The New Scientist reports that the discovery of the master gene behind the front-line troops of the body's immune system could promise a host of new treatments for disease. Called E4BP4, the gene kick-starts production of natural killer (NK) cells in the bone marrow.
Mice genetically engineer... Read More
With school back in session but swine flu vaccine not yet available and various reports suggesting high fatalities from H1N1 while others say there is nothing to worry about, a New York Times reporter took to the streets wearing a $69 suit called the Pandemic Emergency Defense System manufacture... Read More
"Even if swine flu remains a mild infection, the pandemic could be the tipping point for an emergency medical system teetering on the edge.
"The worry is, the health-care delivery system could be overwhelmed by people who are sick or think they are sick," said Kim Elliott of Trust for America... Read More
Researchers have sequenced the genome of the mould that causes blight and found it keeps a huge arsenal of potato-destroying genes, ready to evolve around whatever defences taters can muster. On the plus side, the sequence also suggests ways to fight back.
Blight is caused by an oomycete or w... Read More
"Defying the expectations of experts, clinical trials are showing that the new H1N1 swine flu vaccine protects with only one dose instead of two, so the vaccine supplies now being made will go twice as far as had been predicted.
That means it should be possible to vaccinate — well before the ... Read More
A new study, co-authored by Evgeny Nudler, professor of biochemistry at New York University Langone Medical Center in Manhattan, and published online yesterday in Science, shows that stopping the creation of bacterial nitric oxide synthases (bNOS), enzymes that contribute to the production of NO... Read More
Researchers from Germany and Spain are proposing a real experiment to probe whether a virus can exist in a superposition of two quantum states. Such superpositions are typically the domain of smaller, inanimate objects such as atoms. But the team believes that their technique, using finely tuned... Read More
A medical advisory panel for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted today that the use of Gardasil to prevent HPV, a sexually transmitted disease, in males ages nine to 26 would be both safe and effective.
The panel's decision could open up a large market for Gardasil maker, Merck,... Read More
"Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have found that killer T cells -- the sentinels of the immune system – possess a hidden strength that may be used to improve vaccine design for tough-to-beat bugs, such as Staphylococcus aureus.
The new experiments show that killer T cells can atta... Read More
As public health experts warn of potential widespread outbreaks of H1N1 flu this school year, a new study from North Carolina State University shows that students do not comply with basic preventative measures as much as they think do. In other words, the kids aren't washing their hands.
"Han... Read More
In a national survey of businesses that looks at their preparations for a possible widespread H1N1 outbreak, Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers found that only one-third believe they could sustain their business without severe operational problems if half their workforce were abs... Read More
An aggressive vaccination program that first targets children and ultimately reaches 70 percent of the U.S. population would mitigate pandemic influenza H1N1 that is expected this fall, according to computer modeling and analysis of observational studies conducted by researchers at the Vaccine a... Read More
According the New York Times, "several prominent epidemiologists are warning that even though the new swine flu vaccine works much better than expected, it will still come too late to blunt the peak of this season’s pandemic.
The epidemiologists said Friday that they expected the peak to come... Read More
The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) today announced plans to launch mBio®, a new open access online journal designed to make microbiology research broadly accessible, in mid-2010. The focus of the journal will be on rapid publication of cutting-edge research spanning the entire spectrum ... Read More
Here is another great article, closing out "Fungi Week" on Elio Schaechter and Merry Youle's Small Things Considered blog.
"Huge amounts of money and effort are going into making automotive fuels using biological processes, but a fully satisfactory answer is not yet at hand. Well, fungi may c... Read More
Influenza is circulating unusually early this year with cases in all 50 states — nearly all the swine flu variety, government health officials said Friday.
The highest concentration of flu cases is in the Southeast and a few other states, Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control a... Read More
"A rare opportunity has allowed a team of biologists to evaluate corals and the essential, photosynthetic algae that live inside their cells before, during, and after a period in 2005 when global warming caused sea-surface temperatures in the Caribbean Ocean to rise.
The team, led by Penn Sta... Read More
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have traced the evolution of a species of tropical butterfly, infected with a bacterium that kills males, by comparing current butterfly populations with more than 200 museum specimens.
The bacteria, called Wolbachia, are a parasitic microbe and are k... Read More
NSF-supported researchers use synthetic biology technology to engineer the next generation of biofuels.
Jay Keasling, a professor of chemical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, is leading a team of scientists in an effort to manipulate the chemistry within bacteria so they... Read More