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They fought deadly viruses; other researchers are continuing the fight

The world of virology lost two notables in recent weeks, offering an opportunity to reflect on the differences they made -- and to look ahead at advances yet to come.

The names may be unfamiliar; what they wrought isn't.

Dr. Robert M. Chanock not only isolated the respiratory syncytial vir... Read More

Titanic Is Falling Apart

Slipping beneath the waves on April 15, 1912, the R.M.S. Titanic famously disappeared from view until 1985, when it was rediscovered on the bottom of the North Atlantic.

Now, scientists say, the legendary liner—beset by metal-eating life-forms, powerful currents, and possibly even human negl... Read More

Egg recall expanded on salmonella fears

In another blow to the nation's $6-billion egg industry, a second Iowa producer issued a recall of 170 million eggs that could be contaminated with salmonella — bringing the total number to more than half a billion.

The eggs were produced by Hillandale Farms of New Hampton, Iowa, and package... Read More

Solar toothbrush zaps oral bacteria without using toothpaste

Brushing your teeth is a regular ritual for most people, and normally that involves both a toothbrush and toothpaste to remove the gunk that builds up on our teeth and gums. The solar toothbrush looks to eliminate the paste, harnessing the power of the sun to kill off all that nasty bacteria.
... Read More

Smart Fungus Disarms Plant, Animal and Human Immunity

Fungal and bacterial pathogens are quite capable of infecting plants, animals and humans despite their immune systems. Fungi penetrate leafs, stalks and roots, or skin, intestines and lungs, to infect their hosts. Researchers from Wageningen UR (University & Research centre) discovered, together... Read More

Basidiobolus haptosporus

Basidiobolus haptosporus. One subspherical spore which has been produced by replication and one adhesive spore produced by replication Read More

Old Drug Holds Promise Against Opportunistic Lung Bug

A drug to treat inflammation plays a surprising role reducing the level of infection caused by an opportunistic bug that is deadly for AIDS and cancer patients and others with weakened immune systems.

The drug, sulfasalazine, spurs the body to get rid of the fungal evaders by enhancing the bo... Read More

Africans text message to check if drugs are real

For Africans wondering whether the malaria drugs they've bought are real, there may soon be a quick way of finding out: sending a text message.

Across the continent, more than 30 percent of malaria medicines are estimated to be fake, and many look identical to the real thing.

A new project... Read More

Gulf Plume Resists Oil-Eating Microbes

A massive oil plume from the Deepwater Horizon blowout may survive for longer than expected against the petroleum-eating microbes in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a new study.

Researchers took a "forensic snapshot" in late June that showed higher-than-expected oxygen levels in the plume fr... Read More

A New Form of Chlorophyll?

Researchers may have found a new form of chlorophyll, the pigment that plants, algae and cyanobacteria use to obtain energy from light through photosynthesis. Preliminary findings published August 19 in Science suggest that the newly discovered molecule, dubbed chlorophyll f, has a distinct che... Read More

Analysis: U.S. flu plan cuts red tape, rewards biotechs

The U.S. government released a new plan on Thursday for cutting red tape and working more closely with companies to prepare for the next big biological disaster -- be it a flu pandemic or nuclear attack.

The plan from the Health and Human Services Department directly addresses many of the com... Read More

New Compound May be Effective Against Chagas’ Disease

A new compound may offer an effective drug candidate against the deadly tropical infection, Chagas’ disease say researchers from Brazil. They report their findings in the August 2010 issue of the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

Chagas’ disease is an infection caused by the par... Read More

Virus May Act as “Evolution-Proof” Biopesticide Against Malaria

A naturally occurring virus in mosquitoes may serve as a “late-life-acting” insecticide by killing older adult mosquitoes that are responsible for the bulk of malaria transmission. The researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute, Baltimore, Maryla... Read More

Avian Influenza Virus May Persist on Feathers Fallen from Domestic Ducks

Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (H5N1) may persist on feathers fallen from the bodies of infected domestic ducks and contribute to environmental contamination. Researchers from the National Institute of Animal Health, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan report their findings in the August 2010 issu... Read More

Reanimated ‘Junk’ DNA Is Found to Cause Disease

The human genome is riddled with dead genes, fossils of a sort, dating back hundreds of thousands of years — the genome’s equivalent of an attic full of broken and useless junk.

Some of those genes, surprised geneticists reported Thursday, can rise from the dead like zombies, waking up to ca... Read More

Egg recall is still evolving: 2000 ill so far

In May, days after a group of high school students in the Bay Area nibbled on custard-filled pastries at a catered prom dinner, several of them started to complain about aching stomachs. Around the same time, some college students celebrating their graduation used the same catering company — and... Read More

'Zombie ants' controlled by parasitic fungus for 48m years

The oldest evidence of a fungus that turns ants into zombies and makes them stagger to their death has been uncovered by scientists.

The gruesome hallmark of the fungus's handiwork was found on the leaves of plants that grew in Messel, near Darmstadt in Germany, 48m years ago.

The finding ... Read More

Potential HIV Drug Keeps Virus out of Cells

Following up a pioneering 2007 proof-of-concept study, a University of Utah biochemist and colleagues have developed a promising new anti-HIV drug candidate, PIE12-trimer, that prevents HIV from attacking human cells.

Michael S. Kay, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry in the Uni... Read More

Aphid immune system aided by friendly bacteria

Conventional thinking says that animal immune systems have evolved to defend against harmful microorganisms, but a new Cornell study examines the role of friendly bacteria in shaping animal immunity.

All animals are colonized by bacteria -- in fact, humans have 10 times as many bacteria as ce... Read More

Good Riddance to Mosquitoes: Four Ways to Beat the Malaria-Carrying Threat

Mosquitoes that carry the Plasmodium parasite cause some 300 million cases of malaria every year, claiming one million lives. That's a lot of carnage generated by an insect smaller than a pinky fingernail—but if enterprising researchers have their way, their blood-thirsty assault won't continue... Read More

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