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Strep throat may have killed Mozart

The death of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at the age of 35 may have been caused by complications stemming from strep throat, according to a Dutch study published on Monday. Since the composer's death in 1791, there have been various theories about the cause of his untimely end, from intentio... Read More

Bacteria Take On Completely New Flat Shape To Fit Through Nanoslits

It appears that bacteria can squeeze through practically anything. In extremely small nanoslits they take on a completely new flat shape. Even in this squashed form they continue to grow and divide at normal speeds. This has been demonstrated by research carried out at TU Delft's Kavli Institute... Read More

Mango seeds may protect against deadly food bacteria

Life in the fruit bowl is no longer the pits, thanks to a University of Alberta researcher.

In research published in the latest Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researcher Christina Engels describes how the pure tannins that can be extracted from the otherwise-useless mango kernel... Read More

New 'Biofactories' Produce Rare Healing Substances

One group of scientists reported a major advance toward that goal at the 238th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS). They described the first successful method of producing the active ingredients in Devil's claw — ingredients that have made the Devil's claw a sensation in alte... Read More

US expects far fewer swine flu shots in October

The U.S. won't have nearly as much swine flu vaccine ready by mid-October as long predicted — 45 million doses instead of the anticipated 120 million, a federal official said Monday.

It's not a shortage but a delay, Health and Human Services spokesman Bill Hall said. More will arrive rapidly ... Read More

A Call From Arms - Rethinking Antibiotics

Elio Schaechter of www.smallthingsconsidered.us has a thought provoking piece on the function of bacteria and the antibiotics they produce. Could it be that antibiotics have more to do with bacterial communication then as a defense mechanism?

Snippets:

"Antibiotics are now being thought a... Read More

When Zombies Attack!!

To the best of our knowledge zombies aren't real, but if there ever is a zombie outbreak in the future we now have an epidemiological model we can use for predictive analysis. Created by several Canadian mathematicians at the University of Ottawa, "When Zombies Attack! Mathematical Modeling of ... Read More

Fungus Found In Humans Shown To Be Nimble In Mating Game

Brown University researchers have discovered that Candida albicans, a human fungal pathogen that causes thrush and other diseases, pursues same-sex mating in addition to conventional opposite-sex mating.

Scientists have observed this same-sex mode of reproduction in other fungi, but this is t... Read More

Backyard Raccoon 'Latrines' Harbor Hidden Dangers

As summer hits its stride, many Americans are taking a moment to step into their backyards and smell the roses. And lilies. And, uh, raccoon feces?

That's the case for many Americans living near woods or marshes. And backyard "raccoon latrines" -- spots created by the animal as a kind of shar... Read More

Biologists Demystify Elusive War Zone Bacterium

Tao Weitao, a researcher in the College of Sciences' Department of Biology at the University of Texas at San Antonio is making great strides in a project that was funded one year ago by the San Antonio Area Foundation. The professor in the South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases is r... Read More

Swine flu inspires new video game

Albert Osterhaus, head of virology at the Erasmus Medical Center, designed "The Great Flu" game with colleagues. In the game, as the head of the fictitious "World Pandemic Control," players pick a flu strain, and then monitor that strain's spread around the world.

To fight the eme... Read More

Dog Flu in Virginia Prompts Quarantine of Kennel

I am familiar w/ this particular disease from working @ an animal hospital, where our veterinarians fielded numerous questions about it. While the disease was never detected there, it did cause a fair amount of worry amongst local dog owners. Interesting that it is rearing it's head again now,... Read More

Indigenous populations may be more susceptible from Swine Flu/H1N1

SciAm is reporting that indigenous populations who live in relative isolation may be at more risk from Swine Flu/H1N1 infection than your average person.

"Swine flu has been reported for the first time in Amazonian Indians, raising fears that the virus will cause more contagion and potential ... Read More

Q Fever Alert for Holland

The Netherlands is again facing a sharp increase in Q fever notifications, after the unprecedented outbreaks of 2007 and 2008.
The most affected province of Noord Brabant has a high density of large dairy goat farms, and farms with abortion waves have
been incriminated. Mandatory vaccination o... Read More

USB Microscope from Japan

File this under cool gadgets.

"A Japanese company called esupply is selling a cool little microscope [JP] that can be hooked to computers via a microUSB port (Windows only). The device boasts a 2MP CMOS sensor made by Sanyo and features 5x to 150x zoom. Not powerful enough to be used on a pr... Read More

NIAID scientists study past flu pandemics for clues to future course of 2009 H1N1 virus

A commonly held belief that severe influenza pandemics are preceded by a milder wave of illness arose because some accounts of the devastating flu pandemic of 1918-19 suggested that it may have followed such a pattern. But two scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Dise... Read More

Cellular protein as a new target for treatment of chronic hepatitis C;

Dr. Ralf Bartenschlager, Director of the Department of Molecular Virology at the Hygiene Institute of Heidelberg University Hospital, has identified a protein in infected liver cells that is essential for hepatitis C virus replication. Inhibiting this protein is highly efficient in blocking viru... Read More

Magnetic Microbe Genome Attracting Attention For Biotech Research

The smallest organisms to use a biological compass are magnetotactic bacteria, however mysteries remain about exactly how these bacteria create their cellular magnets. In a study published online in Genome Research, scientists have used genome sequencing to unlock new secrets about these magneti... Read More

Parasite Causes Zombie Ants To Die In An Ideal Spot

A study in the September issue of The American Naturalist describes new details about a fungal parasite that coerces ants into dying in just the right spot—one that is ideal for the fungus to grow and reproduce. The study, led David P. Hughes of Harvard University, shows just how precisely the f... Read More

Can monolaurin crack the shell of flu virus and keep it from replicating

A recent article in The Examiner, an online and print paper from the DC area, asks if monolaurin, a food supplement extracted from lauric acid in coconut oil (that you can buy online or in a health food store) can keep the H1N1 flu virus as well as herpes simplex (facial herpes virus) from repr... Read More

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