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Measles in the brain: Fusion gone awry

The entry of enveloped viruses into cells begins when the membrane that surrounds these virus particles fuse with a cell membrane. The process of virus-cell fusion must be tightly regulated, to make sure it happens in the right cells. The fusion activity of measles viruses isolated from the brai... Read More

Bacteria jump between species more easily than previously thought

A new study suggests that bacteria may be able to jump between host species far easier than was previously thought. Researchers discovered that a single genetic mutation in a strain of bacteria infectious to humans enables it jump species to also become infectious to rabbits. The discovery has m... Read More

Mosquitoes ramp up immune defenses after sucking blood

If you were about to enter a crowded subway during flu season, packed with people sneezing and coughing, wouldn't it be helpful if your immune system recognized the potentially risky situation and bolstered its defenses upon stepping into the train?

After ingesting a meal of blood, mosquitoes... Read More

Ebola Drug Trial Is Halted for Lack of Patients

A clinical trial in Liberia of a drug to treat Ebola has been halted because of a sharp decline in the number of people infected with the virus, and studies in West Africa of other potential treatments are also facing problems finding patients.

The halted trial was testing the antiviral drug ... Read More

In Treating Ebola, Even Using a Stethoscope Becomes a Challenge

Doctors treating Ebola patients while wearing “the full spacesuit” — protective gear, including waterproof hoods — are struggling with a clinician’s dilemma: what to do if they can’t use one of the oldest, most basic tools in medicine — a stethoscope.

It’s not safe to cut holes in the hood, a... Read More

Your Soap Has Bacteria In It, But It Still Gets You Clean

Bacteria are everywhere on your skin, hair and eyelashes, to name a few of their homes. Bacteria are even in your soap, the very thing you thought washed all the bacteria away.

As long as the bacteria keep their numbers small, there's nothing wrong with them living in soap. But every once in ... Read More

Big Data and Bacteria: Mapping the New York Subway’s DNA

Aboard a No. 6 local train in Manhattan, Weill Cornell researcher Christopher Mason patiently rubbed a nylon swab back and forth along a metal handrail, collecting DNA in an effort to identify the bacteria in the New York City subway.

In 18 months of scouring the entire system, he has found g... Read More

Recent Paper Shed’s Light on Effect of Using Antibiotics While Traveling

When I jetted off to South America a year and a half ago, my doctor sent me with a bottle of Ciprofloxacin in case of an unfortunate bout of food poisoning. I thought little of it then, but what does it mean when millions of travelers head to developing countries with antibiotics?

Click "sour... Read More

Research finds that malaria parasites are unlikely to jump to humans

In recent years, public health experts have increasingly explored the idea of eliminating the most dangerous malaria-causing parasite. But they have questioned whether getting rid of this species, called Plasmodium falciparum, would allow other species of the parasite to simply jump into the gap... Read More

TWiP 83 letters


Robin writes:


Malaria: shaking chills & fever (followed by sweats, not specifically mentioned in this case), is a characteristic of malaria that is unforgettable once one has had it (I had malaria four times).


Thick blood smears is de rigueur.
So... Read More

Study shows oysters, mussels have low levels of disease, parasites

NOAA's first-ever long-term report of the national distribution of parasites and disease in mussels and oysters, using data gathered between 1995 and 2009, provides a new data set for coastal resource management and shows the occurrence and severity of disease and parasite infections to be gener... Read More

Record Keeping Helps Bacteria’s Immune System Fight Invaders

Bacteria have a sophisticated means of defending themselves, and they need it: more viruses infect bacteria than any other biological entity.

Two experiments undertaken at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory provide new insight at the heart of bacterial adaptive de... Read More

CU neurologist finds link between virus causing chicken pox and giant cell arteritis

A new study developed at the University of Colorado School of Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus links the virus that causes chicken pox and shingles to a condition that inflames blood vessels on the temples and scalp in the elderly, called giant cell arteritis.

Giant cell arteritis, whi... Read More

Bacteria exchange food via nanotubes

Bacteria typically thrive in communities where colonies of many different species collaborate and support each other's growth and exchange nutrients.

However, it has not been clear whether they do this only by releasing the metabolites into the cell environment for their neighbors to pick up,... Read More

Why drinking blood doesn’t make mosquitoes sick.

While it’s easy to think about mosquitoes as a mere portal for shuttling malaria and other diseases from one person to another, the insects have their own immune response to infection.

After sucking down a blood meal, mosquitoes ramp up production of immune system proteins to fight off potent... Read More

Friendly fungi: How they could help barley growers feed the world without chemicals

Botanists from Trinity College Dublin have made a breakthrough discovery that could save barley farmers sleepless nights and millions of Euro each year: naturally occurring plant-friendly fungi prevent crop-ravishing diseases from spreading, and also aid plant survival in testing environmental c... Read More

TLR9: Two rings to bind them?

University of Tokyo researchers have elucidated how Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) binds to pathogen DNA, activating the innate immune system. This discovery is vital for the design of new antiviral, antibacterial, allergy and other drugs targeting TLR9.

Invading pathogens such as bacteria or vi... Read More

Global Warming May Spawn New Disease Outbreaks

Infections lurking on the margins of civilization are becoming more likely to cause outbreaks as the climate changes, researchers say. Ravens, rodents and rattlesnakes are moving to new locales as rainfall and temperatures shift over time (ClimateWire, Dec. 14, 2011).

Click "source" to read ... Read More

Darwin's Finches Get Their Genomes Sequenced

Researchers have sequenced the genomes of all 15 species of Darwin’s finches, revealing a key gene responsible for the diversity in the birds’ beaks. The study, published online in Nature this week, also redraws the family tree of these iconic birds, whose facial variations helped Charles Darwin... Read More

Unlocking the Key to Immunological Memory in Bacteria

A powerful genome editing tool may soon become even more powerful. Researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have unlocked the key to how bacteria are able to “steal” genetic information from viruses and other foreign invaders for use in their own immunological me... Read More
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