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Can you kill bacteria in the microwave?

If I take a piece of pizza that's been sitting on the table awhile and microwave it for one minute, would that kill bacteria and decrease the chance of food poisoning? -- David Chattin-McNichols

First, can bacteria really just land on your food while it's sitting on the table? Second, what's... Read More

Sewage Overflow Promotes Spread of West Nile Virus

Sewage that overflows into urban creeks and streams during periods of heavy rain can promote the spread of West Nile virus, a study led by Emory University finds.

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

Arctic Genes Make Vaccines That Can't Stand Heat

Some bacteria have adapted to super cold environments for millions of years. And scientists have isolated some of the essential genes that allow bacteria to tolerate their harsh living conditions—because these same genes might help in the creation of new vaccines. The investigators published the... Read More

More than 1,000 exposed to dengue in Florida: CDC

Five percent of the population of Key West, Florida -- more than 1,000 people -- have been infected at some point with the dengue virus, government researchers reported on Tuesday.

Most probably did not even know it, but the findings show the sometimes deadly infection is making its way north... Read More

MRSA Occurrences Higher in Firehouses Than General-Public Buildings, Study Finds

A University of Arizona study found high levels of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria in Tucson Fire Department stations, said Kelly Reynolds, associate professor of environmental health sciences at the university’s Zuckerman College of Public Health. MRSA is a potential... Read More

Hospital infection deaths caused by ignorance and neglect, survey finds

Deadly yet easily preventable bloodstream infections continue to plague American hospitals because facility administrators fail to commit resources and attention to the problem, according to a survey of medical professionals released Monday.

An estimated 80,000 patients per year develop cathe... Read More

'Cold gene' shows promise in protecting against dangerous bacteria

Creating vaccines against some of the most dangerous bacterial pathogens might be as simple as giving them a cold — or at least a cold gene.

By replacing a single gene in pathogenic bacteria with a gene from bacteria that live in the arctic, scientists report that they have developed a modifi... Read More

Go! Fight! Win! Are bacterial cheerleaders making your ears hurt?

Ear infections: almost every kid has suffered through them at least once, making otitis media the most common reason for pediatric visits and new antibiotic prescriptions in children. But those little bottles of sweet pink antibiotics don’t always clear up ear infections. Bacteria often form m... Read More

Many People Still Not Covering Coughs, Sneezes

Most people fail to properly prevent the spread of contagious and infectious germs when coughing and sneezing, according to a study by medical students in New Zealand.

For the study, the students secretly watched hundreds of people cough or sneeze at a train station, a shopping mall and a hos... Read More

Advance in Quest for HIV Vaccine

HIV research is undergoing a renaissance that could lead to new ways to develop vaccines against the AIDS virus and other viral diseases.

In the latest development, U.S. government scientists say they have discovered three powerful antibodies, the strongest of which neutralizes 91% of HIV str... Read More

How Microbes Defend and Define Us

Dr. Alexander Khoruts had run out of options.

In 2008, Dr. Khoruts, a gastroenterologist at the University of Minnesota, took on a patient suffering from a vicious gut infection of Clostridium difficile. She was crippled by constant diarrhea, which had left her in a wheelchair wearing diaper... Read More

Bitten by the hand that feeds: squirrels under threat from human skin bacteria

Animal lovers may be accidentally killing one of the UK's best-loved mammals with their kindness, scientists believe. Red squirrels may be picking up potentially deadly bacteria from the hands and skin of people putting out food for them.

The wildlife specialists are far from proving a defin... Read More

Salsa, Guacamole are Increasingly Important Causes of Foodborne Disease

Nearly 1 out of every 25 restaurant-associated foodborne outbreaks with identified food sources between 1998 and 2008 can be traced back to contaminated salsa or guacamole, more than double the rate during the previous decade, according to research released by the Centers for Disease Control and... Read More

Obama to Outline Plan to Cut H.I.V. Infections

President Obama will unveil a new national strategy this week to curb the AIDS epidemic by slashing the number of new infections and increasing the number of people who get care and treatment.

“Annual AIDS deaths have declined, but the number of new infections has been static and the number o... Read More

Study Suggests Vitamin B3 Has Antifungal Properties

A team of scientists from the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) of the University of Montreal have identified vitamin B3 as a potential antifungal treatment. Led by IRIC Principal Investigators Martine Raymond, Alain Verreault and Pierre Thibault, in collaboration with Alaka... Read More

Study Suggests Link Between HPV, Skin Cancer

The ubiquitous virus linked to cervical, vaginal and throat cancers may also raise the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common form of skin cancer, a new study suggests.

The risk from human papillomavirus (HPV) seen in a new study was even higher if people are takin... Read More

Rules to limit Salmonella in eggs take effect

New federal rules designed to reduce Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) contamination in eggs from large-scale producers take effect today, with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) predicting that they will prevent up to 79,000 illnesses per year.

The rules, several years in preparation, require... Read More

BacterioFiles Episode 16

In this show, I report on four exciting stories: birthing method affecting babies' bacteria, soil microbes affecting forest ecology, endophytes producing useful compounds, and manipulating gut bacteria for health.
Post questions or comments here, at the link above, or email to bacteriofiles@gma... Read More

Antibody May Help Treat and Prevent Influenza Outbreaks

Researchers have discovered a monoclonal antibody that is effective against "Avian" H5N1, seasonal H1N1 and the 2009 "Swine" H1N1 influenza. Scientists at Sea Lane Biotechnologies, LLC, in collaboration with Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, St. Jude Research Hospital and the Scripps Research Instit... Read More

Borne on the Wing: Avian Influenza Risk in US Wild Songbirds Mapped

Scientists have discovered that 22 species of passerines--songbirds and perching birds--in the contiguous U.S. are carriers of low-pathogenicity avian influenza. Pathogenicity is the ability of a germ to produce an infectious disease in an organism.

The researchers report their results in the... Read More
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