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TWiV Special: Dr. Peter Palese

On this special episode of This Week in Virology Vincent Racaniello and Dr. Read More

To Score High, Don’t Cover Your Mouth

You have only one sneeze. Use it wisely.

Yes, it’s Stop Swine Flu, the video game.

The action starts with a schplouuush of green mucus hitting your screen, then switches to a street somewhere. Your avatar stands among pedestrians. The background noises are coughs, sneezes, noses being blo... Read More

Does New Swine Flu Virus Kill By Causing A 'Cytokine Storm'?

The swine flu outbreak that began in Mexico and continues to spread around the globe may be particularly dangerous for young, otherwise healthy adults because it contains genetic components of the H5N1 avian influenza virus, which can induce a "cytokine storm," in which a patient's hyper-activat... Read More

Mechanism Behind Delayed Development Of Antibiotic Resistance Explained

Inhibiting the "drug efflux pumps" in bacteria, which function as their defense mechanisms against antibiotics, can mask the effect of mutations that have led to resistance in the form of low-affinity drug binding to target molecules in the cell. This is shown by researchers at Uppsala Universit... Read More

Between a virus and a hard place

An editorial in Nature is urging scientists to serve as credible voices to inform their communities of the risks and uncertainties surrounding H1N1 (aka swine flu).

"Damned if you do, damned if you don't. The emergence of a new, swine-flu-related H1N1 strain of influenza in people in North Am... Read More

Streptococcus suis - the next potential swine-related outbreak?

Public health experts worry that another potentially lethal pig-borne disease could establish itself among farmworkers in the United States.

Unlike the new swine flu virus, Streptococcus suis doesn’t pass from person to person. But it’s also more virulent, killing about one in 10 people in wh... Read More

Just when you thought it was safe again

Infections may be winding down in Mexico and causing fewer deaths worldwide than feared, but what is now keeping health officials awake at night is the possibility that a more virulent version will come roaring back and kill millions.

Flu pandemics historically come in waves, often getting wo... Read More

29% of academic medical centers exaggerate the importance of their research

The Wall Street Journal health blog is reporting that a recent study that analyzed news releases posted on EurekAlert in 2005 exaggerated their findings 29% of the time.

The authors, led by Steven Woloshin and Lisa Schwartz of Dartmouth, looked at releases from EurekAlert issued by 20 academ... Read More

Virus-surveillance tech can cut H1N1 flu diagnosis time

A $20 chip can cut the time it takes to distinguish swine flu—aka the H1N1 influenza A virus—from days to hours, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today. The company, InDevR plans to give away about 25 of its IntelliChip Readers (which normally cost $3,900 and scan t... Read More

Yeast in Space

The New York Times outlines NASA's plan for an experiment with yeast and antifungal drugs aboard Pharmasat, a nano satellite that will orbit the Earth and radio back data to researchers.

Previous experiments on the space shuttle and the International Space Station indicate that some organisms... Read More

Creating the seed stock for the Influenza A H1N1 vaccine

An interesting read on how labs create vaccines for viruses. In this case the article mostly focuses on a facility in Westchester, NY who is working fast on a vaccine for swine flu (H1N1).

"the process involves repeated rounds of injecting the two types of virus into eggs, and sorting and pur... Read More

Afghanistan's Only Pig Quarantined In Flu Fear

This is an absurd story but is humorous nonetheless. It looks like Afghanistan has succumbed to Swine Flu fears and has quarantined it's nation's only pig, a gift from China that resides in Kabul's Zoo.

Afghanistan's only known pig has been locked in a room, away from visitors to Kabul zoo wh... Read More

Mundo de los Microbios - Episodio 1

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mundodelosmicrobiosweblogo Read More

10 Genes, Furiously Evolving

This is a great article by Carl Zimmer in the NY Times (@carlzimmer on Twitter) about the evolution process of viruses.

"Some viruses use DNA, like we do, to encode their genes. Others, like the influenza virus, use single-strand RNA. But viruses all have one thing in common, said Roland Wolk... Read More

World's Largest, Unique Virus Photographed for First Time

These images are amazing and beautiful.

From Wired - "A virus so large and strange that it’s redefined the very concept of a virus has been photographed for the first time. It’s even weirder than expected." Read More

Bacteria that inspires artificial photosynthetic systems discovered

An international team of scientists has determined the structure of the chlorophyll molecules in green bacteria that are responsible for harvesting light energy.

The team’s results could one day be used to build artificial photosynthetic systems such as those that convert solar energy to elec... Read More

Disrupting Quorum Sensing

An interesting article on the challenges facing researchers who are developing the second generation of antibiotics. "Quorum sensing is now known to be widespread in the bacterial world, and many researchers hope to develop ways to disrupt it. Kim Janda, a chemical biologist at the Scripps Resea... Read More

Common Sense Advice for People Concerned About H1N1 (Swine Flu)

The New York Times has published a nice FAQ ,if you will, about H1N1 and what the general public should keep in mind in terms of worry, protection and symptoms. The article also talks about what public health response is feasible and should be expected. Read More

Food-Borne Outbreaks: Keeping Lettuce and Other Fresh Produce Clean

The convenience of fresh-cut produce, which includes packaged lettuces, has greatly increased sales despite multiple foodborne outbreaks associated with these products. To reduce these risks, strict hygiene programs and sanitizers are used for decontamination once the food is harvested. Preventi... Read More

Swine Flu spreads throughout most of US

Swine flu has spread to 30 U.S. states and the number of countries with confirmed cases jumped to 20 from two in little more than a week. The expansion comes as Mexico’s president said his nation is winning the battle against the virus and may return to normal this week. Read More

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