles.

And if you ride public transportation, you may wonder, as we did, just how germ-contaminated some of the handrails are. And if you're a parent, when y... Read More

TWiV 113 Letters

Trevor writes:

Hi Vince, Dick, Alan and Rich,


My name is Trevor Stewart, a PhD student at the University of Toronto (in my final year!!) in Physics. I've been listening to TWIV (and TWIP) since last Xmas when my twin brother (who is a graduate student studying mass-s... Read More

TWiV 113: Alan Rein on XMRV


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Vincent, Alan, and Rich discuss the retrovirus XMRV with ret... Read More

Hong Kong bird tests positive for bird flu

Hong Kong authorities confirmed Thursday that a dead bird found in the southern Chinese territory had tested positive for the H5 strain of the bird flu virus.

A government spokeswoman told AFP that laboratory tests had confirmed the highly decomposed chicken carcass found on the seashore of a... Read More

Arsenic microbe answers a long way off

"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light," the physicist Max Planck once said. "But rather because its opponents eventually die."

The father of quantum physics didn't mean that scientists literally bump each other off, Al Capone-style,... Read More

University of Rochester testing new flu vaccine

Chicken eggs are generally a good place to grow flu virus to make flu vaccine, unless you need the vaccine quickly. That was clear in 2009, when the new H1N1 strain of flu virus spread across much of the world in just a few months.

It takes six months to make vaccine using eggs, and the yield... Read More

Haiti mobs lynch voodoo priests over cholera fears

Voodoo priests in Haiti are being lynched by mobs who blame them for spreading cholera, the country's government has said.

At least 45 people have been lynched in recent weeks as Haiti continues to be ravaged by a cholera epidemic.

Haiti's communications minister has made an appeal for the... Read More

VC-backed Vedanta to target cancer via ‘good’ bacteria

In the past five years, scientists have discovered that microbes living in your gut may be responsible for a great many things that contribute to your well-being - from your mood, to your body’s response to sickness.

Now, venture capital firm PureTech Ventures is launching a new company, call... Read More

New superbug found on Isle of Man

A new strain of the superbug MRSA has been detected on the Isle of Man, health bosses have said.

The island's Department of Health confirmed a small number of cases of a bacterium called MRSA USA 300.

It said that, unlike other strains of MRSA, it predominately affects young, fit and healt... Read More

Flu surge alarms doctors as virus hits children

Concerns over the spread and virulence of the latest flu outbreak are increasing among health experts, following a doubling of cases in a week and the announcement today of 10 more deaths, taking the total this season to 27.

Influenza expert Professor John Oxford described the upward curve of... Read More

Examining Risk of Serious Infection With Psoriasis Therapies

For psoriasis patients, all tumor necrosis factor inhibitors are associated with roughly the same risks for serious infection, according to a meta-analysis of data from major randomized clinical trials and their long-term, open-label extensions.

Regardless of whether etanercept, infliximab, o... Read More

Gene screen could hasten vaccine search

British researchers say a new method of studying potentially deadly disease-causing bacteria could help speed up the process of developing vaccines.

Scientists at the University of Exeter have developed a screening procedure that can quickly isolate and identify the virulent parts of the gene... Read More

Bees One of Many Pollinators Infected by Virus Implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder

Penn State researchers have found that native pollinators, like wild bees and wasps, are infected by the same viral diseases as honey bees and that these viruses are transmitted via pollen. This multi-institutional study provides new insights into viral infections in native pollinators, suggesti... Read More
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