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Infection Defense May Spur Alzheimer’s

For years, a prevailing theory has been that one of the chief villains in Alzheimer’s disease has no real function other than as a waste product that the brain never properly disposed of.

The material, a protein called beta amyloid, or A-beta, piles up into tough plaques that destroy signals... Read More

Dr. Barton Childs, Who Studied Inherited Diseases, Is Dead at 93

Dr. Barton Childs, a founder of pediatric genetics and an important contributor to the understanding of inherited diseases, died on Feb. 18. He was 93, lived in Baltimore, and taught at Johns Hopkins University for nearly 70 years until shortly before his death at its hospital.

The cause wa... Read More

Lab Hacks: Lab equipment from the hardware store

While almost every lab has a small toolbox with some screwdrivers, pliers, and such, here are some tools that may not have obvious utility at the bench, but could make your life easier. Jode Plank, a Postdoctoral Fellow studying DNA repair at the University of California at Davis shares some of ... Read More

Nippon Oil and Hitachi aim at mass-producing microbe-derived biofuel

Major Japanese oil wholesaler Nippon Oil and Hitachi subsidiary Hitachi Plant Technologies are developing a technology that’s supposed to make it possible to mass-produce eco-friendly jet fuel from Euglena, single-celled organisms that live in ponds and lakes.

To be more exact, both companies... Read More

Intestinal Bacteria Drive Obesity and Metabolic Disease in Immune-Altered Mice

Increased appetite and insulin resistance can be transferred from one mouse to another via intestinal bacteria, according to research being published online by Science magazine.

The finding strengthens the case that intestinal bacteria can contribute to human obesity and metabolic disease, si... Read More

Honing the science of anti-fungal treatment

Mycoses, the fungal diseases, range from superficial to systemic to opportunistic types. The superficial myco­ses, as the name suggests, can be prevented by good personal hygiene. The systemic mycoses are more serious ty­pes. These occur mainly through in­halation of spores present in the soil, ... Read More

Snack maker recalls pretzel products due to potential salmonella contamination

The following recall has been announced:

GNS Foods, based in Arlington, Texas, is voluntarily recalling snack mixes containing certain kinds of pretzels. They could be contaminated with salmonella, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children and others ... Read More

Two flavors of Pringles potato crisps recalled in HVP salmonella scare

The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG), in response to a recommendation from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to the food industry, announced today that it is voluntarily recalling Pringles Restaurant Cravers Cheeseburger potato crisps and Pringles Family Faves Taco Night potato crisps as pa... Read More

A Fingerprint for Genes: Scientists Develop New Strategy to Play Major Role in Research on Human Diseases

Cells may not have a mouth, but they still need to ingest substances from the external environment. If this process -- known as endocytosis -- is affected, it can lead to infectious diseases or cardio-vascular diseases, cancer, Huntington's and diabetes.

In cooperation with the Center for Inf... Read More

Plasmodium falciparum

Plasmodium falciparum male and female gametocyte (1000X) Read More

Scientists identify reservoirs where HIV-infected cells can lie in wait

University of Michigan scientists have identified a new reservoir for hidden HIV-infected cells that can serve as a factory for new infections. The findings, which appear online today in Nature Medicine, indicate a new target for curing the disease so those infected with the virus may someday no... Read More

UCLA Pioneering Microbiology Educator and Author Discusses Innovative Teaching Methods

In this monthly interview series, meet Erin Sanders-Lorenz, an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, & Molecular Genetics at UCLA , co-author of the new book, "I, Microbiologist: A Discovery-based Course in Microbial Ecology and Molecular Evolution" and a lea... Read More

Bugging bugs: Learning to speak microbe

Deep in your lungs, there's a battle raging. It's a warm, moist environment where the ever-opportunistic bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa has taken up residence. If your lungs are healthy, chances are the invader will be quickly dispatched. But in the mucus-clogged lungs of people with cystic fi... Read More

Researcher: Food labels with microbial data could help manage physical, and possibly mental, health

Just as food labels now tell the content of fat, fiber, vitamins and minerals, food scientists believe the information one day will include all bacteria and fungi in the product.

“Like a nutritional profile, we are creating a microbial profile,” said Dr. Suresh Pillai, Texas AgriLife Research... Read More

Susanna Edwards: Science and art under the microscope

Susanna Edwards is, by her own admission, an obsessive collector. The London-based artist has used found objects to trigger many creative projects, but the chance discovery of a collection of Victorian microscope slides set Edwards off in an unexpected direction.

A new exhibition brings toget... Read More

Probiotic gum puts friendly organisms in the mouth to defeat bad breath and infections

You won't find it on the shelves next to Juicy Fruit, but a new Canadian-made chewing gum is being touted for its health benefits, based in part on years of research by microbiologists at the University of B.C.

For those with an aversion to swallowing supplements or eating yogurt containing h... Read More

Dysentery amoeba gets a boost from a transcription factor

Every year, the parasite Entamoeba histolytica causes an estimated 40 million cases of amoebic dysentery and liver abscesses and 100,000 deaths, mainly in developing countries. A new paper accepted for publication in mBio shows that a transcription factor called Upstream Regulatory Element 3-Bi... Read More

TWiV 72: Bucket of bolts

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On episode #72 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Dickson, Alan and Rich explain CRISPR/Cas, the immune system of bacteria and archaea, how novel viruses are discovered by deep sequencin... Read More

Virus outbreaks on ships mirror trend on shore

Suffering a bout of gastrointestinal illness in a cramped cruise ship cabin ranks pretty high on the scale of vacation nightmares. And given the bug going around this year, illness at sea is likely to spike.

Last week, Celebrity Cruises' Mercury ship returned to port in Charleston, South Caro... Read More

Virus infections may lead to gluten intolerance--study

A novel study cautions that virus infections might be one of the factors contributing to gluten intolerance.

Researchers at the Academy of Finland's Research Programme on Nutrition, Food and Health (ELVIRA) have found that the genes [basic, functional units of heredity, each occupying a speci... Read More

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