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Bacteria seen swimming the electron shuffle

New videos have caught bacteria in the act of a completely new behavior. A study appearing online December 7 in PNAS finds that Shewanella cells briefly touch an electron-accepting surface, lift off and swim furiously, and then return to the metal surface.

The researchers call this flighty ne... Read More

A New Front in War on Cavities

Cavities have made a dismaying comeback in children in recent years, and the search is on among scientists to find new ways to fight tooth decay.

The prevalence of cavities in children aged 2 to 5 decreased steadily through the 1970s and 1980s, thanks largely to the expansion of water fluorid... Read More

Karen E. Nelson, Ph.D., Named Director of J. Craig Venter Institute Rockville, MD Campus

The J. Craig Venter Institute announced today that Karen E. Nelson, Ph.D. has been named Director of the JCVI Rockville, MD campus. Dr. Nelson and Robert Friedman, Ph.D., Director of the San Diego, CA facility since 2008, are senior leaders of the two campuses of the JCVI and report directly to ... Read More

Half of ICU patients with infections are twice as likely to die compared to those without infections, study says.

Just over half of all patients in intensive care units around the world have infections, and they are more than twice as likely to die in the units as patients who are not infected, a new study has found.

The study surveyed the infection status of more than 13,000 patients from 1,200 noncardi... Read More

Pathogen Audit at Canadian Labs Triggers Increased Bio-Security Measures

Laboratories are invariably out of the public eye—until there is a problem. In Canada, The Canadian Press reported earlier this year that audits had uncovered serious flaws in the tracking and accountability of dangerous pathogen specimens at federal laboratories. In response, the Public Health ... Read More

Eradication of Guinea Worm in Nigera May be Working

Nigeria, once the worst-afflicted country in the world, has been free of the parasitic infection Dracunculiasis, aka guinea worm, for the past 12 months according to the Carter Center.

People can become infected with guinea worm when they drink pond water infested with microscopic fleas, in w... Read More

Self-Destructing Bacteria Improve Renewable Biofuel Production

An Arizona State University research team has developed a process that removes a key obstacle to producing lower-cost, renewable biofuels. The team has programmed a photosynthetic microbe to self-destruct, making the recovery of high-energy fats--and their biofuel byproducts--easier and potentia... Read More

More than 20% of U.S. Water Treatment Systems Violate Key Provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act

More than 20 percent of the nation’s water treatment systems have violated key provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act over the last five years, according to a New York Times analysis of federal data.

That law requires communities to deliver safe tap water to local residents. But since 2004... Read More

MTS39 - Paul Turner- Pandemic in a Petri Dish

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'Rational drug design' identifies fragments of FDA-approved drugs relevant to emerging viruses

A massive, data-crunching computer search program that matches fragments of potential drug molecules to the known shapes of viral surface proteins has identified several FDA-approved drugs that could be the basis for new medicines -- if emerging viruses such as the H5N1(avian flu) or H1N1/09 (sw... Read More

KLM Airlines Complete First Passenger Flight Powered by Biofuel

"Dutch airline KLM has completed a fifth jet biofuel test flight—and the first with passengers other than flight crew. Using a 50–50 blend of regular jet fuel and biofuel refined from camelina oil in one of its four engines, the flight carried 42 "observers" for an hour on November 23 from Amste... Read More

CDC's FluSurge 2.0 update available for download

The CDC has announced FluSurge 2.0 a spreadsheet-based software modeling oprogram which provides hospital administrators and public health officials estimates of the surge in demand for hospital-based services during the next influenza pandemic. FluSurge can estimate the number of hospitalizatio... Read More

Microbes help mothers protect kids from allergies

(Ed. note- this is taken from a press release but represents valid research)

A pregnant woman's exposure to microbes may protect her child from developing allergies later in life. Researchers in Marburg, Germany find that exposure to environmental bacteria triggers a mild inflammatory respons... Read More

President Obama Establishes New Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues

President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order creating a new Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. He also announced that he has appointed Amy Gutmann to serve as Chair and James W. Wagner to serve as Vice Chair of the Commission.

President Obama said, “As our nation... Read More

CDC FluView - U.S. influenza activity decreases for November 22-28, 2009

During week 47 (November 22-28, 2009), influenza activity continued to decrease in the U.S.:

* 956 (15.4%) specimens tested by U.S. World Health Organization (WHO) and National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS) collaborating laboratories and reported to CDC/Influ... Read More

Researchers find a novel mechanism by which drugs block HIV-1 from entering host cells

"Publishing in PLoS Pathogens, researchers at from the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson have found a novel mechanism by which drugs block HIV-1 from entering host cells.

Cellular invasion by HIV-1 requires the concerted action of two proteins on the viral surface: gp120 and gp41. The functio... Read More

Colorado College Students Take First Place at ASM Rocky Mountain Branch Meeting

Colorado College students Nicole Laniohan ’09 and Nguyen Nguyen ’11 took first prize for the best undergraduate poster presentation at the Rocky Mountain Branch meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. Laniohan and Nguyen, who worked with CC Associate Biology Professor Phoebe Lostroh, p... Read More

Personalised vaccines could protect all children

Children whose genetic make-up means they may not be protected by the standard form of a vaccine could in future be given a personalized shot. This is the prospect raised by the discovery of gene variants that seem to predict whether an individual will produce enough antibodies in response to a ... Read More

Cholera Epidemic Infects Thousands in Kenya

Not long ago, the news was full of reports about two male Humboldt penguins at a zoo in Germany that adopted an egg, hatched it and reared the chick together. It seems like every time you turn around, the media spotlight has fallen on another example of same-sex liaisons in the animal kingdom.
... Read More

Potent two-pronged antibiotic provides hope for future drugs

A two-headed compound obtained from soil bacteria may hold the key to developing the next generation of antibiotics, researchers in the UK report. The compound, called simocyclinone, was found to shut down crucial bacterial enzymes in an unusual two-pronged attack.

It is hoped the research c... Read More

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