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Getting Started with MicrobeWorld

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Virus Killer Gets Supercharged: Discovery Greatly Improves Common Disinfectant

A simple technique to make a common virus-killing material significantly more effective is a breakthrough from the Rice University labs of Andrew Barron and Qilin Li.

Rather than trying to turn the process into profit, the researchers have put it into the public domain. They hope wide adoptio... Read More

Understanding life on Mars could stem from rocks

In 2004 a scientific breakthrough was made when methane was detected in the Martian atmosphere.

The presence of the gas — much of which on Earth is produced by living things — is the strongest indication yet that primitive life could exist on the planet.

Now a team of geologists and microb... Read More

Teacher Funds School's Dorms

Jan Vilcek wants to repay New York University's Langone Medical Center for taking a chance on him.

The microbiology professor will on Wednesday announce a $21 million gift to the medical school to purchase and renovate a student dormitory.

Dr. Vilcek and his wife Marica immigrated to the U... Read More

Medicago vaccine slated for clinical trial

Medicago Inc (MDG.TO) will participate in an early-stage clinical trial of a vaccine designed for use in the event of an avian pandemic flu outbreak, the Canadian biotechnology company said on Tuesday.

The Quebec City-based biotech is developing a single-dose H5N1 influenza vaccine. It will t... Read More

Candida albicans puts one set of proteins to work in two different jobs

Reduce, reuse, recycle? Candida albicans is a reuser. No, it doesn’t use its old grocery bags over and over – it puts one set of proteins to work in two different jobs.

To mate, C. albicans must switch its cells from white to opaque (see inset). These opaque cells then release a pheromon... Read More

Lancet editor apologises for naming super bug after New Delhi

The editor of The Lancet, Richard Horton, apologised on Tuesday for naming an antibiotic-resistant superbug after New Delhi. It was an “error,” he said.

A report in the leading medical journal in August last stated that superbug “New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamese” (NDM-1) originated in India. ... Read More

ATMs as Filthy as Public Toilets, Says Study, But Don't Panic

Call it dirty money. A new report out of Britain claims that ATMs are as filthy as public toilets and researchers say they have the microbes to prove it.

"We were surprised by our results because the ATM machines were shown to be heavily contaminated with bacteria; to the same level as nearby... Read More

Private Rooms Cut Infection Risk in the ICU: Study

Intensive care unit (ICU) patients in single, private rooms have lower infection rates than patients in shared rooms, a new study finds.

About 30 percent of patients in ICUs acquire health care
-associated infections, which can lead to serious illness and death, the study authors noted in ba... Read More

Treating Latent TB After 65 Raises Serious Side-Effect Risk

People over age 65 are at increased risk for serious side effects while undergoing latent tuberculosis therapy, a new study finds.

Latent tuberculosis occurs when TB bacteria lurk in the body without making the person sick. The host has no symptoms of TB and is not contagious. However, there ... Read More

Bacteria saved gulf from ruin

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was, by far, the biggest environmental story of 2010. We've turned our minds and diaries to 2011, but nature doesn't abide by the Gregorian calendar. What's going on with the nearly 5 million barrels, or 207 million gallons, of oil that leake... Read More

Swine flu survivors developed super flu antibodies

A study of antibodies from people infected with H1N1 swine flu adds proof that scientists are closing in on a "universal" flu shot that could neutralize many types of flu strains, including H1N1 swine flu and H5N1 bird flu, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

They said people who were infected i... Read More

Testing the Claim: Drink Plenty of Fluids to Beat a Cold

The advice for conquering a cold is time-honored: Get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids.

While it’s hard to argue against getting proper rest, some scientists suspect that loading up on liquid — that is, beyond the normal amount required in a day — may not do much good.

Theoretically... Read More

Antibiotic holiday needs to be a long one to combat resistance

According to a new study by researchers at Yale University and the University of Tromso in Norway, the "antibiotic holiday" would have to extend over 40 years to be effective.

“Bacterial populations have evolved resistance to most antibiotics we have,” said Jeffrey Townsend, assistant profess... Read More

China: Gaps Seen in Government’s Ability to Detect Disease Outbreaks

Despite advances made since the emergence of SARS and avian flu, China’s ability to detect new outbreaks remains “underdeveloped,” a leading Chinese health official acknowledged last week.

The comment appeared in an article in the journal Health Affairs written jointly by Dr. Zijian Feng, dir... Read More

Lifting a Veil of Fear to See a Few Benefits of Fever

Fever is common, but fever is complicated. It brings up science and emotion, comfort and calculation.

As a pediatrician, I know fever is a signal that the immune system is working well. And as a parent, I know there is something primal and frightening about a feverish child in the night.

... Read More

Biostorage Scheme Turns E. Coli Bacteria into Hard Drives

A group of students at Hong Kong's Chinese University are making strides towards storing such vast amounts of information in an unexpected home: the E. coli bacterium better known as a potential source of serious food poisoning.

"This means you will be able to keep large datasets for the long... Read More

Latent TB treatment a greater risk to older adults

Older adults treated for an inactive tuberculosis infection may be at increased risk of suffering liver damage from the medication, a study published Monday suggests.

Canadian researchers found that among all Quebec residents treated for so-called latent tuberculosis (TB) over six years, thos... Read More

Microbe lives on lab-grown proteins

Synthetic proteins designed in the lab—using genetic sequences never before seen in nature—work much like the real thing to sustain life.

“What we have here are molecular machines that function quite well within a living organism even though they were designed from scratch and expressed from ... Read More

Measles virus makes 'ball-room dance' type movements to spread

Proteins on the surface of a cell twist a viral protein into position, allowing the virus to start infection and cause Measles, all in a movement as graceful as a ballroom dance, say Mayo Clinic researchers.

A team led by Roberto Cattaneo, a Mayo molecular biologist, has described the crucial... Read More

H1N1 Pandemic Flu Points to Vaccine Strategy for Multiple Flu Strains

The search for a universal flu vaccine has received a boost from a surprising source: the 2009 H1N1 pandemic flu strain. Using blood samples from patients infected with the 2009 H1N1 strain, researchers developed antibodies that could bind H1N1 viruses from the last decade, as well as the 1918 f... Read More
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