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98.6 Trades Metabolic Cost for Fungal Protection

As a bitter winter storm rages on the east coast, it’s hard to knock being warm-blooded. But what about the metabolic cost of maintaining a high body temperature? Well, a new study finds that we and many other mammals keep up such a torrid temp because it’s a Goldilocks situation—98.6 is just ri... Read More

Is Life’s Chemistry Cooking on Titan?

Saturn’s moon Titan is wrapped in a thick, hazy atmosphere whose chemistry may mirror conditions on Earth before life emerged here some 4 billion years ago. In October Sarah Hörst reported that the resemblance is more than superficial. She simulated Titan’s haze in the lab and found it naturally... Read More

Alzheimer''s disease plaques and tangles: Repositories of a herpes simplex/immune system battle leading to neuronal destruction

The protein components of the plaques and tangles seen in the Alzheimer's disease brain offer a clue to the origins of the disease: It turns out that they are heavily enriched in human proteins used by herpes simplex during its life cycle: Many immune system related proteins are also found in th... Read More

Rich Condit reminisces

On my recent trip to record TWiV #111 at Florida Gulf Coast University, I visited Rich Condit in Gainesville. There he told me a story about how the bacteriophage T7 polymerase/promoter system was developed. It’s an interesting tale that demonstrates how important scientific advances often have ... Read More

Bacteria Provide Example of One of Nature's First Immune Systems, Research Shows

Studying how bacteria incorporate foreign DNA from invading viruses into their own regulatory processes, Thomas Wood, professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University, is uncovering the secrets of one of nature's most primitive immune systems.

His fin... Read More

CDC: Salmonella outbreak spreads to 16 states

An outbreak of salmonella that was tied to tainted alfalfa sprouts has grown to at least 94 cases in 16 states.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday said the case count had risen from 89 cases in 15 states in the past week, with California joining the list.

More t... Read More

ProMED update: Cholera in Haiti

Haiti's cholera death toll has risen to 2761, and the water-borne epidemic appears to be strengthening its grip on the quake-hit Caribbean nation, official figures showed Wednesday, 29 Dec 2010. At least 60 people were shown to have died on 4 of the previous 5 days
recorded by the health mini... Read More

'Weird life' reveals science at work

The continuing controversy surrounding the announcement of strange bacteria deep in a California lake that can apparently survive on arsenic and even incorporate the element into its DNA is being held up as a shining example for how the scientific process works.

The latest to point this out a... Read More

MTS64 - Martin Blaser - Save Our Endangered Germs

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Virus Previously Linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Was a Lab Contaminant, Not Cause of Disease, New Study Shows

A virus previously thought to be associated with chronic fatigue syndrome is not the cause of the disease, a detailed study has shown. The research shows that cell samples used in previous research were contaminated with the virus identified as XMRV and that XMRV is present in the mouse genome.
... Read More

Key Interaction in Hepatitis C Virus Identified

Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have identified a molecular interaction between a structural hepatitis C virus protein (HCV) and a protein critical to viral replication. This new finding strongly suggests a novel method of inhibiting the production of the vir... Read More

Anesthesiologists Spreading Germs During Surgery: Study

A disturbing new study finds that bacteria often contaminate the hands of those who give anesthesia to surgical patients, and those germs contribute to disease transmission during operations
.
Click here to find out more!

"As anesthesiologists, we like to think that the surgical drapes prot... Read More

Net results: Progress is being made in tackling malaria

The World Health Organisation’s annual report on malaria was published on December 14th. As with the report on AIDS, the picture is one of cautious optimism. Malaria is still a huge killer. Nearly 800,000 people, most of them children, succumb each year. But what was, only a decade ago, a desult... Read More

Early Stage Trial Of Anthrax Vaccine Starts, Says Emergent BioSolutions

Rockville-based biopharmaceutical company Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (NYSE: EBS) announced the start of a early-stage clinical trial for its third generation Anthrax vaccine candidate called NuThrax.

Emergent BioSolutions said the Phase 1 clinical trial was in support of the U.S. government's... Read More

Influenza Vaccine Supply Affects Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Elderly

Vaccine shortages and delays may exacerbate racial and ethnic disparities in influenza vaccination among elderly Medicare beneficiaries, a new analysis suggests.

The study appears in the January 2011 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Researchers employed a cohort analys... Read More

Bacteria sleep with enemy to survive

Bacteria are able to develop resistance to antibiotics by co-opting the DNA of their natural enemies—viruses.

The battle between bacteria and bacteria-eating viruses has been going on for millions of years, with viruses attempting to replicate themselves by—in one approach—invading bacteria c... Read More

A Writer Traces Illnesses Back to the Womb

When the medical journalist Annie Murphy Paul’s first son was a toddler, she started wondering how personality traits are passed from one generation to the next. So she did what any reporter would do: she delved into the scientific literature and talked to investigators.

Then, in the course ... Read More

Heat Shock Protein Drives Yeast Evolution

Whitehead Institute researchers have determined that heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) can create heritable traits in brewer's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) by affecting a large portion of the yeast genome. The finding has led to the conclusion that Hsp90 has played a key role in genome evolution... Read More

Ancient rock art's colours come from microbes

A particular type of ancient rock art in Western Australia maintains its vivid colours because it is alive, researchers have found.

While some rock art fades in hundreds of years, the "Bradshaw art" remains colourful after at least 40,000 years.

Jack Pettigrew of the University of Queensla... Read More

Don't send bugs to Mars

We humans have a unique talent for contaminating pristine environments. We put millions of tonnes of pollutants into the atmosphere every year. We poison our soils, lakes, rivers and streams with chemical and radioactive waste. We spill oil into our seas. We fill the Pacific and Atlantic oceans ... Read More
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