Medical experts will be watching closely Monday when a scientist who says she has been intermittently paralyzed by a virus designed at the Pfizer laboratory where she worked in Groton opens a much anticipated trial that could raise questions about safety practices in the dynamic field of genetic... Read More
Year after year, legislation intended to preserve the effectiveness of available antibiotics by limiting their use in livestock is shot down. The latest bills introduced in both houses of Congress have been stalled for close to a year.
Banning the use of antibiotics in perfectly healthy anima... Read More
The Food and Drug Administration is reexamining the safety of a culinary staple found in every restaurant, food manufacturing plant and home kitchen pantry: spices.
In the middle of a nationwide outbreak of salmonella illness linked to black and red pepper -- and after 16 separate U.S. recall... Read More
Stories of environmental damage and their consequences always seem to take place far away and in another country, usually a tropical one with lush rainforests and poison dart frogs.
In fact, similar stories starring familiar animals are unfolding all the time in our own backyards -- including... Read More
Today's decision by a federal court that the preservative thimerosal does not cause autism has sparked a lot of comment in the autism community, most of it negative. Many saw it as a government conspiracy to protect the vaccine industry, a claim that has also been made about the swine flu vacci... Read More
Changes to the 2010 Canadian Federal Budget will be deleterious to current and prospective Canadian Post Doctoral Fellows. Please sign this petition to help us recruit and retain these promising new scientists and maintain our status as a country that values its scientists and is a significant c... Read More
Have you been following the strange story of the heroin addicts in Scotland who have been contracting anthrax infections? Two more addicts are being treated, according to a report we picked up on Promed, a clearinghouse for infectious disease news. Since December, 10 people have died in Scotlan... Read More
Though pandemic flu is circulating at low levels in many parts of the world, Thailand and some West African nations are reporting increased activity, and the virus is being edged out by influenza B in China and other Asian regions, with signs of westward spread, the World Health Organization (WH... Read More
A virus that destroys cancer cells but leaves normal cells unharmed works against prostate cancer, a human study shows.
The virus also blasts lymphoid, colon, ovarian, breast, pancreatic, brain, lung, head and neck, and other cancer cells.
The virus is called reovirus, and nearly everyone ... Read More
Pharmaceutical companies could substantially reduce the expense of costly treatments for cancer and other diseases produced from mammalian or bacterial cells by growing these human therapeutic proteins in algae -- rapidly growing aquatic plant cells that have recently gained attention for their ... Read More
Malaria continues to be a global scourge, sickening some 300 million to 500 million people annually. Most of the resulting one million to three million malaria deaths occur in regions where it is highly endemic, such as sub-Saharan Africa and parts of south Asia.
Some parts of the world wher... Read More
On a recent episode of TWiV, we posed the question, 'Can computer viruses evolve'? and asked listeners to weigh in. The author of the blog nostacktrace spent some time thinking about this issue and concludes that the evolution of real computer programs doesn't really work. Software instructions ... Read More
The second RNA segment of some influenza virus strains encodes a protein called PB1-F2 that might contribute to virulence. Speaking about the 2009 pandemic H1N1 strain, Peter Palese noted that “If this virulence marker is necessary for an influenza virus to become highly pathogenic in humans or ... Read More
Investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used frequent-shopper cards that millions of Americans swipe when they buy groceries to track down the source of salmonella in the recent salami recall. Read More
A desperate attempt to keep endangered Virginia big-eared bats alive in captivity has shown just how difficult that noble task may be.
The effort was prompted by the discovery of White Nose Syndrome, an extremely virulent disease that has killed more than one million bats since 2007, in one o... Read More
New World hemorrhagic fevers are emerging infectious diseases found in South America that can cause terrible, Ebola-like symptoms. Current treatments are expensive and only partially effective.
Now, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) researchers have discovered exactly how one type of New... Read More
Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist Scott Yates is studying how oxytetracycline (OTC), an antibiotic that is administered to animals, breaks down in cattle manure.
Livestock producers in the United States often use antibiotics to control disease in their animals, and confined U.S. l... Read More
When cells move about in the body, they follow a complex pattern similar to that which amoebae and bacteria use when searching for food, a team of Vanderbilt researchers have found.
The discovery has a practical value for drug development: Incorporating this basic behavior into computer simul... Read More
Two research teams have independently decoded the entire genome of patients to find the exact genetic cause of their diseases. The approach may offer a new start in the so far disappointing effort to identify the genetic roots of major killers like heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
In... Read More
Once upon a time, in 2003, a French team discovered a giant virus infects amoeba. It was isolated from a cooling tower in the UK. They were so excited because it was so huge with a genome contains 900 protein-encoding genes (The words giant/ huge are totally hilarious. It’s not “Hulk”, it’s just... Read More