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Britton Chance, Olympian and Biophysics Researcher, Dies at 97

Britton Chance, a biophysicist who did pioneering research on how living organisms produce and manage energy and helped develop diagnostic tools, like one for the detection of breast cancer, died on Nov. 16 in Philadelphia.

Dr. Chance, who was also a world-class yachtsman and won an Olympic ... Read More

Probiotics may have some benefits for kids

A leading medical group says there's some evidence that probiotics, or "good" bacteria, may have limited benefits for certain illnesses in children.

But the group says the science isn't yet strong enough to advocate infant formulas containing probiotics. And probiotics shouldn't be given to c... Read More

Bioluminescent E. coli leaves a glowing path in the bloodstream

Many urinary tract infections (UTIs) can be cleared up with a big bottle of cranberry juice, but when these infections go bad, they can be really, really bad. Uropathogenic E. coli is the leading cause of uncomplicated UTIs, and if left untreated it can proceed right up the urinary tract to the... Read More

Do flu shots help very young children? Here's what one study says

With flu season underway, flu shots are particularly important for very young children. A new study finds that vaccinations do help prevent babies from getting sick.

This study at Turku University in Turku, Finland, published Tuesday in the Lancet Infectious Diseases says the 2007-08 vaccine ... Read More

Seeking New Blood-Supply Test

Scientists are racing to develop tests for a retrovirus called XMRV, which could be used to determine if the blood supply is tainted and to assess how many people may be infected.

The impetus behind the drive is a paper published in the journal Science last year that reported a link between X... Read More

Researcher, monkeys sickened by same virus at UC Davis primate center

It's the stuff of doomsday movies: A new virus jumps from animals to people, with ominous possibilities.

At the California National Primate Research Center at the University of California, Davis, last year, a newly identified form of virus devastated a monkey colony and sickened a researcher,... Read More

Glowing trees could light up city streets

Imagine taking a midnight stroll, your route lit by row upon row of trees glowing a ghostly blue. If work by a team of undergraduates at the University of Cambridge pans out, bioluminescent trees could one day be giving our streets this dreamlike look. The students have taken the first step on t... Read More

Fungus-Farming Ants First To Find Natural Pesticides

Leaf-cutter ants, which use leaves to raise a fungal crop to support a colony of millions, seem to have discovered farming long before humans evolved. They may also have beaten us to natural pesticides by a comfortable margin.

Although it's not possible to assign a date to the ants' latter di... Read More

Superantigens Could Be Behind Several Illnesses

Superantigens, the toxins produced by staphylococcus bacteria, are more complex than previously believed, reveals a team of researchers from the University of Gothenburg in an article published November 28 in the scientific journal Nature Communications. Their discovery shows that the body's imm... Read More

TWiV 109: Virología en México

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On episode #109 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent visits Mexico City and speaks with Rosa Maria del Angel and Ana Lorena Gutiérrez about virology in Mexico, and their work on dengue and ... Read More

HIV drug -- putting the new findings in perspective

HIV drugs given prophylactically can significantly reduce the risk of infection, a new clinical trial says. Those findings, announced Tuesday, have been the talk of the country for the past two days. Now comes the time to reflect on the findings.

Here's the original Los Angeles Times story "P... Read More

Officials Investigate Possible Miami Cholera Case

A suspected case of cholera has landed in Miami. The disease has killed some 2,000 people and put 30,000 others in hospitals in Haiti.

The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) confirms that a man fell ill with cholera-like symptoms Thanksgiving Day while on an American Airlines flight from Santo... Read More

Synthetic biology

Earlier this year, scientists at the J. Craig Venter Institute reported in the journal Science that they had designed and created a synthetic chromosome which they transplanted into a living cell. The living cell created new cells which are controlled only by the synthetic chromosome. The experi... Read More

Bugs can’t hide from the virus hunter

Dr. W. Ian Lipkin was spending the afternoon prowling his empire of viruses. The Center for Infection and Immunity, which he directs, occupies three floors of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. Rather than wait for the elevator, Lipkin ran up and down the back stairs to ... Read More

New Tool Detects Ebola, Marburg Quickly, Easily

Boston University researchers have developed a simple diagnostic tool that can quickly identify dangerous viruses like Ebola and Marburg. The biosensor, which is the size of a quarter and can detect viruses in a blood sample, could be used in developing nations, airports and other places where n... Read More

Chinese university manages to store data in bacteria

The quest to squeeze more and more data into ever smaller spaces continues, but current materials and techniques have their limits. One day in the not too distant future we will reach the limits of current hard drive technology.

So where do we look for the next storage breakthrough? If you as... Read More

Disease-causing bacteria genetically engineered to produce medicine

Usually we hear about E. coli bacteria when there's an outbreak of food poisoning. But now a group of engineers have turned these disease-causing bugs into a "production platform" for antibiotics.

Genetic engineers have been trying for a while to tweak the genes of E. coli so that they'll pro... Read More

Sewage Water Bacteria Fills 'Missing Link' in Early Evolution of Life on Earth

A common group of bacteria found in acid bogs and sewage treatment plants has provided scientists with evidence of a 'missing link' in one of the most important steps in the evolution of life on Earth -- the emergence of cells with a nucleus containing DNA (eukaryotic cells).

For billions of ... Read More

HIV-infected blood cells selflessly commit suicide

In a heroic act of sacrifice, HIV-infected white blood cells known as T cells self-destruct to prevent proliferation of the virus, according to a new study. Unfortunately, their sacrifice is in vain, as the mass die-off of T cells debilitates the body's immune system, resulting in the immune dis... Read More

Why babies digest milk more effectively than adults

A new study has pointed out that infants are more efficient at digesting milk than adults due to a difference in the strains of bacteria that dominate their digestive tracts.

Researchers from the University of California, Davis, and Utah State University have identified the genes that are mos... Read More
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