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Ancient bacteria could improve anti-ageing cosmetics

Where better to look for a sunscreen formula than in cyanobacteria – organisms that thrived on Earth before there was enough oxygen to block harmful ultraviolet light? The genes and enzymes responsible for producing sunscreen molecules in one such cyanobacterium have now been identified, a step ... Read More

Microbes could quell toxic blooms

A harmful algae bloom takes off in Kathryn Coyne's Lewes laboratory, turning a sample of saltwater yellow.

Then she adds the secret ingredient: a common bacterium called Shewanella.

Within 24 hours, dinoflagellates, the microbes that caused the bloom, are history.

When Coyne looks under... Read More

Novel Nanotechnology Collaboration Leads to Breakthrough in Cancer Research

One of the most difficult aspects of working at the nanoscale is actually seeing the object being worked on. Biological structures like viruses, which are smaller than the wavelength of light, are invisible to standard optical microscopes and difficult to capture in their native form with other ... Read More

Flu Season 2010-11: What to Know to Stay Healthy

Perhaps no flu season in recent memory has been as hyped and harrowing as last year's, when swine flu infected millions and vaccine shortages led to long lines and frustration. As a new flu season dawns, and students head back to school, the latest vaccine—which protects against three strains of... Read More

Breakthrough on Hepatitis C drug (BBC video)

Scientists at the Welsh School of Pharmacy say the first human clinical trials on a new drug to treat infections caused by the Hepatitis C virus have been successful.

Researchers say the new medication could now become an approved treatment.

300,000 people suffer from Hepatitis C in the UK... Read More

AIDS Quest to Kill `Sleeping' Virus Enlists Merck Cancer Drug

The 30-year-long search for a cure for AIDS, the world’s deadliest viral infection, may get a renewed boost from an unlikely source: a little-used Merck & Co. cancer drug.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill plan to test Merck’s drug, Zolinza, next year in about 20 ... Read More

Microbe’s survival manual

Researchers have discovered how a microbe that can withstand sizzling doses of radiation builds its protective shield. Small complexes of manganese and other substances slurp up dangerous chemicals caused by radiation, protecting Deinococcus radiodurans bacteria from radiation’s ill effects, a s... Read More

Sick and need antibiotics? Cockroach brains may help

The next cures for bacterial infections may come from an unlikely place: cockroach brains.

Tissues from cockroach and locust brains and nervous systems killed off 90% of E. coli and MRSA bacteria without harming the human cells they were attacking, according to researchers from the University... Read More

Zap, They're Dead! New Water Filter Electrocutes Bacteria

America has some of the cleanest drinking water on earth, but in many developiong countries, clean water is oftentimes hard to come by. Bacteria and other nasty organisms give rise to such waterborne illnesses as cholera, typhoid and hepatitis.

Many scientists are working on inexpensive and s... Read More

Pulse of the Planet: Is It a Good Microbe or a Bad Microbe?

In the news last week: Two microbes helping us out.

You may think that the world is all about humanity, our place on the evolutionary scale, our position at the top of the food web, and, for better or worse, our domination of the planet. Or, you may view such ideas as being oh-so-terribly ret... Read More

New automated diagnostic test can identify TB infections in 2 hours

A new automated test to detect tuberculosis infections and the presence of an antibiotic-resistant TB strain can shave days to weeks off the time it takes to identify new infections, allowing treatment to be started immediately to prevent further spread of the bacterium. The new test, which can ... Read More

Notes From the Field: Readers’ Questions on Deep-Ocean Biology

After a smooth cruise into San Diego, where Atlantis would be embarking on her next expedition, the science teams went their separate ways, cars brimming with cooler-packed samples. We’ve had a couple of weeks to sort things out (a process which involved many brushes with frostbite, as samples w... Read More

Evergreen source of Tamiflu

Your discarded Christmas tree might help researchers fight the flu. Some evergreen tree leaves bristle with shikimic acid, an important starter material for the antiflu drug Tamiflu, scientists reported August 26 at the American Chemical Society’s fall meeting. The compound is a precursor for ma... Read More

Pump created for microneedle drug-delivery patch

Purdue University researchers have developed a new type of pump for drug-delivery patches that might use arrays of microneedles to deliver a wider range of medications than now possible with conventional patches.

The current "transdermal" patches are limited to delivering drugs that are made ... Read More

Transplanting Gut Microbes to Treat Disease

Earlier this summer, scientists reported the success of an unusual medical transplant; a woman with a life-threatening Clostridium difficile infection was treated, and apparently cured, with an injection of some of her healthy husband's gut bacteria. Researchers are now exploring the effects of... Read More

Serendipity Contributes to MRSA Susceptibility Findings

Duke University Medical Center researchers have found two genes in mice which might help identify why some people are more susceptible than others to potentially deadly staph infections.

The researchers uncovered important genetic clues that ultimately could help inform patient management and... Read More

Special Report: Outgunned FDA tries to get tough with drug ads

It wasn't what you would call a casual get-together.

In February 2009, a popular New York blogger attended a brunch with fellow "frazzled moms." They took in tips from a style expert and listened to a nurse extol the virtues of Mirena, a birth control device sold by Bayer Healthcare.

The n... Read More

A Few Drug-Resistant Bacteria May Keep the Whole Colony Alive

There’s been an unexpected development in our understanding of drug resistance in bacteria. The accepted scenario was a simple case of evolutionary selection. In a bacterial population exposed to a killer drug, a few lucky individuals might have a genetic mutation that kept them alive. They sur... Read More

Dr. Thomas Frieden's Remarks at the 2010 Influenza Workshop for Journalists

DR. FRIEDEN: Well, good afternoon, everybody. Good afternoon. I-I thought I would just speak informally for just a few minutes, then have time for discussion questions.

The media's role in H1N1 was extremely important because, ultimately, disease response is about human behavior, and human be... Read More

Some donated malaria drugs being stolen in Africa

Millions of free malaria drugs are sent to Africa every year by international donors. New research is now providing evidence for what health workers have long suspected: some of the donated medication is being stolen and resold on commercial markets.

During three periods from 2007 to 2010, Am... Read More
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