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Researchers develop MRSA-killing paint

Building on an enzyme found in nature, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have created a nanoscale coating for surgical equipment, hospital walls, and other surfaces which safely eradicates methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the bacteria responsible for antibiotic r... Read More

Conidial head of Aspergillus restrictus

Conidial head of Aspergillus restrictus, sterigma on vesicle bear spores Read More

Legionnaires' disease spread by a paving machine

It was hard enough for health officials to track down the source of the original outbreak of Legionnaires' disease, at the old Bellevue Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia, in 1976.

Imagine if the disease had been caused by a moving target.

That's what happened last year in southeastern Spain,... Read More

Disaster in the making

At first glance, the Christmas Atoll south of Hawaii seems to be a tropical paradise.

That may be true above the waterline, but explorations of the surrounding seas by San Diego-based researchers found corals were dead or diseased, sharks and other large predators were scarce and only small ... Read More

What will gobble the spilled oil?

Whether or not ecological disaster follows the BP spill may hinge on what eats the oil first.

"Right now it's a race between the microbes and the fish," said marine biologist Larry McKinney of Texas A&M University, a specialist in the Gulf of Mexico.

Ideally, microbes will win, transformin... Read More

Studies pinpoint key targets for MRSA vaccine

Two recent studies provide evidence for a new approach to vaccines to prevent infections caused by drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus -- better known as MRSA – the leading cause of skin and soft tissue, bloodstream and lung infections in the United States. One demonstrates a way to counteract... Read More

Shape Matters: The Corkscrew Twist of H. Pylori Enables It to 'Set Up Shop' in the Stomach

The bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which lives in the human stomach and is associated with ulcers and gastric cancer, is shaped like a corkscrew, or helix. For years researchers have hypothesized that the bacterium's twisty shape is what enables it to survive -- and thrive -- within the stomach'... Read More

Future-proofing antibiotics...

By now many people will be aware of one of this week's topics of conversation, the emergence of the resistance determinant New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase 1 (or NDM-1), which is an enzyme that confers resistance to a group of very useful antibiotics, the carbapenems; it does this by cleaving the a... Read More

Vaccine sales up 16 pct in 2009, still growing

Global sales of vaccines grew by a healthy 16 percent last year, when sales shot up to $22.1 billion, healthcare market research publisher Kalorama Information reported Friday.

Its researchers are forecasting vaccine sales will rise at a compound annual rate of 9.7 percent during the next fiv... Read More

Bacteria can 'smell' their environment, research shows

Research has shown that bacteria - among the simplest life forms on Earth - have a sense of smell.

Scientists from Newcastle University in the UK have demonstrated that a bacterium commonly found in soil can sniff and react to ammonia in the air.

It was previously thought that this "olfact... Read More

New Drug-Resistant 'Superbug' Claims First Life

A new drug-resistant "superbug" that originated in South Asia has claimed the life of a Belgian man. It’s the first reported death from bacteria with the New Delhi metallo-lactamase-1 gene,Agence France-Presses reported. The gene, which is found in a number of different bacteria, produces an en... Read More

TWiV 95: Does a virus shift in the woods?

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On episode #95 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Dickson, Alan, and Rich consider the end of the influenza H1N1 pandemic, dengue in Florida, vaccinia virus infection in Brazilian monkey... Read More

TWiV 95 Letters

Jim writes:

Some listeners might benefit from reading "The Treatment; why is it so difficult to develop drugs for cancer" in the May 17, 2010 issue of The New Yorker, a nine page article (pp 68-77).


This link goes to the digital edition ( http://archives.newyorker.co... Read More

Gains in Bioscience Cause Terror Fears

Rapid advances in bioscience are raising alarms among terrorism experts that amateur scientists will soon be able to gin up deadly pathogens for nefarious uses.

Fears of bioterror have been on the rise since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, stoking tens of billions of dollars of government spendi... Read More

Nasty Bug Watch: MRSA Infections Down, But New Threat Looms

Do you want the good or the bad news on nasty, antibiotic-resistant infections?

We’re chipper today, so we’ll start with the good: Rates of invasive infections by MRSA, the infamous drug-resistant staph bacteria, appear to be on the decline, according to a study published in JAMA. CDC researc... Read More

Vibrio Bacteria Rise in Brackish Waters Can Cause Illness

The Maryland Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) and of the Environment (MDE) are reminding consumers of the potential risk of eating uncooked oysters, clams, mussels and other shellfish during the warmer months of the year. The yearly increase in Vibrio bacteria as the water tempera... Read More

Luke Jerram's viral crystals: beautiful but deadly

Artist Luke Jerram has an unusual line in creativity. He takes some of the world's deadliest diseases and turns them into grand works of art. These include large, transparent glass sculptures of viruses, such as swine flu and HIV, as well as bacteria and other infectious agents. The aim, says Je... Read More

Childhood abuse, adversity may shorten life, weaken immune response among the elderly

The emotional pains we suffer in childhood can lead to weakened immune systems later in life, according to a new study.

Based on this new research, the amount of this immune impairment even enhances that caused by the stress of caregiving later in life.

"What happens in childhood really ma... Read More

Dangerous Bacterium Hosts Genetic Remnant of Life's Distant Past

Within a dangerous stomach bacterium, Yale University researchers have discovered an ancient but functioning genetic remnant from a time before DNA existed, they report in the August 13 issue of the journal Science.

To the surprise of researchers, this RNA complex seems to play a critical rol... Read More

Antibiotics for the Prevention of Malaria

If mice are administered an antibiotic for three days and are simultaneously infected with malaria, no parasites appear in the blood and life-threatening disease is averted. In addition, the animals treated in this manner also develop robust, long-term immunity against subsequent infections.

... Read More
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