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Microbiology, Cartoons, and Take Home Lessons!

In this blog post, I describe how I had students create their own cartoon depicting microbiological ideas and concepts that most tickled their fancy. I did this on their final exam, and the students came up with really interesting and entertaining ideas. IT's always interesting to see what stu... Read More

Under the weather? A blood test can tell if antibiotics are needed

DURHAM, N.C. -- Researchers at Duke Health are fine-tuning a test that can determine whether a respiratory illness is caused by infection from a virus or bacteria so that antibiotics can be more precisely prescribed. Read More

A chromosome in every cell: PprA funcitons in chromosome segregation after Deinococcus radiodurans irradiation

Exposure to reactive oxygen species, exposure to ionizing radiation, exposure to UV light – all of these are dangerous because of their potential to alter DNA sequences. Changes in DNA can affect a protein coding sequence, potentially influencing its function, but changes in regulatory regions c... Read More

Immune system maintains a memory of past infections by priming genes for future encounters

Our ability to fight off recurrent infections, such as colds or flu, may lie in the 'immunological memory' found in a newly discovered class of gene regulatory elements, according to research from the University of Birmingham, supported by the BBSRC and Bloodwise. Read More

Zika from sex, the byway but not the highway

Can Zika virus be sexually transmitted? Perhaps in very rare cases, but the main mode of transmission is certainly via mosquitoes. That’s why I’ve shamelessly stolen a quote on this topic from Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University: Mosquito transmission is the highway, whereas sexual tr... Read More

Experimental immunotherapy zaps 2 most lethal Ebola virus strains

January 13, 2016--(BRONX, NY)--Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) have engineered the first antibodies that can potently neutralize the two deadliest strains of the virus that causes Ebola hemorrhagic ... Read More

Flu tackles Super Bowl fans

ITHACA, N.Y. - If you're a fan of the Panthers or Broncos, be sure to wash your hands on Super Bowl Sunday before you give a friend a celebratory fist bump.

A Cornell University economist and his colleagues have found the geographical areas that have an NFL team advance to the Super Bowl had ... Read More

UK will need to act faster when inevitable next Ebola emerges

Ad hoc, uncoordinated and late. That’s how the UK government’s response to West Africa’s Ebola outbreak has been described in a report published on Monday by the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee.

The report calls for changes to enable the UK to identify threats earlier... Read More

The switch from trivalent to bivalent oral poliovirus vaccine: Will it lead to polio?

In four months, 155 countries will together switch from using trivalent to bivalent oral poliovirus vaccine. Will this change lead to more cases of poliomyelitis? Read More

Resistance to key HIV drug 'concerningly common'

HIV drug resistance to tenofovir, an antiretroviral drug vital to most modern HIV treatment and prevention strategies, is surprisingly and worryingly common according to a large study led by UCL (University College London) and funded by the Wellcome Trust. Read More

Infant-friendly flu vaccine developed with key protein

According to the World Health Organization, influenza causes serious illness among millions of people each year, resulting in 250,000 to 500,000 deaths. Those most at risk include infants younger than six months, because they cannot be vaccinated against the disease. Now, researchers at the Univ... Read More

Study reveals how herpes virus tricks the immune system

With over half the U.S. population infected, most people are familiar with the pesky cold sore outbreaks caused by the herpes virus. The virus outsmarts the immune system by interfering with the process that normally allows immune cells to recognize and destroy foreign invaders. How exactly the ... Read More

Did Zika’s recent mutations let it explode as a global threat?

Don’t get pregnant, at least for now. That is the chilling warning from governments battling the Zika pandemic, as evidence mounts that the mosquito-borne virus can cause severe birth defects.

As the scale of the impact starts to emerge, scientists are scrambling to learn more about the littl... Read More

The dual role of GALNT3 during influenza infection

Feeling under the weather? Are you congested, maybe having a hard time breathing, especially at night? Don’t worry – this is your body’s natural response to an infection. Mucus production is generally regarded as antimicrobial – it traps particles like virions before they can infect nearby host ... Read More

JAMA Viewpoint: Emerging Zika pandemic requires more WHO action now

WASHINGTON - The World Health Organization's Director-General should convene "urgently" a meeting of International Health Regulations' Emergency Committee to advise on the emerging Zika pandemic and galvanize global action, say two Georgetown University professors. Read More

HITTING INFECTIONS HARD CAN BE ‘THE WORST THING TO DO’

The standard practice of treating infections with the highest tolerable dose of antibiotic medications may not always be best way of preventing the evolution of drug resistance, a new study suggests. Read More

TWiEVO 4: Taking the mystery out of the mystery of mysteries

Nitin Phadnis joins Nels and Vincent to explain how he identified a gene that is responsible for male inviability in hybrids from a cross between two species of fruit flies. Read More

TWiV 374: Discordance in B

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove Read More

Insect growth regulator wears a second hat: Infection fighter

During an animal's embryonic development, a chemical chain reaction known as Hippo directs organs to grow to just the right size and no larger. Now Johns Hopkins researchers working with laboratory flies report that this signaling pathway also plays a role in revving up the insects' immune syste... Read More

Immune response differences might determine severity of West Nile Virus disease

While most West Nile Virus (WNV) infections in humans are asymptomatic and go unnoticed, the virus causes serious and sometimes fatal neurologic illness in some people. A study published on January 21st in PLOS Pathogens suggests that an exaggerated and abnormal immune response contributes to th... Read More
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