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The Problem with Tenderized Beef

Injury issues aside (see John Mcdonalds HUS story), the problem with tenderized beef is that it internalizes bacteria from the surface of intact cuts of beef, thereby reducing the likelihood that cooking will serve as an effective kill step. The recent (ongoing???) outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 l... Read More

China treats severe swine flu patients with plasma harvested from recovered, vaccinated people

China has started treating severely infected swine flu patients with blood plasma donated by survivors - a therapy not yet proven to work but one that has shown potential to save lives.

In many parts of China, government-run blood collection stations have been harvesting plasma from people wh... Read More

American Indians Hit Hard By Swine Flu

Although H1N1 has proven less deadly than originally anticipated, it has taken a serious toll on American Indians.

According to a recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the mortality rate from the virus is four times higher among American Indians and Alaska ... Read More

Opening New Frontiers: First Volume of Microbial Encyclopedia Published

The Earth is estimated to have about a nonillion (1030) microbes in, on, around, and under it, comprised of an unknown but very large number of distinct species. Despite the widespread availability of microbial genome data -- close to 2,000 microbes have been and are being decoded to date -- a v... Read More

The science of snow

(ed's note - check about 2/3 of the way through the article for a bit about the role bacteria play in snow formation)

Snowstorms tend to cripple cities with residents poorly practiced in the use of shovels, plows and tire chains. At the same time, such places seem to revel more heartily in th... Read More

Hong Kong health officials investigate case of influenza A (H9N2)

Hong Kong's Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is investigating a case of influenza A (H9N2) infection - a mild form of avian influenza - involving a 35-month-old girl.

A spokesman for CHP said today (December 23) the girl, living in Sha Tin, developed symptoms of ... Read More

China SARS victims suffer hormone treatment effects

About 300 survivors of a deadly outbreak of SARS in China in 2003 are now suffering from serious after-effects, possibly due to aggressive hormone treatment to save their lives, the Beijing News said on Friday. Read More

Motility mechanism of malaria pathogens explained

How do one-celled parasites move from the salivary gland of a mosquito through a person's skin into red blood cells? What molecular mechanisms form the basis for this very important movement of the protozoa? A team of researchers headed by Dr. Friedrich Frischknecht, head of a research group at ... Read More

Swine flu follow-up

When the heads of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases came to see us last week, they had some good news. The second wave of the H1N1 virus (known to the rest of us as swine flu) had reache... Read More

Common bacteria could cut spread of mosquito-borne disease

A common type of bacteria could help curtail the spread of mosquito-borne diseases by making the pests more resistant to infection, according to a study published Thursday in the US journal Cell.

The research built on an earlier study that found the lives of one type of disease-carrying mosqu... Read More

New discovery may help treat chronic infections

Scientists from Binghamton University and State University of New York have discovered key regulators required for the formation of biofilms - communities of bacteria in self-produced slime - which could lead to new ways for treating chronic infections.

These biofilms may be found almost anyw... Read More

You've heard of MRSA, but what about Acinetobacter?

In the antibiotic-resistance world, MRSA gets most of the press. Sometimes, C. difficile works its way into a headline or two. But here's a reminder that other bacteria are growing stronger as well.

A study published online Wednesday in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology ... Read More

Sometimes Even Bacteria Get the Blues

Everyone needs a little bit of "me time" now and again, but too much solitude can make us lonely and irritable and put us in a not-quite-right state of mind. According to recent medical research reported by Discovery News, similar stir-craziness has been observed in bacteria that are sequestered... Read More

When Drugs Stop Working - Norway's Answer

Aker University Hospital is a dingy place to heal. The floors are streaked and scratched. A light layer of dust coats the blood pressure monitors. A faint stench of urine and bleach wafts from a pile of soiled bedsheets dropped in a corner.

Look closer, however, at a microscopic level, and th... Read More

International Team Sequences Genome of Cavity-Causing Bacteria

An international group of researchers has sequenced and characterized the genome of a cavity-causing bacterial species called Bifidobacterium dentium, identifying key features that have helped the bug become a tooth decay specialist.

The team, which includes collaborators from Europe, the UK,... Read More

New Strain Of Drug-Resistant Bacteria Emerging In US Hospitals

A new study reports a surge in drug-resistant strains of a dangerous type of bacteria in US hospitals: Acinetobacter strikes patients in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and others and often causes severe pneumonias or bloodstream infection, some of which are now resistant to imipenem, an antibiotic ... Read More

Phragmites Partners With Microbes to Plot Native Plants' Demise

University of Delaware researchers have uncovered a novel means of conquest employed by the common reed, Phragmites australis, which ranks as one of the world's most invasive plants.

The invasive strain, which hails from Eurasia, overtakes its "native" cousin, which has lived in North America... Read More

At least 111 million doses of swine flu vaccine now available, CDC says

At least 111 million doses of vaccine against pandemic H1N1 influenza are now available and least 60 million people have already been immunized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "The vaccine supply is getting better and better, and surveys are showing that the initial... Read More

Soil studies reveal rise in antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance in the natural environment is rising despite tighter controls over our use of antibiotics in medicine and agriculture, Newcastle University scientists have found.

Bacterial DNA extracted from soil samples collected between 1940 and 2008 has revealed a rise in background ... Read More

Tuberculosis Strain Thrives on Antibiotic

Scientists have identified a strain of antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis that thrives in the presence of rifampin, a front-line drug in the treatment of tuberculosis. The bacterium was identified in a patient in China and is described in a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Scho... Read More

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