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Deadly Flu Virus Made In A Lab

Just how dangerous influenza viruses can be has been shown by a research project which involved the mixing of very dangerous bird influenza viruses with ordinary more contagious influenza viruses. The researchers led by Professor Yoshihiro Kawaoka from the University of Wisconsin-Madison mixed u... Read More

Noroviruses -- they're not just for cruise ships anymore

True, the most highly publicized outbreaks of norovirus do seem to occur on cruise ships, and only in part because the idea of fun-loving tourists (i.e. vacationers) getting sick elicits a perverse pleasure in everyone else (i.e. non-vacationers). But lack of a desire to chug through pristine oc... Read More

World Salmon Supply to Drop Most Since 1990 on Virus

Global supply of Atlantic salmon will decline the most in two decades this year after a virus decimated output in Chile, bolstering the steepest advance in Norwegian prices since at least 2000.

The harvest will drop 5 percent to 9 percent, the first “significant” decline since 1990, said Joer... Read More

Germs in tobacco are potential source of respiratory infections blamed on smoking

Cigarettes host a bacterial bonanza of hundreds of different germs, including those responsible for many human illnesses, a new genetics study reports.

The data support findings described last September by scientists at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. They extracted tobacco... Read More

Deadly Germs Largely Ignored By Drug Firms

Gram-negative bacteria are practically built to withstand drugs, which is one reason few drug makers have rushed to pursue treatments.

The bacteria have a double cell membrane to shield them, compared with Gram-positive organisms, which have a single membrane. They can make various enzymes t... Read More

Documents reveal leaks and spills at (Canadian) national virus lab

It sits smack in the centre of downtown Winnipeg and contains some of the world's deadliest pathogens behind air-tight walls and biosafety cabinets.

But new documents reveal Canada's National Microbiology Lab isn't immune to leaks, spills and failures in restricted areas where lethal organism... Read More

A ‘test and treat’ approach to fighting HIV

A promising new way to prevent the spread of HIV is being tested in Botswana on a group of people who are being exposed to a particularly vicious strain of the virus. They are now being treated with strong antiretroviral drugs.

The “test and treat’’ approach is not primarily intended to ward ... Read More

Anadys study results show little difference between hepatitis C drug, placebo

Development-stage drug developer Anadys Pharmaceuticals Inc. said late Wednesday its developing hepatitis C drug was only slightly more effective at treating the virus than placebo in a midstage study.

The company's shares plunged 46 cents, or 20 percent, to $1.85 in premarket trading.

Aft... Read More

Hyping H1N1: Did It Create A Dangerous Flu Fatigue?

With the World Health Organization warning yet again this week that the H1N1 virus has yet to reach its peak, a flu season that's milder than average hardly seems that way. Now, the nearly yearlong coverage of H1N1 has left some worried that future influenza outbreaks will be met with ambivalent... Read More

XMRV not detected in Dutch chronic fatigue patients

The suggestion that the retrovirus XMRV is the etiologic agent of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) arose from a study in which the virus was found in 68 of 101 US patients. The virus was not detected in two independent studies of 186 and 170 CFS patients in the United Kingdom. A new Dutch study ha... Read More

Campylobacter Bacteria in Cattle Manure May Survive Composting

Contrary to popular belief, some disease causing bacteria may actually survive the composting process. Researchers from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada report in the February 2010 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology that campylobacter bacteria in cattle manure can surviv... Read More

Sci-Tech Today: Paper Diagnostics for Health

Alex Fiorentino describes how the Whitesides lab at Harvard is developing sophisticated medical diagnostic devices that are lightweight, disposable, cost pennies to make, and operate without power. They're made out of paper. Read More

Meat Industry Defends Antibiotic Use

Top meat industry groups held briefings on Capitol Hill Tuesday defending the use of antibiotics as a critical tool for animal health.

The briefings come two weeks after CBS Evening News with Katie Couric broadcast a two-part series criticizing the widespread use of antibiotics in food animal... Read More

Tiny ear listens to hidden worlds

A micro-ear could soon help scientists eavesdrop on tiny events just like microscopes make them visible.

Initially, researchers will use it to snoop on cells as they go about their daily business. It may allow researchers to listen to how a drug disrupts micro-organisms, in the same way as a ... Read More

Getting a flu vaccine from tobacco plants

Here's an idea: Rehabilitate the tobacco plant by using it to make flu vaccine. (This may sound like a double-whammy nightmare for anyone who believes that vaccines are killing us all and GMOs are killing us all, but let's put that aside and examine what the scientists are doing, and why.)

Fi... Read More

Long-Reigning Microbe Controlling Ocean Nitrogen Shares the Throne

Marine scientists long believed that a microbe called Trichodesmium, a member of a group called the cyanobacteria, reigned over the ocean's nitrogen budget.

New research results reported online February 25 in a paper in Science Express show that Trichodesmium may have to share its nitrogen-f... Read More

Disease gene blocker sneaks past cell defences

Snippets of RNA that switch off disease-causing genes can now slip into cells unaided. This could help efforts to use RNA interference (RNAi) to treat diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

For a gene to be expressed as a protein, it must first be copied into messenger RNA (mRNA). RNAi blocks ... Read More

Less hand-wringing over state of science journalism

A recent article published in the Columbia Journalism Review mulls over the state of science journalism and expresses hope that the future is online. The article actually singles out the MicrobeWorld-related blog Small Things Considered by Elio Schaechter and Merry Youle among several others as ... Read More

Emerging tick-borne disease

Stories of environmental damage and their consequences always seem to take place far away and in another country, usually a tropical one with lush rainforests and poison dart frogs.

In fact, similar stories starring familiar animals are unfolding all the time in our own backyards — including ... Read More

UNL Research Looks to Break the Mold with Lactic Acid Bacteria

We've all experienced it. You take a lid off a bowl in the refrigerator and find those leftovers you had planned to eat covered in a disgusting white fuzzy substance. Or you reach for a slice of bread and see it has turned green.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers are working to find ... Read More

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