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New Way to Target Viruses Could Make Antiviral Drugs More Effective

Scientists have developed a new way to target viruses which could increase the effectiveness of antiviral drugs.

Instead of attacking the virus itself, the method developed at the University of Edinburgh alters the conditions which viruses need to survive and multiply.

By making the site o... Read More

Tools for Life

The first microbe to live entirely by artificial genetic instructions began proliferating in a test tube in late March at the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Md. Venter and his colleagues built a synthetic genome for a strain of the Mycoplasma mycoides bacterium. The feat made headlines ... Read More

New antibacterial material for bandages, food packaging, shoes

A new form of paper with the built-in ability to fight disease-causing bacteria could have applications that range from anti-bacterial bandages to food packaging that keeps food fresher longer to shoes that ward off foot odor. A report about the new material, which consists of the thinnest possi... Read More

More Misery From Tick Bites

Q. A friend recently fell quite ill with something called ehrlichiosis. What is it and how can I avoid getting it?

A. Ehrlichiosis is a tick-borne infection with flulike symptoms, caused by one of a handful of bacteria in the genus Ehrlichia. The form that most commonly infects humans in the... Read More

Sepsis threatens hospital patients (and others), study finds

Add sepsis to your list of post-surgery worries. Or, if you're so inclined, to your list of worries in general.

First, we'll look at the hospital picture. Researchers at Methodist Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical College, set out to document the incidence, mortality rate and risk factors for ... Read More

'Violin Fungus' Genetically Decoded

An international team including Empa researcher Francis Schwarze has sequenced the genome of the common split gill mushroom, Schizophyllum commune, a widely distributed fungus which grows on and decomposes wood.

The genome, containing some 13,000 genes, has recently been published in Nature B... Read More

Tracking the Evolution of Malaria

Malaria is an ancient and persistent disease. It wasn’t eradicated in the United States until the 1950s, and it is still devastating in developing countries around the world. The latest estimate from the World Health Organization is that in 2008 the disease killed more than a million people and ... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 1 - Bacteria Boost Buzzing Babies

Trying something new: Micro Edition! One story, put out when there is an interesting new item. This episode: Bacteria protect fruit flies from parasites!


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Salmonella Contaminated Pork May Pose Health Risk for Humans

German researchers have isolated a strain of Salmonella in pork that is closely related to the bacteria commonly found in chickens and linked to human food-borne illness. They report their findings in the July 2010 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

First emerging ov... Read More

Microbicide Containing Engineered Bacteria May Inhibit HIV-1

Researchers from the U.S. and abroad used bacteria inherent to the human vaginal tract to develop a live, topical microbicide that may induce production of HIV-1 protein inhibitors and ultimately prevent transmission of the virus. They detail their findings in the July 2010 issue of the journal ... Read More

Quitting Smoking May Minimize Harmful Bacteria and Replenish Healthy Bacteria

Patients with chronic gum disease who quit smoking in addition to undergoing nonsurgical therapy not only demonstrated a lower abundance of harmful oral pathogens, but also an increase in health-associated bacteria. The researchers from The Ohio State University, Columbus Ohio, and Newcastle Un... Read More

Raw Milk Enthusiasts Drink Up, Despite Health Warnings from the FDA

Raw milk enthusiasts are going to keep drinking their milk pretty much straight from the cow, it seems. Even in states like Maryland and Alaska, where the pure stuff has been driven underground as an unintended effect of legislation.

The popularity of raw milk is fueled by consumers' concerns... Read More

Probiotics Use in Mothers Limits Eczema in Their Babies

Mothers who drank milk with a probiotic supplement during and after pregnancy were able to cut the incidence of eczema in their children by almost half, a new study published in the British Journal of Dermatology has shown.

The randomized, double-blind study, conducted by researchers at the N... Read More

Antibiotics for the prevention of malaria

Antibiotic treatment during the liver stage of malaria generates strong protective immunity

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 tr... Read More

A sugar-coated vaccine: antigens wrapped up in glucans

Sometimes a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down; or in this case, the vaccine. A new study released by mBio shows that combining β-(1-3)-D-glucans (long chains of the sugar glucose) with an antigen creates a potent vaccine platform that could eventually be put to clinical use.

An ... Read More

Gut bacteria imparity tied to type 1 diabetes

The variety of bacteria in the digestive tract is strongly linked to whether a child will develop type 1 diabetes, according to a new study.

The connection could give doctors an early test for the condition and lead to new treatment for the disease.

There appears to be little or no genetic... Read More

New Anti-HIV Gel For Women Cuts AIDS Virus Transmission Chances in Half, Study Says

In a potential breakthrough in the prevention of AIDS, researchers are reporting today that a vaginal gel containing an existing AIDS drug can cut in half a woman's chances of getting HIV from an infected partner.

The women involved in the study used it only 60 percent of the time, and it was... Read More

A Universe of Us

We think of ourselves as individuals — perhaps, in philosophical moments, as the merger of body and soul. Most of us are barely aware of the estimated 10 trillion individual cells that make up the human body or of the 100 trillion or more bacteria that live collaboratively and benignly within an... Read More

Frog killer caught in the act

The first before-and-after view of an amphibian die-off has just been published by scientists working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.

Like a wave, the fungal disease that wipes out frogs—chytridiomycosis—advances through the Central America highlands at a rate of abo... Read More

Of bugs and brains: Researchers discover that gut bacteria affect multiple sclerosis

Biologists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have demonstrated a connection between multiple sclerosis (MS)—an autoimmune disorder that affects the brain and spinal cord—and gut bacteria. Read More
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