In this show, I report on four exciting stories: a plant-fungus symbiosis, making algae make medicine, fighting cancer with a virus, and making biofuels out of wood scraps.
(8 MB, 9 minutes)
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On episode #74 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent speaks with Adolfo Garcia-Sastre about the origin, pathogenesis, and prevention of the 2009 pandemic influenza H1N1 virus.
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As researchers, sneakers on, trickled out of UC San Francisco’s Genentech Hall on a warm, windless evening this week, assorted persons with stylish glasses and prettier footwear made their way against the flow and into the building’s marble atrium.
The California College of the Arts and the ... Read More
Countries producing food containing harmful bacteria and toxins could be named and shamed more quickly using a worldwide alert system devised by a team of scientists from Kingston University in South West London. The team, led by Professor Declan Naughton, says the easy to use computer tool can ... Read More
Understanding how plants defend themselves from bacterial infections may help researchers understand how people and other animals could be better protected from such pathogens.
That's the idea behind a study to observe a specific bacteria that infects tomatoes but normally does not bother the... Read More
Researchers have devised a way to attach sugars to proteins using unique biological and chemical methods. This means that large quantities of different glycoproteins can be generated for various medical and biological studies.
The E. coli bacterium produces a protein to which a sugar is attac... Read More
A virus first discovered in primates living in the Tana River Valley in Kenya is being tested by a London company as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
Viron Therapeutics is reporting that in tests with mice, VT-346 -- derived from the Tanapox virus -- has been up to 100 times more potent ... Read More
For two decades, scientists have been pursuing a potential new way to treat bacterial infections, using naturally occurring proteins known as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). Now, MIT scientists have recorded the first microscopic images showing the deadly effects of AMPs, most of which kill by po... Read More
Alternative approaches to medicine are stock-in-trade in the ASU laboratory of microbiologist Shelley Haydel.
So when ASU senior Jenny Koehl joined Haydel's investigative team seeking firsthand knowledge of how basic research is done, how drugs are tested and potential cures produced, she fou... Read More
A cheap acne drug that's been used for decades appears to target infected immune-system cells in which HIV lies dormant before coming back to life and spreading infection, researchers have found.
The authors of a new study say the antibiotic drug, minocycline, sold under names such as Minocin... Read More
Really though, even Yakov Smirnoff would be worried about this one - bacteria put Big Pharma's R&D to shame, evolving resistances much faster than we develop new antibiotics. Read More
Last year a mutation in the HA gene of the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus was identified in isolates from patients with severe disease. At the time I concluded that the emergence of this change was not a concern. Recently the Norwegian Institute of Public Health reported that the mutation, which caus... Read More
Kathy Hudson has been worrying about the quality of genetic tests for years, and now—after becoming chief of staff to National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins—she's doing something about it.
More than 1600 genetic tests are on the market, and there aren't enough regulations to e... Read More
An estimated 440,000 people had multi-drug resistant tuberculosis in 2008 and a third of them died as the new variant of the TB mycobacterium continues to spread, the World Health Organization said Thursday. Nearly half of the cases were in China and India, which have been hit hardest by the out... Read More
It’s well established that critical human body functions, including sleep, hormone production and regulation of body temperature, follow a circadian (24-hour) cycle. These genetically programmed patterns stay in effect even under isolation from the naturally occurring daily light-dark cycles of ... Read More
The incidence of tuberculosis infections in the United States dropped by an unusual and unexpectedly large 11.4% in 2009, the largest one-year decrease since federal agencies began tracking the disease in 1953, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday in its Morbidity and... Read More
When a bacterium goes over the top with making a particular gene transcript, it needs a way to degrade that mRNA before it invests too much energy and resources in creating unneeded proteins. A new Observation piece accepted for the inaugural issue of mBio reveals that antisense RNAs may be an ... Read More
A team of scientists based at San Diego State University, the University of Chicago, and the University of South Florida have analyzed all sequence data available in public databases from complete genomes and environmental community genomes, and found out that jumping genes (known as transposase... Read More
Duke Univ. researchers have devised a method to dry and preserve proteins in a glassified form that seems to retain the molecules' properties as workhorses of biology.
They are exploring whether their glassification technique could bring about protein-based drugs that are cheaper to make and ... Read More
It’s wondrous how the vast and the infinitesimal combine to make our planet work. Scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have found that bacteria in the ocean, gathering in sort of “microbial block parties,” communicate and cooperate with each other to have a significant impac... Read More