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New Threats to U.S. Blood Supply

Public health officials are battling a host of new infectious threats to the nation's blood supply.

Blood centers, which have long tested for risks like hepatitis C and AIDS, have added a number of new tests on donated blood in recent years, including checks for West Nile virus and Chagas, a... Read More

Soil Bacteria Might Increase Learning

Studies have shown time spent in nature does us all good. Specifically a recent study done with 1,200 people, published in the journal Environmental Health and Technology found that even just five minutes in a leafy park can significantly boost our mood. Well it might be because we inhaled some ... Read More

From Trees and Grass, Bacteria That Cause Snow and Rain

Walking across the campus of Montana State University here, David Sands, a plant pathologist, says the blanket of snow draped over the mountains around town contains a surprise.

The cause of most of it, he said, is a living organism, a bacterium, called pseudomonas syringae.

In the last ... Read More

Viral Infection Could Be Marker for Type 1 Diabetes

Researchers have discovered a link between infection with enteroviruses -- which can cause viral meningitis -- and diagnoses of type 1 diabetes in children.

It's not clear how the two might be linked, but the findings suggest that the existence of the virus could be a biomarker for diabetes i... Read More

FDA approves swine flu test for permanent use

The Food and Drug Administration says it has approved the first diagnostic test for 2009 swine flu under its traditional approval system.

The FDA previously cleared several tests on a limited basis for use during the declared public health emergency related to swine flu.

The new Simplexa I... Read More

Microbicides That Do More Than Gel: Vaginal Rings, Tablets and Films

A flexible ring containing two anti-HIV drugs showed in laboratory tests that it can deliver therapeutic levels of both drugs for up to 30 days, researchers reported at the International Microbicides Conference (M2010) in Pittsburgh, adding that they consider the ring near ready for testing of i... Read More

Antibacterial Silver Nanoparticles Are a Blast

Writing in the International Journal of Nanoparticles, Rani Pattabi and colleagues at Mangalore University, explain how blasting silver nitrate solution with an electron beam can generate nanoparticles that are more effective at killing all kinds of bacteria, including gram-negative species that... Read More

Pentagon to Troop-Killing Superbugs: Resistance is Futile


A super-germ that’s become a lethal threat to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan may have met its match in a novel technique that kills entire bacterial colonies within hours.

Today’s troops have a 9 in 10 chance of surviving their battle injuries. But wounds and amputation sites leave them vul... Read More

Science Is Sexy: What’s The Big Deal About Synthetic Life?

If you follow the science (and probably Sci-Fi) news at all, you’ve probably heard about Craig Venter’s successful creation of the first synthetic organism. Just so we’re all on the same page, the new organism is much like any other bacterium, except it has a custom-made genome with not only ge... Read More

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Also Works On New Virus

No virus is more feared than Ebola. So scientists were alarmed when a new species of Ebola emerged in Uganda in 2007.

They worried that the Bundibugyo ebolavirus, as it's called after the township in western Uganda where it was discovered, wouldn't be thwarted by the promising experimental v... Read More

Snake Oil in Your Snacks

ProBugs, a yogurtlike beverage for kids, is tasty, fun and good for your child's digestive system, if claims from its maker, Lifeway Foods, near Chicago, are to be believed. Sold at high-end stores like Whole Foods, it comes in flavors like Sublime Slime Lime and contains a hefty dose of 7 billi... Read More

Disease May Derail Space Travel

Researchers at Nancy University in Lorraine, France have raised concerns that disease will make it impossible to support long-term space travel such as manned missions to Mars. Space travel both weakens the immune system and promotes more virulent growth of bacteria, a potentially deadly combina... Read More

Study Uncovers Optimal Ecology of Bioinsecticide

BBSRC-funded researchers at the University of Oxford and Royal Holloway University of London have discovered that the commonly used and naturally occurring bacterial insecticide Bt works best if applied to young plants and is enhanced by the presence of the insect pests.

The research is publi... Read More

TWiV 83 letters

PJ writes:


TWiV gets weird


Well, not really weird, but allow me some criticism:


I just listened to the "Darwin gets weird" episode, which was again a real treat! Thinking about Prions as non-mendelian inheritance factors seems logical, albeit the quest... Read More

TWiV 83: An hour with Dr. Kiki

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On episode #83 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Alan, Rich, and special guest Dr. Kirsten Sanford talk about her career in science media, then consider whether smallpox eradication led... Read More

Watercolor Bacteria and Cell Art

Washington, DC artist Michele Banks, aka Artologica, is a painter who, in her own words, "uses an old and often-disrespected medium, watercolor, to create pieces that are anything but old-fashioned." Her works in Makers Market focus on biological and medical themes, particularly the microscopy o... Read More

Dengue fever now seems to be our disease too

Dengue fever only seems like a disease that happens in other countries. Key West, Fla., had 27 cases last year, and another last month.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers a look at the first three of these cases in its current Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.... Read More

Human Gene Catalog Shows It's Mostly a Mystery

They live in us and on us, helping digest food and keeping acne at bay, and researchers said on Thursday that most of these germs are turning out to be new to science.

The first look at 178 different microbes that live in or on the human body shows that more than 90 percent of their genetic s... Read More

CDC: public pools often harbor harmful bacteria

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that 1 in 8 public swimming pools is in violation of health and safety codes — and that pools at day care centers and children's facilities seem to be the most frequent offenders. The findings, based on an analysis of m... Read More

Salmonella outbreak in 10 states prompts sprouts recall

Federal public health officials are investigating a salmonella outbreak that has infected 22 people in 10 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday.

The infections are linked to the consumption of raw alfalfa sprouts, the CDC said.

California-based Caldwell Fr... Read More

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