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Scientists Propose New Explanation For Flu Virus Antigenic Drift

Influenza viruses evade infection-fighting antibodies by constantly changing the shape of their major surface protein. This shape-shifting, called antigenic drift, is why influenza vaccines -- which are designed to elicit antibodies matched to each year's circulating virus strains -- must be ref... Read More

Zombie Creatures: What Happens When Animals Are Possessed by a Parasitic Puppet Master?

From fungi to flies, some parasitic species have figured out how to control their host's behavior to get what they need. See what happens when bugs go really bad with this slide show from Scientific American. Read More

Timeline: The secret history of swine flu

Six months ago, swine flu emerged as a massive threat to global health. It seemed to come out of nowhere, but this timeline explains how the origins of the H1N1 pandemic go back more than a century. Read More

Autoimmune disease cells harnessed to fight cancer

Autoimmune disease has devastating consequences for healthy tissue. Now, in mice, the same cells that can drive the body to destroy its own tissue have been used to fight cancerMovie Camera.

The cells are a recently discovered type of immune cell called Th17. These cells play a key role in au... Read More

Swine Flu Hit Millions in Spring, Agency Says

There were 1.8 million to 5.7 million cases of swine flu in the country during the epidemic’s first spring wave, according to a new estimate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Thursday.

From 9,000 to 21,000 people were hospitalized as a result, and up to 800 died fr... Read More

Doctors Kill Parasitic Worms By Poisoning the Bacteria in Their Innards

In some African villages, nearly everyone is infected with Mansonella perstans, a parasitic worm that’s remarkably hard to kill. It’s resistant to standard anti-worm medications, but researchers have learned that an old antibiotic can vanquish the tiny beasts — in a roundabout way.

The parasi... Read More

Gastroenterologists explore relationship between bacteria in the gut and breast cancer

The human body contains billions of microorganisms, and microbial cells found in the human gut are estimated to outnumber human cells by ten-to-one in healthy adults. However, little is known about the ways in which these minute life forms influence health and disease.

That is why gastroenter... Read More

Could H1N1 take down the Internet?

An article in The Washington Post considers the possible impact the H1N1 pandemic could have on the Internet.

"As the spread of the H1N1 flu keeps more Americans away from work and school, a federal report warns that all those people logging on to the Web from home could overwhelm Internet ne... Read More

Scientists Discover Influenza's Achilles Heel: Antioxidants

In an article appearing in the November 2009 print issue of the FASEB Journal, they show that antioxidants -- the same substances found in plant-based foods -- might hold the key in preventing the flu virus from wreaking havoc on our lungs.

"The recent outbreak of H1N1 influenza and the rapid... Read More

Scientists Use World's Fastest Supercomputer To Create The Largest HIV Evolutionary Tree

Supporting Los Alamos National Laboratory's role in the international Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI) consortium, researchers are using the Roadrunner supercomputer to analyze vast quantities of genetic sequences from HIV infected people in the hope of zeroing in on possible vacci... Read More

Science and Knitting?

The Manchester Science Festival 2009 is hosting "The Big Microbe Knit." A day of creativity, knitting micro-organisms such as swine flu, salmonella and the common cold. Learn about the microbes we encounter in our everyday lives and some of the more uncommon ones.

But if you can't make it to ... Read More

National Security in the Bio-Era

Global pandemics and war have long shaped human history. But due to our unprecedented ability to intervene in the spread and containment of disease as well as the recovery from injury, national security must increasingly be approached from a cellular and even a molecular level. In this series of... Read More

Rot-resistant Wheat Could Save Farmers Millions

CSIRO researchers have identified wheat and barley lines resistant to Crown Rot -- a disease that costs Australian wheat and barley farmers $79 million in lost yield every year.

Crown Rot, which is a chronic problem throughout the Australian wheat belt, is caused by the fungus Fusarium.

Dr... Read More

Pumpkin Skin May Scare Away Germs

The skin of that pumpkin you carve into a Jack-o'-Lantern to scare away ghosts and goblins on Halloween contains a substance that could put a scare into microbes that cause millions of cases of yeast infections in adults and infants each year. That's the conclusion of a new study.

In the stud... Read More

Swine flu: Eight myths that could endanger your life

With the second wave of the H1N1 pandemic underway around the world, this article is a nice resource for dispelling popular myths that surround the flu and the vaccine. Read More

US swine flu vaccine too late to beat autumn wave

President Barack Obama's decision last week to label swine flu a national emergency will likely increase demand for a vaccine that is already in short supply. Yet by the time large amounts of vaccine arrive, it may be too late to stop most infections.

On 23 October, Tom Frieden, head of the C... Read More

Northwestern to Start $13.6M NCI Center

Northwestern University has won a $13.6 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to establish a center that will study the roles genes play in cancer, Northwestern said Tuesday.

The five years of funding will go to start the Northwestern Physical Sciences-Oncology Center (PS-OC), one ... Read More

When Ants Attack: Chemicals That Trigger Aggression In Argentine Ants Synthesized

Experiments led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have demonstrated that normally friendly ants can turn against each other by exploiting the chemical cues they use to distinguish colony-mates from rivals.

The new study, to be published on October 28, in the open-acces... Read More

Do Women Need Such Big Flu Shots?

The emergence of the H1N1 swine flu has added urgency to what has become an annual ritual for millions of Americans: getting a flu shot. The good news is that scientists have developed a vaccine against the H1N1 virus. But it is taking much longer than expected to produce the hundreds of million... Read More

New treatment gives hope for serious horse disease

A research team from the Department of Microbiology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) has developed a breakthrough vaccine for the highly contagious horse disease strangles, caused by the Streptococcus equi bacterium. The results of the study, published in the journal Publ... Read More

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