When Louis XIV died in 1715, surgeons still belonged to the same profession as barbers and wigmakers in France, and the only functions they were allowed to perform were to shave, bleed and bring babies into the world. When a surgeon was called to remove the king's anal fistula in 1686, he did th... Read More
The DNA of the cholera bacteria ravaging Haiti has been sequenced, and the news is not good. It is carrying a mutation that seems to cause more intense disease. This has already helped the strain to dominate in south Asia, and the Haitian epidemic could spread it still further.
The US Centers... Read More
During the replication of retroviruses, a double-stranded DNA copy of the viral RNA genome is synthesized by reverse transcription and integrated into the genomes of the infected cell. When retroviral DNA is integrated into the DNA of germ line cells, it is passed on to future generations in Men... Read More
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has requested a last-minute delay in the release of a report on the bureau’s anthrax investigation by the National Academy of Sciences, prompting a congressman to say that the bureau “may be seeking to try to steer or otherwise pressure” the academy’s scientif... Read More
Scientists have discovered how a network of repair proteins enables bacteria to prioritise the repair of the most heavily used regions of the DNA molecules that carry the instructions necessary for living cells to function.
The research, carried out by academics at the University of Bristol a... Read More
Why did the 2009 swine flu pandemic kill so many more young adults than children? Paradoxically, it might be because of past exposure to seasonal flu.
When Fernando Polack of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and colleagues studied 75 adults with swine flu they found severe cases... Read More
J. Craig Venter, biologist and entrepreneur, reports his favorite book of 2010. Read More
Science Weekly takes an extended look at the worldwide reaction to the "arsenic bacteria" research published by Science, which doesn't just have implications for that particular study, but also peer review and the way science is conducted in the internet age.
We have assembled a panel of thos... Read More
I am based in Hong Kong and there has been a local outbreak of dengue among the international community here. This is the first local transmission of dengue in 7 years! Several students at my children's school have taken off of school with ap... Read More
On episode #111 of the podcast This Week in Virology, the TWiV crew meets with members of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District at Florida Gulf Coast University to discuss dengue in F... Read More
Johns Hopkins scientists have identified a previously unrecognized step in the activation of infection-fighting white blood cells, the main immunity troops in the body's war on bacteria, viruses and foreign proteins.
"It's as if we knew many of the generals, colonels and majors and now we hav... Read More
Your own stem cells could help deadly bacteria hide in your body - a discovery that could inspire new treatments for tuberculosis.
Over 2 billion people are infected with TB. Typically, the bacteria lie latent inside balls of immune cells, or granulomas, in the lungs. Carriers get sick when t... Read More
A team of Nasa-supported researchers has discovered a microbe in Mono Lake, California, that lives in an environment high in salinity, alkalinity and arsenic – which would be toxic to most organisms. Studies of species in extreme environments help astrobiologists define the physical boundaries o... Read More
Nonchemical treatment systems are touted as environmentally conscious stand-ins for such chemicals as chlorine when it comes to cleaning the water-based air-conditioning systems found in many large buildings. But a recent study by University of Pittsburgh researchers suggests that this diverse c... Read More
The World Health Organization is shifting its position in favor of vaccinating against cholera, acknowledging a growing clamor for ways to slow Haiti’s outbreak.
So far, the cholera vaccine has seen little use in Haiti, where the disease has killed more than 2,000 people and is still spreadi... Read More
Increasing antiviral resistance among certain influenza viruses and a lack of alternative antiviral treatment options have raised public health concerns, according to data from two new studies published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
Although the spread of influenza strains with resis... Read More
This episode: Bacteria form electric nanowires!
How would you like the battery in your smartphone to last ten times longer? It would be great wouldn’t it? No charging for a whole week, talking for hours safe in the knowledge you still have a few days charge left and still juice left to play Angry Birds every lunch time.
It’s the kind of ba... Read More
An international team of scientists, which includes researchers from Virginia Tech, has cracked the genetic code of a plant pathogen that causes downy mildew disease. Downy mildews are a widespread class of destructive diseases that cause major losses to crops as diverse as maize, grapes, and le... Read More
The H1N1 swine flu virus which swept the globe last year has returned to Britain with 10 people dying in the last six weeks, health officials said Saturday.
Britain's Health Protection Agency said the 10 deaths had occurred in adults all under the age of 65, most of whom had underlying health... Read More