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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

Five Years In, Gauging Impact of Gates Grants

Five years ago, Bill Gates made an extraordinary offer: he invited the world’s scientists to submit ideas for tackling the biggest problems in global health, including the lack of vaccines for AIDS and malaria, the fact that most vaccines must be kept refrigerated and be delivered by needles, th... Read More

90GB of data stored in 1g of bacteria

Researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong have succeeded in demonstrating data storage and encryption with bacteria.

While current electronic data storage methods approach their limits in density, the team achieved unprecedented results with a colony of E.coli. Their technique allo... Read More

Swedish scientists study ice man bacteria samples

A team of scientists are currently examining specimens of stomach bacteria from Ötzi the Iceman, who lived about 5,300 years ago, at Stockholm's Karolinska Institute (KI).

Ötzi was discovered by two Germans tourists in September 1991 in the Ötztal Alps, near Hauslabjoch in Italy close to the ... Read More

National Review: New Antibiotics, Stat

The development of new antibiotics has slowed to a trickle, just when we need them most. As drug-resistant bacteria are on the rampage worldwide, we find ourselves in a most precarious situation — one not unlike the pre-antibiotic era, before penicillin, when staphylococcal and pneumococcal infe... Read More

Is XMRV a laboratory contaminant?

Since the first observations that the human retrovirus XMRV is associated with prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), new studies have been carried out to determine the role of the virus in these diseases. The results have been conflicting: XMRV (and related retroviruses) have been ... Read More

Tuberculosis Cases Have Increased 50 Percent in Last Decade, Lancet Says

London is the tuberculosis capital of Western Europe, according to a recent article in the medical journal Lancet, which said that cases there increased 50 percent in the last decade.

The situation is “reminiscent of the unexpected outbreaks of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in New York an... Read More

Scientists and physicians use genetic sequencing to identify and treat unknown disease

A collaborative team of scientists and physicians at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin uses genetic sequencing to identify and treat an unknown disease.

For the one of the first times in medical history, researchers and physicians at The Medical College of ... Read More

New Book: The Fecal Bacteria

The Fecal Bacteria offers a balanced, integrated discussion of fecal bacteria and their presence and ecology in the intestinal tract of mammals, in the environment, and in the food supply. This new volume covers their use in examining and assessing water quality in order to offer protection from... Read More

Researchers Optimistic Over Experimental Lung Cancer Vaccine

Researchers at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center have discovered a breakthrough experimental treatment for lung cancer.

The treatment is part of a lung cancer vaccine that exposes the body to a protein that the lung cancer produces. This protein production helps the body buil... Read More

Expert group reconsiders cholera vaccine for Haiti

An expert group convened by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) at its headquarters in Washington, DC, on Dec 17 discussed a possible cholera vaccine for Haiti and suggested developing a global vaccine stockpile.

The cholera vaccine has not been an element of the outbreak response, be... Read More

Genomic comparison of ocean microbes reveals East-West divide in populations

Much as an anthropologist can study populations of people to learn about their physical attributes, their environs and social structures, some marine microbiologists read the genome of microbes to glean information about the microbes themselves, their environments and lifestyles.

Using a rela... Read More

Global Health Watch: New polio vaccine developed by British research team

British and U.S. researchers are developing a new virtually risk-free polio vaccine that "tricks" the body into triggering its immune system to counteract the polio virus, according to British media reports this week.

Unlike other polio vaccines, this replica, or hoax vaccine, bypasses the ne... Read More

Arsenic Bacteria 4: The Quest for Peace

The arsenic bacteria story continued to roll on over the last week, but at a slower pace. Many of the big issues have already been covered at length, including the paper itself, the media hype, the implications for journalism, peer review, and so on (see my post-mortem from last week for a timel... Read More
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