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Cytomegalovirus protein pUL71 works like a microscopic UPS Store

It’s the leading infectious cause of birth defects: every year in the U.S., infection with human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) leaves more than 5,000 children with permanent problems like hearing loss or developmental disabilities, according to the CDC (http://www.cdc.gov/cmv/trends-stats.html). Resea... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 21 - Bacteria Belie Building Block Basics

This episode: Bacteria unlike any other known life form!

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Are there viruses of arsenic-utilizing bacteria?

A salt-loving (halophilic) bacterium which can grow in medium containing arsenic instead of phosphorus has been selected from the microbial community of Mono Lake in California. Arsenic (As) is a chemical analog of phosphorus and is usually toxic because it can enter metabolic pathways in the pl... Read More

CDC sees solid flu vaccine uptake so far

Uptake of seasonal flu vaccine has been encouraging so far, and with plenty of vaccine still available and most of the flu season still to come, the nation is in good position to boost immunization rates, officials from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today.

Flu a... Read More

Early Detection Is Possible for Prion Diseases, Study Suggests

A fast test to diagnose fatal brain conditions such as mad cow disease in cattle and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans could be on the horizon, according to a new study from National Institutes of Health scientists. Researchers at NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NI... Read More

One creature's poison is another one's meat

NASA recently held a press conference announcing the first demonstration that organisms could use arsenic in place of phosphorus in their cells. Not surprisingly, science fiction got there first.

Kirk told [Bones] about the tabekh sauce. Bones nodded at that and said, "Yes, I've heard of ... Read More

New Meningitis Vaccine Brings Hope for Africa

For over a century, epidemics of bacterial meningitis have swept across Africa, arriving with the dry harmattan winds to kill with terrifying speed. But on Monday, a drive starts to inoculate tens of millions of West Africans with a new vaccine in what scientists hope will be the beginning of th... Read More

New hints on how helminth worms heal ulcerative colitis

A 34-year-old Northern California man with ulcerative colitis who decided to treat himself by swallowing parasitic worms has provided new information about how the worms might help to soothe and heal a variety of intestinal inflammations, researchers reported Wednesday. A growing body of evidenc... Read More

Counts in Haiti of Cholera Cases and Victims Could Be Doubled

United Nations teams in Haiti believe that the cholera epidemic’s official numbers of 1,800 deaths and nearly 81,000 people infected could be double that because of difficulties in reporting, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the General Assembly on Friday. Mr. Ban also said there was an urgent... Read More

HIV's slow retreat

The timing of the pope’s much-discussed change of position on the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV (he will now allow prostitutes to use them without fear of hellfire) was surely no coincidence. He made it on November 21st—ten days before World AIDS Day and two before UNAIDS, the Unit... Read More

TWiV 110 Letters

Jay writes:

Looks like the polio outbreak in the Congo is pretty bad.


http://www.unicef.org/me... Read More

TWiV 110: CSI virology

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On episode #110 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Alan, Rich, and Dickson discuss bacteria that can utilize arsenic in place of phosphorus, the passing of Frank Fenner, polio outbreak i... Read More

UIC researcher unveils new approach to blocking malaria transmission

University of Illinois at Chicago researcher Dr. John Quigley will describe a promising new approach to blocking malaria transmission during the American Society of Hematology's annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Quigley will speak at a press briefing Saturday, Dec. 4, at 8 a.m. at the Orange Co... Read More

The Future of Metabolic Engineering: Designer Molecules, Cells and Microorganisms

Will we one day design and create molecules, cells and microorganisms that produce specific chemical products from simple, readily-available, inexpensive starting materials? Will the synthetic organic chemistry now used to produce pharmaceutical drugs, plastics and a host of other products event... Read More

Fecal Bacteria Post-RYGB Reflect Metabolic Change

Intestinal microbiology rapidly changes after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), adapting to the starvation-like environment, with increases in some bacteria reflecting decreasing obesity-related inflammation and some changes differing by diabetes status, according to research published in the Dec... Read More

MRSA rates vary widely in nursing homes

A U.S. researcher finds hope in the wide variance in nursing home residents who carry the bacteria Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Susan Huang of the University of California-Irvine Medical Center says the high overall levels of MRSA are reason for concern but the variation in ra... Read More

How cannabis dampens the immune system

Cannabis is a double-edged sword: by dampening the immune system, it provides relief from inflammatory diseases, but this also increase the risk of infections. Now we know how it does this: its active ingredient targets a newly discovered type of cell that lowers the immune response.

Prakash ... Read More

Videos of cells could replace cancer biopsies

Individual blood cells flying through capillaries can now be viewed in real time. The technique, called stimulated raman scattering (SRS) microscopy, generates videos of moving cells deep inside tissue and could replace biopsies in the diagnosis of cancers.

The technique works by shining lase... Read More

Scientists Ratchet Up Understanding of Cellular Protein Factory

Theoretical biologists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have used a New Mexico supercomputer to aid an international research team in untangling another mystery related to ribosomes -- those enigmatic jumbles of molecules that are the protein factories of living cells. The research, published D... Read More

Love is a gut (bacteria) feeling for fruit flies

Matchmakers: In Irish they are Babhdóir, in Yiddish they are Sadchen. For fruit flies, the matchmakers might be gut bugs.

Fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) with the same set of intestinal bacteria preferred mating with each other, discovered professors Eugene Rosenberg, Daniel Segel, and ... Read More
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