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Public health surveillance system may underestimate cases of acute hepatitis C infection

A new study suggests that massive underreporting may occur within the system set up by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to estimate the incidence of acute hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. In a paper receiving advance online publication in Annals of Internal Medicine, a... Read More

Microbiology: Microbiome science needs a healthy dose of scepticism

Explorations of how the microscopic communities that inhabit the human body might contribute to health or disease have moved from obscure to ubiquitous. Over the past five years, studies have linked our microbial settlers to conditions as diverse as autism, cancer and diabetes.

This excitemen... Read More

Microscopic rowing – without a cox

New research shows that the whip-like appendages on many types of cells are able to synchronise their movements solely through interactions with the fluid that surrounds them.

Many different types of cell, including sperm, bacteria and algae, propel themselves using whip-like appendages know... Read More

New Research Suggests Saharan Dust is Key to the Formation of Bahamas’ Great Bank

A new study suggests that Saharan dust played a major role in the formation of the Bahamas islands. Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science showed that iron-rich Saharan dust provides the nutrients necessary for specialized bacteria to pr... Read More

Ebola Virus Mutated From Forest Encroachment, Says Disease Specialist

The Ebola virus has proven deadly to both people and animals.

The epidemic that started in 2014 has so far taken the lives of over eight thousand people in West Africa. The virus also killed an estimated 5,500 gorillas in the Lossi Sanctuary of the Republic of Congo in 2003. But scientists sa... Read More

Microbial soil cleanup at Fukushima

Proteins from salt-loving, halophilic, microbes could be the key to cleaning up leaked radioactive strontium and caesium ions from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant incident in Japan. The publication of the X-ray structure of a beta-lactamase enzyme from one such microbe, the halophile ... Read More

Microbial to Human Cell Ratio: Just Bragging Rights?

Microbiota buffs repeat it often these days, proudly reminding the public that the microbial cells associated with humans outnumber their host cells by a ratio of ten-to-one. In his letter in the February 2014 Microbe, however, Judah L. Rosner of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) makes a s... Read More

THESE MICROBES ‘EAT’ ELECTRONS TO MAKE METHANE

In a new study, researchers demonstrate for the first time how methanogens obtain electrons from solid surfaces. The discovery could help scientists design electrodes for microbial “factories” that produce methane gas and other compounds sustainably. Read More

Diabetes in rats treated with engineered probiotic

Imagine a pill that helps people control diabetes with the body’s own insulin.

Cornell researchers have achieved this feat in rats by engineering human lactobacilli, a common gut bacteria, to secrete a protein called Glucagen-like peptide 1 (GLP-1).

A 2003 study led by Atsushi Suzuki of th... Read More

Gorilla Origins of the Last Two AIDS Virus Lineages Confirmed

Two of the four known groups of human AIDS viruses (HIV-1 groups O and P) have originated in western lowland gorillas, according to an international team of scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Montpellier, the University of Edinbur... Read More

Scientist Gives Himself Fecal Transplant To Try A Hunter-Gatherer's Microbiome

Why a field researcher from America has exposed his colon to the gut microbiome of a tribesman from Tanzania.

It's not often we encounter a story that begins with a line like this:

“AS THE SUN set over Lake Eyasi in Tanzania, nearly thirty minutes had passed since I had inserted a turkey b... Read More

W.H.O. Concerned About Another Ebola Cluster in Nigeria

The World Health Organization expressed worry on Wednesday about a second cluster of Ebola virus patients in Nigeria — in the center of its oil industry — because one of the three confirmed victims was a doctor who had treated patients and socialized after he became contagious.

The doctor, in... Read More

Flu viruses disguised as waste

Viruses cannot multiply without cellular machinery. Although extensive research into how pathogens invade cells has been conducted for a number of viruses, we do not fully understand how the shell of a virus is cracked open during the onset of infection thus releasing the viral genome. An ETH Zu... Read More

Preparing for Ebola, but Stopping Lassa Fever

In mid-November, a W.H.O team which aimed to prepare a number of African countries for a potential Ebola outbreak ended up identifying an outbreak of the virus which causes Lassa Fever in Benin. Preventative measures designed to stem the outbreak of Ebola were used to effectively contain the v... Read More

New Species Discovered Beneath Ocean Crust

Two miles below the surface of the ocean, researchers have discovered new microbes that “breathe” sulfate.

The microbes, which have yet to be classified and named, exist in massive undersea aquifers — networks of channels in porous rock beneath the ocean where water continually churns. About ... Read More

An outbreak of enterovirus 68

During the winter of 1962 in California, a new virus was isolated from the oropharynx of 4 children who had been hospitalized with respiratory disease that included pneumonia and bronchiolitis. On the basis of its physical, chemical, and biological properties, the virus was classified as an ente... Read More

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) – Oman

Between 7 and 10 January 2015, the National IHR Focal Point of Oman notified WHO of 2 additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection, including 1 death.

Click 'read more' for details of the cases. Read More

Nasal spray vaccine has potential for long-lasting protection from ebola virus (press release)

A nasal vaccine in development by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin has been shown to provide long-term protection for non-human primates against the deadly Ebola virus. Results from a small pre-clinical study represent the only proof to date that a single dose of a non-injectable... Read More

Why some HPV infections go away and others become cancer

For people infected with the human papilloma virus (HPV), the likelihood of clearing the infection and avoiding HPV-related cancer may depend less on the body's disease-fighting arsenal than has been generally assumed. Read More

The Hunt for Antibiotic-Resistance Hotspots

When patients take too many unnecessary antibiotics it inches us ever closer to a world where essential drugs are no longer effective. More than two million people in the United States develop antibiotic resistant infection each year and some 23,000 of them die as a result. Yet understanding the... Read More
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