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Controversial 'bird flu' edits move ahead

Top US scientists on Wednesday defended their bid to stop details of a mutant bird flu virus from being published and called for global cooperation to ward off an uncontrollable pandemic.

Meanwhile, scientists involved in the experiments said they are cooperating with government officials and... Read More

Evolutionary Lessons From Superbugs

Virulent drug-resistant "superbugs" are back in the news. We have a lot to learn from these small but smart creatures. To the dismay of many in the pubic health field, the FDA just dropped plans to enforce a 1977(!) decision to limit the use of antibiotics in animal feed, which facilitates the e... Read More

Bacteria that could pass as X-men: part 2

'Second part of my thinly veiled excuse to research X-men and call it work. The first post can be found here. This is only meant to be a two-parter but I’ll see how I feel on Monday, and whether I can find any more X-men that are as amazing as bacteria.'

4) Multiple Man

Multiple Man’s powe... Read More

TWiV 162 Letters

Sarah writes:


Hello to the TWiV crew,


Here are a couple of picks I thought would be good for provoking thought and generating discussion...


While working on a project, I came across some papers attempting to define what "critical thinking" means. I app... Read More

100 trillion good bacteria call human body home

In the search for new life, scientists have studied the depths of the ocean and the lips of steaming volcanoes. They've looked on Mars and the moons of Jupiter, and even planets beyond this solar system.

Dr. David Relman went searching inside his own mouth. On a routine dental visit in 1998, ... Read More

Scientists Tweak Photosynthesis in Pursuit of a Better Biofuel

By altering how plants turn sunlight into chemical energy, scientists hope to produce biofuels that make economic sense.

For years researchers have been trying to figure out the best ways of making plants produce biofuels. But there is a funda­mental problem: photosynthesis, the process by wh... Read More

Bushmeat can be a viral feast

Monkeys and apes are considered edible game in many parts of Africa. As people from these regions have emigrated to other parts of the world, some have retained their love of this and other types of bushmeat. A new study now finds that meat from nonhuman primates — from chimps to monkeys — can h... Read More

Science Friday: Debate Persists Over Publishing Bird Flu Studies (Live at 2pm ET)

Ira Flatow of Science Friday will host a panel discussion on the issues surrounding a federal advisory board that has urged scientific journals not to publish the research from two labs that have developed an airborne bird flu virus (H5N1). Virologist Vincent Racaniello and Biosecurity expert D.... Read More

Mind-controlling virus forces parasitic wasp to put all its eggs in one basket

In a French meadow, a creature that specialises in corrupting the bodies of other animals is getting a taste of its own medicine.
Leptopilina boulardi is a wasp that lays its eggs in fly maggots. When the wasp grub hatches, it devours its host form the inside out, eventually bursting out of its... Read More

How hosts recognize bacteria

We are surrounded by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. The fact that we nevertheless do not fall prey to infections is thanks to certain cellular sensor molecules such as toll-like receptors (TLR), which recognize the molecular structure of pathogens and intercede by ensuring an often comp... Read More

Bacteria outbreak in Northern Europe due to ocean warming, study says

Manmade climate change is the main driver behind the unexpected emergence of a group of bacteria in northern Europe which can cause gastroenteritis, new research by a group of international experts shows.

The paper, published in the journal Nature Climate Change on Sunday, provided some of th... Read More

TWiV 159 Letters

Jenny writes:


Hi Vince and the rest of the TWIV-cast!


You might have come across this news already, but it would be interesting to hear the TWIV gang's take on this study done by Fouchier's group from the Netherlands.


Read More

Bacteria meets its match in the Meat Science Lab

Crystal Lopez isn’t squeamish.

The animal sciences senior has worked at the UA Animal Sciences Meat Science Laboratory for more than three years. The job requires her to come in close contact with the carcasses of freshly harvested animals.

The lab has facilities to slaughter and store cat... Read More

Milestones in the Effort to Eradicate Polio [Timeline]

Advances in the 1950s and 1960s, including unprecedented cooperation between Soviet and U.S. scientists, allowed polio to be eradicated throughout the Americas by 1994 and all of Europe in 1998. Eliminating the crippling scourge has been more difficult, however, in some parts of Africa and Asia.... Read More

Bacterial Vaginosis Is Associated with Higher Risk of Female-to-Male Transmission of HIV

An investigation led by UCSF has found that the risk of female-to-male HIV transmission is increased three fold for women with bacterial vaginosis, a common disorder in which the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina is disrupted.

The new research assessed the association between bacterial... Read More

The Berkeley Pit

“To go to Berkeley Pit Lake, you have to complete a forty-hour Hazmat program—and that’s just to stand next to the water,” advises Andrea Stierle, a research professor at the University of Montana-Missoula, who began studying samples from the Pit sixteen years ago. And when employees of the Mont... Read More

Biosecurity Can Help Prevent Spread of EHV-1 Infections

The neurologic form of the equine herpesevirus-1 (EHV) called equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy (EHM), a potentially fatal disease of horses, can largely be avoided by instituting and maintaining standard biosecurity measures, which are readily available from the American Association of Equ... Read More

Princeton University researchers develop tooth attachment that detects bacteria

It may not be the latest style in bovine bling, but researchers at Princeton University say a golden tattoo attached to a cow’s tooth could one day tell you something about your health.

The remote sensing device has the ability to detect a single bacterium, and to demonstrate, scientists at P... Read More

Influenza H5N1 virus versus ferrets, round two

The second of two papers on avian influenza H5N1 virus that caused such a furor in the past year was published today in the journal Science. I have carefully read the paper by Fouchier and colleagues, and I assure you that it does not enable the production of a deadly biological weapon. The resu... Read More

HPV Vaccine Reduces Infection, Even in Unvaccinated: Evidence of 'Herd' Protection

The HPV vaccine not only has resulted in a decrease in human papillomavirus infection in immunized teens but also in teens who were not immunized.

The study is believed to be the first to show a substantial decrease in HPV infection in a community setting as well as herd protection -- a decre... Read More

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