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TWiV 79 letters

Ben writes:


I really enjoyed your podcast about reverse transcription.  I was wondering what makes retroviruses like HIV impossible for our bodies fight off.  Are there any retroviruses that can be eliminated from the body?


Paula writes:


I was browsing on the "Chronic ... Read More

TWiV 79: Red hot chili viruses



On episode #79 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent and Alan converse about making published science accessible to everyone, global eradication of poliomyelitis, and whether a plant virus can cause d... Read More

The e.coli threat lurking in a free dab of lipstick

Women are putting their health at risk by dabbing on lipstick, moisturiser and mascara from cosmetics tester packs at high street beauty counters.

In a recent study, researchers found that every make-up tester pack they analyzed was contaminated by the e.coli bug.

The two-year investigatio... Read More

Possible shigella outbreak in Kansas City

The Kansas City Health Department is warning the public about a possible outbreak of shigella infections.

Shigella is a highly-contagious bacterial infection spread from person to person, through handshaking, orally, or even through food or water. It is most commonly transmitted among childre... Read More

Virginia Tech Research Team Sequences Genome of Bacterium Discovered in College Garden

Under the supervision of a Virginia Tech plant pathologist, a group of high school, undergraduate, and graduate students isolated and characterized a formerly unknown group of bacteria.

The bacteria strain belongs to the plant pathogen species Pseudomonas syringae. One bacterium of this group... Read More

NASA official battles the microbes of space travel

Here's a brief biography on Catharine Conley, NASA's planetary protection officer, that looks at what her job entails:

"Her job is as serious as a NASA post can be. In addition to protecting potential extraterrestrial life and monitoring for contamination on trips back to Earth, the protectio... Read More

Beer consumption increases human attractiveness to malaria mosquitoes

A recent paper published in PLoS One looks at the relationship between alcohol consumption and Anopheles gambiae (the primary African malaria vector).

BACKGROUND:
Malaria and alcohol consumption both represent major public health problems. Alcohol consumption is rising in developing countrie... Read More

Grape Preservation: New Treatment Combination Safe Alternative to Sulfur Dioxide

Packaged fresh-cut grapes are becoming increasingly popular with consumers who like the convenience and health benefits of these ready-to-eat fruits. To keep table grapes fresh and increase shelf life, scientists are seeking advanced techniques that provide healthy, safe alternatives to conventi... Read More

How to avoid Cryptococcus gattii

When a person has an infection, they often consider bacteria and viruses as the culprit, but fungi can also infect humans. One type of infectious fungus is Cryptococcus gattii, a relative of Cryptococcus neoformans, an opportunistic pathogen often seen in HIV/AIDS patients and others with a seve... Read More

Colorectal cancer risk linked to stomach bacterium, inflammation

WASHINGTON — A chronic stomach infection or high levels of inflammation may place a person at risk of colon cancer — or serve as an early warning sign of the disease — according to two studies presented April 19 at a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Past research has s... Read More

H1N1 vaccine study investigating hints of complications from vaccine

Federal health officials are investigating the first hints of any possible significant complications from the H1N1 vaccine, but stressed that the concerns will probably turn out to be a false alarm.

The latest analysis of data has detected what could be a somewhat elevated rate of Guillain-Ba... Read More

Gates Rethinks His War on Polio

Bill Gates walked into the World Health Organization's headquarters in Geneva—for a meeting in an underground chamber where global pandemics are managed—and was greeted by bad news. Polio was spreading across Africa, even after he gave $700 million to try to wipe out the disease.

That outbrea... Read More

Cancer Drug Seems to Work by Activating Virus

The cancer drug cyclophosphamide activates a viral infection that helps anti-viral medications eliminate a virus-linked cancer, says a new study.

The drug is used to treat Burkitt lymphoma, an aggressive, fast-growing type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that often occurs in children. In Africa, the ... Read More

Gene helps worm regrow missing head

Scientists have discovered the gene that enables an extraordinary worm to regrow its whole head and brain—and other body parts—after amputation.

The finding is another step forward in efforts to explore how humans might one day regenerate damaged organs and tissue.

The research led by biol... Read More

SMS Fights Malaria Scourge in Africa

Can texting help reverse Africa’s malaria epidemic? The answer seems to be a resounding “Yes.”

Using a mix of text messages, Google Maps and cloud software, organizers of a pilot program backed by IBM, Novartis and Vodafone believe they saved hundreds of lives in a few short months on the mal... Read More

Poultry vaccines making matters worse?

Attenuated live vaccines that protect poultry against Newcastle Disease may be altering the genetic makeup of the wild virus strains, which could make future outbreaks unpredictable and difficult to tackle, according to biologists.

Newcastle Disease is an economically devastating poultry dise... Read More

Study links 1976 'swine flu' shot to stronger immune response to 21st century pandemic flu

New evidence shows immunization against "swine flu" in 1976 might provide individuals with some protection against the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus, according to new research from St. Jude investigators.

Researchers found that individuals who reported receiving the 1976 vaccine mounted ... Read More

Flu drugs saved many pregnant swine flu victims

Quick treatment with flu medicine saved the lives of many pregnant women who were stricken by swine flu last year, according to the most complete analysis of deaths among expectant mothers.

The study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counted 56 pregnant women who died from the... Read More

Strep steps up in urinary tract infections

Research suggests pathogenic strains of Group B Streptococcus (GBS) are an under-recognised cause of urinary tract infections.

The bacteria are better known as a cause of infection in pregnant women with subsequent risks of preterm delivery and transmission to newborn infants often with devas... Read More

The Attendee's Guide to Scientific Meetings, Part II

In December of last year, Julian Davies, Professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia and a Fellow of the Royal Society, authored an amusing post that essential... Read More

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