Mucus is more than gross — it's a critical barrier against disease, trapping many of the germs that want to invade your body. A wet mesh of proteins, antiseptic enzymes and salts, mucus is what keeps all but a few microbes from wreaking havoc on many of our most exposed tissues.
Helicobacter ... Read More
Microsoft has licensed an online H1N1 self assessment test from Emory University.
"During flu season this year, emergency rooms and doctors' offices might become crowded with patients seeking help for flu symptoms. This assessment is based on material licensed from Emory University. It is mea... Read More
An interesting, and sure to be controversial, article in November's Atlantic magazine asks:
"What if everything we think we know about fighting influenza is wrong? What if flu vaccines do not protect people from dying—particularly the elderly, who account for 90 percent of deaths from seasona... Read More
"President Obama on Saturday declared a national emergency to deal with the "rapid increase in illness" from the H1N1 influenza virus.
The move allows Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius "to temporarily waive or modify certain requirements" to help health care facilities ena... Read More
"At the 27th “Osnabrücker Baumpflegetagen” (one of Germany’s most important annual conferences on all aspects of forest husbandry), Empa researcher Francis Schwarze’s "biotech violin" dared to go head to head in a blind test against a stradivarius – and won! A brilliant outcome for the Empa viol... Read More
Nearly 5,000 people have reportedly died from swine flu since it emerged this year and developed into a global epidemic, the World Health Organization said Friday.
Since most countries have stopped counting individual swine flu cases, the figure is considered an underestimate.
WHO said the... Read More
A new study reports that a vaccine-induced cellular immune response reduced simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) levels in the semen of rhesus monkeys during the period of primary infection, a discovery that may ultimately aid in the fight against HIV-1 transmission in humans. The researchers fro... Read More
Some people eat to avoid being bored. Others to avoid doing something they’d rather not, like preparing a podcast. Now a report says we might eat to avoid fungi. Because warm-bloodedness, a condition that requires a lot of calories, may have evolved to keep fungal infections at bay.
There are... Read More
A team of researchers at the University of British Columbia, along with colleagues at the US Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Institute, has mapped the genome of a microbe that is silently helping to shape the ecology of oxygen-minimum areas in the ocean known as dead zones.
"Microbes specialize ... Read More
Scientists have discovered that a minor genetic change to the bacteria currently used in the tuberculosis vaccine could result in a vaccine that also protects against leprosy. The researchers from Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases report their findings in the October 2009 issue ... Read More
A fungal infection that is killing amphibians around the world acts by disrupting the flow of electrolytes across their skin, ultimately causing heart failure. The discovery is helping to raise hopes that a treatment for the infection could one day be given to amphibians in the wild.
Batracho... Read More
The sponsors of the largest ever HIV vaccine trial yesterday hailed a "historic" moment as they formally announced the trial's results at an international AIDS vaccine meeting in Paris. The results received rapturous applause from an audience of more than 1,000 HIV researchers.
But some scien... Read More
Creating an original organism required no bolt of lightning for a team of University of Virginia students. But it did take buckets of ice, vials of bacteria and a FedEx delivery.
Nestled in the package were bits of DNA, whipped up in California and ordered online. When they arrived at a lab c... Read More
About 1 in 5 U.S. children had a flu-like illness earlier this month — and most of those cases likely were swine flu, according to a new government health survey. About 7 percent of surveyed adults said they'd had a flu-like illness, the survey found.
The information comes from a household su... Read More
Scientists who study RNA have faced a formidable roadblock: trying to examine RNA's movements in a living cell when they can't see the RNA. Now, a new technology has given scientists the first look ever at RNA in a live bacteria cell -- a sight that could offer new information about how the mole... Read More
Streptococcus agalactiae (also called Group B Streptococcus, or GBS) is a versatile pathogen that affects a variety of animals. Now studies by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their university colleagues are revealing new information about this pathogen.
The symptoms of GBS ... Read More
An interesting article on the field of optogenetics. Using bacteria, algae and light scientists may one day invent and input/output interface for the brain and lead to cures for diseases such as Parkinsons or chronic depression. Read More
A chemist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., has developed a technology intended to rapidly assess any presence of microbial life on spacecraft. This new method may also help the military test for disease-causing bacteria, such as a causative agent for anthrax, and may also... Read More
A former Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist and a private company worked to develop a new chemical formulation that could help meat processing plants keep work surfaces free of contamination.
Prior to her retirement, microbiologist Judy Arnold worked at the ARS Poultry Microbiologi... Read More