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Giant mimivirus does its replication in-house

THE world's largest known virus just got bigger, and analysis of its genome supports the controversial idea that giant viruses shaped the cells of all animals and plants.

Armed with almost 1000 genes, the mimivirus is a monster compared with classic viruses such as HIV or the flu virus, which... Read More

When Swine Flew: A presentation on how social media impacted messaging around H1N1

Andre Blackman (aka @mindofandre on Twitter and author of the Pulse + Signal blog) recently shared a presentation on Slide Share that reviews the CDC and the public health community's innovative use of soc... Read More

Tough New Spuds Take on Double Trouble

Americans love potatoes, consuming about 130 pounds per person annually. But it's a wonder the spuds even make it to the dinner table, given the many fungal diseases that attack the tuber crop -- powdery scab and black dot among them.

Now, five new potato breeding lines being tested by Agricu... Read More

One change in bacteria keeps ticks from passing along Lyme disease

Genetic engineering for the public good? No one's suggesting that, but researchers have found a way to genetically engineer the tick-borne bacteria that causes Lyme disease in humans so that it can't infect mice.

The discovery that might hold a key for how to develop a vaccine against the dev... Read More

MTS47 - Peter Daszak - Stalking the Wild Microbe

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Sushi-munching bacteria found in the guts of Japanese people

The next time you order sushi in a Japanese restaurant, raise a glass of sake to the countless marine microbes that might be clinging to it.

Bugs that live on the seaweed used to wrap sushi have given some of their genes to bacteria that live in the human gut, and in doing so, help them to di... Read More

Inhibitors of XMRV

Xenotropic murine leukemia virus related virus (XMRV) has been implicated in prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Because XMRV is a retrovirus, it might be susceptible to antiviral drugs that are licensed for the treatment of AIDS. AZT (azidothymidine) was previously found to bloc... Read More

First Animals to Live Without Oxygen Discovered

Deep under the Mediterranean Sea, small animals have been discovered that live their entire lives without oxygen and surrounded by 'poisonous' sulphides. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Biology report the existence of multicellular organisms (new members of the group Loricifer... Read More

HIV drugs combat virus that might be linked to prostate cancer and chronic fatigue

Four drugs that are used to treat the AIDS virus HIV can also inhibit the replication of xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV), a mouse virus that has been found in some patients with prostate tumors and chronic fatigue syndrome. Now all researchers have to do is show that XMVR i... Read More

Did 'Regular' Flu Shot Up Risks for H1N1 Flu?

The traditional seasonal flu vaccine may have increased the risk of infection with pandemic H1N1 swine flu, according to the results of four new studies by Canadian researchers.

In one study, the researchers used an ongoing sentinel monitoring system to assess the frequency of prior vaccinati... Read More

Risk of New Virus Probed

An infectious virus linked to two diseases is drawing the attention of public-health officials, who are investigating the potential threat to the nation's blood supply.

It isn't clear if the virus, known as XMRV, poses a danger, and public-health officials say there isn't evidence of spreadin... Read More

New technology enables machines to detect microscopic pathogens in water

Detecting one of the world's most common pathogens in drinking water soon may no longer be bottle-necked under a laboratory microscope.

Pathogens, meet technology. A new system developed by Texas AgriLife Research automatically scans a water sample and points to potential pathogens much faste... Read More

Great news, if I can observe sick people via binoculars or telescope

How would this affect hypochondriacs I wonder? Probably degrade their mental state whilst simultaneously boosting their immune response. Maybe videos of sick people should be shown in hospitals too, unless there is a point where the positive effect drops off. Either way, interesting stuff. ... Read More

Bacteria versus Virus - the age old struggle

Fascinating piece, something I had never really considered before - the idea that bacteria can get sick, similar to the idea can soap get dirty eh? Hopefully the anti-vaccine crowd won't get all up in arms about this, they've done enough damage in the human population already. Also begs the qu... Read More

German scientists develop fast-acting germ killer

A new fast-acting disinfectant that is effective against bacteria, viruses and other germs could help stop the spread of deadly infections in hospitals, German scientists said on Wednesday.

Researchers from the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin said they had developed a fast-acting, practical f... Read More

Sheep Virus Life Cycle That Causes Malignant Catarrhal Fever Explained

The mysterious life cycle of a sheep virus that causes malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) has been discovered by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their university collaborators -- the first step in developing a vaccine against the disease.

Microbiologist Hong Li and veterinary ... Read More

This is your brain on Cryptococcus: Pathogenic fungus loves your brain sugar

Highly dangerous Cryptococcus fungi love sugar and will consume it anywhere because it helps them reproduce. In particular, they thrive on a sugar called inositol which is abundant in the human brain and spinal cord.

To borrow inositol from a person's brain, the fungi have an expanded set of ... Read More

Speculation Surrounding Sporulation in the Mycobacteria

Tim Sampson, a graduate student at Emory University in the Microbiology and Molecular Genetics program, looks at two research papers with conflicting conclusions about the presence of endospores in very late stationary phase cultures of Mycobacterium marinum, a common model for acute Mycobacte... Read More

In Changing Climate, Math Model Analyzes Coral Surface Bacteria

Cornell researchers have created mathematical models based on interactions between species in coral reef communities that may provide insight as to why certain bacteria may help cause the reef to become bleached and ultimately destroyed.

The models and their implications for the overall healt... Read More

New Insects, Bacteria Uncovered in Dinosaur-Era Amber Deposit

A description of a 95-million-year-old amber deposit—the first major discovery of its kind from the African continent—is adding new fungus, insects, spiders, nematodes, and even bacteria to an ecosystem that had been shared by dinosaurs. In addition, the amber deposit may provide fresh insights ... Read More

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