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Malaria Gaining Resistance in Southeast Asia

"Malaria that is resistant to the best available drug is more widespread in Southeast Asia than previously reported, new research shows. The worrisome finding poses a risk that travelers could carry this strain of the malaria parasite to other parts of the globe and unwittingly spread it, scient... Read More

Differentiation of two distinct clusters among currently circulating influenza A(H1N1)v viruses

Analysis of all complete genome sequences of the pandemic influenza A(H1N1)v virus available as of 10 September 2009 revealed that two closely related but distinct clusters were circulating in most of the affected countries at the same time. The characteristic differences are located in genes en... Read More

Swine flu kills four in Saudi Arabia on Hajj pilgrimage

"Four pilgrims have died of swine flu as they take part in this year's annual Mecca pilgrimage, Saudi officials say.
Three of the victims - a woman from Morocco and men from Sudan and India - were in their seventies. The fourth was a 17-year-old girl from Nigeria.

The Health Ministry said no... Read More

The amateur scientist (that's us)

Marketing guru Seth Godin has made some interesting observations on why many New Yorkers avoided getting in line for the H1N1 vaccine.

"The news here is not that people are irrational, giving too much credence to the dramatic and the local and the short-term (that's not news), but that people... Read More

H1N1 Infections in the U.S. May have 'Peaked'

Although federal health officials decline to use the word “peaked,” the current wave of swine flu appears to have done so in the United States.

Flu activity is coming down in all regions of the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday, though it is still rising in H... Read More

Nanoparticles used in common household items cause genetic damage in mice

Titanium dioxide nanoparticles, found in everything from cosmetics and sunscreen to paint and vitamins, caused systemic genetic damage in mice, according to a comprehensive study conducted by researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles indu... Read More

Lava Cave Minerals Actually Microbe Poop

Colorful cave deposits long thought to be ordinary minerals are actually mats of waste excreted by previously unknown types of microbes, scientists say. The microbes were found on the walls of lava tubes in Hawaii, New Mexico, and the Portuguese Azores islands, a volcanic archipelago in the Atla... Read More

Call for Entries for the 2010 ASM Public Communications Award

The ASM Public Communications Award, sponsored by ASM, recognizes outstanding achievement in increasing public awareness, knowledge and understanding of microbiology. Microbiology is concerned with issues such as the environment, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, laboratory and di... Read More

Nitrification floc

Nitrification floc. Note the unusual crown shaped bacterium (5200X) Read More

Did U.S. make mistake in skipping vaccine additive?

As U.S. health officials struggle to vaccinate tens of millions of Americans against the pandemic of swine flu, some are looking regretfully at one easy way to instantly double or triple the number of doses available -- by using an immune booster called an adjuvant.

These additives, often as ... Read More

Procter and Gamble recalls Vicks Sinex nasal spray

CNN is reporting Procter & Gamble is recalling Vicks Sinex nasal spray in the United States, Britain and Germany after finding it contained bacteria, the company said.

Procter & Gamble said it announced the voluntary recall after finding the bacteria in a small amount of product made at a pla... Read More

The future of the doctor's necktie may be at stake (or, what to get your doctor for the holidays)

Mounting evidence has emerged in recent years that doctors wearing ties might actually cause as much harm to patients as doctors who don't wash their hands. In one 2004 study of 42 doctors and medical staffers at the New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens, almost 50 percent of the neckties w... Read More

Crohn's blamed on lazy immune cells

A mysterious bowel disease thought to be caused by an over-exuberant immune system may paradoxically be triggered by immune cells that don't do enough in the early stages of bacterial infection.

Since some treatments for Crohn's disease aim to suppress the immune system, it's possible these d... Read More

Cigarettes Harbor Many Pathogenic Bacteria

Cigarettes are "widely contaminated" with bacteria, including some known to cause disease in people, concludes a new international study conducted by a University of Maryland environmental health researcher and microbial ecologists at the Ecole Centrale de Lyon in France.

The research team de... Read More

Deaths following swine flu immunization not linked to vaccine, the WHO says

There have been about 40 deaths worldwide among people who have recently been vaccinated against pandemic H1N1 influenza, but there is no evidence the deaths are related to the vaccine, officials from the World Health Organization said today. At least 65 million people have been vaccinated, and ... Read More

AIDS, malaria eclipse the biggest child-killers

Diarrhea doesn't make headlines. Nor does pneumonia. AIDS and malaria tend to get most of the attention.

Yet even though cheap tools could prevent and cure both diseases, they kill an estimated 3.5 million kids under 5 each a year globally — more than HIV and malaria combined.

"They have b... Read More

Termite Creates Sustainable Monoculture Fungus-Farming

Food production of modern human societies is mostly based on large-scale monoculture crops, but it now appears that advanced insect societies have the same practice. Our societies took just ten thousand years of (mainly cultural) evolution to adopt this habit and we are far from convinced that i... Read More

The Gut Response To What We Eat

A high-fat, high-sugar diet can quickly and dramatically change the population of microbes living in the digestive tract, according to a new study of human gut bugs transplanted into mice.

Trillions of microbes live inside the human gut, and one of their functions is to process parts of foods... Read More

Tooth-Binding Micelles Containing Antimicrobials May Provide Long-Term Cavity Protection

A new study suggests that tooth-binding micelles (or particles) may provide long-term cavity protection by adhering to tooth surfaces and gradually releasing encapsulated antimicrobials. Formulation of a mouthwash-based delivery system is anticipated, ultimately simplifying application and incre... Read More

Ant farmers use bacteria to make their gardens grow

In a new research, scientists have found that ant farmers, like their human counterparts, depend on nitrogen-fixing bacteria to make their gardens grow.

The finding documents a previously unknown symbiosis between ants and bacteria and provides insight into how leaf-cutter ants have come to d... Read More

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