African lions living over a million years ago may have carried an early form of HIV. Now, American microbiologists reckon they've found a feline genetic "pawprint" in the modern-day form of the virus.
Robert Bambara and his team at the University of Rochester in New York found a genetic seque... Read More
Is Britain's £500-million-plus plan to create a world-leading biomedical research institute politician-proof?
The effort to create the UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation (UKCMRI) in central London within around five years has been endorsed by prime minister Gordon Brown.
But wit... Read More
New videos have caught bacteria in the act of a completely new behavior. A study appearing online December 7 in PNAS finds that Shewanella cells briefly touch an electron-accepting surface, lift off and swim furiously, and then return to the metal surface.
The researchers call this flighty ne... Read More
Timothy Paustian, Faculty Associate in the Dept. of Bacteriology at University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been working on an online microbiology textbook entitled "Through the Microscope, A Look at all Things Small." According to Paustian's "textbook publishing manifesto," Through the Microscop... Read More
Cavities have made a dismaying comeback in children in recent years, and the search is on among scientists to find new ways to fight tooth decay.
The prevalence of cavities in children aged 2 to 5 decreased steadily through the 1970s and 1980s, thanks largely to the expansion of water fluorid... Read More
The J. Craig Venter Institute announced today that Karen E. Nelson, Ph.D. has been named Director of the JCVI Rockville, MD campus. Dr. Nelson and Robert Friedman, Ph.D., Director of the San Diego, CA facility since 2008, are senior leaders of the two campuses of the JCVI and report directly to ... Read More
Just over half of all patients in intensive care units around the world have infections, and they are more than twice as likely to die in the units as patients who are not infected, a new study has found.
The study surveyed the infection status of more than 13,000 patients from 1,200 noncardi... Read More
Laboratories are invariably out of the public eye—until there is a problem. In Canada, The Canadian Press reported earlier this year that audits had uncovered serious flaws in the tracking and accountability of dangerous pathogen specimens at federal laboratories. In response, the Public Health ... Read More
Nigeria, once the worst-afflicted country in the world, has been free of the parasitic infection Dracunculiasis, aka guinea worm, for the past 12 months according to the Carter Center.
People can become infected with guinea worm when they drink pond water infested with microscopic fleas, in w... Read More
An Arizona State University research team has developed a process that removes a key obstacle to producing lower-cost, renewable biofuels. The team has programmed a photosynthetic microbe to self-destruct, making the recovery of high-energy fats--and their biofuel byproducts--easier and potentia... Read More
More than 20 percent of the nation’s water treatment systems have violated key provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act over the last five years, according to a New York Times analysis of federal data.
That law requires communities to deliver safe tap water to local residents. But since 2004... Read More
In recognition of a new campaign aimed at vaccinating 12 million persons in Benin, Liberia and Sierra Leone by WHO’s Yellow Fever Initiative, Welkin Johnson, Associate Blogger for Small Things Considered and Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School, ha... Read More
Entomophthora coronata. Conidium discharged into lid of petri dish. Phase. (450X) Read More
A massive, data-crunching computer search program that matches fragments of potential drug molecules to the known shapes of viral surface proteins has identified several FDA-approved drugs that could be the basis for new medicines -- if emerging viruses such as the H5N1(avian flu) or H1N1/09 (sw... Read More
"Dutch airline KLM has completed a fifth jet biofuel test flight—and the first with passengers other than flight crew. Using a 50–50 blend of regular jet fuel and biofuel refined from camelina oil in one of its four engines, the flight carried 42 "observers" for an hour on November 23 from Amste... Read More
The CDC has announced FluSurge 2.0 a spreadsheet-based software modeling oprogram which provides hospital administrators and public health officials estimates of the surge in demand for hospital-based services during the next influenza pandemic. FluSurge can estimate the number of hospitalizatio... Read More
(Ed. note- this is taken from a press release but represents valid research)
A pregnant woman's exposure to microbes may protect her child from developing allergies later in life. Researchers in Marburg, Germany find that exposure to environmental bacteria triggers a mild inflammatory respons... Read More
President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order creating a new Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. He also announced that he has appointed Amy Gutmann to serve as Chair and James W. Wagner to serve as Vice Chair of the Commission.
President Obama said, “As our nation... Read More
During week 47 (November 22-28, 2009), influenza activity continued to decrease in the U.S.:
* 956 (15.4%) specimens tested by U.S. World Health Organization (WHO) and National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS) collaborating laboratories and reported to CDC/Influ... Read More