Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium responsible for severe chest infections, can become tolerant to the commonly used mild disinfectant benzalkonium chloride. The bug develops mutations that enable it to expel the disinfectant. Worse still, tolerant strains can also shrug off ciprofloxacin, a fl... Read More
Parents who've ever suspected their youngster had an ear infection might have been inclined to call the doctor, schedule a visit and expect an antibiotics prescription.
That's been the ritual. But no more.
"Until eight or nine years ago, we'd treat each ear infection at diagnosis," said Dr... Read More
The year ahead is shaping up to be one long celebration for the world's oldest science academy. The Royal Society formed on a dreary night in London 350 years ago, when the acquisition of scientific knowledge was little more than a hobby for amateurs and polymaths. As part of the celebrations, w... Read More
So what's the big story of 2010 going to be? What's your best bet? Is it the third wave of the H1N1 virus, or the second wave of the financial collapse as a raft of commercial loans paper hits the fiscal rocks? Is it the continued rise of India and China as commercial superpowers, or is this the... Read More
The genetic fingerprints of germs are to be mapped to open a new front in the battle against hospital superbugs.
Scientists have embarked on an ambitious project to read the complete genetic codes of pathogens taken from hundreds of people, so that DNA can be used to track the spread of infec... Read More
When combined, a virus that targets cancer cells and a commonly used cancer drug have been found to significantly extend the life expectancy and shrink the tumor of rats carrying malignant gliomas, an aggressive brain tumor, say researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and McGill University in ... Read More
Although it is too early to write the obituary for swine flu, medical experts, already assessing how the first pandemic in 40 years has been handled, have found that while luck played a part, a series of rapid but conservative decisions by federal officials worked out better than many had dared ... Read More
From jellyfish stirring the oceans, to a new human ancestor, to new vaccines for dengue fever, these stories and 7 more made Wired's "list of kick-ass science in 2009." Read More
On episode #64 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Alan, and Rich discuss ten compelling virology stories of 2009.
Host links Read More
University of Delaware researchers have uncovered a novel means of conquest employed by a common reed, Phragmites australis, which ranks as one of the world’s most invasive plants.
Phragmites is a problem in Nebraska rivers and streams, such as the Platte.
Last October, Platte Valley Weed ... Read More
France has joined other European countries in selling off millions of its emergency swine flu vaccines after buying far more than it needed to fight the outbreak, the government said Sunday.
"We started with a plan for two-dose vaccinations but since one dose is sufficient we can start to re-... Read More
Q I was reading about the causes of miscarriage in dogs and a bacteria called Brucella was mentioned. I had heard of it in cattle but not in dogs, is it common and is it dangerous?
A Brucella canis is a bacterium that is a leading cause of infertility in the dog. In bitches, the first symptom... Read More
We have been warned to make sure we wash our hands properly to stop the spread of swine flu. The government's adverts show the disease spreading quickly by touch. Sneeze into your hands, they suggest, and you will leave highly infectious fingerprints everywhere you go. It is a scary prospect. Bu... Read More
In late 2007, during the early months of his faculty position at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, Benjamin tenOever faced a wrinkle in his research plans. Experienced in looking at how cells respond to viruses, he'd set his sights on microRNA and how these small molecular segmen... Read More
A bacterial coinfection with the H1N1 pandemic flu may explain the unusually high case fatality seen in Argentina earlier this year, researchers said.
Argentina had 137 deaths out of 3,056 cases between May 17 and July 16, representing a case fatality rate of 4.5%, according to Gustavo Palaci... Read More
The naturally-occurring bacterial enzyme Cocaine esterase, CocE, breaks down cocaine which reduced its addictive properties.
The discovery has been hailed as possible method of helping addicts get off the drug and could prevent deaths from overdose.
Scientists found the bacteria was only ... Read More
Disinfectants, be they hand sanitizers or industrial-strength cleaners, present a hospital's first blockade against bacterial infection. But this same weapon may be helping create stronger microbial enemies: superbugs that are resistant to disinfectants and commonly used antibiotics, scientists ... Read More
There is still no cure for the common cold, but that hasn’t stopped consumers from spending billions of dollars every year on vitamins, medicines and doctor visits. (I admit I do too, from time to time.)
“There’s a bit of magical thinking at work here,” said Dr. William Schaffner, chairman o... Read More
Once upon a time Norway was just like everyone else, fighting a losing battle against bacteria. Then one day, their pubic health system decided to fight back by limiting the use of antibiotics, and today the country is now know as the "most infection free nation in the world," according to the W... Read More
Note: Tomorrow we turn the page to 2010 and we cannot think of a better time to look ahead at the things we know for certain will be in the news of the New Year.
In discussing some of the major emerging trends, we are not making predictions but rather just using some common sense to talk abo... Read More