The blog www.ncbirofl.com is a great resource for amusing/interesting research papers that have been published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information's website. This week they highlight a paper on the regional differences in the metagenomic data of eukaryotes found in "bug splat."
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Scientists have identified a genomic "signature" in circulating blood that reveals exposure to common upper respiratory viruses, like the cold or flu, even before symptoms appear.
The tell-tale viral signature reflects a set of subtle but robust changes in genes that are activated as the bod... Read More
A team of researchers from The Wistar Institute has identified a protein that could serve as a target for reprogramming immune system cells exhausted by exposure to chronic viral infection into more effective "soldiers" against certain viruses like HIV, hepatitis C, and hepatitis B, as well as s... Read More
Scientists in Massachusetts are describing successful use of a test that enlists pinhead-sized worms in efforts to discover badly needed new antibiotics. Thestudy appears in ACS' Chemical Biology.
From the abstract:
The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a unique whole animal model system ... Read More
Can anyone please explain why so many infectious diseases ("Spanish" influenza of the 1910's, SARS, the bubonic plague of the middle ages, etc.) seem to have their origins in China/that area of the world? Read More
Predicting the infection patterns of influenzas requires tracking both the ecology and the evolution of the fast-morphing viruses that cause them, said a Duke University researcher who enlists computers to model such changes.
A single mutation can put a flu virus on a new-enough path to re-in... Read More
Cómo derritieron las bacterias la edad del hielo
In a paper published in Nature, a research team from the University of North Carolina described the full genome structure of HIV-1 for the first time.
"The researchers used a high-throughput method called "selective 2'-hydroxyl acylation analyzed by primer extension" (SHAPE) to glean structur... Read More
Tonight the Seattle Sounders FC, a Major League Soccer team, take the field against FC Barcelona, soccer's world champion. The real enemy for both teams, however, is malaria. Joining forces with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the teams have planned a special match that includes messages ab... Read More
From swine flu to pneumonic plague - with E.coli in the mix - microbes have been making the headlines. Are they getting the better of us?
Whether its flesh-eating necrotising fasciitis or equine morbillivirus, in which the sufferer essentially drowns in fluid leaking from the lungs, infection... Read More
Nestled within the new Pacific Remote Islands Marine Monument lies Palmyra Atoll, one of the last pristine coral reefs left on the planet some 960 nautical miles south of Hawaii. Or near pristine. In 1991, a 100-foot longline fishing ship—the "Hui Feng No. 1"—foundered on the reef under mysterio... Read More
Cellulosic biofuels—extracted from native switchgrass—could lend a helping hand to imperiled birds that depend on vanishing prairies in the Midwest.
With palm oil plantations overrunning Indonesian rainforests and corn-based ethanol in the U.S. spurring new deforestation abroad, it may seem l... Read More
Swiss drugmaker Novartis has begun injecting its swine flu vaccine into people in the company's first human tests, a spokesman said Wednesday. The vaccine is being tested in a yearlong trial of 6,000 people of all ages in Britain, Germany and the United States, Novartis spokesman Eric Althoff to... Read More
In its fight against an intruding virus, an enzyme in our immune system may sense certain types of viral RNA pairs, according to scientists.
The key lies in a virus' RNA -- a long molecular chain often used to make proteins -- and how it regulates an enzyme called protein kinase R (PKR), acco... Read More
What gets the sea all riled up? Winds and tides do, certainly, but scientists have long wondered how the movement of fish and other organisms — even tiny ones, like zooplankton — might contribute to ocean mixing.
A study by Kakani Katija, a doctoral student at the California Institute of Tech... Read More
Infectious-disease specialists at UT Southwestern Medical Center have demonstrated that a cannibalistic process in cells plays a key role in limiting Salmonella infection.
Salmonella, the causative agent of salmonellosis, causes many of the intestinal infections and food-related illnesses rep... Read More
A new oral vaccine against sylvatic plague is showing significant promise in the laboratory as a way to protect prairie dogs and may eventually protect endangered black-footed ferrets who now get the disease by eating infected prairie dogs, according to results by a USGS researcher at the USGS N... Read More
With China moving to control an outbreak of pneumonic plague, it's worth noting that the disease doesn't occur only in places for which Americans need a passport to visit. In fact, Los Angeles has dubious bragging rights to the United States' most recent rat-borne epidemic.
Here's a review of... Read More
SciAm reports that the foot-long Tokay gecko from Indonesia with polka-dot skin and wide eyes is a mixing pot for 10 types of salmonella some which can be acquired from local livestock, poultry and rodents. The gecko is popular with pet stores, where it can sell for less than $20.
"Research ... Read More
Bacteria play a role in many industrial processes from fermentation to cleaning up environmental pollution. But floating freely in solution, the microbial cells constantly multiply, generating biomass that must be periodically removed.
Scientists at the US Department of Energy’s Brookhaven Na... Read More