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New Instrument for Analyzing Viruses: Sensitive 'PING' Device

Scientists in Israel and California have developed an instrument for rapidly analyzing molecular interactions that take place viruses and the cells they infect. By helping to identify interactions between proteins made by viruses like HIV and hepatitis and proteins made by the human cells these ... Read More

Researchers identify new biomarker for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the human form of mad cow disease

Neena Singh, MD, PhD and colleagues at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have identified the first disease-specific biomarker for sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), a universally fatal, degenerative brain disease for which there is no cure. sCJD is one of the causes of d... Read More

Drug Use Increasingly Associated With Microbial Infections

Illicit drug users are at increased risk of being exposed to microbial pathogens and are more susceptible to serious infections, say physicians writing in the Journal of Medical Microbiology. The review, which aims to improve the microbiological diagnosis of drug use-related infections, assesses... Read More

Found: H1N1 Swine Flu Mutation That Could Spread More Easily

It would take just a small change in DNA to create a mutation of the 2009 H1N1 "swine flu" virus that could spread more easily, concluded US scientists in a recent PLoS ONE paper where they also showed that their method could be used to monitor the evolution of H1N1, particularly that part of it... Read More

Salmonella could be used to fight cancer

Scientists are using salmonella - the bacteria commonly transmitted through food that sickens people - to fight cancers of the gut.

They believe salmonella may be a valuable tool in the fight against cancer in organs surrounding the gut - such as the liver, spleen, and colon - since that's wh... Read More

Curbing cholesterol may fight infections: study

Lowering cholesterol levels could help the body's immune system fight infections, British scientists said on Tuesday.

A study in mice by researchers at the University of Edinburgh found a direct link between the workings of the immune system and cholesterol levels.

"What we have discovered... Read More

Drug-resistant bacteria: To humans from farms via food

You have to love a scientific commentary that starts this in-your-face:

“Show us the science that use of antibiotics in animal production is causing this antibiotic resistance,” Dave Warner of the National Pork Council told the Washington Post back in June 2010, responding to a Food and D... Read More

TWiM #2: The plague, microbial virulence, and the gut microbiome

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Read More

TWiM 2 Letters

Barbara Hyde writes:

In the discussion of copper, it should be noted that copper has long been added to marine bottom paints as an anti-fouling agent. Now however there is concern about deleterious environmental effects from its leaching out into the waters.

Barb... Read More

Probiotic Identified to Treat Ulcers

Researchers from Spain have identified a strain of probiotic bacteria that may be useful in treating ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori. They report their findings in the February 2011 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

“H. pylori is considered one of the major ri... Read More

Alien Microbes Attack! Dangers Of Science News That Isn't Science Or News

It could have been the science story of a lifetime.

A NASA researcher publishes an article claiming to discover fossilized bacteria in a chunk of comet found on Earth. The implications are stunning — life exists not only on planets but even on ancient building blocks of solar systems. Yup, st... Read More

Japan Drug Panel Finds No Link Between Child Deaths, Pfizer, Sanofi Shots

A Japanese drug safety panel found no link between five infants who died this month and the Pfizer Inc. (PFE) and Sanofi-Aventis SA (SAN) vaccines they received, and said more analysis is needed to identify the cause of the deaths.

Japan’s ministry of health temporarily suspended the use of P... Read More

Can new ice cream lick health troubles?

Let’s admit it: Attempts to make ice cream healthier by deleting fat and sugar didn’t work. At least not for true ice cream lovers.

But rather than taking stuff out, what if you could add an array of healthy ingredients to ice cream without wrecking it in the process?

Researchers at the Un... Read More

Lab Vs. Courtroom: Different Definitions Of Proof

A research study published this week offers a powerful reminder of the difficulty of using cutting-edge science in the courtroom.

The study, reported in the latest issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, describes the genetic fingerprinting technique that the FBI... Read More

Key Mechanism of Childhood Respiratory Disease Identified

Researchers have identified a critical part of the process by which one of the world's most common and dangerous early childhood infections, respiratory syncytial virus, causes disease. The discovery could lead to badly needed new therapies for RSV, which in 2005 was estimated to have caused at ... Read More

Impact of nanoscale topography on genomics and proteomics of adherent bacteria

One of the main basic bacterial survival strategies is the colonization of a surface and the consequent growth as biofilm community, which is embedded in a gel-like polysaccharide matrix (also known as exopolysaccharides matrix or EPS). In spite of its swimming/planktonic counterpart, such sessi... Read More

Could Bacteria Make Butanol the New Gasoline?

Butanol may be used as a fuel in an internal combustion engine. Because its longer hydrocarbon chain causes it to be fairly non-polar, it is more similar to gasoline than it is to ethanol. Butanol has been demonstrated to work in vehicles designed for use with gasoline without modification. Univ... Read More

Genome Sequencing Used to Assess a Novel Form of Clostridium Botulinum

Scientists on the Norwich Research Park have sequenced the genome of a novel strain of Clostridium botulinum, one of the most dangerous pathogens known to man. The strain produces an unusual botulinum neurotoxin, known as type A5 neurotoxin, which was isolated by the Health Protection Agency (HP... Read More

New Microscope Produces Dazzling 3D Movies of Live Cells

A new microscope invented by scientists at Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Farm Research Campus will let researchers use an exquisitely thin sheet of light -- similar to that used in supermarket bar-code scanners -- to peer inside single living cells, revealing the three-dimensional sh... Read More

White hat fungus fights off pathogens

A fungus that already has a good reputation is making a name for itself as a therapeutic agent for human and plant health.
Because they are mycoparasites, Trichoderma virens are able to attack other, less desirable fungi that can harm roots and foliage of plants. Read More
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