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Malaria Parasite Caught Red-Handed Invading Blood Cells

Australian scientists using new image and cell technologies have for the first time caught malaria parasites in the act of invading red blood cells. The researchers, from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, Australia, and the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), achieved this lo... Read More

Jeans worn for 15 months in study

As it turns out, wearing the same pair of denim jeans nearly every day for 15 months isn't all that dirty after all.

Josh Le, 20, is a third-year University of Alberta student who, alongside professor Rachel McQueen, discovered the bacterial count of a 15-month worn and unwashed pair of jeans... Read More

Haiti Cholera vaccine plan splits experts

Last week, as Haiti remembered the 230,000 people killed in the disaster, officials of international health agencies fine-tuned their recommendations for moving forwards with a large-scale cholera-vaccination programme. It is a controversial idea that, just months ago, with little vaccine availa... Read More

Smallpox should be saved

In anticipation of a May 2011vote in which the World Health Assembly (the decision-making body of the World Health Organization) will decide on whether to set a date for the destruction of America and Russia's stockpile of smallpox virus, the journal Nature argues that some of these collections... Read More

Game on!

In case anyone needs it, I have a copy of the classic 80's tome "The Winner's Book of Video Games" which provides several sure-fire Pac-Man patterns that ensure victory (+ maxi points) on each level. With any luck, those patterns SHOULD hold true at a paramecia level . . . Read More

Slime Mold Agriculture

For the first time, researchers have discovered that some slime molds can carry, seed, and harvest a crop of their bacterial diet, researchers from the University in Houston, Texas, report in this week's issue of Nature.

"While collecting D. discoideum fruiting bodies in the wild, Debra Brock... Read More

Enzyme May Be Key to Lowering Cholesterol

Researchers have determined the structure and mechanism of an enzyme that performs the crucial first step in the formation of cholesterol and a key virulence factor in staph bacteria.

Chemists at the Univ. of Illinois and collaborators in Taiwan studied a type of enzyme found in humans, plant... Read More

Preterm birth: different bacteria in placenta elicit different responses in fetus

Over half a million babies are born preterm every year in the U.S. alone, leaving these children to bear significantly elevated risk of death, morbidity, and developmental problems. The way a fetus responds to inflammation in the uterus appear to contribute to the risk of preterm labor, but wha... Read More

Gulf Oil Spill Surprise: Methane Almost Gone

After months of speculation about what will happen to the Gulf oil spill, it turns out Mother Nature has rolled up her sleeves and dispatched with a lot of the gas released along with it—in just four months.

Surprisingly, practically all of the methane that accompanied nearly five million bar... Read More

Antibody transplant: last resort for swine flu

Transferring antibodies from the blood of recovering swine flu patients to those still suffering from the virus could provide a treatment of last resort.

Ideally, those most at risk of flu should be vaccinated, and in mild cases antivirals like Tamiflu can be taken after infection to treat th... Read More

MMR scandal: Was there a cover-up?

Since this article was first posted on 6 January, Brian Deer has stuck the knife in one last time in the third and final of his investigatory papers. Today he channels his criticism at the role The Lancet and the medical community played in what he claims was an apparent cover-up of the flaws in... Read More

Bacteria bigger threat to citrus than cold weather

While Florida farmers have lost much of their crop to cold weather for the second year in a row, they say a fast-spreading, incurable bacteria presents a greater threat to their trees and the citrus industry.

Citrus greening has destroyed groves in the U.S., Brazil, Asia and Africa. Detected ... Read More

TWiP 21 Letters

Carolyn writes:

Dear Dick and Vincent,

Thank you very much for discussing my question on Crypto and the Miox disinfecting system on the last podcast. I appreciated the additional information.

My daughter sent me this link to a CDC report on killing cryp... Read More

TWiP 21 - The giant intestinal worm, Ascaris lumbricoides

Unable to embed Rapid1Pixelout audio player. Please double check that:  1)You have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.  2)This web page does not have any fatal Javascript errors.  3)The audio-player.js file of Rapid1Pixelout has been included.

Vincent and Dickson review the biology and pathogenesis of Ascaris lumbricoides, one of the largest nematodes to infect humans.

Download  Read More

Multiple Displacement Technology Goes Digital: a method for enumeration of bacterial nucleic acid contamination in enzymes

Is bacterial DNA contamination in your whole genome amplification kit a problem? For microbiologists it sure is. WGA is a technique where the complete genomic content of a sample is amplified non-specifically and at a single temperature (isothermically). The presence of any contaminating DNA in ... Read More

Using lasers to detect and monitor E. coli

A simple, automated method of tracking E. coli uses a laser to detect and monitor the microbe in potentially contaminated bodies of water or waterways. The technique described this month in the International Journal of Computational Biology and Drug Design could reduce the incidence of waterborn... Read More

Unhackable data in a box of bacteria stored in a fridge: Future of InfoSec?

Students at Hong Kong's Chinese University may be onto a type of memory media that could be a truly secure way to store data -- text, images, music, and video. It takes up almost no space, can be encrypted, and is so gross that it's unlikely many people would attempt to steal it. That is, if the... Read More

See how they grow on the nanoscale: Monitoring single bacteria without a microscope

With an invention that can be made from some of the same parts used in CD players, University of Michigan researchers have developed a way to measure the growth and drug susceptibility of individual bacterial cells without the use of a microscope.

The new biosensor promises to speed treatment... Read More

New parents urged to get whooping cough vaccine

A child health expert is urging parents of newborns to take advantage of the government's free whooping cough vaccine program.

Infection rates are at their highest levels in 10 years.

In the last three years 1,416 West Australians contracted the disease, three of whom died.

Associate Pr... Read More

Southern Sudan's votes could kill an ancient disease

"There is huge excitement and euphoria here," says Makoy Samuel Yibi, phoning from Juba in Southern Sudan. There, this week's referendum vote looks set to divide Sudan into independent north and south countries, potentially ending decades of civil war. The result is largely a foregone conclusion... Read More
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