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MacArthur "Genius" Grant winner Bassler speaks bacteria language

Princeton microbiology professor Bonnie Bassler, 2002 MacArthur "Genius" Grant recipient and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, spoke to a crowd of faculty and students Tuesday at Smith.

Bassler's talk, titled "Tiny Conspiracies: Cell-to-Cell Communication in Bacteria," addressed t... Read More

How To Sell Germ Warfare: Can hand sanitizers like Purell really stop people from getting the flu?

Our homes and workplaces, we're told, are trying to kill us. Recently, a University of Arizona microbiologist named Charles Gerba, author of hundreds of scientific papers about household microbes, gave a terrifying lecture at the offices of the Food and Drug Administration. Gerba—who, incidental... Read More

Swine flu pandemic has not peaked, the WHO says

It is "premature" to declare that the swine flu epidemic has peaked, a panel of experts convened by the World Health Organization said Tuesday. The panel had been widely expected to say that the outbreak of pandemic H1N1 influenza had passed its peak and was now tailing off. The experts cautione... Read More

Why Won't Anyone Clean Me?

For its new fridge, Whirlpool Corp. spent months inventing a shelf with microscopic etching so it can hold a can of spilled soda.

The technology is just one weapon against a dirty kitchen secret: Most Americans clean their fridges only once or twice a year.

Now, appliance makers like Whir... Read More

The real Avatar: ocean bacteria act as 'superorganism'

(note - this article covers the same research as http://www.microbeworld.org/index.php?option=com_jlibrary&view=article&id=2864, but offers a different perspective)

In the movie Avatar, the Na'avi people of Pandora plug themselves into a network that links all elements of the biosphere, from ... Read More

Bacteria drive electric mud?

Underwater mud can conduct electricity, possibly with the help of bacteria in the sediment -- a result that helps explain the large amount of electrical activity researchers have detected in ocean sediments, a study published in this week's in Nature reports.

The finding could change how rese... Read More

FDA Approves New Version Of Pfizer's Prevnar Vaccine

The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved a new version of the widely used children's vaccine Prevnar.

The current Prevnar vaccine is given to infants and toddlers to prevent against seven strains of bacteria known as streptococcus pneumoniae that cause a range of illnesses like ... Read More

Does the U.S. Produce Too Many Scientists?

For years, Americans have heard blue-ribbon commissions and major industrialists bemoan a shortage of scientists caused by an inadequate education system. A lack of high-tech talent, these critics warn, so threatens the nation’s continued competitiveness that the U.S. must drastically upgrade it... Read More

Fine Reading: Yet Another Reason to Appreciate Fungi

Writing in 'Small Things Considered', Elio Schaechter explores how fungi have shaped our understanding of mammalian immunology.

This blog, known as it for taking up the cause of the underdog, was fortified by reading How Fungi Have Shaped Our Understanding of Mammalian Immunology in a recent ... Read More

Raw Milk Recall Underway in WA

A regulated raw milk diary in Washington State Tuesday recalled its raw fluid milk because it may be contaminated with dangerous Escherichia coli bacteria (E. coli).

The recall came after the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) found raw milk at Jackie's Jersey Milk was contamin... Read More

Gene Regulation: Can We Stomach It? New Technique Fights Against Cause of Peptic Ulcer Disease and Gastric Cancer

A breakthrough in decoding gene regulation of Helicobacter pylori has been made by an international research team led by Jörg Vogel of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin. Using a newly developed sequencing technique, the researchers discovered 60 small ribonucleic acids (sR... Read More

Cruise line: 350 sick aboard ship in Caribbean

About 350 people who got sick a week into a Caribbean cruise were responding well to medicine, the cruise line said Tuesday. Celebrity Cruise spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez said 326 of the more than 1,800 passengers on the Celebrity Mercury began complaining Sunday of upset stomachs, vomiting and... Read More

Osprey Biotechnics chock full of useful bacteria

At Osprey Biotechnics, about 45 employees are padding around in lab coats in the same sprawling, one-story complex where the company got its start back in 1990.

They research and develop hardy, fast-growing bacteria that are then grown by the zillions to accomplish specific tasks for humans. ... Read More

Arsenic from an Old Place

Imagine a planet with an atmosphere lacking oxygen, its landscape dotted with volcanic craters, caustic oceans, and basins of brine. Yet, amazingly, these oceans and brines teem with life, albeit very different from our own-microorganisms that breathe arsenic. That description may describe the E... Read More

Flu lives longer in drier air

Doctors (and patients) have long known that influenza in temperate areas is more common in the winter, and that some winters are worse for flu than others. Now they know why – drier winter air keeps the flu virus alive longer and the drier the air, the more flu.

The researchers showed that h... Read More

Warning: Hospitals may be hazardous to your health

How hazardous?

A study published in Monday’s edition of Archives of Internal Medicine estimates that 48,000 people died in 2006 after developing sepsis or pneumonia during their hospital stays. Altogether, such infections forced patients to spend an extra 2.3 million days in the hospital and ... Read More

What's Going On with Peer Review?

This past week I found myself asking this question quite a few times. What is going on with the peer review process? Is anyone actually reviewing the papers getting into journals anymore?
Peer review is a process that is meant to ensure that only high quality scientific publications make it to ... Read More

Mouse With Human Liver: New Model for Treatment of Liver Disease

How do you study-and try to cure in the laboratory-an infection that only humans can get? A team led by Salk Institute researchers does it by generating a mouse with an almost completely human liver. This "humanized" mouse is susceptible to human liver infections and responds to human drug treat... Read More

Canecutter's Disease on the Rise Among Travelers

A team led by PhD researcher Dr Colleen Lau from the School of Population Health at the University of Queensland, has discovered the disease, known medically as leptospirosis, was traditionally a concern for males working in the agricultural and livestock industries, as it is contracted from con... Read More

Should Japanese Arcades Worry About 3D Goggle Bacteria?

Upcoming arcade title Metal Gear Arcade is in 3D. If this game is a hit, it could start a 3D arcade gaming trend. And just like 3D Hollywood films shown in theaters, gamers wear 3D goggles.

Just think of all the people who have worn the goggles before you! Like this lady. Her nose grease and ... Read More

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