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How a Young Boy, a Cow and a Milkmaid Helped to Conquer Smallpox [Video]

If you aren’t familiar with the TEDEd series of animated videos, you should be. The series pairs professional educators with top-notch animators to create short video “lessons” on a huge variety of topics in science, medicine and history.
 The latest episode features several of the early attempt... Read More

Virus-induced fever might change bacteria from commensal to pathogen

Neisseria meningitidis may cause septicemia (bacteria in the blood) and meningitis (infection of the membrane surrounding the brain), but the bacterium colonizes the nasopharynx in 10-20% of the human population without causing disease. Although understanding how the bacterium changes from a com... Read More

RI Hospital study measures impact of education, information on hand hygiene compliance

How often do you clean your hands? A study at Rhode Island Hospital observed staff on 161,526 occasions to monitor how often they cleaned their hands (ie, hand hygiene) between July 2008 to December 2012 and found that hand hygiene compliance improved from 60 percent to 89 percent. The study is ... Read More

Listeria’s resistance to disinfectants

Prevention of listeriosis relies on killing the causative agent, normally the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, in dairies and other food-processing facilities. A number of disinfectants are used for this purpose, most often quaternary ammonium compounds such as benzalkonium chloride (BC). Unfor... Read More

HIV -- Geneticists map human resistance to AIDS

The key to future HIV treatment could be hidden right in our own genes. Everyone who becomes infected deploys defense strategies, and some even manage to hold the virus at bay without any therapy at all. This immune system struggle leaves its mark within the pathogen itself – genetic mutations t... Read More

U.N. Confirms Polio Outbreak in Syria

United Nations officials confirmed an outbreak of polio among children in Syria on Tuesday, lending urgency to plans for vaccination campaigns there and in nearby countries to try to halt the spread of the disease.

Tests confirmed polio in 10 out of 22 children in Deir al-Zour Province in nor... Read More

MRSA declines are sustained in veterans hospitals nationwide

Five years after implementing a national initiative to reduce methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) rates in Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers, MRSA cases have continued to decline, according to a study in the November issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the offi... Read More

Microbiome in gut, mouth, and skin of low birth weight infants differentiate over first weeks after birth

Low birth weight infants are host to numerous microorganisms immediately after birth, and the microbiomes of their mouths and gut start out very similar but differentiate significantly by day 15 according to a study in mBio this week. Researchers from Stanford University and the University of Pi... Read More

$400K gift to CSHL, MIT, UCSF, Davidson for advanced technology courses for biological scientists

Princeton Professor David Botstein pledges funds awarded to him from 2013 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences

Cold Spring Harbor, NY – Dr. David Botstein, until recently director of Princeton’s Lewis-Sigler Institute announced today his decision to donate $400,000 to four U.S. academic instit... Read More

Researchers discover a new protein fold with a transport tunnel

The protein LIMP-2 is vital for both humans and animals. If it is absent – due, for example, to a hereditary disease – substances of an unknown nature, probably lipids, accumulate in the organism. Up to now, scientists were unsure what the protein looks like and how exactly it functions. Privatd... Read More

Changes in the Field Can Cut Food Contamination

Small shifts in agricultural practices can increase or reduce the risk of salmonella and listeria contamination on produce, new research shows.

For example, applying manure within a year of harvesting produce boosts the odds of contaminating a field with salmonella, which is the biggest singl... Read More

HPV Strains Affecting African-American Women Differ from Vaccines

Two subtypes of human papillomavirus (HPV) prevented by vaccines are half as likely to be found in African-American women as in white women with precancerous cervical lesions, according to researchers at Duke Medicine.

The findings, presented on Oct. 28, 2013, at the 12th annual International... Read More

Curbing antibiotics on farms taking too long: Our view (USA Today Editorial)

Want to ensure that miracle drugs can no longer perform miracles?

Then do what some physicians and industrial livestock farmers have done for years: Overprescribe antibiotics to people, and use them cavalierly in farm animals to promote growth or prevent infections before they even occur.

... Read More

Scientists raise alarm over spread of Chikungunya virus

Scientists fear the mosquito-borne virus, Chikungunya, which has infected tens of thousands of people in Papua New Guinea, could spread to Australia.

The virus, which originated in Africa, is similar to dengue and causes debilitating joint pain, rashes and fever.

Amid an outbreak of the vi... Read More

Obesity May Increase Risk of Clostridium Difficile Infection

Researchers from Boston Medical Center (BMC) and Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have identified obesity as a possible risk factor for clostridium difficile infection (CDI). These findings, which appear online in Emerging Infectious Diseases, may contribute to improved clinical surve... Read More

Programmed Cell Death

Gone are the days when bacteria were thought to just grow and divide and not bother to converse with one another. That simple idea has produced mountains of data and most of what we know about bacterial physiology is based on this notion. It turns out, as we know now, that this is an oversimplif... Read More

Flu vaccine cuts risk of heart attack for some patients

Getting a flu shot cuts the risk of having a heart attack or stroke by more than 50% in people who have had a heart attack, a new study shows.

"We may have identified that the flu vaccine may also be a vaccine against heart attacks," says lead author Jacob Udell, a cardiologist at Women's Col... Read More

U.S. flu activity low, but Los Angeles confirms a women died

U.S. influenza activity remains low, but Los Angeles County confirmed its first death -- a woman with an underlying medical condition, an official says.

Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding, director of public health and health officer, says the woman resided in the San Fernando Valley and the particular... Read More

Equine gut bacteria probed in pilot study

The gut bacteria in horses are being researched at the University of Pennsylvania, in a series of projects that scientists hope will ultimately benefit animal and human health.

Researchers at the university’s School of Veterinary Medicine are leading five pilot projects as part of the wider i... Read More

Bacteria work together to create energy from sunlight

Bacteria, with their ability to grow, develop and sustain themselves in a variety of conditions, could be the miniature powerhouses that could drive us to a clean energy future.

Researchers at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute are studying certain bacteria’s ability to produce el... Read More

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