Mad Cow disease and its human variant Creutzfeldt -- Jakob disease, which are incurable and fatal, have been on a welcome hiatus from the news for years, but because mammals remain as vulnerable as ever to infectious diseases caused by enigmatic proteins called prions, scientists have taken no r... Read More
Readers of this blog know that I embrace social media for teaching virology. My experience with two types of social media, blogging and podcasting, has been published as an Opinions piece by PLoS Pathogens (read the full text or download the pdf file). In this article I discuss how social media ... Read More
The cholera epidemic in Haiti is losing steam, although the number of cases and fatalities continues to climb. The disease has killed more than 300 people and sent more than 4,000 people to hospitals and clinics. Host Scott Simon talks to NPR's Christopher Joyce in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, for the... Read More
Space shuttle Discovery will bring NASA scientists one step closer to helping astronauts and the public discover ways to battle and prevent serious illness and infection.
When Discovery launches into orbit for its final flight and mission to the International Space Station, currently schedule... Read More
Babies treated with antibiotics for middle-ear and other infections may have increased odds of developing inflammatory bowel disease later in childhood, a small study suggests.
Canadian researchers found that among 36 children with either ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease -- the two main ... Read More
An international team of mycologists and ecologists studying Atlantic sea turtles at Cape Verde have discovered that the species is under threat from a fungal infection which targets eggs. The research, published in FEMS Microbiology Letters, reveals how the fungus Fusarium solani may have playe... Read More
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have completed the first major review of diagnostic methods and treatments for a rapidly evolving virus that causes hand, foot and mouth disease in children.
The virus, called enterovirus 71, is closely related to poliovirus, and was first detected in... Read More
Brazil has imposed new regulations on the sale of antibiotics as part of efforts to curb the development and spread of superbugs such as the KPC bacteria blamed for 43 deaths this year.
The latest rules from the National Health Alert Agency, or Anvisa, include a requirement that anyone wantin... Read More
Life may really have been created by a spark, one that came as a bolt from the deep blue.
Hydrothermal vents on the deep ocean floor are believed by many to be the cradle for early life. Now a team led by Ryuhei Nakamura at the University of Tokyo in Japan have uncovered evidence that such ve... Read More
The National Science Foundation has awarded $101.9 million for a range of research projects that dive into the genomes of plants to make discoveries that could be valuable for developing more sustainable and disease-resistant crops.
The Plant Genome Research Program (PGRP) grants this year ha... Read More
Could it be another nail in the coffin for the term “prokaryotes”? Patterns of inheritance are complicated, and the microbial world is no exception. Take the Archaea: since they’re small, we often assume they have more in common with bacteria than with eukaryotes. We even lump archaea and bac... Read More
It could be a breakthrough in the hunt for an "elixir of life". Organic molecules containing a heavy isotope of hydrogen seem to resist the kind of cell damage that happens with ageing. But hang on to your moisturiser for now: the effects have been demonstrated only in yeast cells.
Free radic... Read More
Strong immunity may play a key role in determining long life, but may do so at the expense of reduced fertility, a Princeton University study has concluded.
An 11-year study of a population of wild sheep located on a remote island off the coast of Scotland that gauged the animals' susceptibil... Read More
Cholera's recent resurgence in Haiti remains something of a mystery to health experts. The island nation had been free of the disease since at least 1960 -- until the outbreak Friday. Now cholera has claimed almost 300 lives, and the World Health Organization said Wednesday the outbreak likely h... Read More
Flu season is upon us, and one casualty is the good old-fashioned handshake.
Yes, that's right. Nearly 3 in 10 Americans are reluctant to shake your hand because they fear they will catch your germs, according to a survey released Wednesday.
You see, germs lurk everywhere. As a result, 21%... Read More
The immune system works hard to keep us well physically, but might it also be partly to blame for some mental illnesses?
"The immune system may play a significant role in the development of depression," Andrew Miller, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University Schoo... Read More
Tim Austen realised that he wasn't cut out to be a scientist while growing cell cultures in the final year of his biochemistry degree. "I got in one Monday morning and discovered these really interesting things in my Petri dish," he says. "When I showed them excitedly to my colleague, he pointed... Read More
A volunteer group has been meeting up once a week to scrape gum off the streets of the Kabukicho entertainment district of Tokyo, averaging 309 specimens each time.
Kaoru Kumada, a professor at Tsukuba International University, conducted his research with the group.
His findings were repo... Read More
A new oral polio vaccine is making headlines today — and small wonder. Polio may have been wiped out in America, but that’s not true for parts of Africa. And it's there that a new vaccine may finally put an end to the crippling disease.
The bivalent oral polio vaccine, known as bOPV, immunize... Read More
Pathogenic listeria tricks intestinal cells into helping it pass through those cells to make people ill, and, if that doesn't work, the bacteria simply goes around the cells, according to a Purdue University study.
Arun Bhunia, a professor of food science, and Kristin Burkholder, a former Pur... Read More