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Our microbes, ourselves

Television shows remind us of the traces we can leave behind, clues that could link a criminal to the scene of a crime: a careless fingerprint, a spatter of blood, a stray hair. A recent study offers a new way to identify people that might sound far-fetched even to a scriptwriter: the bacteria o... Read More

New Ways to Fight Tuberculosis

Antibiotics have been used since the 1940s to cure tuberculosis. But the bacterium that causes the disease, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, keeps evolving to dodge the drugs that are thrown at it, and existing treatments are becoming less effective. Now, Howard Hughes Medicial Institute (HHMI) scien... Read More

TWiV 75: Rabies rampant

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On episode #75 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Alan, and Matt review contamination of Rotarix with circovirus DNA, antigenic similarity between 1918 and 2009 H1N1 influenza, a ... Read More

X-rays Can Help Predict Risk in Clinically Suspected H1N1 Cases

A new study published in the April issue of Radiology suggests that chest x-rays may play an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of H1N1 influenza by predicting which patients are likely to become sicker.

"Working in the emergency room is very stressful, and physicians need informat... Read More

Resistance to swine flu antiviral drugs can develop faster than expected, research finds

The pandemic H1N1 influenza virus can develop resistance to the commonly used antiviral drugs much faster than expected, federal researchers said Friday. Previous research had suggested that it would take 24 days or longer for resistance to the drugs to develop in a patient, but a new study repo... Read More

Do bacteria require kosher permit?

According to a mythological Bnei Brak fable, the city's Chief Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib Landa is one of the few people in the entire world who have been exposed to Coca Cola's secret recipe. Otherwise, he would not have been able to grant a kosher seal of approval to the popular drink produced in ... Read More

One more step towards cultivating bacteria in the lab

Taking a major step to grow previously uncultivable bacteria in the lab, scientists at Northeastern University have come closer to developing a new generation of highly effective antibiotics.

The researchers examined bacterial communities enveloping particles of sand and identified chemicals ... Read More

Your Fat May Help You Heal: Researcher Extracts Natural Scaffold for Tissue Growth

It frequently happens in science that what you throw away turns out to be most valuable. It happened to Deepak Nagrath, but not for long.

The Rice assistant professor in chemical and biomolecular engineering was looking for ways to grow cells in a scaffold, and he discarded the sticky substan... Read More

Scientists Create Rainbow of Fluorescent Probes

Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University's Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biosensor and Imaging Center (MBIC) are advancing the state-of-the-art in live cell fluorescent imaging by developing a new class of fluorescent probes that span the spectrum -- from violet to the near-infrared. The... Read More

How Cells Recognize Viral Toxins

For many years it's been known that the fever, achiness and other symptoms you feel during the flu are triggered by a viral molecule that travels through the body acting like a toxin.

But what scientists haven't understood is how this molecule -- known as double-stranded RNA -- is recognized ... Read More

Is circovirus DNA infectious?

The US Food and Drug Administration does not want Rotarix, the rotavirus vaccine, to be used because it contains porcine circovirus 1 DNA. If complete copies of the circovirus genome were present, would they constitute a potential threat to recipients? Put another way, is circovirus DNA infectio... Read More

Bacteria Patterns Aid Carbon Fixation

Harvard Medical School researchers have discovered that the organelles responsible for carbon fixation within cyanobacteria organize themselves in predictable patterns—a finding that could help researchers engineer more efficient designer bacteria. Read More

Northeastern University researchers discover new path to antibiotics

Scientists at Northeastern University have taken a major step towards being able to grow previously uncultivable bacteria in the lab, the potential key to developing a new generation of highly effective antibiotics.

Examining bacterial communities enveloping particles of sand, the Northeaster... Read More

Rapid Development of Drug-Resistant 2009 H1N1 Influenza Reported in Two Cases

Two people with compromised immune systems who became ill with 2009 H1N1 influenza developed drug-resistant strains of virus after less than two weeks on therapy, report doctors from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. Doc... Read More

Clinical Trial Results Demonstrate Copper Reduces MRSA and VRE in Hospital Rooms

Recent clinical tests demonstrate that antimicrobial copper is effective in significantly reducing the bacterial load in intensive care unit (ICU) patient rooms and on many individual objects in those rooms. Results from a U.S. Department of Defense-funded clinical trial assessing the ability of... Read More

How 1918 flu antibodies fend off swine flu

"The absence of a sugary viral shield could explain why immune responses to the 1918 influenza virus also work against the 2009 H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic strain.

Researchers have found that the two viruses, although separated in time by nearly a century, are structurally similar in a region t... Read More

MicrobiologyBytes on Friendfeed

The latest news about microbiology - and then some. Read More

Oral sex virus 'causing throat cancer'

A common virus spread through oral sex may be triggering a steep rise in types of throat cancer, researchers have warned.

Human Pappillomavirus - known as HPV - is the main cause of cervical cancer, although most infections clear with little or no symptoms.

But after cases of oropharyngeal... Read More

Skloot there it is! HeLa Cells and the Colbert Nation

Science writer Rebbecca Skloot recently appeared on the Colbert Nation to discuss her new book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. When Henrietta Lacks was diagnosed with cancer in 1951, doctors took her cells and immortalized them in test tubes. Since then these cells have led to signi... Read More

Community-acquired MRSA becoming more common in pediatric ICU patients

Once considered a hospital anomaly, community-acquired infections with drug-resistant strains of the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus now turn up regularly among children hospitalized in the intensive-care unit, according to research from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

The Johns Hopkins ... Read More

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