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Quest for hepatitis B treatment wins Emerging Researcher Award

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researcher Dr Greg Ebert has won the Bupa Health Foundation Emerging Health Researcher Award 2014 for his work on developing a new therapy for chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.

Chronic hepatitis B is a viral liver disease that affects 230,000 Australia... Read More

For enterics, adaptability could be an Achilles heel

In research published in Nature Chemical Biology, scientists from RIKEN in Japan have discovered a surprisingly simple mechanism through which enterics can adjust to the very different oxygen environments inside the human gut and outside. This research, which was led by Shigeyuki Yokoyama and Wa... Read More

Ebola in DRC: a new strain of the virus

While an Ebola epidemic has been raging in West Africa since March 2014, an outbreak of this haemorrhagic fever occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in August, leaving fears over the virus' spread to Central Africa. A study by the IRD, the Institut Pasteur, the CNRS, the CIRMF... Read More

Life on a Pig's Skin

How frequently do microbes exchange genes when living on a host? This question has been on my mind lately. Broadly speaking, the discovery of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) revolutionized the way we think about prokaryotic evolution. No more could we think only of inheritance via vertical descen... Read More

Nobel Laureates and Ebola virus quarantine

After the governors of New York and New Jersey decided that health workers who have returned from the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa should be subject to a 21-day quarantine, two Nobel laureates entered the fray. Bruce Beutler feels that the quarantine is the right thing to do, while Peter ... Read More

TWiV 310: From bacteriophage to retroviruses with Ann Skalka

Vincent and Glenn meet up with Ann and talk about her long and productive career in virology, from biochemistry to bacteriophage lambda to retroviruses.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Read More

This algae farm eats highway pollution

Plant-like microorganisms called algae are pretty interesting little creatures - some species form expansive 'algal blooms' that harm the environment, whereas others can be used to produce biofuel and food sources. Some can even infect humans and mess with their brains.

This diverse organism ... Read More

How Ebola Blindsides the Body's Defenses

Researchers often describe the battle between the Ebola virus and the humans it occasionally infects as a race—one that people win only if their immune systems manage to pull ahead before the virus destroys too many of their internal defenses. What they may not know is that the virus is a cheat.... Read More

How One Experimental Drug May Be Defeating Ebola and Saving People

Since the worst Ebola outbreak on record ignited last December in West Africa, scientists have been racing to develop drugs and vaccines to combat the virus. Several experimental drugs have been given to patients, and a new study details how scientists think one of those drugs might neutralize t... Read More

The origins of multicellular life

The biological world around us is dominated by multicellular plants and animals. All of these intricate forms have evolved from far simpler, single celled ancestors.

What could explain the transition from single cells to cooperative groups, to groups of cells that put the prosperity of the wh... Read More

Bats identified as hosts of Bartonella mayotimonensis

Modern sequencing techniques have shown that bats can carry a bacterial species previously been shown to cause deadly human infections in USA. There are more than 1,100 species of bats on Earth. The numbers of bats are estimated to outnumber every other group of mammals. "Bats are also highly mo... Read More

Ebola Expert Update

Scientific American health and medicine correspondent Dina Fine Maron talks about Ebola with tropical medicine and infectious disease expert Daniel Bausch of Tulane University at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Click "source" to listen to podcast. Read More

Engineered for Tolerance, Bacteria Pump Out Higher Quantity of Renewable Gasoline

An international team of bioengineers has boosted the ability of bacteria to produce isopentenol, a compound with desirable gasoline properties. The finding, published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, is a significant step toward developing a bac... Read More

A Snippet: Thioploca

The seafloor off the coast of Chile is carpeted with bacterial mats of gigantic proportions. They cover an area as large as that of the state of Alabama. Their total weight is of the order of 100 million tons, which probably makes this the largest single species microbiome on Earth. The mats con... Read More

Chagas disease - a new public health threat for Americans?

Chagas disease - a parasitic infection that can cause severe heart disease and death if not caught and treated early - affects millions of people worldwide, mainly in Latin America. Now, new research suggests it is increasingly being seen in the southern US and poses an emerging potential public... Read More

Same pieces, different picture - Unprecedented detail on HIV structure reveals surprises

Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany and collaborators from Heidelberg University, in the joint Molecular Medicine Partnership Unit, have obtained the first structure of the immature form of HIV at a high enough resolution to pinpoint exactly wher... Read More

Targeting key cells for a dengue virus infection model

Dengue virus infects hundreds of millions of people living in tropical countries every year. Transmitted via mosquito bites, the virus typically causes fever, but may also lead to potentially fatal organ failure. The development of mouse models of dengue virus infection could hasten an effective... Read More

U.S. Ebola researchers plead for access to virus samples

Scientists across the United States say they cannot obtain samples of Ebola, complicating efforts to understand how the virus is mutating and develop new drugs, vaccines and diagnostics.

The problems reflect growing caution by regulators and transport companies about handling Ebola as well as... Read More

How cells defend themselves against antibiotics, cytostatic agents

ABC Transporters are proteins that are embedded in the cell membrane and facilitate the transport across cellular barriers not only of an almost unlimited variety of toxic substances, but also of substances that are essential for life. They also play a role in the development of antibiotic resis... Read More

Vaccine-resistant polio strain discovered

The global initiative to eradicate poliomyelitis through routine vaccination has helped reduce the number of cases by more than 99% in 30 years. However, major epidemics are still occurring today. Researchers have identified the virus responsible for deadly and recent outbreaks, and have sequenc... Read More

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