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Millions of H1N1 vaccine doses may have to be discarded

Despite months of dire warnings and millions in taxpayer dollars, less than half of the 229 million doses of H1N1 vaccine the government bought to fight the pandemic have been administered -- leaving an estimated 71.5 million doses that must be discarded if they are not used before they expire.
... Read More

Microbiology Education and Social Media

At the Spring 2010 meeting of the Society for General Microbiology In Edinburgh Vincent Racaniello spoke about ‘Social Media in Microbiology Education and Research’. In his presentation he gives a comprehensive overview of how he uses these new communication tools to promote the science of virol... Read More

Swine flu no big deal? Look at years of life lost

As the dust settles from the swine flu pandemic, the notion that it was no worse than seasonal flu persists. But it seems that while the number of deaths in the US was comparable to a bad seasonal flu, swine flu claimed three times as many years of life because the victims were so young.

In P... Read More

The raw milk debate rages on

Though proponents of unpasteurized milk tout its health benefits, including boosting immunity, scientific evidence remains shaky. More and more consumers are forgoing standard milk in favor of "raw" milk, milk that's unpasteurized and unhomogenized, essentially straight from the udder of the cow... Read More

Good for you but don't do it in public!

When I worked at a vet hospital people asked me all the time whether dog's mouths were cleaner than humans. I always told them it was an old wive's tale & wondered about their personal hygiene. Turns out I was wrong! Read More

Misinformation About Antibiotics Can Travel to Large Audience Via Twitter

Misunderstandings about proper use of antibiotics have the potential to spread widely through social networks such as Twitter, according to a report in the April issue of AJIC: American Journal of Infection Control.

Researchers from Columbia University and MixedInk (New York, NY) studied the ... Read More

Bile Sends Mixed Signals to E. Coli

Bile secretions in the small intestine send signals to disease-causing gut bacteria allowing them to change their behaviour to maximise their chances of surviving, says Dr Steve Hamner, presenting his work at the Society for General Microbiology's spring meeting in Edinburgh. The findings could ... Read More

Judge Invalidates Human Gene Patent

A federal judge on Monday struck down patents on two genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer. The decision, if upheld, could throw into doubt the patents covering thousands of human genes and reshape the law of intellectual property.

United States District Court Judge Robert W. Sweet issued... Read More

Mom's kiss can spread cavities to baby

When Rachel Sarah took her daughter in for her first dental checkup a few years ago, she got a surprise. Not only did her 24-month-old have two cavities in her baby teeth, the pediatric dentist suggested she might have “caught” them from her mom.

“The dentist handed me this piece of paper tha... Read More

New Mathematical Model Helps Biologists Understand How Coral Dies in Warming Waters

Cornell University researchers have found a new tool to help marine biologists better grasp the processes under the sea: They have created mathematical models to unveil the bacterial community dynamics behind afflictions that bleach and kill coral.

The research appears in PLoS Biology, publis... Read More

Plasmobot Computer Runs on Slime Mold

It's probably the nastiest, slimiest computer in the world. Powered by oat flakes instead of electricity, scientists in the UK have developed a rudimentary computer using a slime mold they have affectionately named Plasmobot.

"Most people's idea of a computer is a piece of hardware with softw... Read More

Sex infection gonorrhoea 'becoming drug-resistant'

The growing resistance of antibiotics threatens to make gonorrhoea extremely difficult to treat, a Health Protection Agency official has warned. Current drugs are still effective but signs of emerging resistance mean treatments may soon need to be revised, Professor Catherine Ison says.

It co... Read More

Microbes to Be Used for Breaking Up Plastics

According to new data presented March 28 at the spring meeting of the Society for General Microbiology, held in Edinburgh, it may be that using microbes to break up plastic is the way to go. Most people tend to consider plastic objects as being disposable, but in fact they can take up to several... Read More

How immune cells 'sniff out' bacteria

Scientists are learning how our immune system senses and tracks down infection in the body by responding to chemical "scents" emitted by bacteria. Studying how immune cells manipulate their movement in response to external signals could shed light not only on how our immune system functions but ... Read More

New Details about Bacteriophage T7-Host Interactions

Researchers are showing renewed interest in learning how phages interact with bacterial hosts, adapting to and overcoming their defenses. The abundance of phages and their importance to evolution and to ecology provide an incentive to study them. The golden era for studying phages stretched from... Read More

Swine flu activity in the Southeast raises fears of a third wave of pandemic

PigContinuing activity of pandemic H1N1 influenza in the Southeast, particularly in Georgia, is raising fears of a third wave of swine flu, federal officials said Monday. They urged people to continue getting vaccinated as a preventive measure in case a new outbreak occurs.

Although swine flu... Read More

Halliburton Hunts New Bacteria Killer to Protect Shale-Gas Boom

Halliburton Co. and Schlumberger Ltd., trying to forestall a regulatory crackdown that would cut natural-gas drilling, are developing ways to eliminate the need for chemicals that may taint water supplies near wells.

At risk is hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a process that unlocked gas de... Read More

Revealing the secrets of the Périgord black truffle

Amy Maxmen reports over at Nature News that a team of European researchers has decoded the genome of the Périgord black truffle. Francis Martin, at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research in Nancy, and his colleagues have found that "within its nucleotides reside secrets to the f... Read More

Scientists Uncover Vast Microbial Diversity of Carnivorous Pitcher Plant

The microbial ecosystem inside the carnivorous pitcher plant is vastly more diverse than previously thought according to research published in the March 2010 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Researchers from Louisiana State University used genomic fingerprinting t... Read More

Universal vaccine could put an end to all flu

it is not a nice way to die. As the virus spreads through your lungs, your immune system goes into overdrive. Your lungs become leaky and fill with fluid. Your lips and nails, then your skin, turn blue as you struggle to get enough oxygen. Basically, you drown.

Flu can kill in other ways, too... Read More

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