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TEDTalks: Michael Specter: The Danger of Science Denial

Vaccine-autism claims, "Frankenfood" bans, the herbal cure craze: All point to the public's growing fear (and, often, outright denial) of science and reason, says Michael Specter. He warns the trend spells disaster for human progress. (Recorded at TED2010, February 2010 in Long Beach, CA). Read More

Scientists find chicken antibodies may help prevent H5N1 pandemic

Scientists have discovered for the first time that antibodies in common eggs laid by hens vaccinated against the H5N1 virus can potentially prevent a possible H5N1 pandemic, raising the possibility that the same principle could be applied to the current H1N1 influenza pandemic.

A team of scie... Read More

Eurobarometer on antimicrobial resistance highlights areas for action

On 9 April 2010, the European Commission published the results of a Eurobarometer on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) which demonstrate the need for further progress on the issue in the European Union (EU) [1]. The report highlights public attitudes towards the use of antibiotics which are of conc... Read More

Oral Activated Charcoal Prevents Experimental Cerebral Malaria in Mice and in a Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial in Man Did Not Interfere with the Pharmacokinetics of Parenteral Artesunate

Safe, cheap and effective adjunct therapies preventing the development of, or reducing the mortality from, severe malaria could have considerable and rapid public health impact. Oral activated charcoal (oAC) is a safe and well tolerated treatment for acute poisoning, more recently shown to have ... Read More

Metagenomic Sequencing of an In Vitro-Simulated Microbial Community

A new data resource for measuring the accuracy of metagenomic binning methods, created by in vitro-simulation of a metagenomic community, can be used to complement previous in silico benchmark studies. In constructing a synthetic community and sequencing its metagenome, researchers from the Univ... Read More

An Immune Response in a Test Tube

A molecule best known for fighting off cellular clutter is now recognized as an important defender against another cellular threat: viruses. New research from HHMI investigator Zhijian Chen shows that ubiquitin, which helps cells identify unwanted proteins so that they can be removed, is also a ... Read More

Switch That Enables Salmonella to Sabotage Host Cells Revealed

A new switch that enables Salmonella bacteria to sabotage host cells is revealed in a study published in the journal Science.

The researchers behind the study, from Imperial College London, say that the new finding could ultimately lead to drugs that interfere with the switch in order to comb... Read More

NewGen Wastewater Treatment Technology in a Very Small Footprint

Feeding, protecting, and sheltering microbes is the approach of EKO GEA, a Slovenian bio-tech company with a breakthrough technology for its low-cost, fast wastewater treatment plant which also produces biogas. The various microbes that perform effective anaerobic digestion of waste are compact... Read More

Vaccine Stops Tumor Spread in Mice

A new study in mice suggests that a transcription factor normally found in male germ cells could become a target for cancer vaccines.

A transcription factor is a protein that controls the transfer (or transcription) of genetic material from the DNA to messenger RNA. This particular factor, kn... Read More

A State Microbe For Cheese-Crazed Wisconsin?

Michele Norris, co-host of NPR's All Things Considered talks with Elio Schaechter, a microbiologist, visiting scholar at UC San Diego and author of the blog Small Things Considered, about a bill to designate Lactococcus lactis as Wisconsin's official state microbe. Lactococcus lactis is the bact... Read More

Hard-to-see sea life: a close look at watery microbes

Results from the latest Census of Marine Life study are in, highlighting spectacular examples of hard-to-see underwater microbes, part of a wider study involving four research groups looking at some of the smallest sea species.

Click "source" to view the watery microbe image gallery. Read More

Mat of microbes the size of Greece discovered on seafloor

Gargantuan whales and hefty cephalopods are typically thought of as the classic marine mammoths, but they might have to make way for the mighty microbes, which constitute 50 to 90 percent of the oceans' total biomass, according to newly released data.

These tiny creatures can join together to... Read More

TWiV 78 letters

Michael writes:


Hi guys really like the show even though some of it (not much) goes over my head. I also listen to twip and hope there will be a matching number of episodes to rival twiv.  My name is Michael and I was talking to my dad the other day and he mentioned that he t... Read More

TWiV 78: Darwin gets weird

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On episode #78 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Alan, Dickson, and Rich talk about treating arthritis with a tanapox virus protein, Darwinian evolution of prions in cell culture, and t... Read More

Cows on Drugs

Now that Congress has pushed through its complicated legislation to reform the health insurance system, it could take one more simple step to protect the health of all Americans. This one wouldn’t raise any taxes or make any further changes to our health insurance system, so it could be quickly ... Read More

Researchers devise a straightforward method for studying millions of yeast cells at the same time

Scientists have developed a new way to identify the hidden genetic material responsible for complex traits. The breakthrough ultimately could lead to a deeper understanding of how multiple genes interact to produce everything from blue eyes to blood pressure problems.

The approach allows the ... Read More

Huitlacoche chooses weapons wisely

A tumor-causing maize fungus known as “corn smut” wields different weapons from its genetic arsenal depending on which part of the plant it infects.

The discovery by Stanford University researchers marks the first time tissue-specific targeting has been found in a pathogen.

The finding upe... Read More

Early signs of progress against E. coli and shigella, but listeria, salmonella ...?

Food-borne illnesses are proving to be stubborn -- unsurprisingly so, perhaps -- but that's not to say there aren't some small bright spots in the latest report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2009, the federal government had especially hoped to reduce incidence o... Read More

$3 hand-powered suction device quickly heals wounds

MIT Grad Student Danielle Zurovcik (above) designed this hand-powered suction device to speed up wound healing. It costs $3 and it works.

Nobody knows precisely why it works, but doctors have known for decades that the healing process for open wounds can be greatly speeded up by applying nega... Read More

Immune Molecules Target Swine And Avian-Origin Influenza

Antibodies are immune molecules that have a key role in protecting against infection with influenza virus. The target of the protective antibodies is the influenza protein HA, which varies so dramatically among influenza viruses that it is used to classify them into subtypes (H1-H16). It is thou... Read More

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