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TWiV 95: Does a virus shift in the woods?

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On episode #95 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Dickson, Alan, and Rich consider the end of the influenza H1N1 pandemic, dengue in Florida, vaccinia virus infection in Brazilian monkey... Read More

TWiV 95 Letters

Jim writes:

Some listeners might benefit from reading "The Treatment; why is it so difficult to develop drugs for cancer" in the May 17, 2010 issue of The New Yorker, a nine page article (pp 68-77).


This link goes to the digital edition ( http://archives.newyorker.co... Read More

Gains in Bioscience Cause Terror Fears

Rapid advances in bioscience are raising alarms among terrorism experts that amateur scientists will soon be able to gin up deadly pathogens for nefarious uses.

Fears of bioterror have been on the rise since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, stoking tens of billions of dollars of government spendi... Read More

Nasty Bug Watch: MRSA Infections Down, But New Threat Looms

Do you want the good or the bad news on nasty, antibiotic-resistant infections?

We’re chipper today, so we’ll start with the good: Rates of invasive infections by MRSA, the infamous drug-resistant staph bacteria, appear to be on the decline, according to a study published in JAMA. CDC researc... Read More

Vibrio Bacteria Rise in Brackish Waters Can Cause Illness

The Maryland Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) and of the Environment (MDE) are reminding consumers of the potential risk of eating uncooked oysters, clams, mussels and other shellfish during the warmer months of the year. The yearly increase in Vibrio bacteria as the water tempera... Read More

Luke Jerram's viral crystals: beautiful but deadly

Artist Luke Jerram has an unusual line in creativity. He takes some of the world's deadliest diseases and turns them into grand works of art. These include large, transparent glass sculptures of viruses, such as swine flu and HIV, as well as bacteria and other infectious agents. The aim, says Je... Read More

Childhood abuse, adversity may shorten life, weaken immune response among the elderly

The emotional pains we suffer in childhood can lead to weakened immune systems later in life, according to a new study.

Based on this new research, the amount of this immune impairment even enhances that caused by the stress of caregiving later in life.

"What happens in childhood really ma... Read More

Dangerous Bacterium Hosts Genetic Remnant of Life's Distant Past

Within a dangerous stomach bacterium, Yale University researchers have discovered an ancient but functioning genetic remnant from a time before DNA existed, they report in the August 13 issue of the journal Science.

To the surprise of researchers, this RNA complex seems to play a critical rol... Read More

Antibiotics for the Prevention of Malaria

If mice are administered an antibiotic for three days and are simultaneously infected with malaria, no parasites appear in the blood and life-threatening disease is averted. In addition, the animals treated in this manner also develop robust, long-term immunity against subsequent infections.

... Read More

Illinois Researchers Use Pyrosequencing To Study Canine Intestinal Bacteria

A dog's indiscriminate taste is not always a positive trait. In fact, it often leads to gastrointestinal infections and consequent ailments such as diarrhea and vomiting that come from eating spoiled food. Others develop gastrointestinal diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases that are not ... Read More

Fears of a new superbug from Asia may be overblown, experts say

British researchers said Tuesday that a new bacterium resistant to most antibiotics is becoming more common in India and Pakistan and that it has been identified in 37 people in the U.K., primarily among people who have traveled to that region to receive cheaper medical care. U.S. authorities sa... Read More

Experts Predict 'Normal' H1N1 Flu Season This Year

Despite the current lull in H1N1 influenza activity, experts say it's likely that the Northern Hemisphere will see a new, but still mild, wave of the virus this flu season.

The virus will continue to circulate, said Dr. Scott Lillibridge, executive director of the National Center for Emergenc... Read More

Thomas C. Peebles, physician who isolated the measles virus, dies at 89

Thomas C. Peebles, 89, who isolated the measles virus, setting the stage for development of the vaccine that freed the world from the deadly scourge, died July 8 at his home in Port Charlotte, Fla. The cause of death was not reported.

Dr. Peebles also led a team that showed the tetanus vaccin... Read More

Paint that discourages bacteria has been discovered

Researchers at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York have combined the very new with the very old to develop a paint that can kill even the most resistant bacteria.

Hospitals around the world spend billions of dollars a year to maintain sterile environments. Medical equipment, bedd... Read More

XMRV not detected in seminal plasma

How XMRV, the new human retrovirus associated with prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome, might be transmitted among humans is unknown. The finding that the virus can be detected in prostate cancer cells, and in prostatic secretions of men with prostate cancer suggests that it could be se... Read More

Human clinical trials begin on dengue virus vaccine

Human clinical trials have begun on a tetravalent vaccine candidate to protect against the mosquito-borne dengue virus.

The vaccine has been in development for the last decade by scientists at the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The trial... Read More

Sharing of Data Leads to Progress on Alzheimer’s

In 2003, a group of scientists and executives from the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the drug and medical-imaging industries, universities and nonprofit groups joined in a project that experts say had no precedent: a collaborative effort to find the biological ... Read More

NIH launches effort to define markers of human immune responses

A new nationwide research initiative has been launched to define changes in the human immune system, using human and not animal studies, in response to infection or to vaccination. Six U. S.-based Human Immune Phenotyping Centers will receive a total of $100 million over five years to conduct th... Read More

Popping Cells Surprise Living Circuits Creators

Under the microscope, the bacteria start dividing normally, two cells become four and then eight and so on. But then individual cells begin "popping," like circus balloons being struck by darts.

This phenomenon, which surprised the Duke University bioengineers who captured it on video, turns ... Read More

'Fearless' aphids ignore warnings, get eaten by ladybugs

If your building has 10 false fire alarms one morning, it is human nature to ignore it when it goes off for the 11th time.

Similarly, when aphids are raised on plants genetically engineered to emit a compound that warns surrounding aphids of a predator, they become accustomed to the chemical ... Read More
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