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Ebola Outbreak 2014 2015 by Dr. Fauci

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Muddled about MERS? Here’s A Quick Guide

While I was working on the “H1N-What?” post, I also knew there would soon be questions about MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), just as there were about SARS. So here are the essentials of what we know and don’t know about MERS—which has just been reported in the U.S.—as well as intriguing... Read More

How two microbes helped neuroscience

How two unlikely microbes led to the development of one of today's most promising brain research techniques -- optogenetics -- which is being used to study many diseases including schizophrenia and Parkinson's. Read More

Too much of a good thing: Extra genes make bacteria lethal

We, as most animals, host many different beneficial bacteria. Being beneficial to the host often pays off for the bacteria, as success of the host determines the survival and spread of the microbe. But if bacteria grow too much they may become deadly. In a new study published in the latest editi... Read More

Quest for hepatitis B treatment wins Emerging Researcher Award

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researcher Dr Greg Ebert has won the Bupa Health Foundation Emerging Health Researcher Award 2014 for his work on developing a new therapy for chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.

Chronic hepatitis B is a viral liver disease that affects 230,000 Australia... Read More

Lab-on-paper developed for rapid, inexpensive medical diagnostics

A new paper-based platform has been created for conducting a wide range of complex medical diagnostics. The key development was the invention of fluid actuated valves embedded in the paper that allow for sequential manipulation of sample fluids and multiple reagents in a controlled manner to per... Read More

Small Things Considered Retrospective, December 2014

As is our custom at this time of year, we go over the material that has appeared in this blog over the last six months. Seems like a lot of stuff, but it’s the result of the work of quite a number of dedicated people, all of whom deserve our gratitude.

Structure and Function

Chromosome Org... Read More

US Travelers Return Home With Tropical Disease. Will It Spread In The States?

If you happened to be reading state health departments’ outbreak announcements this past weekend, you might have seen something interesting.

(You don’t do this? Hmm.)

Three states — Rhode Island, North Carolina and Tennessee — all said that they have identified residents who have been diag... Read More

Rising antibiotic shortages raise concerns about patient care

Shortages of key antibiotics, including gold-standard therapies and drugs used to treat highly resistant infections, are on the rise, according to a new study of shortages from 2001 to 2013 published in Clinical Infectious Diseases and available online. The trends raise serious concerns about th... Read More

Should experimental drugs be used in the Ebola outbreak?

Risks and benefits of unproven treatments, as World Health Organization approves use in crisis.

Two Liberian doctors are set to become the first Africans to receive an experimental drug against the Ebola virus. The news comes as the World Health Organization concludes that it is ethical to us... Read More

Research shows bacteria can combat dangerous gas leaks

Bacteria could mop up naturally-occurring and man-made leaks of natural gases before they are released into the atmosphere and cause global warming - according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

Findings published today in the journal Nature shows how a single bacterial strai... Read More

Bird flu 'danger zones' mapped

The "danger zones" in Asia which are vulnerable to a deadly bird flu have been mapped by scientists.

The virus, called H7N9, has infected 433 people mostly in China and has killed 62.

The study, published in Nature Communications, showed parts of Bangladesh, India and Vietnam could easily ... Read More

Bacteria in marine sponges harvest phosphorus for reef community

Significant accumulations of polyphosphate granules have been found in three common sponge species of the Caribbean coral reef, indicating that microorganisms that live on marine sponges are pulling phosphorus out of the water to feed themselves and survive in a deep-water environment where very... Read More

Ebolavirus will not become a respiratory pathogen

An otherwise balanced review of selected aspects of Ebolavirus transmission falls apart when the authors hypothesize that ‘Ebola viruses have the potential to be respiratory pathogens with primary respiratory spread.’

The idea that Ebolavirus might become transmitted by the respiratory route ... Read More

Authorities Identify Highly Contagious Bird Flu Strain

Authorities found the H5N8 strain of bird flu at a poultry farm in the central Netherlands, the same highly contagious strain as found this month in Germany and which has prompted massive poultry culls in Asia.

Dutch authorities on Sunday said they had found the H5N8 strain of bird flu at a p... Read More

Infections With Dangerous Gut Microbe Still On The Rise

A potentially life-threatening gastrointestinal infection is more common than previously estimated, federal health officials reported Wednesday.

The infection, caused by a bacterium known as Clostridium difficile, or C-diff, causes nearly 500,000 illnesses in the United States each year and k... Read More

Unknown Fungus with spores

Unknown fungal contaminant on TSA after growth at refrigerated temperatures for 1 month. White hypae can be seen at the edges with green spore formation starting in the center. Read More

U.N. experts warn of 'critical knowledge gaps' on Saudi MERS virus

Saudi Arabia has not done enough to investigate and control a deadly new MERS virus that has killed hundreds of people there and remains in many ways a mystery, United Nations health experts said on Monday.

Cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) are surging again, but Saudi health o... Read More

First Ebola Case Diagnosed in the U.S.

Federal officials today announced the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S. The male patient was admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and placed in strict isolation on September 28 after flying from Liberia to visit family in north Texas. The patient left Liberia on Septembe... Read More

Patient with exposure to Ebola arrives safely at NIH Clinical Center

A patient with exposure to the Ebola virus while in Sierra Leone has arrived safely at the NIH Clinical Center for observation and to enroll in a clinical protocol. Read More

Viral Switches Share a Shape

A hinge in the RNA genome of the virus that causes hepatitis C works like a switch that can be flipped to prevent it from replicating in infected cells. Scientists have discovered that this shape is shared by several other viruses—among them one that kills cancer cells.

That’s Seneca Valley v... Read More
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