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A Green Thumb for Ocean Microbes

MIT-WHOI Graduate student Kristen Hunter-Cevera describes the challenges and obstacles involved with growing marine microbes (in her case, Synechococcus) in a laboratory setting, and outlines the value of her research in understanding marine biogeochemistry. Read More

Biologist investigates how gene-swapping bacteria evade antibiotics

A scientific peek into bacteria boudoirs is revealing how "sex" among disease-causing microbes can lead different species or strains to become resistant to antibiotic medications. Read More

Diarrhea in cats

Barbara Hinney and her colleagues from the Institute for Parasitology at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, screened 298 faecal samples taken from cats across Austria for single-cell intestinal parasites, so called enteric protozoa. The samples came from private households, catteries... Read More

How long have primates been infected with viruses related to HIV?

Disease-causing viruses engage their hosts in ongoing arms races: positive selection for antiviral genes increases host fitness and survival, and viruses in turn select for mutations that counteract the antiviral host factors. Studying such adaptive mutations can provide insights into the distan... Read More

A case of prion disease acquired from contaminated beef

Spongiform encephalopathies are neurodegenerative diseases caused by misfolding of normal cellular prion proteins. A 2014 case of variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob prion disease in the United States was probably caused by eating beef from animals with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow d... Read More

Rapid Ebola Test Could Play Key Role in Efforts to End Lingering Outbreak

Research presented at the 2015 AACC Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo will expand on the studies that led to a fingerprick Ebola test becoming the first and only rapid diagnostic for this disease to receive approval from the World Health Organization (WHO). This test could prove vital to breaki... Read More

Dually noted: New CRISPR-Cas9 strategy edits genes 2 ways

The CRISPR-Cas9 system has been in the limelight mainly as a revolutionary genome engineering tool used to modify specific gene sequences within the vast sea of an organism's DNA. Cas9, a naturally occurring protein in the immune system of certain bacteria, acts like a pair of molecular scissors... Read More

Permissive vaccines and viral virulence

A permissive vaccine prevents disease in the immunized host, but does not block virus infection. Would a permissive vaccine lead to the emergence of more virulent viruses?

This hypothesis is based on the notion that viruses which kill their hosts too quickly are not efficiently transmitted, a... Read More

'Clever adaptation' allows yeast infection fungus to evade immune system attack

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers say they have discovered a new way that the most prevalent disease-causing fungus can thwart immune system attacks. Read More

Bacterial melanin can replace Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in arthritis treatments

Melanin produced by a marine bacteria Bacillus spp. has shown shown to have good anti-inflammatory activity. The pigment had shown to inhibit inflammatory enzymes cycloxygenase, lipooxygenase, myeloperoxide,NO synthase in vitro at a concentration which was non-cytotoxic..This will be a breakthro... Read More

Study: Breastfeeding could reduce common infections among Indigenous infants

TORONTO, Aug. 17, 2015--Promoting breastfeeding could lead to a substantial reduction in common infections and even deaths that are more common in Indigenous infants than non-Indigenous infants, a new study suggests. Read More

Bacteria in ancient flea may be ancestor of the Black Death

CORVALLIS, Ore. - About 20 million years ago a single flea became entombed in amber with tiny bacteria attached to it, providing what researchers believe may be the oldest evidence on Earth of a dreaded and historic killer - an ancient strain of the bubonic plague. Read More

Flu vaccine reduces hospitalizations and deaths among nursing home residents

When the influenza vaccine is well matched to the prevailing strains of flu in a given season, patients in nursing homes are significantly less likely to be hospitalized or to die of pneumonia and other influenza related causes. The finding comes from a study of more than 1 million Medicare fee-... Read More

Kicking latent HIV: New strategies to reactivate reservoirs of latent infection

In cells with latent HIV infection, the virus is dormant, and such cells are therefore not attacked by the immune system or by standard antiretroviral therapy. To eradicate the virus from the human body and truly cure a patient, reservoirs of latently infected cells need to be activated and elim... Read More

Harmless bacteria may be helpful against meningococcal outbreaks

Nasal drops of harmless bacteria can inhibit a related bug that sometimes causes meningococcal disease, according to new findings published online in Clinical Infectious Diseases. The study--conducted among college students, a group at higher risk for this often serious illness--suggests a new a... Read More

Strategies to decrease bacterial colonization

Among the bacterial infections that are most difficult to treat, chronic infections associated with bacterial biofilms are one of the most hazardous. Bacterial biofilms are densely packed communities of microbial cells surrounded with secreted polymers. In her doctoral thesis, chemist Shoghik Ha... Read More

NYU researchers observe upward trend in hepatitis C infection rates among HIV+ MSM

While sexual contact is not the most efficient means of hepatitis C (HCV) transmission, there have been several reports of outbreaks of sexually transmitted HCV in HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM). HCV infections are more likely to become persistent and to lead to progressive liver d... Read More

Gerilizumab IL-6 is Put into Human Trial for Rheumatoid Arthritis

BOC Sciences-Recently, a biotechnology company announced that gerilizumab IL-6 as a drug for rheumatoid arthritis was under trial in healthy people. Once the safety is proved in human trial, gerilizumab will be a better alternative for rheumatoid arthritis both in effect and cost. Read More

Study adds to evidence that viruses are alive

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- A new analysis supports the hypothesis that viruses are living entities that share a long evolutionary history with cells, researchers report. The study offers the first reliable method for tracing viral evolution back to a time when neither viruses nor cells existed in the fo... Read More
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