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Can India remain polio-free?

India has been free of polio for over one year. This is a remarkable accomplishment, considering that just 30 years ago the country recorded 200,000 cases of the disease annually, or one every three minutes. With polio endemic in two neighboring countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and in the mo... Read More

Selection-driven Gene Loss in Bacteria

Bacterial genomes differ dramatically in size: from 140Kb to 13Mb (those numbers might be off now...please let me know if something has broken the record. Yes, I know the lower estimate can change based on semantics, but there are a bunch in that range). Although we have some clues as to how sel... Read More

NSABB Members React to Request for Second Look at H5N1 Flu Studies

Members of a U.S. government biosecurity advisory board are offering a range of reactions to the news that they are being asked to take a second look at two controversial flu studies. Some have not previously spoken publicly about the issue, which has sparked a global debate about biosecurity ve... Read More

Scientists Discover New Trigger for Immense North Atlantic Plankton Bloom

Across the horizon and miles out to sea toward the north, the Atlantic Ocean's own spring and summer ritual is unfolding: the blooming of countless microscopic plant plankton, or phytoplankton.

In what's known as the North Atlantic Bloom, an immense number of phytoplankton burst into color, f... Read More

Millions of diabetics could die of tuberculosis

A third of the world’s human population is infected with a dormant tuberculosis bacteria, primarily people living in developing countries. The bacteria presents a lifelong TB risk. Recent research out of the University of Copenhagen demonstrates that the risk of tuberculosis breaking out is four... Read More

A world free of 1 of the most virulent animal diseases?

One of the most economically devastating diseases in the world for those who raise cows, sheep, pigs, goats, deer and other cloven-hoofed animals is foot and mouth Disease (FMD). This incredibly contagious and fast-spreading disease causes fever, blisters on the feet and mouth (hence the name), ... Read More

A third dose of MMR is safe but do we really need one?

It was recently reported - at the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases 15th Annual Conference on Vaccine Research - that the rate of adverse effects from a third dose of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is the same as those of the second dose. This was conducted as part of a C... Read More

Researcher seeks to understand link between obesity, flu severity

The recent H1N1 flu pandemic was found to be particularly dangerous to obese people, and a Wayne State University researcher is looking for clues as to why.

Emily Martin, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmacy practice in the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, has begun... Read More

Drug Combo Cuts Malaria Risk in HIV Patients

Treatment with lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra) reduced the risk that HIV-infected children would become co-infected with malaria, researchers said here.

Compared with treatment based on non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs), therapy with the protease inhibitor-based combinati... Read More

Reform falters after Europe’s E. coli scare

One year on from Europe’s worst recorded outbreak of Escherichia coli infection, governments have made little progress towards improving the monitoring and reporting systems that allowed the crisis to drag on for weeks. The disease, which was spread by contaminated fenugreek sprouts, swept acros... Read More

Arsenic-loving bacteria? New studies contradict report of bugs that seemed to break the rules

It was a provocative finding: strange bacteria in a California lake that thrived on something completely unexpected — arsenic. What it suggested is that life, a very different kind of life, could possibly exist on some other planet.

The research, published by a leading scientific journal in 2... Read More

Cat Litter Parasite Tied to Suicide Risk in New Moms

Mothers with IgG antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii at delivery are at risk for later self-harm or suicide, particularly if they have higher titers against the parasite, a Danish study found.

The risk of self-directed violent behavior was increased 1.53-fold (95% CI 1.27 to 1.85, Psk rose to 1.9... Read More

Single mumps vaccine making a comeback to the UK - but is it better or worse than what we have?

Due to low uptake of the MMR vaccine across the world, we have seen a dramatic rise in the number of cases of measles and mumps. These have gone against efforts to eradicate these diseases. Perceived safety concerns have led to the rise in uptake of single vaccines and thus for a number of years... Read More

Cells on the move

Cells on the move reach forward with lamellipodia and filopodia, cytoplasmic sheets and rods supported by branched networks or tight bundles of actin filaments. Cells without functional lamellipodia are still highly motile but lose their ability to stay on track, report researchers at the Stower... Read More

New approach of resistant tuberculosis

Scientists of the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine have breathed new life into a forgotten technique and so succeeded in detecting resistant tuberculosis in circumstances where so far this was hardly feasible. Tuberculosis bacilli that have become resistant against our major antibiotics ar... Read More

When dying, bacteria share some characteristics with higher organisms

Do bacteria, like higher organisms, have a built-in program that tells them when to die? The process of apoptosis, or cell death, is an important part of normal animal development. In a new study published March 6 in the online, open-access journal PLoS Biology, Hanna Engelberg-Kulka and colleag... Read More

Slo-mo microbes extend the frontiers of life

Community in the deep seabed uses so little oxygen that it is no longer clear where the lower bound for life lies.

Most humans would struggle to last for much more than a minute under water without coming up for air, whereas some seals can manage more than an hour — but a microbial community ... Read More

A novel imaging technique sheds new light on bacterial mobility and adhesion

A scientific endeavour carried out by two French groups belonging to INSERM and CNRS at Aix-Marseilles University shows for the very first time that both bacterium adhesion to and bacterium motion on a surface are driven by the same mechanism (see paper in PNAS: "Wet-surface–enhanced ellipsometr... Read More

J&J seeks OK for first drug against resistant TB

Johnson & Johnson said Monday that it is seeking U.S. approval for the first new type of medicine to fight deadly tuberculosis in more than four decades.

The experimental drug, called bedaquiline, also would be the first medicine specifically for treating multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis. Th... Read More

Deadly Bat Fungus in Missouri, Farthest West Yet

A disease that has killed millions of bats across multiple states and Canada has been found in Missouri, marking its advent west of the Mississippi River and spelling possible trouble for agriculture in the region, officials said Monday.

White nose syndrome has been confirmed in three bats in... Read More

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