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Toxicology of the Tiny

Already incorporated into consumer products ranging from baseball bats and clothing to sunscreens and toothpaste, engineered nanoparticles — ENPs — hold great promise in such areas as energy, pollution remediation, medicine and materials science. The nanotechnology industry is projected to be wo... Read More

Detecting disease with a little TLC

A simple, low cost method to detect toxins from the organism causing the wasting disease Buruli ulcer has been developed by US scientists.

Buruli ulcer is a wasting disease caused by organisms called Mycobacterium Ulcerans, which are in the same group as the organisms causing leprosy and tub... Read More

Chemists Discover How Antiviral Drugs Bind to and Block Flu Virus

Antiviral drugs block influenza A viruses from reproducing and spreading by attaching to a site within a proton channel necessary for the virus to infect healthy cells, according to a research project led by Iowa State University's Mei Hong and published in the Feb. 4 issue of the journal Nature... Read More

Molecule Allows Malaria Parasite to Commandeer Red Blood Cells

Two groups of Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) scientists working independently have identified a critical enzyme that allows the malaria-causing parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, to take over and thrive in human red blood cells. The enzyme plasmepsin V (PMV) is a gatekeeper inside the ... Read More

'Living beach ball' is giant single cell

In the late summer of 1882, a ship called the Triton cruised the chilly seas north of Scotland. As it went, it dredged the sea bed for specimens of unknown creatures, under the guidance of the oceanographer John Murray.

Two of the specimens were strange enough that Murray sent them to his col... Read More

Now playing: Viral plaque formation

One of the most important procedures in virology is measuring the virus titer – the concentration of viruses in a sample. A widely used approach for determining the quantity of infectious virus is the plaque assay. In this technique, the spread of progeny viruses released by individually infecte... Read More

MTS43 - Rob Knight - The Microbes That Inhabit Us

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In this episode, I speak to Rob Knight... Read More

Study Finds Bacteria in Packaged Greens

In the latest analysis of packaged leafy greens, Consumer Reports found that nearly 40 percent of samples tested contained bacteria consistent with poor sanitation and fecal contamination.

Leafy greens have been under particular scrutiny since late 2009, when the Center for Science in the Pu... Read More

Vaccine-Autism Study Is Retracted

A major British medical journal on Tuesday retracted a flawed study linking the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine to autism and bowel disease.

The retraction by The Lancet comes a day after a competing medical journal, BMJ, issued an embargoed commentary calling for The Lancet to formally re... Read More

Progress Is Slow on Moving Surplus Swine Flu Vaccine to Countries That Need It

There is now so much unused swine flu vaccine in the world that rich nations, including the United States, are trying to get rid of their surpluses. But the world’s poorest countries — a few still facing the brunt of the pandemic — are receiving very little of it.

Of the 95 countries that to... Read More

Why Is It So Difficult to Eradicate Salmonella?

Feed contaminated by salmonella bacteria is a familiar and costly problem for the animal feed industry all over the world. Some types of salmonella have succeeded in establishing themselves in feed and fish meal factories and have persisted there for several years because it has proved impossibl... Read More

Virus Pulls Bait and Switch on Insect Vectors

A common plant virus lures aphids to infected plants by making the plants more attractive, but when the insects taste the plant, they quickly leave for tastier, healthier ones. In the process, the insects rapidly transmit the disease, according to Penn State entomologists.

"The virus improves... Read More

Dogs May Provide an Excellent Model for Understanding Human Complex Diseases

Researchers at Uppsala University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) have found several genes that lead to increased risk for an SLE-like autoimmune disorder in dogs. This is the first time scientists have found genes behind such a complex disease.

The study is being pu... Read More

How Virulent Food-Borne Bacteria Listeria Monocytogenes Induces Infected Immune Cells to Sabotage Their Own Defensive Response

Researchers at National Jewish Health have discovered how the virulent food-borne bacteria Listeria monocytogenes induces infected immune cells to sabotage their own defensive response. The studies offer insight into host-pathogen interactions and suggest potential therapeutic targets for food p... Read More

Why Asexual Organisms Are on Their Last Legs

Scientists who study how organisms reproduce know that asexual reproduction is more efficient — for one thing, it’s about twice as fast as sexual reproduction, since every offspring can produce more.

But if the asexual way is so efficient, why do almost all animal species reproduce sexually, ... Read More

Seattle Group Paying F.D.A. for Work on a Pneumococcal Disease Vaccine

A nonprofit organization is paying the Food and Drug Administration to help develop a better vaccine against pneumococcal disease in poor countries.

In the last decade, such vaccines have sharply decreased hospitalizations for the disease in the United States. The bacteria, Streptococcus pneu... Read More

Of Wines and Vines - Managing malolactic fermentation

Wine lovers will delight in this guest blog post on Small Things Considered and adaptation from an article in the January 2010 issue of Wines and Vines by John Ingraham, a retired UC Davis Professor of Microbiology, on how he and his colleagues tamed the "capricious and independent" cycle of mal... Read More

Unique glass microspheres show promise for medicine, energy

Networks of interconnected pores in the shells of the Savannah River National Laboratory’s Porous Walled Hollow Glass Microspheres give the tiny “microballoons” unique capabilities for potential use in targeted drug delivery, hydrogen storage and other uses.

Hollow glass microspheres have be... Read More

Tobacco plant-based treatment thwarts West Nile virus, says study

No vaccine currently exists for West Nile Virus, but a new therapeutic made from tobacco plants has been shown to arrest the infection, according to a new study.

Elderly individuals and those with depressed immunity are particularly vulnerable to West Nile, a mosquito-borne illness that can c... Read More

Ireland - At least 50% of antibiotic use in hospitals is inappropriate

At least 50 per cent of antibiotic use in hospitals is inappropriate, according to a new report from the national Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) which yesterday published guidelines on proper antimicrobial stewardship in hospitals in Ireland.

The report warns that in addition to... Read More

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