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Potato Blight has the Genome of Death

Researchers have sequenced the genome of the mould that causes blight and found it keeps a huge arsenal of potato-destroying genes, ready to evolve around whatever defences taters can muster. On the plus side, the sequence also suggests ways to fight back.

Blight is caused by an oomycete or w... Read More

Defying expert expectations, clinical trials of H1N1 vaccine show one dose is effective

"Defying the expectations of experts, clinical trials are showing that the new H1N1 swine flu vaccine protects with only one dose instead of two, so the vaccine supplies now being made will go twice as far as had been predicted.

That means it should be possible to vaccinate — well before the ... Read More

Nitric Oxide May Be Key to Overcoming Antibiotic Resistance

A new study, co-authored by Evgeny Nudler, professor of biochemistry at New York University Langone Medical Center in Manhattan, and published online yesterday in Science, shows that stopping the creation of bacterial nitric oxide synthases (bNOS), enzymes that contribute to the production of NO... Read More

Puting a virus in two overlapping quantum states

Researchers from Germany and Spain are proposing a real experiment to probe whether a virus can exist in a superposition of two quantum states. Such superpositions are typically the domain of smaller, inanimate objects such as atoms. But the team believes that their technique, using finely tuned... Read More

Gardasil - It's just not for girls anymore

A medical advisory panel for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted today that the use of Gardasil to prevent HPV, a sexually transmitted disease, in males ages nine to 26 would be both safe and effective.

The panel's decision could open up a large market for Gardasil maker, Merck,... Read More

Killer T cells: power unleashed

"Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have found that killer T cells -- the sentinels of the immune system – possess a hidden strength that may be used to improve vaccine design for tough-to-beat bugs, such as Staphylococcus aureus.

The new experiments show that killer T cells can atta... Read More

Study shows most students aren't protecting themselves from H1N1

As public health experts warn of potential widespread outbreaks of H1N1 flu this school year, a new study from North Carolina State University shows that students do not comply with basic preventative measures as much as they think do. In other words, the kids aren't washing their hands.

"Han... Read More

Four-fifths of businesses foresee problems maintaining operations during an H1N1 outbreak

In a national survey of businesses that looks at their preparations for a possible widespread H1N1 outbreak, Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers found that only one-third believe they could sustain their business without severe operational problems if half their workforce were abs... Read More

Vaccination of 70 percent of US population could control swine flu pandemic

An aggressive vaccination program that first targets children and ultimately reaches 70 percent of the U.S. population would mitigate pandemic influenza H1N1 that is expected this fall, according to computer modeling and analysis of observational studies conducted by researchers at the Vaccine a... Read More

H1N1 Vaccine Supplies May Miss the Peak of Fall's Flu Season

According the New York Times, "several prominent epidemiologists are warning that even though the new swine flu vaccine works much better than expected, it will still come too late to blunt the peak of this season’s pandemic.

The epidemiologists said Friday that they expected the peak to come... Read More

ASM to launch mBio, a new open access online journal, in 2010

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) today announced plans to launch mBio®, a new open access online journal designed to make microbiology research broadly accessible, in mid-2010. The focus of the journal will be on rapid publication of cutting-edge research spanning the entire spectrum ... Read More

Mycodiesel

Here is another great article, closing out "Fungi Week" on Elio Schaechter and Merry Youle's Small Things Considered blog.

"Huge amounts of money and effort are going into making automotive fuels using biological processes, but a fully satisfactory answer is not yet at hand. Well, fungi may c... Read More

Flu season comes early; most are swine variety

Influenza is circulating unusually early this year with cases in all 50 states — nearly all the swine flu variety, government health officials said Friday.

The highest concentration of flu cases is in the Southeast and a few other states, Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control a... Read More

Global warming and how the spread of a rare algae species may benefit coral reefs

"A rare opportunity has allowed a team of biologists to evaluate corals and the essential, photosynthetic algae that live inside their cells before, during, and after a period in 2005 when global warming caused sea-surface temperatures in the Caribbean Ocean to rise.

The team, led by Penn Sta... Read More

Wolbachia and the evolution of butterflies

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have traced the evolution of a species of tropical butterfly, infected with a bacterium that kills males, by comparing current butterfly populations with more than 200 museum specimens.

The bacteria, called Wolbachia, are a parasitic microbe and are k... Read More

Microbe Metabolism Harnessed To Produce Fuel

NSF-supported researchers use synthetic biology technology to engineer the next generation of biofuels.

Jay Keasling, a professor of chemical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, is leading a team of scientists in an effort to manipulate the chemistry within bacteria so they... Read More

MTS35 - Michael Cunliffe - The Ocean's Living Skin

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File Under 'Cool Art Department' - Glass Microbiology

UK Artist Luke Jerram has created a series of glass sculptures of microbes, including E. coli and the Smallpox virus. In fact, a colored image of an earlier HIV sculpture he made that was taken by photographer David Sayer won an award from the Institute of Medical Imaging in 2007. Several works ... Read More

NIAID launches H1N1 influenza vaccine trials for pregnant women

The first trial testing a candidate 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine in pregnant women is launching this week, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, announced today.

"Women are at higher risk of developing severe illness if th... Read More

Pandemic H1N1 can infect cells deep in the lungs, say researchers from the Imperial College London

Pandemic swine flu can infect cells deeper in the lungs than seasonal flu can, according to a new study published today in Nature Biotechnology. The researchers, from Imperial College London, say this may explain why people infected with the pandemic strain of swine-origin H1N1 influenza are mor... Read More

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