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Inspiration for 2015 via the Late, Great Randy Pausch!

The late computer scientist Randy Pausch wrote many inspirational things about life and academia during his struggle with pancreatic cancer. As we approach 2015, his words are helpful to me, and perhaps to others. About life, about academia, about helping others...and making our dreams come tr... Read More

Four Ways Spacefaring Microbes Could Muck Up The Solar System

When scientists launch a spacecraft into space, they're also launching thousands of bacteria along with it.

This article was originally published in the January 2015 issue of Popular Science.

To prepare the Curiosity rover for its trip to Mars, NASA scrubbed it with alcohol and baked it at... Read More

Molecules seen binding to HIV-1's protective capsule, blocking infection

New research shows an HIV-1 inhibitor and a host protein binding to HIV-1's protective capsule, preventing it from disassembling. Viral genetic information is kept inside. Researchers believe the process can be targeted for therapeutic purposes in HIV-1 infections. Read More

New Tools against Biofilms [Video]

As you might expect for organisms that are billions of years old, bacteria have evolved lots of tricks to protect themselves in often-hostile surroundings. One of their most effective strategies is to coat themselves with a gooey layer, known as biofilm, which insulates them from predators, hars... Read More

Cow Dung Itself Breeds Antibiotic Resistance

When antibiotics first became available, farmers used them indiscriminately—dribbling streptomycin into chicken feed to boost growth and doling out low doses to fatten pigs. Now scientists know that the overuse of antibiotics in livestock can foster drug-resistant bacteria that are dangerous to ... Read More

Highly targeted immune response achieved with new class of synthetic molecules that mimic antibodies

A Yale University lab has crafted the first synthetic molecules that have both the targeting and response functions of antibodies.

The new molecules -- synthetic antibody mimics (SyAMs) -- attach themselves simultaneously to disease cells and disease-fighting cells. The result is a highly tar... Read More

Stem cell transplants may halt progression of multiple sclerosis

Three-year outcomes from an ongoing clinical trial suggest that high-dose immunosuppressive therapy followed by transplantation of a person's own blood-forming stem cells may induce sustained remission in some people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).

Click "source" to read m... Read More

Study Sheds Light on What Causes Cells to Divide

When a rapidly-growing cell divides into two smaller cells, what triggers the split? Is it the size the growing cell eventually reaches? Or is the real trigger the time period over which the cell keeps growing ever larger?

A novel study published online today in the journal Current Biology ha... Read More

9 Amazing and Gross Things Scientists Discovered About Microbes This Year

We can’t see them, but they are all around us. On us. In us. Our personal microbes—not to mention those in the environment around us—have us outnumbered by orders of magnitude, but scientists are only beginning to understand how they influence our health and other aspects of our lives. It’s an i... Read More

Lyme disease enhances spread of emerging tick infection

Mice that are already infected with the pathogen that causes Lyme disease appear to facilitate the spread of a lesser-known but emerging disease, babesiosis, into new areas.

Research led by the Yale School of Public Health and published Dec. 29 in the journal PLOS ONEused laboratory experimen... Read More

Tracing evolution of chicken flu virus yields insight into origins of deadly H7N9 strain

Scientists from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and China Agricultural University identify the changes in H9N2 flu virus in chickens that could signal emergence of viruses with potential to trigger a pandemic.

An international research team has shown how changes in a flu virus that has ... Read More

Where does Ebola come from?

The hollow Cola tree growing in a remote area of southeastern Guinea was once home to thousands of bats routinely hunted and killed by the neighborhood children. It was also a popular spot to play. A year ago, one child in particular lived within fifty meters of the tree: a two-year-old boy who ... Read More

Ebola Patient Is Moved to London, and 2 Others Are Tested in Britain

A health worker who returned from West Africa and was found to have Ebola when she arrived home in Scotland was transferred on Tuesday to Britain’s designated treatment center for the disease in London.

The authorities also reported that two more people were being tested for the virus.

The... Read More

BacterioFiles 197 - Fucose Feeds Friendly Fighters

This episode: When sensing an infection, mice make sure to keep their gut bacteria well-fed. And it pays off!


(11.8 MB, 13 minutes)


Show notes: 
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Ebola: How does it compare?

Since the first case, a two-year-old who passed away on 28 December 2013, there have been more than 6,900 deaths.

Outbreaks such as Ebola have an ability to spread fear around the world, often through the prism of sensationalist media reporting.

So how does Ebola actually compare to previo... Read More

New Study Underscores Importance of Accurate CF-Related Microbiological Diagnostic Procedures

A new study entitled “Microbiological diagnostic procedures for respiratory cystic fibrosis samples in Spain: towards standard of care practices” was published in BMC Microbiology by Juan de Dios Caballero and a group of researchers from Spain. In this study, the authors evaluated the compliance... Read More

Protein ID'd as possible universal therapeutic target for many infections, including Ebola

A protein called GRP78 could be a universal therapeutic target for treating human diseases like brain cancer, Ebola, Influenza, Hepatitis and superbug bacteria such as MRSE and MRSA, according to a Virginia Commonwealth University-led pre-clinical study published this month in the Journal of Cel... Read More

THE YEAR IN PLAGUES: EBOLA, THE INVASIVE SPECIES OF FLORIDA, AND MORE

As 2014 comes to an end, let’s take a look at the year's biggest outbreaks, pathogens, and technofix dramas.
Ebola was arguably the biggest story of the year. Some of the best coverage, in my opinion, included this epic Washington Post story exploring why the outbreak grew so out of control; Ri... Read More

Ebola Survivor: The Best Word For The Virus Is 'Aggression'

When Dr. Ian Crozier arrived in West Africa this past summer, he was stepping into the epicenter of the Ebola hot zone. The American doctor was working in the Ebola ward of a large, public hospital in Sierra Leone's dusty city of Kenema.

The trip nearly cost him his life. First came a fever, ... Read More

Whooping cough proteins evolving 'unusually' fast

Whooping cough may be evolving to outsmart the currently used vaccine, say researchers.

Analysis of strains from 2012 shows the parts of the pertussis bacterium that the vaccine primes the immune system to recognise are changing.

It may have "serious consequences" in future outbreaks, UK r... Read More
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