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Invasive shrub increases risk of human disease (via ticks, deer and bacteria)

There are many ways of fighting disease, but Brian Allan from Washington University has suggested a most unusual one – a spot of weeding. Allan’s research shows that getting rid of a plant called the Amur honeysuckle might be one of the best ways of controlling an emerging human disease called ... Read More

A Very Scary Gene

Urinary tract infections, pneumonia and other common ailments caused by germs that carry a new gene with the power to destroy antibiotics are intensifying fears of a fresh generation of so-called superbugs.

The gene, NDM-1, which is apparently widespread in parts of India, has been identifie... Read More

Bacteria go electric

Like a household wire carries electrons from wall socket to appliance, bacteria can conduct electricity along tiny wire-like appendages, researchers report in the Oct. 11 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A community of bacteria connected by these gangly nanowires could act as ... Read More

Argonne feeds bacteria into contaminated Kansas site to clean it

Last year, a team of Argonne scientists led by Lorraine LaFreniere injected iron microparticles underneath fields long-polluted with carbon tetrachloride near Centralia, Kansas. The researchers coated the microparticles with organic material, which served as bait for bacteria that created the co... Read More

Volcano fuels massive phytoplankton bloom

Advocates for seeding regions of the ocean with iron to combat global warming should be interested in a new study published today in Geophysical Research Letters. A Canada-US team led by University of Victoria oceanographer Dr. Roberta Hamme describes how the 2008 eruption of the Kasatochi volca... Read More

Killer disease decimates UK frog populations

Common frog (Rana temporaria) populations across the UK are suffering dramatic population crashes due to infection from the emerging disease Ranavirus, reveals research published in the Zoological Society of London's (ZSL) journal Animal Conservation.

Using data collected from the public by t... Read More

Life-saving in the bacterial world: how Campylobacter rely on Pseudomonas to infect humans

The bacterium Campylobacter jejuni is a major cause of food poisoning in humans. It is normally transmitted from contaminted chicken meat, as it is frequently found in the intestines of chickens, where it apparently does not result in any symptoms. Campylobacter jejuni is well adapted to life... Read More

Bt corn fights borers at home, nearby

Corn that's been genetically engineered to resist attacking borers produces a "halo effect" that provides huge benefits to other corn planted nearby, a new study finds. Since the borers that attack the genetically modified crops die, there are fewer of them to go after the non-modified version.
... Read More

Probiotics may help Indian children fight diarrhea

India has the highest number of child deaths, under the age of five. Nearly all were preventable, if basic hygiene practices were followed.

But since sanitation facilities are lacking in many parts of the country, scientists are looking at alternative ways to combat diseases in children - inc... Read More

China's Hospitals Preparing NDM-1 Bacteria Treatment

China's Ministry of Health on Saturday issued guidelines urging full preparations at medical institutions nationwide for treating the multi-drug resistant NDM-1 bacteria.

According to the guidelines, it is likely that the bacteria is mainly transmitted through close contact, with key vulnerab... Read More

New book argues for more antibiotics research

With antibiotic-resistant bacteria killing more Americans every year in U.S. hospitals than died during the decade-long Vietnam War, David M. Shlaes says it's time for federal regulators to rethink policies that have encouraged major companies to abandon antibacterials research.

And the 62-ye... Read More

Researchers Determine the Genetic Blueprint of the Lyme Disease Microbe

Researchers Dr. Steven E. Schutzer of UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School and Dr. Claire M. Fraser-Liggett of the Institute for Genome Sciences, University of Maryland, and their collaborators have made a major achievement toward better understanding Lyme disease, by determining the complete genetic... Read More

Staph aureus altered to embed foreign molecules

Scientists have managed to alter the cell wall of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria to "trick" them into accepting small molecules and embedding them.

The development could lead to ways of combating staph infections that can cause pneumonia and a wide range of skin infections. A dangerous antibi... Read More

Research finds most people are immune to H1N1 flu

Swine flu no longer represents a major threat in the United States because so many people are immune to the virus that caused last season's pandemic, health officials said.

Of the 310 million people in the United States, 59 percent are believed to be immune to pandemic H1N1 flu, the researche... Read More

Scientist seeks safer oyster

Yi-Cheng Su knows how much people enjoy eating a briny, cold, fresh raw oyster.

But as tasty as the cocktail sauce-doused treat can be, shellfish can carry bacteria that will wreak havoc upon your digestive tract — at least for a few days — and has even been known to be a killer.

So Su, an... Read More

Immune Reaction to Infection Leads to Autism-like Disorders in Mice

Could an immune reaction to a virus cause autism? We still don’t know the answer to that question, but a new study shows that, in mice, infecting a pregnant mother with an artificial virus can spark a chain of events that leads to autism-like disorders in her offspring.

The study, just rel... Read More

New Tool in the Fight Against Tuberculosis: Algorithm Enables Cell-Scale Simulations

Researchers at the Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois have developed a way to harness the prodigious quantities of both genomic and metabolic data being generated with high-throughput genomics and other techniques. They have developed an algorithm that automatically inte... Read More

TWiV 102: Catch me if you can in Munich

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Episode #102 of the podcast This Week in Virology is a conversation about the RNA sensor RIG-I, adenovirus gene therapy, a universal influenza vaccine, and rabies virus, recorded in Munich, Germany ... Read More

TWiV 102 Letters

Simon writes:

Hello Vince and Dick,

Thank you for your podcasts, i subscribe to both twiv and twip and find them both fascinating. I work as a truck driver here in England and listen to your podcasts whilst driving about. Currently i am study for a life scienc... Read More

UM study: Institutions measure blood stream infection rates differently

A new study looking at how hospitals identify pediatric patients who develop catheter-associated bloodstream infections (CA-BSI) found significant inconsistencies in the methods used to report the number of patients who develop them.

The study, led by Matthew Niedner, M.D., assistant professo... Read More
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