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Virology course videocasts

This year I started a new virology course at Columbia University. The course emphasizes the common reactions that must be completed by all viruses for successful reproduction within a host cell and survival and spread within a host population. The molecular basis of alternative reproductive cycl... Read More

Adapting to clogged airways makes common pathogen resist powerful antibiotics

People with cystic fibrosis frequently have lung infections that defy treatment. Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease that clogs airways with thick mucous. While the life expectancy for children with cystic fibrosis has increased over the past few decades, many lives are still shortened in yo... Read More

Failed Efforts in Protecting Biodiversity

The year 2010 is, among other things, the International Year of Biodiversity.

If you did not know that — and if you are not quite sure what biodiversity even means — you are almost certainly not alone.

In a survey conducted by Gallup in 2007, 64 percent of European Union citizens either ha... Read More

Microbe hunter goes after coyotes

When the District 9 Pennsylvania Trappers Association Coyote Hunt came to town last weekend, it was a big deal for U.S. Forget the lure of hunting an elusive wild dog. Van Why is more interested in hunting through the animals' innards.

He's a microbe hunter in his second year of spending time... Read More

Blueberries Counteract Intestinal Diseases

It is already known that blueberries are rich in antioxidants and vitamins. New research from the Lund University Faculty of Engineering in Sweden shows that blueberry fibers are important and can alleviate and protect against intestinal inflammations, such as ulcerative colitis. The protective ... Read More

Microfluidics Stream Their Way into Medical Tests

Capillary-driven microfluidics could drastically change point-of-care diagnostics, thanks to IBM researchers Luc Gervais and Emmanuel Delamarche.

At IBM’s Zurich Research Laboratory, the scientists created a one-step immunoassay by combining microfluidic elements and reagents such as analyte ... Read More

TWiV 69: They're all safecrackers



On episode #69 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Alan, and Rich review recent outbreaks of mumps in the UK, US, and Israel, protection of mice against 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus by 1918-like and... Read More

Roche licenses new flu-fighting technology

Roche AG's Genentech unit has licensed an experimental new technology that uses antibodies to fight influenza, including H1N1 swine flu, Harvard's Dana Farber Cancer Institute said on Monday.

Dana-Farber said it and the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute had signed a license agreement... Read More

Virus pulls bait and switch on vectors

A common plant virus lures aphids to infected plants by making the plants more attractive, but when the insects taste the plant, they quickly leave for tastier, healthier ones. In the process, the insects rapidly transmit the disease, according to Penn State entomologists.

"The virus improves... Read More

Scientists make stem cells pluripotent using virus-free technique

Scientists have discovered a new and easier way to transform stem cells from human fat into induced pluripotent stem cells using virus-free techniques.

Experts at the Stanford University
School of Medicine have developed a novel method using minicircles, rings of DNA, to induce pluripotency ... Read More

Leave bacteria alone!

In the past year, the media has hyped the swine flu as if it were the Black Death. People have been reminded to wash their hands to the point of excess. Antibacterial products have been flying off the shelves at local super markets across the country. But the swine flu is a far cry from the deva... Read More

New methods aim to keep E. coli in beef lower all year

The dead of winter may not be the time when most people's thoughts turn toward the allure of a hamburger on the grill. But from a food safety standpoint, it's probably the safest time there is to eat ground beef.

"The theory is that animals are carrying higher levels of E. coli during the sum... Read More

New Good Bacteria Link: Protection from Sudden Infant Death and Inflammation

Good bacteria, called probiotics, live within our intestinal tract. They are also known as comensual cells which outnumber human cells, 10 to 1. In other words, we are made up of more good bacteria than human cells which shows how important they are to health.

Antibiotics Kill Good Bacteria
... Read More

Fidaxomicin Passes Second Trial for Treatment of C.difficile

San Diego-based Optimer Pharmaceuticals has nailed the second big trial designed to prove it has a new antibiotic for a deadly infection people can get in hospitals.

Optimer said today that it reached its main goal of showing its experimental antibiotic, fidaxomicin, was roughly equivalent to... Read More

Majority of American Adults Reject Swine Flu Vaccine

A new poll found the majority of parents have gotten or intend to get their children vaccinated against swine flu, but the majority of adults have not gotten or do not want swine flu vaccine for themselves.

The poll by Harvard School of Public Health shows 44 percent believe the H1N1 flu pand... Read More

Swine flu cases down, but virus keeps spreading

Fewer people are getting sick with the swine flu than is typical for influenza rates this time of year - but public health officials still aren't ready to say the pandemic is over.

For the third week in a row, national rates of flulike illness are below the seasonal average, the U.S. Centers ... Read More

USDA Calls Plays for Safe Super Bowl Food

For millions of Americans, Super Bowl Sunday is all about going to somebody else's house for eating and drinking before, during, and probably after the game between the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts. Millions of tons of that food will be prepared by amateurs.

For their stake, you... Read More

China brews superbugs

China's reckless use of antibiotics in its health system and agricultural production is fuelling an explosion of drug-resistant superbugs that threaten global health.

Scientists have warned that Chinese doctors routinely prescribe multiple doses of antibiotics for sore throats, while farmers'... Read More

Archaea: The Third Domain of Life - (Do They Live on Comets?)

The biodiversity of the Earth never ceases to astonish. One example that has radically changed the face of biology is the discovery of a group of organisms called archaea (pronounced “ar-kee-ah”). It was thought that all creatures on Earth were divided into two main evolutionary categories, but ... Read More

‘Roach Motels’ for Bacteria

In the age-old battle between man and microbe, people have tried in countless ways to keep their surroundings germ-free, ranging from plain old scrubbing, heat sterilization and chemical disinfectants to high-tech solutions like irradiation or drug-eluting coatings.

Now a new approach could m... Read More

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