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Deadly Plague Found in Burma

An unspecified number of Rangoon residents have been diagnosed with plague, a contagious disease primarily transmitted by rodents (mostly rats), according to the Burmese Ministry of Health (MOH) in Naypyidaw.

An epidemiologist at MOH who asked to remain anonymous told The Irrawaddy that some ... Read More

The majority of fevers in African children are not caused by malaria

In 2007, an estimated 656 million fevers occurred in African children aged 0-4 years, with 78 million children of the 183 million attending a public health care facility likely to have been infected with P. falciparum (range 60-103 million), the parasite that causes the most dangerous form of ma... Read More

Bacterial Communication Encourages Chronic, Resistant Ear Infections

Ear infections caused by more than one species of bacteria could be more persistent and antibiotic-resistant because one pathogen may be communicating with the other, encouraging it to bolster its defenses. Interrupting or removing that communication could be key to curing these infections. Re... Read More

Bacterial Diversity of Tablas De Daimiel National Park in Spain: 265 New Phylum Groups Discovered

A team of Spanish scientists has studied the bacteria -- micro organisms that are "essential" for important processes such as nitrogen and carbon-fixing and decomposition of matter -- in the Tablas de Daimiel National Park. The scientists discovered 265 new phylum groups by using DNA analysis.
... Read More

The Claim: Exposure to Plants and Parks Can Boost Immunity

This time of year, allergies and the promise of air-conditioning tend to drive people indoors.

But for those who can take the heat and cope with the pollen, spending more time in nature might have some surprising health benefits. In a series of studies, scientists found that when people swap ... Read More

Sewage raises West Nile virus risk

Sewage that overflows into urban creeks and streams during periods of heavy rain can promote the spread of West Nile Virus, an Emory study finds.

The analysis of six years of data showed that people living near creeks with sewage overflows in lower-income neighborhoods of Southeast Atlanta ha... Read More

New silver nanocoatings are strong against bacteria yet body tissue-compatible

Empa researchers have demonstrated how they can adjust process conditions to influence the properties of novel plasma polymer coatings containing silver nanoparticles. Tailor-made films can be generated through a one-step plasma process. The scientists developed these new coatings, which kill ba... Read More

Map of Herpes Virus Protein Suggests a New Drug Therapy

New research reveals the unusual structure of a key protein complex that allows a herpes virus to invade cells. This close-up of the herpes virus’s “cell-entry machinery” sheds light on how herpes viruses work and provides a promising new target for antiviral drugs. The study was published onlin... Read More

Bacteria skedaddle when relatives start dying

The deaths of nearby relatives have a curious effect on the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus—surviving cells lose their stickiness.

Harmless Caulobacter live in nutrient-poor, aqueous environments like lakes, rivers, and even tap water. Like many other bacteria, Caulobacter form biofilms, agg... Read More

Researchers Show How Active Immune Tolerance Makes Pregnancy Possible

The concept of pregnancy makes no sense—at least not from an immunological point of view. After all, a fetus, carrying half of its father's genome, is biologically distinct from its mother. The fetus is thus made of cells and tissues that are very much not "self"—and not-self is precisely what t... Read More

Rodent of the Week: closing in on a universal flu vaccine

Flu viruses mutate rapidly, meaning that vaccines against the flu have to be continually updated to target the latest strains. Moreover, antiviral medications to combat flu sometimes become ineffective because of viral mutations. Thus, finding a so-called universal flu vaccine that could be used... Read More

Antibacterial paper made from graphene

Researchers have made the surprising finding that graphene-based nanomaterials possess excellent antibacterial properties. Although antibacterial materials are widely used in daily life, and the antibacterial properties of nanomaterials are increasingly being explored and developed as commercial... Read More

Vaccine for Marburg virus passes monkey test

A devastating tropical virus that has no cure can be ambushed by vaccination a day or two after exposure, tests in monkeys show. The findings suggest that African villagers, health officials and laboratory workers who come into contact with the deadly Marburg virus will someday have recourse to ... Read More

Microbe research might aid Gulf oil cleanup efforts

They were discovered, living virtually unnoticed, in the depths of a toxic sludge lagoon at a 100-year-old refinery in Poland.

After a trip across the ocean to the U.S. Energy Department's Savannah River National Laboratory -- and eight years of careful research -- scientists are slowly unloc... Read More

Athletes suffer skin problems from germy locker rooms

For all the images of healthy, joyous activity competitive athletes may conjure up, sports can be a germy business.

Sweat, shared gear and playing surfaces, coupled with the erratic personal hygiene of adolescents, have combined to ramp up the risk from skin infections in sports at the high s... Read More

TWiV 89 Letters

Andreas writes:

Hello professors,

I would just like to start by saying thank you for the wonderful podcast.

Today I found this article (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127226355) on npr which seems to describe a remarkably effectiv... Read More

TWiV 89: Where do viruses vacation?

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On episode #89 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent and Alan review recent findings on the association of the retrovirus XMRV with ME/CFS, reassortment of 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus... Read More

BREAKING: A Colorado company has recalled 66,000 pounds of bison meat sold nationwide after federal agriculture officials linked it to E. coli sicknesses.

A Colorado company has recalled 66,000 pounds of bison meat sold nationwide after federal agriculture officials linked it to E. coli sicknesses.

Click "source" to read the entire article. Read More

Wallabies and bats harbor 'fossil' genes from the most deadly family of human viruses

Modern marsupials may be popular animals at the zoo and in children's books, but new findings by University at Buffalo biologists reveal that they harbor a "fossil" copy of a gene that codes for filoviruses, which cause Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fevers and are the most lethal viruses known t... Read More

Cell Phone Microscope Poised to Begin Trials in Africa

Cell phones are accumulating a Swiss Army Knife-esqe assortment of capabilities; substituting as cameras, providing internet access, and soon operating as medical labs if Aydogan Ozcan's plans come to fruition. This month's cover article of the journal Lab on a Chip features the latest creation... Read More
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