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UNC School of Medicine researchers prove HIV targets tissue macrophages

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Investigators in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine have clearly demonstrated that HIV infects and reproduces in macrophages, large white blood cells found in the liver, brain and connective tissues of the body. This dis... Read More

Virus Watch: Zika Edition

Virus Watch is a new weekly video series that explores the amazing world of viruses. This week: the latest research on Zika virus, including finding virus in Brazilian monkeys, dengue antibodies helping Zika virus infection, and brain organoids to study how Zika virus causes microcephaly. 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

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

Toward development of microarrays to test water safety

Imagine taking an ocean-side vacation, with the sun, sand, and water lulling you to relaxed bliss. After day at the beach, you experience an intense bout of stomach cramps and – more delicately put – GI distress. A rare day off is ruined because of a bug you picked up. Next, imagine a situation ... Read More

An achilles heel for Clostridium difficile infections?

Clostridium difficile is a dangerous superbug. Infections with this bacterium can cause life-threatening diarrhea, and they are most likely to affect the elderly or people with health problems who spend a lot of time in hospitals (where C. difficile flourishes). The Centers for Disease Control a... Read More

Skin infections rife among high school wrestlers, say CU Anschutz researchers

DENVER (Feb. 3, 2016) - The first national survey of skin infections among high school athletes has found that wrestlers have the highest number of infections, with football players coming in a distant second, according to researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Read More

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

National hospital hand-washing campaign effective but expensive

Many hospital patients were protected from a dangerous bug and at least 96 years of life will be saved each year, said Professor Nicholas Graves from QUT's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI). Read More

Moving beyond metagenomics to find the next pandemic virus

I was asked to write a commentary for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences to accompany an article entitled SARS-like WIV1-CoV poised for human emergence. I’d like to explain why I wrote it and why I spent the last five paragraphs railing against regulating gain-of-function experi... 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

NIH scientists draw evidence-based blueprint for HIV treatment and prevention

For many years, clinicians debated the best time to start antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV infection, with some worrying that the risks of treatment in terms of drug toxicities could outweigh the benefits of controlling the virus. In a new commentary, scientists from the National Institute o... 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

Zika Sharing

Of all the scientific results that my laboratory has produced over the years, I am most satisfied by those that maximally benefit the field. In this category falls the assay for determining the titer of Zika virus in plaque forming units per milliliter.

In ‘Counting Zika Virus’ I described o... 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


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

Study: Cities have Individual Microbial Signatures

Washington, DC – April 19, 2016 – Cities have their own distinct microbial communities but these communities don’t vary much between offices located in the same city, according to a new study. The work, published this week in mSystems, an open access journal from the American Society for Microbi... Read More

New promise for treatment of enterovirus infection

Feeling a bit under the weather? There’s a decent chance you’re suffering from an infection with an enterovirus. Enteroviruses are a commonly encountered virus, especially in the summer and fall. They can cause a variety of symptoms, from cold-like symptoms such as runny nose or fever to more se... 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
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