It was hard enough for health officials to track down the source of the original outbreak of Legionnaires' disease, at the old Bellevue Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia, in 1976.
Imagine if the disease had been caused by a moving target.
That's what happened last year in southeastern Spain,... Read More
At first glance, the Christmas Atoll south of Hawaii seems to be a tropical paradise.
That may be true above the waterline, but explorations of the surrounding seas by San Diego-based researchers found corals were dead or diseased, sharks and other large predators were scarce and only small ... Read More
Whether or not ecological disaster follows the BP spill may hinge on what eats the oil first.
"Right now it's a race between the microbes and the fish," said marine biologist Larry McKinney of Texas A&M University, a specialist in the Gulf of Mexico.
Ideally, microbes will win, transformin... Read More
Two recent studies provide evidence for a new approach to vaccines to prevent infections caused by drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus -- better known as MRSA – the leading cause of skin and soft tissue, bloodstream and lung infections in the United States. One demonstrates a way to counteract... Read More
The bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which lives in the human stomach and is associated with ulcers and gastric cancer, is shaped like a corkscrew, or helix. For years researchers have hypothesized that the bacterium's twisty shape is what enables it to survive -- and thrive -- within the stomach'... Read More
By now many people will be aware of one of this week's topics of conversation, the emergence of the resistance determinant New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase 1 (or NDM-1), which is an enzyme that confers resistance to a group of very useful antibiotics, the carbapenems; it does this by cleaving the a... Read More
Global sales of vaccines grew by a healthy 16 percent last year, when sales shot up to $22.1 billion, healthcare market research publisher Kalorama Information reported Friday.
Its researchers are forecasting vaccine sales will rise at a compound annual rate of 9.7 percent during the next fiv... Read More
Research has shown that bacteria - among the simplest life forms on Earth - have a sense of smell.
Scientists from Newcastle University in the UK have demonstrated that a bacterium commonly found in soil can sniff and react to ammonia in the air.
It was previously thought that this "olfact... Read More
A new drug-resistant "superbug" that originated in South Asia has claimed the life of a Belgian man. It’s the first reported death from bacteria with the New Delhi metallo-lactamase-1 gene,Agence France-Presses reported. The gene, which is found in a number of different bacteria, produces an en... Read More
On episode #95 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Dickson, Alan, and Rich consider the end of the influenza H1N1 pandemic, dengue in Florida, vaccinia virus infection in Brazilian monkey... Read More
Some listeners might benefit from reading "The Treatment; why is it so difficult to develop drugs for cancer" in the May 17, 2010 issue of The New Yorker, a nine page article (pp 68-77).
This link goes to the digital edition ( http://archives.newyorker.co... Read More
Rapid advances in bioscience are raising alarms among terrorism experts that amateur scientists will soon be able to gin up deadly pathogens for nefarious uses.
Fears of bioterror have been on the rise since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, stoking tens of billions of dollars of government spendi... Read More
Do you want the good or the bad news on nasty, antibiotic-resistant infections?
We’re chipper today, so we’ll start with the good: Rates of invasive infections by MRSA, the infamous drug-resistant staph bacteria, appear to be on the decline, according to a study published in JAMA. CDC researc... Read More
The Maryland Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) and of the Environment (MDE) are reminding consumers of the potential risk of eating uncooked oysters, clams, mussels and other shellfish during the warmer months of the year. The yearly increase in Vibrio bacteria as the water tempera... Read More
Artist Luke Jerram has an unusual line in creativity. He takes some of the world's deadliest diseases and turns them into grand works of art. These include large, transparent glass sculptures of viruses, such as swine flu and HIV, as well as bacteria and other infectious agents. The aim, says Je... Read More
The emotional pains we suffer in childhood can lead to weakened immune systems later in life, according to a new study.
Based on this new research, the amount of this immune impairment even enhances that caused by the stress of caregiving later in life.
"What happens in childhood really ma... Read More
Within a dangerous stomach bacterium, Yale University researchers have discovered an ancient but functioning genetic remnant from a time before DNA existed, they report in the August 13 issue of the journal Science.
To the surprise of researchers, this RNA complex seems to play a critical rol... Read More
If mice are administered an antibiotic for three days and are simultaneously infected with malaria, no parasites appear in the blood and life-threatening disease is averted. In addition, the animals treated in this manner also develop robust, long-term immunity against subsequent infections.
... Read More
A dog's indiscriminate taste is not always a positive trait. In fact, it often leads to gastrointestinal infections and consequent ailments such as diarrhea and vomiting that come from eating spoiled food. Others develop gastrointestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases that are not ... Read More
British researchers said Tuesday that a new bacterium resistant to most antibiotics is becoming more common in India and Pakistan and that it has been identified in 37 people in the U.K., primarily among people who have traveled to that region to receive cheaper medical care. U.S. authorities sa... Read More