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CDC FluView - U.S. influenza activity decreases for November 22-28, 2009

During week 47 (November 22-28, 2009), influenza activity continued to decrease in the U.S.:

* 956 (15.4%) specimens tested by U.S. World Health Organization (WHO) and National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS) collaborating laboratories and reported to CDC/Influ... Read More

Researchers find a novel mechanism by which drugs block HIV-1 from entering host cells

"Publishing in PLoS Pathogens, researchers at from the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson have found a novel mechanism by which drugs block HIV-1 from entering host cells.

Cellular invasion by HIV-1 requires the concerted action of two proteins on the viral surface: gp120 and gp41. The functio... Read More

Colorado College Students Take First Place at ASM Rocky Mountain Branch Meeting

Colorado College students Nicole Laniohan ’09 and Nguyen Nguyen ’11 took first prize for the best undergraduate poster presentation at the Rocky Mountain Branch meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. Laniohan and Nguyen, who worked with CC Associate Biology Professor Phoebe Lostroh, p... Read More

Personalised vaccines could protect all children

Children whose genetic make-up means they may not be protected by the standard form of a vaccine could in future be given a personalized shot. This is the prospect raised by the discovery of gene variants that seem to predict whether an individual will produce enough antibodies in response to a ... Read More

Cholera Epidemic Infects Thousands in Kenya

Not long ago, the news was full of reports about two male Humboldt penguins at a zoo in Germany that adopted an egg, hatched it and reared the chick together. It seems like every time you turn around, the media spotlight has fallen on another example of same-sex liaisons in the animal kingdom.
... Read More

Potent two-pronged antibiotic provides hope for future drugs

A two-headed compound obtained from soil bacteria may hold the key to developing the next generation of antibiotics, researchers in the UK report. The compound, called simocyclinone, was found to shut down crucial bacterial enzymes in an unusual two-pronged attack.

It is hoped the research c... Read More

The Attendee's Guide to Scientific Meetings

Julian Davies, Professor emeritus at the University of British Columbia and a Fellow of the Royal Society, has authored a humorous post on the Small Things Considered blog on the various methods an attendee of a scientific meeting can employ to enhance "maximum satisfaction and poise" one gets o... Read More

Review Shows Safety of H1N1 Vaccine, Officials Say

An extensive review of adverse effects from the swine flu vaccine indicates that the vaccine is safe, with side effects no different from those of seasonal flu vaccines, health officials reported on Friday.

The information comes from two monitoring networks. One is the Vaccine Adverse Event ... Read More

Cholera Epidemic Infects Thousands in Kenya

A cholera epidemic is sweeping across Kenya, with 4,700 cases reported in the past month and 119 deaths in what Kenyan officials are calling “one of the worst outbreaks in a decade.”

The most stricken areas are the arid swaths of northern Kenya, which were hit this year by a devastating droug... Read More

Experimental drug is combating hepatitis C in chimps, researchers say

The antiviral, which is already being tested for safety in humans, has exhibited no toxic side effects and has not allowed development of resistance, a characteristic that plagues other treatments.

An experimental antiviral drug that works by a different mechanism than existing drugs has been... Read More

H1N1 virus finally reaches blockaded Gaza Strip

H1N1 swine flu has finally reached the Gaza Strip, the health ministry said on Sunday, worrying Palestinians who had credited Israel's blockade of the territory with keeping the virus at bay.

The ministry said five people had been diagnosed with H1N1 on Saturday. Health workers said it appear... Read More

The Swine Flu Vaccine: 1976 Casts a Giant Shadow

America was one raw nerve. An unpopular Republican president had left office, leaving behind an unpopular war to wind down. Democrats now ruled both houses of Congress. The sitting president, a Midwesterner whose ascendancy had been historic, came in without executive experience. The country was... Read More

Don't call it 'swine flu,' farmers implore

Hog farmer David Moody has stopped letting strangers into his barn because he's afraid they'll infect his pigs with swine flu.

Not that he would ever call the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus by its colloquial name.

Like many pork producers across the heartland, he has spent months railing ag... Read More

Put down the Slim-Fast can -- regardless of flavor, sell-by date, etc.

The maker of Slim-Fast has recalled all of its ready-to-drink canned beverages. All of them. Turns out, the stuff might be contaminated with the bacterium Bacillus cereus.

Here's the notice, posted on the Food and Drug Administration's website and the Slim-Fast site.

It contains the usual ... Read More

Researcher at Army Lab Infected With Rabbit Fever

A researcher at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Frederick, Maryland, has contracted rabbit fever—also known as tularemia, USAMRIID officials announced today. The illness is caused by the bacteria Francisella tularensis, one of several biosaf... Read More

Chicken Pox Shot Protects Against Shingles, Too

Children who are vaccinated against chicken pox may also have increased protection against shingles, new findings suggest.

U.S. researchers looked at the health records of 172,163 children in southern California who were vaccinated with the varicella (chicken pox) vaccine between 2002 and 200... Read More

Glaxo's swine flu shot may give kids fever

The European Medicines Agency warns that young children given GlaxoSmithKline's swine flu shot may get a fever after their second dose.

In a statement issued Friday, the European drug regulator said data from GlaxoSmithKline PLC showed a higher number of children aged six months to 3 years ha... Read More

Two Heads Better Than One in New Antibiotic Method

An antibiotic that binds to a well-established target in a novel and unexpected way could be the inspiration for designing new, more potent antibacterial drugs.

"A completely new way to beat bacteria is an exciting find at a time when resistance to existing antibiotics is growing," said Profe... Read More

State considers naming official microbe

The public is getting its chance to sound off on whether Wisconsin should name an official microbe.

A state Assembly committee scheduled a public hearing for Thursday on a bill that would name the microbe that converts milk into cheese as Wisconsin's official microbe .

Wisconsin would beco... Read More

Stop Whining About Antibiotic Abuse: We can win our battle against bacteria. Here's how.

Ever felt personally responsible for drug-resistant diseases? It's no wonder. Virtually everyone—permissive doctors, nagging patients, hospital administrators, government bureaucrats, and snotty kids—has been blamed for the problem. It's true: Bacteria are conquering our antibiotics much faster ... Read More

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