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Comments on the “Synthetic Cell”

"The now famous announcement by the Venter group is based on their paper in Science entitled Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome. We applaud this work for its impressive technical achievement and we acknowledge its future potential. However, we find the ter... Read More

Friendly bacteria protect flies from sterilising worms

Animals must wage a never-ending war against parasites, constantly evolving new ways of resisting these threats. Resistance comes in many forms, including genes that allow their owners to shrug off infections. But one species of fly has developed a far more radical solution – it has formed a par... Read More

Human HIV Neutralizing Antibodies Identified

Two antibodies, VRC01 and VRC02, identified in HIV-infected blood, attach to the CD4 binding site of HIV and appear to prevent the virus from attaching to and infecting T cells, according to new research.

Peter D. Kwong, PhD, with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, par... Read More

The human genome: Big advances, many questions

Every Wednesday at 3:15 p.m., a few dozen Stanford University medical students turn their backs on the sun, gather in a high-tech classroom and flip open their laptops.

The summer class they're taking is a foray into the future of medicine. The course title, Genetics-210, Genomics and Person... Read More

Virology toolbox: the western blot

Readers of virology blog often request explanations of specific experimental techniques. Methods such as complement fixation, deep sequencing, ELISA, PCR and many others are frequently mentioned on this blog without discussion. To do so would interrupt the scientific discourse and make for lengt... Read More

How Fast Can Microbes Break Down Oil Washed Onto Gulf Beaches?

A new Florida State University study is investigating how quickly the Deepwater Horizon oil carried into Gulf of Mexico beach sands is being degraded by the sands' natural microbial communities, and whether native oil-eating bacteria that wash ashore with the crude are helping or hindering that ... Read More

Revolutionary medical dressing uses nanotechnology to fight infection

Researchers are using nanotechnology to develop a medical dressing which will detect and treat infection in wounds. Scientists at the University of Bath and the burns team at the Southwest UK Paediatric Burns Centre at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol are working together with teams across Europe an... Read More

Creepy Places Germs Lurk

You can't see them or smell them (most of the time), yet microbes and germs occupy most of the surfaces around you. Many live on your own skin. In fact, if you're a normal, healthy person you will shed approximately 2 million cells an hour, says Michael G. Schmidt, PhD,Professor of the Departmen... Read More

New Microscope Lets Scientists Make Movies of Early Animal Development

The transformation of a single cell into a complete animal is amazing and complicated. Cells must divide and migrate through the ever-changing embryo, shaping themselves into specialized organs. And it happens at a blistering pace: a zebrafish embryo, for example, goes from a single cell to 20,... Read More

PRO/AH/EDR> Influenza pandemic (H1N1) (49): PAHO update

The information contained within this update is obtained from data provided by Ministries of Health of Member States and National Influenza Centers through reports sent to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) or updates on their web pages.

Pan American Health Organization report on the... Read More

Amid the murk of 'gut flora,' vitamin D receptor emerges as a key player

Within the human digestive tract is a teeming mass of hundreds of types of bacteria, a potpourri of microbes numbering in the trillions that help us digest food and keep bad bacteria in check.

Now scientists have found that the vitamin D receptor is a key player amid the gut bacteria – what s... Read More

Bacteria Detective: PhyloTech's Chip Identifies Friend and Foe Microbes

Bacteria, which can thrive in places where humans wouldn't dare linger, can be friends or foes. Take E. coli. Some strains are harmless and settle comfortably in animals' lower intestines. Others take free rides in lettuce and end up causing kidney failure and other serious ailments for salad lo... Read More

Researchers Identify What Makes MRSA Lethal

Scientists studying the so-called "superbug" MRSA have identified one of the components responsible for making it so deadly.

Staphylococcus aureus is a type of bacteria commonly found on the skin that is relatively harmless unless it gets into the bloodstream, where it can cause blood poisoni... Read More

H1N1 situation grave in 5 India states

The swine flu situation continues to be serious in four of India's southern states and the western state of Maharashtra, which have reported 366 of the 370 H1N1 infections in the last week, official figures show.

Kerala remains the worst affected state with 222 confirmed reports of swine flu.... Read More

Deadly Plague Found in Burma

An unspecified number of Rangoon residents have been diagnosed with plague, a contagious disease primarily transmitted by rodents (mostly rats), according to the Burmese Ministry of Health (MOH) in Naypyidaw.

An epidemiologist at MOH who asked to remain anonymous told The Irrawaddy that some ... Read More

The majority of fevers in African children are not caused by malaria

In 2007, an estimated 656 million fevers occurred in African children aged 0-4 years, with 78 million children of the 183 million attending a public health care facility likely to have been infected with P. falciparum (range 60-103 million), the parasite that causes the most dangerous form of ma... Read More

Bacterial Communication Encourages Chronic, Resistant Ear Infections

Ear infections caused by more than one species of bacteria could be more persistent and antibiotic-resistant because one pathogen may be communicating with the other, encouraging it to bolster its defenses. Interrupting or removing that communication could be key to curing these infections. Re... Read More

Bacterial Diversity of Tablas De Daimiel National Park in Spain: 265 New Phylum Groups Discovered

A team of Spanish scientists has studied the bacteria -- micro organisms that are "essential" for important processes such as nitrogen and carbon-fixing and decomposition of matter -- in the Tablas de Daimiel National Park. The scientists discovered 265 new phylum groups by using DNA analysis.
... Read More

The Claim: Exposure to Plants and Parks Can Boost Immunity

This time of year, allergies and the promise of air-conditioning tend to drive people indoors.

But for those who can take the heat and cope with the pollen, spending more time in nature might have some surprising health benefits. In a series of studies, scientists found that when people swap ... Read More

Sewage raises West Nile virus risk

Sewage that overflows into urban creeks and streams during periods of heavy rain can promote the spread of West Nile Virus, an Emory study finds.

The analysis of six years of data showed that people living near creeks with sewage overflows in lower-income neighborhoods of Southeast Atlanta ha... Read More

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