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A broader-spectrum antiviral?

Griffithsin is a sugar-binding protein identified in 2005 as an inhibitor of HIV-1. At the fall meeting of the American Cancer Society it was reported that griffithsin can also block replication of SARS virus and ebolavirus. The protein appears to act by binding carbohydrates on the virion surfa... Read More

Newly Discovered Fat Molecule: An Undersea Killer With An Upside

A chemical culprit responsible for the rapid, mysterious death of phytoplankton in the North Atlantic Ocean has been found by collaborating scientists at Rutgers University and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). This same chemical may hold unexpected promise in cancer research.

... Read More

LA Times Booster Shots: Swine Flu

Pandemic H1N1 influenza is now worldwide, with more than 199 countries and territories reporting laboratory-confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization. The official toll is now more than 6,000 deaths, but WHO authorities think that is an underestimate, since laboratory testing h... Read More

Head-mounted microscope sees brain beneath the skull

A small microscope that can be mounted on an animal's head should offer a front-row view of how its brain processes visual and other stimuli on the move.

A laser inside the device scans the activity of neurons through a tiny hole in the skull, made prior to the experiment under anaesthetic. W... Read More

Probiotics May Ward Off Obesity Post-Pregnancy

Probiotics are known for their ability to help regulate your digestive system, as well as positively contribute to your health in a number of other non-digestion-related areas. And now a new study is suggesting that probiotics may play a role in a woman’s weight after she’s had a baby. Keep read... Read More

Prized mushroom collection returns to China

A Chinese scholar persecuted during the Cultural Revolution for smuggling a rare collection of mushrooms out of China before World War II was honored Saturday when the collection was returned more than 70 years later.

At a ceremony at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Cornell University Presid... Read More

VIDEO - The Media and the Flu

A hosted a panel discussion about how the media has covered the swine flu story. Has it informed, or alarmed, the public? Dr. Allison McGeer and Dr. Richard Schabas join in the discussion. Taken from Canada's CBC Television.

Panelists:

Dr. Allison McGeer is a Microbiologist and Infectious ... Read More

Pathogen Protection And Virulence: Dark Side Of Fungal Membrane Protein Revealed

Researchers at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech and Montana State University have discovered a fungal protein that plays a key role in causing disease in plants and animals and which also shields the pathogen from oxidative stress.

The researchers have found that t... Read More

How bacteria can spontaneously adapt to environmental changes

An international team of scientists has for the first time observed an evolutionary strategy called 'bet hedging' under laboratory conditions. The term bet hedging describes the way in which organisms ensure the survival of their species in rapidly changing environments by generating offspring s... Read More

US And European Experts Applaud New Transatlantic Task Force On Antibiotic Resistance Threat

Experts on both sides of the Atlantic applaud President Barack Obama and Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, representing the European Union (EU) Presidency, for establishing a transatlantic task force to address antibiotic resistance, an urgent and growing problem that threatens patient s... Read More

10 Ways Companies Are Cashing In On Swine Flu

The Business Insider outlines 10 ways companies, legitimate and not-so-legitimate, are cashing in on H1N1.

"As we head into flu season, the hysteria is ramping up all over again, and what that really means is profit! From body suits, to vaccines, emergency food packs, and underground bunkers.... Read More

Mutant Bacteria Are Likely to Threaten Future Space Travelers

When humans eventually travel to Mars and beyond, they'll have plenty to worry about along with the discomforts of eating freeze-dried food and drinking their own urine. A new report says they will probably be really sick, to boot -- from flare-ups of E. coli, chicken pox or staph infections.

... Read More

New gene therapy halts 2 boys' rare brain disease

French scientists mixed gene therapy and bone marrow transplants in two boys to seemingly halt a brain disease that can kill by adolescence. The surprise ingredient: They disabled the HIV virus so it couldn't cause AIDS, and then used it to carry in the healthy new gene.

The experiment marks ... Read More

After Setbacks, Small Successes for Gene Therapy

Not long ago, gene therapy seemed troubled by insurmountable difficulties. After decades of hype and dashed hopes, many who once embraced the idea of correcting genetic disorders by giving people new genes all but gave up the idea

But scientists say gene therapy may be on the edge of a resurg... Read More

Frigid Antarctica Loaded with Viruses

Antarctica's icy lakes are home to a surprisingly diverse community of viruses, including some that were previously unidentified.

At first glance, Antarctica's freshwater lakes don't seem very hospitable to life. They remain frozen for a good nine months out of the year, and they contain very... Read More

Podcasts as Tools in Introductory Environmental Studies

A recent paper in the Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education by Christine Vatovec and Teri Balser examines the effectiveness of using podcasts as an educational tool.

Out of 209 survey respondents, the authors found:

"The majority of students reported enjoying using the podcasts in... Read More

Map Of Human Bacterial Diversity Shows Wide Interpersonal Differences

A University of Colorado at Boulder team has developed the first atlas of bacterial diversity across the human body, charting wide variations in microbe populations that live in different regions of the human body and which aid us in physiological functions that contribute to our health.

The ... Read More

Bacterial antibiotic resistance genes discovered

Antibacterial soap, hand sanitizer and antibiotics are all substances that we use in an attempt to kill bacteria that might make us sick.Whether we are concerned about getting strep throat, bacterial meningitis or something else, these prevention methods can offer protection.

However, some ba... Read More

How Bacteria Get Past Our Defenses

Mucus is more than gross--it's a critical barrier against disease, trapping many of the germs that want to invade your body. A wet mesh of proteins, antiseptic enzymes and salts, mucus is what keeps all but a few microbes from wreaking havoc on many of our most exposed tissues.

Helicobacter p... Read More

Survey of Academic Life Scientists Suggests 10-Year Drop in Industry Funding

Direct industry funding for academic life science research appears to have decreased in the last decade, according to the results of a 2007 survey published this week.

The survey also found that academic life scientists with industry support withheld data or delayed publication due to commerc... Read More

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