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A new type of enveloped virus?

All known virus particles can be placed into one of two general categories: enveloped or non-enveloped. Viruses that fall into the former category are characterized by a lipid membrane derived from the host cell, and one or more nuclecapsid proteins that interact with the viral genome. A virus t... Read More

Blocking the malaria 'burglar'

Development of an effective vaccine for malaria is a step closer following identification of a key pathway used by the malaria parasite to infect human cells. The discovery, by researchers at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, provides a new vaccine target through which infection with the dead... Read More

Another deadly challenge for the sea otter

Pity the poor sea otter.

It's been a struggle for the furry, button-nosed critter to make a comeback since being hunted nearly to extinction along California's coast.

They get chomped by great white sharks. They must scrounge in overexploited waters to find enough shellfish to eat. Their i... Read More

Yeast Studies Hint at New Ways to Exploit Cancer Cells’ Excess Genes

Genetic mutations that supercharge a cellular garbage disposal may explain why cancer cells can thrive even as their genetic material multiplies out of control, suggests new research by Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Angelika Amon. Though performed in yeast cells, the work may one... Read More

TWiP 16 Letters

Tom writes:

Dear Mr. Racaniello and Dick,

Thanks for TWIV and TWIP as both are great shows. Such a give and take of history, information and humor. Stumbled across TWIP several weeks ago and gave it a try. My only disappointment was there were not many podc... Read More

Whooping cough epidemic suggests bacteria are adapting

Nine babies have died in California, and four in Australia, so far, in the worst epidemic of whooping cough in rich countries since vaccination became widespread in the 1950s. The main cause is a lack of re-vaccination, but the bacterium may also be adapting to beat vaccines.

Vaccination prot... Read More

Arctic Soil Study Turns Up Surprising Results

Across the globe, the diversity of plant and animal species generally increases from the North and South Poles towards the Equator but surprisingly that rule isn't true for soil bacteria, according to a new study by Queen's University biology professor Paul Grogan.

"It appears that the rules ... Read More

TWiP 16: Giardia

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Vincent and Dickson review the life cycle and pathogenesis of the flagellated protozoan parasite Giardia lamblia.

Download  Read More

Inside the Mind's Eye: Communicating Science in a New Media Era

Blogs, podcasts, and other new media outlets have changed the way people get their news. Immediate access to information presents new opportunities as well as challenges for science communication. Join Carl Zimmer, science writer for the New York Times and host of MicrobeWorld's Meet the Scienti... Read More

"Microbial Communities as Drivers of Ecosystem Complexity" Keystone Symposia

The main purpose of this symposium is to assemble the leaders in the field of environmental microbial ecology and the human microbiome to stimulate interaction and collaboration. Session topics will address every aspect of the study of microbial communities, from microbial surveys, bioinformatic... Read More

A drug against AIDS could be effective against the herpes virus

Scientists at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) headed by the coordinator of the Structural and Computational Biology Programme, Miquel Coll, have published a new study that demonstrates that raltegravir, the drug approved in 2007 for the treatment of AIDS that is sold by... Read More

Structure That Allows Bacteria to Resist Drugs Identified

A research team led by Edward Yu of Iowa State University and the Ames Laboratory has discovered the crystal structures of pumps that remove heavy metal toxins from bacteria, making them resistant to antibiotics.

The findings are published in the Sept. 23 issue of the journal Nature.

Yu --... Read More

Discovery may pave way for new approaches to prevent infections in the womb

Researchers funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have established in mice the mechanism that detects and responds to the presence of bacteria in the womb - a discovery that opens up the possibility of new preventative treatments for diseases like pelvic in... Read More

ASM is looking for input from medical microbiologist to propose sessions for 2011 General Meeting

When the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) holds the 111th General Meeting in May 2011, participants will experience a redesigned conference with science and scientists at the forefront.

A major change for the medical microbiology community is the introduction of the Medical Microbiolog... Read More

High blood sugar levels increase infection risk from general surgery

High blood sugar levels can increase the risk of surgical site infections in patients having general surgery, researchers report.

Doctors have long been aware that people with diabetes are more prone to surgical infections, and the relationship between high blood sugar and increased risk of i... Read More

Mice Engrafted With Human Immune Cells May Provide Clues to Better Prevention and Treatment of Typhoid Fever

Better treatments and prevention for typhoid fever may emerge from a laboratory model that has just been developed for the disease. The model is based on transplanting human immune stem cells from umbilical cord blood into mice that are susceptible to infections.

The transplanted cells live a... Read More

Ape dung reveals gorilla origin of malaria

Humans may have started out malaria-free then caught the disease from gorillas, an analysis of ape faeces suggests.

Malaria is one of our most devastating diseases. Apes carry related malaria-causing parasites, so biologists believed humans were already infected when they split from other gre... Read More

Clues to Common Food Poisoning: Salmonella Creates Environment in Human Intestines to Foster Its Own Growth

A study led by researchers at UC Davis has found how the bacteria Salmonella enterica -- a common cause of food poisoning -- exploits immune response in the human gut to enhance its own reproductive and transmission success. The strategy gives Salmonella a growth advantage over the beneficial b... Read More

How Does a Pathogen go From Temp to Full-time? Parallel Evolution in P. aeruginosa

Once Pseudomonas aeruginosa colonizes the lungs of a cystic fibrosis patient, it begins transforming itself from a squatter into a fully-invested resident, eventually establishing a chronic airway infection. A study just released by mBio tracked the gene expression patterns of P. aeruginosa dur... Read More

Scientists uncover process enabling toxoplasmosis parasite to survive homelessness

Parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii invade host cells, replicate and then must exit to find new host cells to invade. Traveling outside their host cell exposes the parasites to environmental stresses that limit how long they can remain viable while searching for new host cells.

The researcher... Read More
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