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HIV's slow retreat

The timing of the pope’s much-discussed change of position on the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV (he will now allow prostitutes to use them without fear of hellfire) was surely no coincidence. He made it on November 21st—ten days before World AIDS Day and two before UNAIDS, the Unit... Read More

TWiV 110 Letters



Jay writes:


Looks like the polio outbreak in the Congo is pretty bad.


http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jpSHvrTg3sqCZs9hPXwYsuwAjXNA?docId=CNG.29d0fd00722f6f7964062dad40b4f107.ca1


http://www.unicef.org/me... Read More

TWiV 110: CSI virology

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On episode #110 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Alan, Rich, and Dickson discuss bacteria that can utilize arsenic in place of phosphorus, the passing of Frank Fenner, polio outbreak i... Read More

UIC researcher unveils new approach to blocking malaria transmission

University of Illinois at Chicago researcher Dr. John Quigley will describe a promising new approach to blocking malaria transmission during the American Society of Hematology's annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Quigley will speak at a press briefing Saturday, Dec. 4, at 8 a.m. at the Orange Co... Read More

The Future of Metabolic Engineering: Designer Molecules, Cells and Microorganisms

Will we one day design and create molecules, cells and microorganisms that produce specific chemical products from simple, readily-available, inexpensive starting materials? Will the synthetic organic chemistry now used to produce pharmaceutical drugs, plastics and a host of other products event... Read More

Fecal Bacteria Post-RYGB Reflect Metabolic Change

Intestinal microbiology rapidly changes after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), adapting to the starvation-like environment, with increases in some bacteria reflecting decreasing obesity-related inflammation and some changes differing by diabetes status, according to research published in the Dec... Read More

MRSA rates vary widely in nursing homes

A U.S. researcher finds hope in the wide variance in nursing home residents who carry the bacteria Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Susan Huang of the University of California-Irvine Medical Center says the high overall levels of MRSA are reason for concern but the variation in ra... Read More

How cannabis dampens the immune system

Cannabis is a double-edged sword: by dampening the immune system, it provides relief from inflammatory diseases, but this also increase the risk of infections. Now we know how it does this: its active ingredient targets a newly discovered type of cell that lowers the immune response.

Prakash ... Read More

Videos of cells could replace cancer biopsies

Individual blood cells flying through capillaries can now be viewed in real time. The technique, called stimulated raman scattering (SRS) microscopy, generates videos of moving cells deep inside tissue and could replace biopsies in the diagnosis of cancers.

The technique works by shining lase... Read More

Scientists Ratchet Up Understanding of Cellular Protein Factory

Theoretical biologists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have used a New Mexico supercomputer to aid an international research team in untangling another mystery related to ribosomes -- those enigmatic jumbles of molecules that are the protein factories of living cells. The research, published D... Read More

Love is a gut (bacteria) feeling for fruit flies

Matchmakers: In Irish they are Babhdóir, in Yiddish they are Sadchen. For fruit flies, the matchmakers might be gut bugs.

Fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) with the same set of intestinal bacteria preferred mating with each other, discovered professors Eugene Rosenberg, Daniel Segel, and ... Read More

As Biodiversity Declines, Disease Flourishes

A study by a group of biologists, ecologists and medical researchers casts new light on a phenomenon farmers have known for years: the less genetic variety in a crop or a herd, the greater the risk that disease will decimate it. Biodiversity in ecosystems, the scientists report in the Thursday’s... Read More

Life electric: microbes wire up to share energy

It's electrifying: bacteria, it seems, can share energy simply through touch.

In a lab in Massachusetts, researchers have evolved a very unusual colony of symbiotic bacteria. The bacteria, which belong to two different species, cannot live without each other and grow biological wires to share... Read More

Senate passes sweeping food safety bill

The Senate on Tuesday approved the biggest overhaul to the nation's food safety laws since the 1930s. The 73-to-25 vote gives vast new authorities to the Food and Drug Administration, places new responsibilities on farmers and food companies to prevent contamination, and -- for the first time - ... Read More

Japanese ministry: Bird flu virus is ‘highly pathogenic’

Genetic tests have confirmed that the case of avian flu recently discovered at a farm in Shimane Prefecture was caused by a highly pathogenic virus, the farm ministry said Thursday.

The virus is also quite similar to that detected from the feces of a wild duck in Hokkaido in October this year... Read More

Holiday Gift Idea: Pandemic

For the infectious diseases specialist who is hard to buy a gift for:

Four diseases have broken out in the world and it is up to a team of specialists in various fields to find cures for these diseases before mankind is wiped out. Players must work together, playing to their characters' stren... Read More

Microbe survives on diet of arsenic

In the New York Times, Dennis Overbye discusses work just published in Science, conducted by a USGS-Menlo Park team, who trained a gammaproteobacterium taken from sediments in Mono Lake to substitute arsenic almost completely for phosphorus. The results have far-reaching consequences for astrobi... Read More

Blame the Environment: Why Vaccines May Be Ineffective for Some People

A new discovery may explain why a tuberculosis vaccine is not as effective for some people as anticipated, and potentially explains why other vaccines do not work as well for some as they do for others. In a research report presented in the December 2010 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology... Read More

Why AIDS doesn’t make headlines

Media coverage of HIV/AIDS has fallen by more than 70 percent in developed countries over the last 20 years, particularly in French- and U.S.-based newspapers.

An international research team looked at approximately 69,000,000 articles in 410,000 newspaper issues. The results are detailed on a... Read More

Thriving on Arsenic, a Microbe May Redefine Life

Scientists said Thursday that they had trained a bacterium to eat and grow on a diet of arsenic, in place of phosphorus — one of six elements considered essential for life — opening up the possibility that organisms could exist elsewhere in the universe or even here on Earth using biochemical po... Read More
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