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Halliburton Hunts New Bacteria Killer to Protect Shale-Gas Boom

Halliburton Co. and Schlumberger Ltd., trying to forestall a regulatory crackdown that would cut natural-gas drilling, are developing ways to eliminate the need for chemicals that may taint water supplies near wells.

At risk is hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a process that unlocked gas de... Read More

Actinomyces israelii

Actinomyces israelii. Molar tooth colony Read More

Revealing the secrets of the Périgord black truffle

Amy Maxmen reports over at Nature News that a team of European researchers has decoded the genome of the Périgord black truffle. Francis Martin, at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research in Nancy, and his colleagues have found that "within its nucleotides reside secrets to the f... Read More

Scientists Uncover Vast Microbial Diversity of Carnivorous Pitcher Plant

The microbial ecosystem inside the carnivorous pitcher plant is vastly more diverse than previously thought according to research published in the March 2010 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Researchers from Louisiana State University used genomic fingerprinting t... Read More

Universal vaccine could put an end to all flu

it is not a nice way to die. As the virus spreads through your lungs, your immune system goes into overdrive. Your lungs become leaky and fill with fluid. Your lips and nails, then your skin, turn blue as you struggle to get enough oxygen. Basically, you drown.

Flu can kill in other ways, too... Read More

Study Finds Surgical Masks Provided Effective Protection of Health Care Workers Against H1N1

The effectiveness of ordinary surgical masks as opposed to respirators in protecting health care workers against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus has been the subject of debate. An observational study published in the April 1, 2010 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, available online, suggests t... Read More

Deep sequencing reveals viral vaccine contaminants

Use of the rotavirus vaccine Rotarix in the US has been temporarily suspended because the vaccine was found to be contaminated with porcine circovirus 1 DNA. The discovery was made in the laboratory of Dr. Eric Delwart, who has provided insight into what was found in Rotarix, and why he was anal... Read More

Luring Out The Missing Biosphere

Most of life on Earth is a mystery to us. The bulk of biomass on the planet is made up of microbes. By some estimates, there may be 150 million species of bacteria, but scientists have only formally named a few thousand of them. One of the big causes of this ignorance is that scientists don’t kn... Read More

Microbes thrive in harsh, Mars-like lakes

Life not only survives but thrives in Australian lakes where conditions may be as harsh as those on ancient Mars, a new DNA analysis suggests.

Minerals on Mars studied by the NASA rovers suggest water once flowed on the planet's surface, but was very salty and acidic, raising doubts about whe... Read More

Farmers fear ruin as Rift Valley Fever spreads

Sixty-three South Africans are infected, according to the latest figures released by the Department of Health yesterday. This number went up from 52 on Thursday, to 60 on Friday and then to 63 yesterday. Two people in the Free State have also died in recent weeks. Rift Valley Fever causes diseas... Read More

Fat clue to TB awakening

The factors instrumental in triggering latent tuberculosis (TB) infection to progress into active disease have long remained elusive to researchers. New insight into the mystery is provided by Professor David Russell, speaking at the Society for General Microbiology's spring meeting in Edinburgh... Read More

'Hormone therapy' for food poisoning bacteria

Pathogenic bacteria in the gut recognise their surroundings by detecting hormone signals from the host, which can prompt them to express lethal toxins. Intercepting these hormonal messages could be a better way to treat serious food-borne infections where antibiotics do more harm than good, expl... Read More

Norovirus postpones NCAA swim championships; Airline flight is possible source

It's not uncommon to hear of norovirus outbreaks sickening cruise customers. Now, a recent outbreak of the virus could be traced back to an airline flight in Ohio. The Columbus Dispatch writes "norovirus is to blame for an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness that sickened at least 18 student-at... Read More

FDA Alerts Consumers on Campylobacter in Raw Milk

The US Food and Drug Administration has issued an alert regarding at least 12 confirmed illnesses in Michigan that are associated with the bacteria Campylobacter in raw, unpasteurized milk.

The FDA is collaborating with the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) among other state agen... Read More

Our microbes, ourselves

Television shows remind us of the traces we can leave behind, clues that could link a criminal to the scene of a crime: a careless fingerprint, a spatter of blood, a stray hair. A recent study offers a new way to identify people that might sound far-fetched even to a scriptwriter: the bacteria o... Read More

New Ways to Fight Tuberculosis

Antibiotics have been used since the 1940s to cure tuberculosis. But the bacterium that causes the disease, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, keeps evolving to dodge the drugs that are thrown at it, and existing treatments are becoming less effective. Now, Howard Hughes Medicial Institute (HHMI) scien... Read More

TWiV 75: Rabies rampant

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On episode #75 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Alan, and Matt review contamination of Rotarix with circovirus DNA, antigenic similarity between 1918 and 2009 H1N1 influenza, a ... Read More

X-rays Can Help Predict Risk in Clinically Suspected H1N1 Cases

A new study published in the April issue of Radiology suggests that chest x-rays may play an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of H1N1 influenza by predicting which patients are likely to become sicker.

"Working in the emergency room is very stressful, and physicians need informat... Read More

Resistance to swine flu antiviral drugs can develop faster than expected, research finds

The pandemic H1N1 influenza virus can develop resistance to the commonly used antiviral drugs much faster than expected, federal researchers said Friday. Previous research had suggested that it would take 24 days or longer for resistance to the drugs to develop in a patient, but a new study repo... Read More

Do bacteria require kosher permit?

According to a mythological Bnei Brak fable, the city's Chief Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib Landa is one of the few people in the entire world who have been exposed to Coca Cola's secret recipe. Otherwise, he would not have been able to grant a kosher seal of approval to the popular drink produced in ... Read More

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