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ASM Launches 2010 Biodefense And Emerging Diseases Research Meeting Web Site

On behalf of the ASM Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting Program Committee and the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), we invite you to participate in the 8th ASM Biodefense Research Meeting to be held in Baltimore, MD February 21-24, 2010.

Since October 2001, ASM has focus... Read More

Using a systems biology approach researchers model the bacterial mechanism of methicillin-resistance in Staph

A recent paper published in PLoS One describes a systems biology approach that models how Staphylococcus aureus develops methicillin resistance.

The obtained results by our integrated approach show that the model describes correctly the whole phenomenon of the methicillin resistance and is ab... Read More

Group B Strep in newborns can suppress immune cell function

Group B Streptococcus (GBS), a bacterial pathogen that causes sepsis and meningitis in newborn infants, is able to shut down immune cell function in order to promote its own survival, according to researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the Skaggs School of ... Read More

The State of Science in America

A new survey published by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the American Association for the Advancement of Science checks the pulse of how scientists and the public view the field of science. For example:

17% of the public thinks that U.S. scientific achievements rate a... Read More

Researchers show how the chemotaxis network of signaling proteins in E.coli is able to spontaneously form from clusters of proteins

"Self-assembling and self-organizing systems are the Holy Grails of nanotechnology, but nature has been producing such systems for millions of years. A team of scientists has taken a unique look at how thousands of bacterial membrane proteins are able to assemble into clusters that direct cell m... Read More

Rodents may not be the primordial reservoirs for hantaviruses

New research from PLoS on novel hantavirus genomes in moles challenges the current thinking that rodents are the originating hosts for the disease.

From the abstract:

The discovery of genetically distinct hantaviruses in shrews (Order Soricomorpha, Family Soricidae) from widely separated ... Read More

Could Preserving the Diversity of Species Protect us from Disease?

New research on the prevalence of "sin nombre" hantavirus in deer mice authored by Laurie J. Dizney and Luis A. Ruedas from Portland State University and published in the CDC's Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal suggests a diversity of animal species helps defend against the emergence of patho... Read More

Should I breast feed my baby if I have H1N1/swine flu?

The CDC has released new guidelines for moms concerned abouth whether they should breast feed their children if they have H1N1 or Swine Flu.

"Infants are thought to be at higher risk for severe illness from novel influenza A (H1N1) infection and very little is known about prevention of novel ... Read More

HIV-1 Infection Rapidly Damages Function of Gut Antibody Producing Immune Cells within Days

New research published in PLoS Medecine from the NIAID-funded Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology suggests that HIV-1 moves at breathtaking speed in destroying and de-regulating the body's gut-based B-cell antibody-producing system, resulting in a sober reality for hopeful vaccine hunters.

... Read More

The Virus That Cures - Bacteriophage

This is an interesting documentary about superbugs, such as MRSA, antibiotic resistance and Russia's research into bacteriophage (viruses that attack bacteria) as a treatment for people with bacterial-related diseases. This video was produced in 1997 by the BBC, but despite the air date, ther... Read More

Bioinformatics and Biodefense: Keys to Understanding Natural and Altered Pathogens

Bioinformatics, the application of computer analysis to molecular biology, is a fundamental corollary to biodefense research. As we face new security threats involving pathogens and infectious disease, bioinformatics databases must be improved and a plan must be made for integrating biodefense r... Read More

Paul Offit, MD on Autism and Vaccine Safety

Virginia Campbell,MD, host of the Brain Science Podcast, has published a very interesting interview with Dr. Paul Offit, author of the book Autism’s False Prophets. In the interview, Campbell and Offit explore "the scientific evidence that vaccines DO NOT cause autism, but also examine why the c... Read More

How to streak a plate as narrated by a vampire

While this instructional video is good, the narrator's "dracula" accent is downright silly. Click source to learn how to successfully streak a plate and to watch out for common problems associated with the technique. Read More

Genetics 101

23andme, "the world's trusted source of personal genetic information", has produced a great animation series about genes and genetics. The films will be aired during Gene Screen, a night of film on health and genetics in Washington, D.C. on July 16. Watch an animated guide to your genes, SNPs, p... Read More

Are microbiologists with beards a threat to public health?

A paper published in PubMed that appeared in the July 1967 edition of Applied Microbiology reports that men with beards who work in microbiology labs may be a public health hazard. The authors conclude that although lab personnel who wash their beards reduced the amount of virus or toxin, a suff... Read More

New viruses are providing some clues to how viruses evolved

The science of metagenomics has uncovered that viruses are the most abundant and genetically diverse organisms on earth. In an article published in Microbiology Today, Peter Simmons from the Centre for Infectious Diseases, University of Edinburgh, discusses how discoveries of new viruses are pro... Read More

Combining Agriculture with Microbial Genomics To Make Fuels

This article looks at key challenges when using agricultural waste as a sustainable source for biofuels to meet worldwide energy needs. Subjects include dealing with diverse cellulosic sugars and finding ways to recycle carbon dioxide back into useful biomass.
Why plants such as sugar cane and ... Read More

MTS30 - Stanley Plotkin - The Past, Present, and Future of Vaccines

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Stomachache Tonight - Animated Food Saftey Music Video

Dr. Carl Winter, a food toxicologist at University of California, Davis, sings this parody of The Eagles' "Heartache Tonight." Read More

The Inflammatory Response

Vincent Racaniello from This Week in Virology has a great post on his site about what happens to the immune system during the initial infection of an influenza virus:

During the earliest stages of a virus infection, cytokines are produced when innate immune defenses are activated. The rapid ... Read More

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