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Haiti faces years of cholera

Cholera deaths are climbing sharply in Haiti, after the infection reached the capital, Port-au-Prince, as feared. Epidemiologists who have studied other outbreaks predict that hundreds of thousands of Haitians will be stricken by the infection over the next few years as cholera takes hold in the... Read More

2600 Year-Old Plague Microbe Traced to China

The microbe responsible for plague evolved in or around China more than 2,600 years ago and spread around the globe in the following millennia, according to the most comprehensive genetic study to map out the family tree of the bacterium known as Yersinia pestis.

Y. pestis' pedigree is not on... Read More

Telltale bacteria could reveal time of drowning

When a fisherman's body washed ashore on Australia's Queensland coast last week, police initially had no way of working out when he had died. "Unless a body is witnessed entering the water, there is no reliable method for determining the length of time that a body has been submerged," says Gemma... Read More

Designer bacteria can heal cracks in concrete buildings

Researchers have designed bacteria that can produce a special glue to knit together cracks in concrete structures.

The genetically modified microbe has been programmed to swim down fine cracks in concrete and once at the bottom it produces a mixture of calcium carbonate and a bacterial glue. ... Read More

Probiotics May Ease Kids' Belly Aches

A daily dose of "friendly bacteria" could provide relief for kids suffering from the cruel pain of a chronic tummy ache, suggests a new Italian study.

Between 10 and 15 percent of school-aged children suffer from frequent stomach pain. Yet little evidence exists to date for helpful medication... Read More

CDC’s ‘Get Smart Week’ Aims to Outsmart Bacteria

Outsmarting the enemy will take a team effort. That's the message of the "Get Smart About Antibiotics" campaign from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It aims to educate the public, doctors and agricultural producers that antibiotics need to be used more judiciously, ... Read More

Death toll from Haiti cholera outbreak rises above 900

Less than a month after a cholera outbreak erupted in Haiti, the infection has claimed 917 lives, AFP reported.

Haiti has long struggled to overcome political strife and poverty, but this year has been particularly hard on its citizens. In January, a massive earthquake killed an estimated 230... Read More

New Microorganisms Linked to Gill Disease in Salmon

Gill disease may have several different causes, such as adverse environmental impacts or a variety of microorganisms. Terje M. Steinum's doctoral research has identified microorganisms that may lead to gill disease, thereby making a significant contribution to our understanding of such diseases ... Read More

NZ kiwifruit crisis continues

A kiwifruit-killing disease is spreading throughout orchards in New Zealand, threatening to devastate the nation's billion-dollar industry.

On Monday, it was confirmed that 13 Bay of Plenty orchards had been struck with bacteria pseudomonas syringae pv actinidiae - or PSA - up from the eight ... Read More

TWiV 107: Warning - this virus contains email

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On episode #107 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Dickson, Alan, and Rich answer listener questions about poliovirus, social media, dengue, influenza, evolution, gel filtration, and muc... Read More

TWiV 107 Letters

John writes:

Dear Doctors et al,

I'm writing to request a podcast or a discussion on colony collapse disorder. It seems that new evidence is pointing to a combination of fungus and a newly discovered virus (from a combination of academia and the military!). I know th... Read More

STD app for self-testing being developed in Britain

An STD app in the works may be a discreet way to diagnose diseases via mobile devices and computers — and curb the spread of STDs, particularly in young people.

But whether it can overcome the cringe factor that STD testing generally evokes remains to be seen. Check out college kids’ reaction... Read More

West Nile Virus May Persist for Years After Acute Infection

West Nile virus (WNV) might persist for years after acute infection, resulting in long-term neurological consequences in more people than previously thought, a new study suggests.

Kristy Murray, DVM, PhD, from the University of Texas School of Public Health, in Houston, presented the findings... Read More

Researcher takes 'mosaic' approach with new HIV vaccine

HIV is not only a different kind of beast; it's a different beast every day.

"We're in the evolutionary fast lane studying HIV," said Bette Korber, a Los Alamos National Laboratory researcher who led a team that designed a vaccine expressly to counter the genetic diversity of the virus.

"A... Read More

Miami has first dengue fever case in 50 years

Health authorities in Miami, one of Florida's top tourist attractions, have reported the first case of dengue fever in 50 years, an official said Friday.

The person diagnosed with the sometimes deadly mosquito-born virus has fully recovered after a brief hospitalization, said Liliana Rivera, ... Read More

Scientists closer to developing UTI vaccine

American scientists say they are a step close to a vaccine that could prevent majority of urinary tract infections.

UTI is caused by E.coli bacteria and the vaccine could potentially save billions of dollars in health care costs globally. It costs $ 3.5 billion to treat UTI every year and nea... Read More

Oil-eating bacteria; topic at conference of scientists in Biloxi

Scientists from around the world are at a conference in Biloxi, studying bacteria. Among the hot topics: The bio-degradation of crude oil.

More specifically, they discussed how natural bacteria helped break-down the oil in the gulf from the Deepwater Horizon spill.

The conference includes ... Read More

Science Cafe spreads understanding of bacteria over beers

Sophia Kathariou is the kind of scientist who can turn food-borne bacteria into great dinner conversation.

The associate professor of food science and microbiology at N.C. State University in Raleigh, N.C., spoke about her work Thursday night at Mitch’s Tavern, a longtime haunt for professors... Read More

Hospital Rankings Undercut by Infection Detection Variations

Differences in hospitals' surveillance practices for bloodstream infections may compromise public report cards that rank quality of care, researchers warned.

Routine surveillance of central line-associated bloodstream infection rates by infection prevention specialists correlated poorly with ... Read More

Decisions Made by Communities of Bacteria Trump Game Theory

When it comes to gambling, many people rely on game theory, a branch of applied mathematics that attempts to measure the choices of others to inform their own decisions. It's used in economics, politics, medicine -- and, of course, Las Vegas. But recent findings from a Tel Aviv University resear... Read More
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