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Newly discovered HIV genome modification may put a twist on vaccine and drug design

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that HIV infection of human immune cells triggers a massive increase in methylation, a chemical modification, to both human and viral RNA, aiding replication of the virus. The study, published February 22, 2016... Read More

Scientists identify effective and novel mechanisms to block chikungunya virus

December 10, 2015, San Francisco, CA--Scientists looking at the antiviral mechanisms of two previously identified human monoclonal antibodies have found they potently inhibit chikungunya virus (CHIKV) at multiple stages of infection. Read More

Gut damage identified as cause of vaccine failure, malnutrition

It has been estimated that if every nutritional measure known to be helpful were applied to every child in the world, global malnutrition would be decreased by only a third. New research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, the University of Vermont and the International Centre fo... Read More

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

Why neural stem cells may be vulnerable to Zika infection

Zika's hypothesized attraction to human neural stem cells may come from its ability to hijack a protein found on the surface of these cells, using it as an entryway to infection. In Cell Stem Cell on March 30, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco show that the AXL surface r... Read More

SOME FROGS ARE EVOLVING TO SURVIVE A KILLER FUNGUS

As reported in a new study in the the journal Proceedings of Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, scientists have taken a step toward identifying the genetic mechanisms that makes some lowland leopard frogs in Arizona resistant to Batrachochrytrium dendrobatridis (Bd) infections that cause the ... Read More

Thermos device quickly detects Zika for only $2

Engineers have developed a rapid, low-cost genetic test for Zika. The $2 device, about the size of a soda can, doesn’t require electricity or technical expertise and only needs a bit of saliva. Read More

The neurons in our gut help the immune system keep inflammation in check ROCKEFELLER UNIVERSITY

The immune system exercises constant vigilance to protect the body from external threats--including what we eat and drink. A careful balancing act plays out as digested food travels through the intestine. Immune cells must remain alert to protect against harmful pathogens like Salmonella, but th... Read More

Impact of climate change on parasite infections depends on host immunity

New research demonstrates how climate change and the immune reaction of the infected individual can affect the long-term and seasonal dynamics of parasite infections. The study, led by Penn State University scientists, assessed the infection dynamics of two species of soil-transmitted parasites ... Read More

Listeria: Hypervirulent strains with cerebral and placental tropism

Researchers from the Institut Pasteur, Inserm, CNRS and Paris Descartes - Sorbonne Paris Cité University recently published a large-scale study in Nature Genetics based on almost 7,000 strains of Listeria monocytogenes -- the bacterium responsible for human listeriosis, a severe foodborne infect... Read More

Bacterial Symbiosis?

Some kids & I have been swabbing their classroom, and this colony caught my eye, or is it two colonies living in a mutualistic relationship. Perhaps this is commensalism as the red one seems to really like the yellow one. Or perhaps it is the same colony of microbes, somehow producing two differ... Read More

Anti-bacterial fabric holds promise for fighting superbug

Antibiotics have proven to be a valuable weapon in the fight against infectious bacteria. However, due to the excess use of antibiotics in conventional treatments, overtime antibiotics have become less effective. Read More

Researcher pioneers bacterial infection treatment using novel target: Vesicles

Bacterial infection takes hold in the body when a pathogenic microorganism delivers toxins to healthy cells. One way bacteria accomplish this is by releasing vesicles, which act as tiny envelopes transporting toxins and other virulence factors to host cells. These toxins allow the bacteria to "m... Read More

Microbiologist Christmas Wreath, Unknown Organisms seem on Washed Hand Print #2,

Unknown organism seem after washing hands on a hand print grown on TSA. Larger organism (possible Bacillus spp) is circular, edges not smooth, mucoid with rhizoid like growth towards the edges. Second smaller organism is yellow, mucoid, and has something erupting from the center. 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

How Forest Loss Is Leading To a Rise in Human Disease

In Borneo, an island shared by Indonesia and Malaysia, some of the world’s oldest tropical forests are being cut down and replaced with oil palm plantations at a breakneck pace. Wiping forests high in biodiversity off the land for monoculture plantations causes numerous environmental problems, f... 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

Zika virus plaque assay

Several weeks ago we perfected a plaque assay for Zika virus, based on our existing assays for enteroviruses. Shown is a photograph of two plates stained with crystal virolet with clearly delineated plaques. The cells are Vero and the Zika virus strain is MR766, an African isolate. Anyone intere... Read More

People with rage disorder twice as likely to have latent toxoplasmosis parasite infection

Individuals with a psychiatric disorder involving recurrent bouts of extreme, impulsive anger--road rage, for example--are more than twice as likely to have been exposed to a common parasite than healthy individuals with no psychiatric diagnosis. Read More

Acid-fast bacilli

Acid-fast bacilli in auramine rhodamine stain. Read More
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