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Canadians track infectious disease threats at World Cup

Two Canadian researchers will be keeping a close eye on what hundreds of thousands of soccer fans take to the World Cup in South Africa _ and what they potentially bring home.

Dr. Kamran Khan, an infectious disease physician and scientist at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, and Dr. John Bro... Read More

Flu's Evolution Strategy Strikes Perfect Balance

Better understanding how the flu virus replicates and evolves to infect new hosts will help scientists find new ways to fight the flu. One option is the development of therapies that take advantage of the new findings by promoting mutagenesis -- treatments designed to generate increased mutation... Read More

Neck cancers are less likely to be fatal if caused by HPV, studies find

Cancers of the neck and throat are much less likely to be fatal if they are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) rather than alcohol and smoking, researchers reported Monday. But if the tumor is caused by HPV and the patient also smokes, survival is significantly impaired, they found.

Th... Read More

SALMONELLOSIS, SEROTYPE HVITTINGFOSS - USA: (ILLINOIS) RESTAURANT CHAIN

Salmonellosis linked to Subway restaurants continues to plague the
state line with 2 cases now reported in Winnebago County. Those who
got sick ate at a Subway in Machesney Park. That now brings the total
to 60 cases of salmonellosis related to this outbreak in Illinois.
Normally thi... Read More

BBC Podcast: Artificial Life

Synthetic biology hit the headlines when Craig Venter recently announced the creation of Synthia – the first organism with a computer as a parent.

JCVI-syn1.0, as the artificial microbe is officially known, will become a poster child for synthetic biology. But it was created from known geneti... Read More

Deep, dark secrets: Research goes underground

This is spelunking with a twist. This is academic spelunking that is uncovering answers to questions. It is cave exploration that is helping sharpen the skills of tomorrow’s microbiologists.

Welcome to Todd Sandrin’s classroom. The associate director of the New College Division of Mathematica... Read More

Gulf oil spill could widen, worsen ‘dead zone’

While an out-of-control gusher deep in the Gulf of Mexico fouls beaches and chokes marshland habitat, another threat could be growing below the oil-slicked surface.

The nation’s worst oil spill could worsen and expand the oxygen-starved region of the Gulf labeled “the dead zone” for its inhos... Read More

Plastic Antibody Works in First Tests in Living Animals

Scientists are reporting the first evidence that a plastic antibody -- an artificial version of the proteins produced by the body's immune system to recognize and fight infections and foreign substances -- works in the bloodstream of a living animal. The discovery, they suggest in a report in th... Read More

Q and A with Amy Gutmann of Presidential Commission for Study of Bioethical Issues

President Obama has appointed a new Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, replacing his predecessor's President's Council on Bioethics. Like the previous entity and similar ones before it, the group will advise the president on a wide range of difficult, controversial scien... Read More

Silent but Not Deadly: Muting Gene Quashes Ebola Infection

In fall 1976 the first recorded Ebola outbreak ravaged a small village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire). The virus, named for the river valley where it was found, causes a deadly hemorrhagic fever. It spread quickly via contact with blood and contaminated needles killing... Read More

Infection Control Lacking at Surgical Centers

Lapses in procedures aimed at fighting infections are common in ambulatory surgical centers, a study shows. The lapses include safe hygiene methods and improper handling of medications and equipment.

The study by the CDC is published in the June 9 issue of The Journal of the American Medical ... Read More

How Mast Cells Set Immune Defense on the Right Track

In the event of an infection, the immune system releases messenger substances. These molecules can either activate immune cells to defeat invading pathogens, or inhibit them to prevent an excessive immune reaction. For this, the immune system has to decide very quickly what mixture of activating... Read More

Flu experts rebut conflict claims

"Drug firms 'encouraged world health body to exaggerate swine flu threat'," screamed Britain's Daily Mail newspaper on June 4. "2 European reports criticize WHO's H1N1 pandemic guidelines as tainted," headlined The Washington Post the next day. To judge from media coverage last week, a major sc... Read More

Video Study Finds Risky Food-Safety Behavior More Common Than Thought

How safe is the food we get from restaurants, cafeterias and other food-service providers? A new study from North Carolina State University -- the first study to place video cameras in commercial kitchens to see how precisely food handlers followed food-safety guidelines -- discovered that risky... Read More

New yeast can ferment more sugar, make more cellulosic ethanol

Purdue University scientists have improved a strain of yeast that can produce more biofuel from cellulosic plant material by fermenting all five types of the plant's sugars.

Nathan Mosier, an associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering; Miroslav Sedlak, a research assistant... Read More

For Plants, Resistance to Infection Comes at a Cost

Any gardener has seen it happen. One plant in the backyard thrives, while its neighbor of the same species is plagued with infection. Why?

One reason may be genetic. Researchers have discovered that more resistant mouse ear cress plants have a variant of a gene known as ACD6. Plants with thi... Read More

Migrants on the move with tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (TB) is an enormous global public health problem. Migration and failure by governments and the public health community to adequately treat and prevent TB among migrants is an important barrier to TB control.

To reduce the incidence, spread and severity of tuberculosis, government... Read More

On a Mission to Sequence the Genomes of 100,000 People

Traditionally, biology is about taking apart things like cells to better understand them. For the geneticist George M. Church, the main objective is to put the pieces back together.

Strolling through his laboratory, one of the larger ones at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Church, 56, points out... Read More

Highlights from a scientific conference, observed via Twitter - #asmgm

Science blogger Cesar Sanchez of the site Twisted Bacteria (twistedbacteria.blogspot.com) reviews the American Society for Microbiology's use of social media during their general meeting and also highlights several tweets coming from attendees:

"Lots of conferences and meetings on science-rel... Read More

Next in Forensics: Bacterial 'Fingerprints'

While its widespread application in law enforcement is still years away, scientists at the University of Colorado, Boulder have developed a technique that can match the “personal” bacteria on an individual’s hands and fingers with bacteria deposited on computer keyboards and mice. Once perfecte... Read More

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