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Expanding Knowledge about the Human Microbiome Will Lead to New Clinical Pathology Laboratory Tests

Research into the human microbiome is expected to trigger development of new diagnostic tests that will be offered by clinical pathology laboratories. That’s because the organisms that live on us and in us are as unique to individuals as their DNA, and scientists believe these microbes may be ju... Read More

U.K. Designer “Grows” an Entire Wardrobe From Bacteria

Suzanne Lee can conjure clothing out of thin air. No, wait, that’s not entirely accurate. She’ll need at least a couple of bathtubs, some yeast, a pinch of bacteria, and several cups of sweetened green tea. Lee, who is a senior research fellow at the School of Fashion & Textiles at Central Saint... Read More

New strains of Lyme disease bacteria identified, study claims

New strains of the bacteria that cause Lyme disease have been found in B.C., according to a recently published study on ticks collected from birds across Canada.

Researchers found the genetic makeup of three bacteria differed from previously known strains.

"In the ticks that we got from th... Read More

TWiV 90 Letters

Eric writes:


Hi Vincent,


After 86 episodes of TWiV, I am still loving every minute of the podcast and I am constantly impressed with how much I learn. For example, I have been mentoring an undergraduate student in the lab and we have had a rough two week stret... Read More

TWiV 90: Guano happens

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On episode #90 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Alan, Rich and Eric discuss identification of viruses in Northeastern American bats, vaccinia virus infection after sexual contact with ... Read More

How Fast Can Microbes Break Down Oil Washed Onto Gulf Beaches?

A new Florida State University study is investigating how quickly the Deepwater Horizon oil carried into Gulf of Mexico beach sands is being degraded by the sands’ natural microbial communities, and whether native oil-eating bacteria that wash ashore with the crude are helping or hindering that ... Read More

How are sadness and happiness like diseases? They're infectious, study finds

Is sadness a sickness? It appears to spread like one, a new study has found.

Researchers at Harvard University and MIT wanted to see if a mathematical model developed to track and predict the spread of infectious diseases such as SARS and foot-and-mouth disease could also apply to the spread ... Read More

Socio-economic inequality and infectious disease - a public health priority

An editorial in Eurosurveillance looks at social determinants of infectious diseases in the EU:

"Vulnerable groups are disproportionately affected by infectious diseases in every European Union (EU) Member State [1]. The level and distribution of wealth within a society plays a significant ro... Read More

Comments on the “Synthetic Cell”

"The now famous announcement by the Venter group is based on their paper in Science entitled Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome. We applaud this work for its impressive technical achievement and we acknowledge its future potential. However, we find the ter... Read More

Friendly bacteria protect flies from sterilising worms

Animals must wage a never-ending war against parasites, constantly evolving new ways of resisting these threats. Resistance comes in many forms, including genes that allow their owners to shrug off infections. But one species of fly has developed a far more radical solution – it has formed a par... Read More

Human HIV Neutralizing Antibodies Identified

Two antibodies, VRC01 and VRC02, identified in HIV-infected blood, attach to the CD4 binding site of HIV and appear to prevent the virus from attaching to and infecting T cells, according to new research.

Peter D. Kwong, PhD, with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, par... Read More

The human genome: Big advances, many questions

Every Wednesday at 3:15 p.m., a few dozen Stanford University medical students turn their backs on the sun, gather in a high-tech classroom and flip open their laptops.

The summer class they're taking is a foray into the future of medicine. The course title, Genetics-210, Genomics and Person... Read More

Virology toolbox: the western blot

Readers of virology blog often request explanations of specific experimental techniques. Methods such as complement fixation, deep sequencing, ELISA, PCR and many others are frequently mentioned on this blog without discussion. To do so would interrupt the scientific discourse and make for lengt... Read More

How Fast Can Microbes Break Down Oil Washed Onto Gulf Beaches?

A new Florida State University study is investigating how quickly the Deepwater Horizon oil carried into Gulf of Mexico beach sands is being degraded by the sands' natural microbial communities, and whether native oil-eating bacteria that wash ashore with the crude are helping or hindering that ... Read More

Revolutionary medical dressing uses nanotechnology to fight infection

Researchers are using nanotechnology to develop a medical dressing which will detect and treat infection in wounds. Scientists at the University of Bath and the burns team at the Southwest UK Paediatric Burns Centre at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol are working together with teams across Europe an... Read More

Creepy Places Germs Lurk

You can't see them or smell them (most of the time), yet microbes and germs occupy most of the surfaces around you. Many live on your own skin. In fact, if you're a normal, healthy person you will shed approximately 2 million cells an hour, says Michael G. Schmidt, PhD,Professor of the Departmen... Read More

New Microscope Lets Scientists Make Movies of Early Animal Development

The transformation of a single cell into a complete animal is amazing and complicated. Cells must divide and migrate through the ever-changing embryo, shaping themselves into specialized organs. And it happens at a blistering pace: a zebrafish embryo, for example, goes from a single cell to 20,... Read More

PRO/AH/EDR> Influenza pandemic (H1N1) (49): PAHO update

The information contained within this update is obtained from data provided by Ministries of Health of Member States and National Influenza Centers through reports sent to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) or updates on their web pages.

Pan American Health Organization report on the... Read More

Amid the murk of 'gut flora,' vitamin D receptor emerges as a key player

Within the human digestive tract is a teeming mass of hundreds of types of bacteria, a potpourri of microbes numbering in the trillions that help us digest food and keep bad bacteria in check.

Now scientists have found that the vitamin D receptor is a key player amid the gut bacteria – what s... Read More

Bacteria Detective: PhyloTech's Chip Identifies Friend and Foe Microbes

Bacteria, which can thrive in places where humans wouldn't dare linger, can be friends or foes. Take E. coli. Some strains are harmless and settle comfortably in animals' lower intestines. Others take free rides in lettuce and end up causing kidney failure and other serious ailments for salad lo... Read More
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