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Drop in swine flu cases leads to helpline closure

The National Pandemic Flu Service in England is to close because of the sharp decline in cases of the H1N1 swine flu virus. From Thursday anyone who needs medical help because of flu will no longer be able to access anti-viral drugs online or via a helpline. At its peak, 40,000 people a week rec... Read More

Carl Zimmer Interview - How to Write Science Books

Carl Zimmer, author, professor, journalist and podcast host for MicrobeWorld's own Meet the Scientist, is interviewed by Nicola Jones for Nature on what goes in to writing a science book.

"Acclaimed essayist Carl Zimmer has eight popular-science books to his name, on topics from parasites an... Read More

Do-It-Yourself Genetic Engineering

It all started with a brawny, tattooed building contractor with a passion for exotic animals. He was taking biology classes at City College of San Francisco, a two-year community college, and when students started meeting informally early last year to think up a project for a coming science comp... Read More

Infection-Fighting Antibodies Made in Plants as Effective as Costlier Conventional Version

The first head-to-head comparison of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies produced from plants versus the same antibodies produced from mammalian cells has shown that plant-produced antibodies can fight infection equally well.

Scientists from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis... Read More

Whooping cough vaccine may be losing its punch: study

Vaccination programs against whooping cough may not be fully effective because the bacteria that cause the disease have evolved new strains, a new study has found.

A team of Australian scientists has shown for the first time that two of the most common strains of the Bordetella pertussis bact... Read More

Nature launches iPhone app

Nature magazine has just launched an iPhone application. It's essentially an eBook reader for the iPhone and iPod Touch that gives all access to Nature and Nature News content as it is published for free until April 30th when presumably they will start charging. It's available in the app store n... Read More

New Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering to get $206m funding

The National Research Foundation (NRF) and two of the local universities will be pumping a total of $206 million over the next 10 years to support a new life sciences centre in Singapore. The Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering (SCELSE) will focus its study on microbial b... Read More

iPhone App Claims to Treat Acne With Light

Could an iPhone application treat acne? A Texas dermatologist seems to think so.

The AcneApp, launched by Houston-based Dr. Greg Pearson, claims to use red and blue light to fight blemishes and improve the health of one's skin.

Dr. Pearson did not immediately respond to requests for comme... Read More

Pure Water for Haiti, Afghanistan: Just Add Bacteria

Pentagon-backed researchers have come up with a novel new way to purify water: Just add bacteria.

Scientists at Sam Houston State University (SHSU) have successfully designed portable, efficient, bacteria-based water treatment units. Two of the devices are on their way to Army bases in Afghan... Read More

Research Could Lead to Way to Halt Deadly Immune Response

Researchers have teased out the molecular process that can shut down a marauding, often deadly immune response that kills thousands each year who suffer battlefield casualties, heart attacks, strokes, automobile accidents and oxygen deprivation, according to an article published in the January e... Read More

China's mystery HIV-like disease may be all in the mind

Hundreds of people in China believe they might have a new disease with HIV-like symptoms, but doctors suggest their illness could be the result of a mental rather than a physical condition.

The Chinese authorities have been accused of covering up respiratory illnesses like Sars in the past.
... Read More

Biological Risks of Eating Reptiles

Reptiles are bred in captivity primarily for their skins, but some restaurants and population groups also want them for their meat. A study shows that eating these animals can have side effects that call into question the wisdom of eating this 'delicacy.'

Parasites, bacteria and viruses, and ... Read More

Microbiologist professor turns microbrewer

When Cal Poly professor and renowned microbiologist Raul Cano sought to revive a prehistoric strain of yeast that lay dormant in a fossilized bee’s stomach for 25 to 45 million years, his intent wasn’t to create a stir in the beer world. Yet, 15 years later, that same yeast has yielded a fruity,... Read More

Cells Can Read Damaged DNA Without Missing a Beat

Scientists have shown that cells' DNA-reading machinery can skim through certain kinds of damaged DNA without skipping any letters in the genetic "text." The studies, performed in bacteria, suggest a new mechanism that can allow bacteria to develop resistance to antibiotics.

The results were ... Read More

Freeze on HIV spending sparks concern in Africa

A US decision to freeze spending on treatment for HIV in several African countries has prompted concern that some of the gains made against the AIDS epidemic since 2003 could be reversed.

President George W. Bush's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), launched in 2003, focused largely on ... Read More

Global swine flu death toll falls in past week: WHO

The global death toll from swine flu has risen to 15,174, up 463 from a week ago, but the pandemic is steadily losing momentum around the world, the World Health Organization said on Friday.

"As of 31 January 2010, worldwide more than 209 countries and overseas territories or communities have... Read More

Dirt-Dwelling Bug Blocks Tuberculosis in African Vaccine Trial

An experimental vaccine based on a germ found in soil cut tuberculosis infections among people with HIV, the first time a shot has been shown to reduce cases of the most common AIDS-related cause of death in poor nations.

The shots reduced TB infections by 39 percent in patients who received ... Read More

Researchers reveal 3-D structure of bullet-shaped virus with potential to fight cancer, HIV

Vesicular stomatitis virus, or VSV, has long been a model system for studying and understanding the life cycle of negative-strand RNA viruses, which include viruses that cause influenza, measles and rabies.

More importantly, research has shown that VSV has the potential to be genetically mod... Read More

Virology course videocasts

This year I started a new virology course at Columbia University. The course emphasizes the common reactions that must be completed by all viruses for successful reproduction within a host cell and survival and spread within a host population. The molecular basis of alternative reproductive cycl... Read More

Adapting to clogged airways makes common pathogen resist powerful antibiotics

People with cystic fibrosis frequently have lung infections that defy treatment. Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease that clogs airways with thick mucous. While the life expectancy for children with cystic fibrosis has increased over the past few decades, many lives are still shortened in yo... Read More

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