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Whooping cough questions focus on the final childhood booster shot

The dramatic surge in whooping cough in California in 2010, when 10 infants were killed by the bacterium and more people were sickened than in any year since 1947, has scientists looking for answers.

Researchers are focusing on a surprising trend: 7- to 10-year-olds are getting the disease at... Read More

Wellcome Trust exhibition to show history of dirt

A new exhibition in London will chart the history of the human relationship with dirt.

The exhibition, at the Wellcome Trust in Euston, explores attitudes towards dirt in a 17th Century Dutch home, a Victorian street and an Indian slum.

It includes some of the earliest sketches of bacteria... Read More

Sorting good science from bad

Five years ago Bill Gates invited the world's scientists to submit ideas for tackling the biggest problems in global health. No idea was too radical, he said, for what he called the Grand Challenges in Global Health.

About 1600 proposals came in, and the top 43 were so promising that the Bill... Read More

TWiV 114: Ten out of '10

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Vincent, Alan, and Rich revisit ten compelling virology stories of 2010.

Hosts:  Read More

TWiV 114 Letters

Jean writes:

I am at present suffering from [what] I have been told will be a virus.

Symptoms:- a dry continuous hacking cough. Unable to get much sleep. No cough medicine seems to soothe it. An uncontrolled loss of urine when coughing. Otherwise no flu symptoms.

... Read More

Researchers discover how microbes cooperate

Ever wonder what microorganisms do on a Saturday night? In professor Derek Lovley's lab at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, doctoral candidate Zarath Summers and her colleagues made a point to find out. In the process, Summers discovered a new cooperative behavior in bacteria.

"Inter... Read More

Epidemic intelligence

In June 2011 public-health officials will mark the 30th anniversary of the first AIDs diagnosis. Much hand-wringing will ensue. Why do we not yet have an effective vaccine? How do HIV cases continue to grow?

At the same time, a small but growing number of scientists will mark the anniversary ... Read More

N.J. delays high school biology requirement

New Jersey education officials have decided not to require high school students to pass a biology test in order to graduate - at least, not yet.

The requirement was to kick in for the Class of 2014, or current freshmen. But when almost half the students who took the pilot test this spring fai... Read More

Flu Epidemics Could Be Prevented by Regular Hand-Washing

Health experts believe a flu epidemic was averted last year because of regular hand-washing, suggesting healthcare facilities should promote hand-washing among staff and patients to prevent the spread of disease, according to a HealthDay report.

The American Society for Microbiology and the A... Read More

Flu virus on the upswing in Southeastern U.S.

According to the CDC, influenza-like-illness (ILI) reports have increased nationally, and are higher than would be expected for this time of the year. Visits to doctors for ILI have increased, with Regions 2 and 4 (the Southeastern U.S.) indicating ILI activity above the baseline. Specifically, ... Read More

Evolutionary Arms Race Between Smut Fungi and Maize Plants

Fungi are a major cause of plant diseases and are responsible for large-scale harvest failure in crops like maize and other cereals all over the world. Together with scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum in Munich, Regine Kahmann, from the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Mar... Read More

Edible vaccine for malaria on way

A spoonful of genetically modified starch could be a new malaria vaccine if a new strategy that seems to work in mice also performs well in humans.

At present there is no efficient vaccine against malaria, which is caused by the plasmodium parasite. Now researchers from two laboratories in Fr... Read More

Bacteria's Viral DNA Offers a Sneak Peek into Primitive Immune Systems

Viral DNA trapped in a bacteria cell's chromosome for millions of years has shown how bacteria becomes resistant to antibiotics

A Texas A&M University researcher has discovered how nature's most primitive immune systems worked by studying bacteria's methods of resisting antibiotics over milli... Read More

Mundo de los Microbios - Episodio 74

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A continuación: comunidades microbianas en la zona de permafrost del polo norte; la miel de manuka como inhibidor del Staphylococcus aureus resistente a la meticilina (MRSA); el MRSA en lu... Read More

Stomach bug -- or something you ate? Regardless, it's that time of year

Stomach illnesses peak in winter -- sometimes spread from person to person, sometimes spread via food handled by a sick person. The reason doesn’t really matter, though, when you feel horrible. And, unlike the flu, there's no vaccine you can take to prevent an infection.

Beyond campylobacter,... Read More

Hospital infections study a first, but unreliable

California health officials will try a different approach to collecting hospital infection data because a lackluster study released Thursday has significant limitations, they said.

The department tried to have hospitals report infection rates directly to the state for the first time this year... Read More

Keeping a sense of proportion about swine flu

Scary headlines about swine flu can risk distorting the real threat posed by the H1N1 virus. There also seems to be a collective amnesia among many in the media about previous coverage of the virus.

The plain facts are these. So far, 39 people are known to have died with flu since October, th... Read More

Uganda plans vaccination push to stop yellow fever

Uganda is planning to vaccinate about 2.5 million people in its northern regions against yellow fever, following the recent confirmation that the disease is the cause of a 2-month-old outbreak that has killed more than 40 people, according to press reports.

Uganda's health minister, Dr. Natha... Read More

98.6 Trades Metabolic Cost for Fungal Protection

As a bitter winter storm rages on the east coast, it’s hard to knock being warm-blooded. But what about the metabolic cost of maintaining a high body temperature? Well, a new study finds that we and many other mammals keep up such a torrid temp because it’s a Goldilocks situation—98.6 is just ri... Read More

Is Life’s Chemistry Cooking on Titan?

Saturn’s moon Titan is wrapped in a thick, hazy atmosphere whose chemistry may mirror conditions on Earth before life emerged here some 4 billion years ago. In October Sarah Hörst reported that the resemblance is more than superficial. She simulated Titan’s haze in the lab and found it naturally... Read More
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