The New Scientist reports that a "gold rush" to extract valuable methane from the depths of lake Kivu in Rwanda may trigger an outburst of gas that could wash a deadly, suffocating blanket over the 2 million people who live around the lake's shores.
"The lake, which is almost half a kilometre... Read More
In a study presented at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) in San Francisco, University of Minnesota researchers found that students who receive an antiviral medication early in the course of the illness become less sick than those offered the standard a... Read More
USA Today reports two studies presented at ICAAC "by researchers in Canada and Singapore found that roughly one in five patients continue shedding the new H1N1 virus, or swine flu, with one study suggesting that patients may still shed virus despite treatment with Tamiflu.
The research sugges... Read More
A database designed to help researchers worldwide develop vaccines for avian and seasonal influenza viruses, not to mention the prolific H1N1 "swine flu," is now at the center of an ugly rift between its co-creators. Both the Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID) Foundation ... Read More
The New York Times reports that "a new study, published last week in the British journal Lancet, showed that invasive bacteria were an important cause of those children’s deaths and that many of the bacteria were the same kinds that affect children in wealthy countries, which have vaccines again... Read More
Norman R. Pace of the University of Colorado and colleagues have found that the morning shower is essentially a bath in bacteria.
"As part of a project to measure microbes in the indoor human environment, they looked at shower water, in part because in showers bacteria are incorporated into f... Read More
An article in the New York Times by Tara Parker-Pope analyzes several recent hand-washing studies and concludes that soap and water, or alcohol-based hand sanitizing gels, are your best bets to stave off the flu.
"It sounds so simple as to be innocuous, a throwaway line in public-health warni... Read More
Scientists at Oregon State University have developed a new "adjuvant" that could allow the creation of important new vaccines, possibly become a universal vaccine carrier and help medical experts tackle many diseases more effectively.
Adjuvants are substances that are not immunogenic themselv... Read More
A new study published in the September 15, 2009, issue of PLoS ONE found that patients with cavitary pulmonary tuberculosis receiving anti-TB medications supplemented with nebulized interferon-gamma have fewer bacilli in the lungs and less inflammation, thereby reducing the transmissibility of t... Read More
I have been using twitter (@Microblogology) as a way to keep in touch with some of my online friends for awhile now. Eventually my occasional tweets involving microbiology caused me to be "discovered" by Chris Condayan (@MicrobeWorld) and I was quickly followed by some other people in the scien... Read More
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Space is not a fun place to get a stomach bug. To ensure drinking water is adequately disinfected, University of Utah chemists developed a two-minute water quality monitoring method that just started six months of tests aboard the International Space Station.
"Now they bring water back on the... Read More
"For more than 60 years, syphilis was largely on the decline. But in recent years, the venereal disease has been on the rise again — particularly in the post-recession South.
In Forsyth County, N.C., where the number of cases so far in 2009 — 140 — is more than triple all those reported in 20... Read More
Business Week reports "researchers delivered a double dose of good news Sunday in the fight against flu: successful tests of what could become the first new flu medicine in a decade, and the strongest evidence yet that such drugs save lives, not just shorten illness.
A single intravenous dose... Read More
The New Scientist reports that the discovery of the master gene behind the front-line troops of the body's immune system could promise a host of new treatments for disease. Called E4BP4, the gene kick-starts production of natural killer (NK) cells in the bone marrow.
Mice genetically engineer... Read More
With school back in session but swine flu vaccine not yet available and various reports suggesting high fatalities from H1N1 while others say there is nothing to worry about, a New York Times reporter took to the streets wearing a $69 suit called the Pandemic Emergency Defense System manufacture... Read More
"Even if swine flu remains a mild infection, the pandemic could be the tipping point for an emergency medical system teetering on the edge.
"The worry is, the health-care delivery system could be overwhelmed by people who are sick or think they are sick," said Kim Elliott of Trust for America... Read More
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 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
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