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Bacterial protein mimics its host to disable a key enzyme

Bacteria use all sorts of cunning to trick hosts into doing their bidding. One con in their bag of tricks: the molecular mimic. In this ruse, bacteria or their agents look for all purposes like some native molecule in a cell, but then do not behave accordingly. Working with H. pylori, the bacter... Read More

NHLBI Funding $13.8M Study for TB Latency, Reactivation

The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute will spend up to $11.5 million over four years on grants that use 'omics data and other systems biology approaches to develop computational models for use in studying lung response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis and host-microbe reactions that cause dis... Read More

Bacteria provide new insights into human decision making

Scientists studying how bacteria under stress collectively weigh and initiate different survival strategies say they have gained new insights into how humans make strategic decisions that affect their health, wealth and the fate of others in society.

Their study, published this week in the ea... Read More

H1N1 fatalities top 10,000

Federal health officials said Thursday that almost 10,000 people had died of swine flu since April, a significant jump from mortality numbers released last month.

Officials also said that 50 million Americans, one sixth of the country, had caught the disease, and that 213,000 people had been ... Read More

TWiV 62: Persistence of West Nile virus



On episode #62 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Dickson, and Alan discuss STEP HIV-1 vaccine failure caused by the adenovirus vector, presence of West Nile virus in kidneys for years after initi... Read More

BacterioFiles Episode 1

In this show, I outline my plans, and then report on three exciting stories: microbial symbiosis with herbivorous ants, self-destructing cyanobacteria, and a bacterial immune system.




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H1N1 More Risky Than Seasonal Flu in Children with Sickle Cell Disease

Infection with the H1N1 virus, or swine flu, causes more life-threatening complications than seasonal flu in children with sickle cell disease, according to research from Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. The findings, presented Dec. 7 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, ... Read More

UCLA researchers demonstrate that stem cells can be engineered to kill HIV

Researchers from the UCLA AIDS Institute and colleagues have for the first time demonstrated that human blood stem cells can be engineered into cells that can target and kill HIV-infected cells — a process that potentially could be used against a range of chronic viral diseases.

The study, p... Read More

Scientists identify bacteria responsible for citrus greening

Greening, a devastating disease that threatens citrus crops worldwide, is almost certainly caused by one species of bacteria, not a combination of bacteria and viral pathogens.

That’s the conclusion reached by researchers at the University of Florida, who used genetic analysis to study the in... Read More

Let Kids Eat Dirt: Over-Cleanliness Linked to Heart Disease

In a long-term study published in The Proceedings of the Royal Society B, U.S. researchers suggest that over-cleanliness could make babies more prone to inflammation later in life, and in turn raise the risk for stroke and heart disease.

Thomas McDade’s team studied more than 1,500 people in ... Read More

Escherichia coli and Salmonella derby

Escherichia coli and Salmonella derby on XLD agar Read More

Bacteria Engineered to Turn Carbon Dioxide Into Liquid Fuel

Global climate change has prompted efforts to drastically reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas produced by burning fossil fuels.

In a new approach, researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have genetically modified a cyanobacterium to c... Read More

Fast Method for Preparing Flu Vaccine: Use Bioreactors Instead of Chicken Eggs

A shortage of flu vaccines may soon become a problem of the past. Researcher Manon Cox has developed an alternative process for producing large quantities of safe and effective vaccines at twice to four times the usual speed. The process is based on using cells in bioreactors instead of fertilis... Read More

Bacterial protein mimics its host to disable a key enzyme

Helicobacter pylori infects up to 90 percent of people in the developing world and causes gastric ulcers and cancers of the gut. Now scientists have revealed a subterfuge used by the bacterium to trick stomach cells into playing along. By injecting a protein into the stomach lining that mimics a... Read More

Mechanism discovered by which body's cells encourage tuberculosis infection

Scientists have discovered a signaling pathway that tuberculosis bacteria use to coerce disease-fighting cells to switch allegiance and work on their behalf. Epithelial cells line the airways and other surfaces to protect and defend the body. Tuberculosis bacteria co-opt these epithelial cells i... Read More

Penn, Georgia Get $14.6M for Pathogen Database

The University of Pennsylvania and the University of Georgia have won a $14.6 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to expand a pathogen genomic database that serves as a resource for scientists studying infectious diseases, Penn said today.

The Eukaryo... Read More

CDC: About 1 in 6 Americans have had swine flu

Swine flu has sickened about 50 million Americans, and killed about 10,000, according to new estimates released by federal health officials on Thursday.

That means about 1 in 6 Americans have had the illness, said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.... Read More

Escherichia coli

Escherichia coli showing lactose fermentation EMB agar. Note green sheen on colony. Read More

North Korea Reports Swine Flu Outbreak

North Korea acknowledged nine cases of swine flu on Wednesday, but relief officials in South Korea reported that dozens of North Koreans had died of the flu.

North Korea’s official news agency, K.C.N.A., said the nine cases had been confirmed in the capital of Pyongyang and in Sinuiju, a town... Read More

Unexpected Weakness in H1N1's Method for Evading Detection by the Immune System

The H1N1 influenza virus has been keeping a secret that may be the key to defeating it and other flu viruses as well.

Researchers at Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) have found what they believe is a weakness in H1N1's method for evading detection by the immune system.

... Read More

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