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TWiV 113 Letters

Trevor writes:

Hi Vince, Dick, Alan and Rich,


My name is Trevor Stewart, a PhD student at the University of Toronto (in my final year!!) in Physics. I've been listening to TWIV (and TWIP) since last Xmas when my twin brother (who is a graduate student studying mass-s... Read More

TWiV 113: Alan Rein on XMRV


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Vincent, Alan, and Rich discuss the retrovirus XMRV with ret... Read More

Hong Kong bird tests positive for bird flu

Hong Kong authorities confirmed Thursday that a dead bird found in the southern Chinese territory had tested positive for the H5 strain of the bird flu virus.

A government spokeswoman told AFP that laboratory tests had confirmed the highly decomposed chicken carcass found on the seashore of a... Read More

Arsenic microbe answers a long way off

"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light," the physicist Max Planck once said. "But rather because its opponents eventually die."

The father of quantum physics didn't mean that scientists literally bump each other off, Al Capone-style,... Read More

University of Rochester testing new flu vaccine

Chicken eggs are generally a good place to grow flu virus to make flu vaccine, unless you need the vaccine quickly. That was clear in 2009, when the new H1N1 strain of flu virus spread across much of the world in just a few months.

It takes six months to make vaccine using eggs, and the yield... Read More

Haiti mobs lynch voodoo priests over cholera fears

Voodoo priests in Haiti are being lynched by mobs who blame them for spreading cholera, the country's government has said.

At least 45 people have been lynched in recent weeks as Haiti continues to be ravaged by a cholera epidemic.

Haiti's communications minister has made an appeal for the... Read More

VC-backed Vedanta to target cancer via ‘good’ bacteria

In the past five years, scientists have discovered that microbes living in your gut may be responsible for a great many things that contribute to your well-being - from your mood, to your body’s response to sickness.

Now, venture capital firm PureTech Ventures is launching a new company, call... Read More

New superbug found on Isle of Man

A new strain of the superbug MRSA has been detected on the Isle of Man, health bosses have said.

The island's Department of Health confirmed a small number of cases of a bacterium called MRSA USA 300.

It said that, unlike other strains of MRSA, it predominately affects young, fit and healt... Read More

Flu surge alarms doctors as virus hits children

Concerns over the spread and virulence of the latest flu outbreak are increasing among health experts, following a doubling of cases in a week and the announcement today of 10 more deaths, taking the total this season to 27.

Influenza expert Professor John Oxford described the upward curve of... Read More

Examining Risk of Serious Infection With Psoriasis Therapies

For psoriasis patients, all tumor necrosis factor inhibitors are associated with roughly the same risks for serious infection, according to a meta-analysis of data from major randomized clinical trials and their long-term, open-label extensions.

Regardless of whether etanercept, infliximab, o... Read More

Gene screen could hasten vaccine search

British researchers say a new method of studying potentially deadly disease-causing bacteria could help speed up the process of developing vaccines.

Scientists at the University of Exeter have developed a screening procedure that can quickly isolate and identify the virulent parts of the gene... Read More

Bees One of Many Pollinators Infected by Virus Implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder

Penn State researchers have found that native pollinators, like wild bees and wasps, are infected by the same viral diseases as honey bees and that these viruses are transmitted via pollen. This multi-institutional study provides new insights into viral infections in native pollinators, suggesti... Read More

Rapid results test for TB

TB is on the rise in the last decade, w/ London being rather hard hit. Hopefully this new testing method, promising faster results that could speed up treatment for the infected, provides some much-needed Christmas cheer to those battling this nasty bugger. Read More

Year in Review: First Microbicide Shows Ability to Block HIV Infection

For the first time, a microbicide gel -- intended to be used by women during sex -- has been shown to help prevent HIV infection.

In a randomized controlled trial, a gel containing the nucleotide analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitor tenofovir (Viread) reduced the risk of women acquiring H... Read More

XMRV and CFS – It’s not the end

Yesterday the Chicago Tribune published my reaction to the four papers on the retrovirus XMRV published this week in the journal Retrovirology. I was quoted as saying ”These four papers are probably the beginning of the end of XMRV and CFS”. I wish to retract this statement and explain my reason... Read More

Could the ingestion of 'modified' starch be a new malaria vaccine strategy?

There is no efficient vaccine against malaria, although nasal and oral vaccination seems to be the most promising and suitable solution in countries where the parasite Plasmodium, which causes the disease, is rife. Researchers from two laboratories in northern France have successfully vaccinated... Read More

Mundo de los Microbios - Episodio 73

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A continuación: alucinaciones producidas por antifúngicos; probióticos y Escherichia coli; biología sintética; y esponjas oceánicas.

Alucinaciones producidas por antifúngicos<... Read More

Designer probiotics could help in the fight against obesity

Scientists from the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC), Cork, University College Cork and Teagasc, in Ireland say that specially designed probiotics can modulate the physiology of host fat cells.

According to researchers, the findings could lead to specialised probiotics that have a role in... Read More

Can We Beat Bacteria by Hacking Their Conversations?

Here in her lab on the University of Wisconsin campus, chemist Helen Blackwell and her colleagues are eavesdropping on the chatter among single-celled organisms. For a long time they just listened. Now they actively interrupt the rumble of bacterial communication for a variety of practical purpo... Read More

Something's amiss with aliens and arsenic

The stage was set by a coy news release from NASA that hinted at a discovery tied to the search for extraterrestrial life. The blogosphere went wild: Had bacteria been found on one of Saturn's moons, or life of some sort on Mars?

Instead, it was revealed this month in the journal Science that... Read More
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