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Tattooing linked to higher risk of hepatitis C

Youth, prison inmates and individuals with multiple tattoos that cover large parts of their bodies are at higher risk of contracting hepatitis C and other blood-borne diseases, according to a University of British Columbia study.

The researchers reviewed and analysed 124 studies from 30 count... Read More

A compact microscope invented at Rice University is proving its potential to impact global health

A compact, inexpensive microscope operated by a battery is able to diagnose signs of tuberculosis on par with devices that retail for as much as $40,000.

The 2.5 pound microscope was developed by Rice University alumnus Andrew Miller, as his senior design project last year.

The goal was to... Read More

The impact of the pandemic influenza A(H1N1) 2009 virus on seasonal influenza A viruses in the southern hemisphere

Data collected over winter 2009 by five World Health Organisation National Influenza Centres in the southern hemisphere were used to examine the circulation of pandemic and seasonal influenza A strains during the first pandemic wave in the southern hemisphere. There is compelling evidence that t... Read More

Beneficial bacteria may protect babies from HIV

No one argues that when it comes to feeding baby, mom’s milk is best. But mothers infected with HIV, the AIDS virus, face a dilemma: Because some of their virus can be shed in breast milk, babies risk becoming infected as they drink it. Two research teams are now investigating a germ-warfare str... Read More

California Beef Recall Due To E. Coli Has Many Worried

A massive beef recall put in motion by a California based meat processor has many worried. Roughly 1 million pounds of ground beef has been recalled due to E. coli.

The fear is that this ground beef has been contaminated with E. coli, and could cause those who consume it to get quite sick.

... Read More

Lauren Belfer's "A Fierce Radiance," about the search for penicillin during WWII

From lowly mold to measured savior of humankind: That's the story of penicillin. Discovered in 1928 by Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming, penicillin was a finicky substance to work with; it was left on the shelf, so to speak, until the advent of World War II, when the Allies became desperate ... Read More

Microbe could make fuel from exhaust

Scientists say a microbe with an appetite for carbon monoxide could provide a cheap way to produce fuel from car exhaust.

Azotobacter vinelandii, a microbe found around the roots of various food plants, creates an enzyme -- vanadium nitrogenase -- that normally produces ammonia from nitrogen,... Read More

Bad And Harmful Bacteria Share, Swap Genes

The genetic make-up of pathogenic bacteria and their harmless cousins is much more similar than previously thought, UA microbiologists find.

In the bacterial world, good guys can potentially turn into bad guys and vice versa - just by swapping genes, microbiologists at the University of Arizo... Read More

Vaccines less effective in kids exposed to PCBs

Children exposed to PCBs in their first years of life are less likely to develop immunity to disease after they are vaccinated, according to a new study. Overall, the study shows that cumulative exposure to environmental PCBs – particularly leading up to 18 months of age – may decrease immune sy... Read More

How long can food be out of the fridge before it kills me?

The short answer is four hours, but there's a lot more to it than that.

Avoiding food poisoning is complex (the p.c. term now is "foodborne illness," lest we start tainting the deli guy as a "poisoner"), but it can be largely boiled down to a few key points about how bacteria grow, taught to ... Read More

Summer Bummer: Is The Beach Making Us Sick?

Is a trip to the beach in your weekend plans? Two recent studies suggest that illness-causing bacteria could be hiding in the water.

A University of Miami study found that beach goers who swam at a South Florida beach were at higher risk of sickness in the week after their visit compared to p... Read More

Hard to stomach

Family meals often descend into ritual battles over healthy greens: how many children must consume, and how many treats they will earn as a result. The stakes may be higher than parents realise. According to a study published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a sugary... Read More

Seasickness, and Mutualistic Bacterial Mats

This blog is the modern version of a field journal, a place for reports on the daily progress of scientific expeditions — adventures, misadventures, discoveries. As with the expeditions themselves, you never know what you will find:

Monday, Aug. 2

At 7:45 this morning, Alvin emerged from i... Read More

Gleaning the Gleam: A Deep-Sea Webcam Sheds Light on Bioluminescent Ocean Life

If you trawl a net through the ocean's depths, chances are just about every living thing you haul to the surface will be able to glow. Marine biologists estimate that between 80 and 90 percent of deep-sea creatures are bioluminescent—they produce light through chemical processes.

Like the dee... Read More

How Viruses Jump from Hosts: Secrets of Cross-Species Rabies Transmission

HIV-AIDS. SARS. Ebola. Bird Flu. Swine Flu. Rabies. These are emerging infectious diseases where the viruses have jumped from one animal species into another and now infect humans. This is a phenomenon known as cross-species transmission (CST) and scientists are working to determine what drives ... Read More

In Today's Era Of Synthetic Biology, Select Agents Should Be Defined By DNA Sequence

A DNA sequence-based system to better define when a pathogen or toxin is subject to Select Agent regulations could be developed, says a new report from the National Research Council, which adds that this could be coupled with a "yellow flag" system that would recognize requests to synthesize sus... Read More

NTU development may help fight dangerous bacteria

Nottingham Trent University (NTU) has developed a method of making very small particles of gold with an antibiotic shown to neutralise dangerous bacteria such as Escherichia Coli (E Coli).

The findings - published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry - explain how the team at Nottingham has ... Read More

Carnivorous Mice Spread Deadly Plague in Prairie Dog Towns, Study Finds

Prairie dogs, once abundant in the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains, have been decimated in recent decades by plague -- a virulent bacterial disease spread by fleas.

Plague outbreaks periodically sweep through large prairie dog towns with thousands of inhabitants, killing virtually the entire... Read More

Glaxo:New Compound Offers Way To Fight Drug-Resistant Bacteria

GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) Wednesday said a method of killing bacteria already resistant to existing treatments has been found which could help scientists develop new antibiotics to tackle bacteria responsible for many hospital and community-acquired infections.

The research results, published... Read More

Caltech biologists discover microRNAs that control function of blood stem cells

Hematopoietic stem cells provide the body with a constant supply of blood cells, including the red blood cells that deliver oxygen and the white blood cells that make up the immune system. Hematopoietic - or blood - stem cells must also make more copies of themselves to ensure that they are pres... Read More
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