Mercury pollution is a persistent problem in the environment. Human activity has lead to increasingly large accumulations of the toxic chemical, especially in waterways, where fish and shellfish tend to act as sponges for the heavy metal.
It's that persistent and toxic nature that has flummox... Read More
New research may calm fears that the common infection strep throat can lead to certain neuropsychiatric disorders.
While previous research has linked streptococcal infection of the throat to Tourette syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a new study out of the United Kingdom finds... Read More
The largest U.S. supplier of seasonal flu vaccines said it is running behind on shipping those vaccines — partly because of the crunch to produce millions of doses of the swine flu vaccine.
The pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur said it has shipped more than half of the 50.5 million doses ... Read More
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The optimal way to control swine flu, the new H1N1 virus that emerged as a global threat in 2009, is to vaccinate children with the planned H1N1 flu vaccine, says the co-director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases.
"Ch... Read More
Last Christmas, St. Louis mom Linda Churchwell-Varga noticed what looked like four little bug bites on her 3-year-old daughter Oona's bottom. Diaper ointment helped at first, but within a few days, more bumps cropped up. They were so painful, Oona refused to sit in a grocery cart. Recalls Linda:... Read More
Ever awkwardly tried to open a door with your sleeve as a barrier against that dirty doorknob? Or done the tricky dance of attempting to flush the toilet with your foot to avoid that germ-laden handle?
Despite your dances to avoid seemingly obvious germ hang-outs, the dirtiest surface in your... Read More
In recent years, efforts to combat drug-resistant bacteria have focused on the immediate goal of reducing rates of hospital-acquired infections. But now global health officials face an approaching crisis: the number of different antibiotics available to treat such infections when they do occur i... Read More
Bacterial lung infections were common among 77 people who died because of the 2009 H1N1 flu, a finding similar to past pandemics, the CDC said.
In a subset of the 600 U.S. deaths associated with the current pandemic, 29% had a bacterial coinfection, the agency said in a early release from the... Read More
Engineered E. coli bacteria can now trace the outline of an image on an agar plate in a feat that shows how manipulating small organisms could lead to synthetic biological devices useful to technology and medicine.
"It looks like a pen came in and traced the outline of the image," said Jeff T... Read More
Scientists are reporting discovery of a much sought after crack in the armor of a common microbe that infects the stomachs of one-sixth of the world’s population, causing stomach ulcers and other diseases. They identified a group of substances that block a key chemical pathway that the bacteria ... Read More
A student produced documentary, "Roots to Stem: Spelman Women in Science, profiles the careers of African American female scientists.
Even though there is an increasing rate of African American women in science undergraduate sciences classes, the number of these women actually entering into ... Read More
Air travel doesn't pose extra risks for individuals, infectious disease experts say, but it does spread diseases between populations.
Passengers may worry viruses will spread around planes in recirculated air, but that isn't a concern thanks to the high efficiency particulate filters that cat... Read More
Thousands of bacteria lurk in college dormitories, but students are not following proper hygiene routines to help protect themselves from serious illness, according to a study released today from the Simmons College Center for Hygiene and Health in Home and Community, sponsored by an educational... Read More
Since its discovery in January 2007 the lethal fungal infection known as white-nose syndrome (WNS) has killed at many as 1.5 million bats in the U.S. Northeast. Now, as temperatures start to drop this autumn into the range where WNS operates at its optimal killing capacity, the U.S. Fish & Wildl... Read More
A trip to the dentist could perhaps have saved many a mighty Tyrannosaurus rex.
Holes found in the jawbones of 10 T. Rex – including "Sue" at the Field Museum in Chicago – may not be battle scars from fighting with rivals as previously thought. The holes are more consistent with parasitic inf... Read More
A University of Toronto-led team has uncovered the evolutionary ancestry of the prion gene, which may reveal new understandings of how the prion protein causes diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as "mad cow disease."
Diseased prion proteins are responsible for... Read More
Saudi Arabia has announced that everyone arriving for the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in November will have to swallow a dose of oral polio vaccine under the eyes of health officials.
The kingdom has become more and more aggressive in its fight against polio, which has hovered on the brink of ... Read More
Pregnant women are deluged with advice about things to avoid: caffeine, paint, soft cheese, sushi. Even when evidence of possible harm is weak or purely theoretical, the overriding caveat is, “Don’t take it, don’t use it, don’t do it.”
In a few contexts, the admonition is warranted; in most, ... Read More
A team of researchers at MIT are engineering a strain of bacteria, which is similar to the type that causes tuberculosis, to produce biofuel.
The researchers say that the bacteria are useful because they are hungry for a number of sugars and toxic compounds and produce lipids that can be conv... Read More