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Addressing Biosecurity Concerns Related to the Synthesis of Select Agents

DNA synthesis technology, in combination with other rapidly-evolving capabilities in the life sciences, such as directed molecular evolution and viral reverse genetics, has galvanized segments of the scientific community.1 It also has captured the attention of the general public and policymaker... Read More

Pandemic Potential of a Strain of Influenza A (H1N1) : Early Findings

The authors analyze the influenza outbreak in Mexico, and make an early assessment of transmissibility and severity. Read More

ASM Launches new Laboratory Capacity Building Program Website

In resource-limited countries, a lack of training, proper reagents, supplies, and equipment has impacted their laboratories' ability to identify key pathogenic bacteria and detection of antimicrobial resistance. This has led to an environment of syndromic diagnosis by clinicians who have little ... Read More

Rating Pandemics: Tweaking the WHO Scale for Next Time…

The title pretty much sums up the main thrust of the post, which also includes section on cheap, rapid diagnostic tests that not only can identify known pathogens, but provide quite a bit of information about novel pathogens (link to a great Pop!Tech video lecture by Ian LIpkin). There's also a ... Read More

Digital Disease Detection — Harnessing the Web for Public Health Surveillance

Wow, the NEJM is really knocking out some great "perspectives" in their most recent issue.

The Internet has become a critical medium for clinicians, public health practitioners, and laypeople seeking health information. Data about diseases and outbreaks are disseminated not only through onli... Read More

MTS26 - Ian Orme - Tuberculosis

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Interesting Rhinovirus Study + Bonus Chicken Soup Recipe

This 2000 paper, published in Chest, shows that chicken soup is capable of inhibiting neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro, thus providing some evidence for the soup's traditional role as a home cure for respiratory infections.

Helpfully, the soup recipe used in the study is also included. And it ... Read More

Conserved amino acid markers from past influenza pandemic strains

A recent paper published on Biomedcenteral by Jonathan E Allen , Shea N Gardner , Elizabeth A Vitalis, and Tom R Slezak discovers that new genetic markers for human host-specificity and high lethality in influenza viruses were identified by considering combinations of amino acids conserved amon... Read More

CDC offers handwashing flyer for distribution

The link in the source field above will download the CDC's handwashing flyer which they just pushed out for public distribution in response to concerns about H1N1 (Swine Flu). Read More

10 Genes, Furiously Evolving

This is a great article by Carl Zimmer in the NY Times (@carlzimmer on Twitter) about the evolution process of viruses.

"Some viruses use DNA, like we do, to encode their genes. Others, like the influenza virus, use single-strand RNA. But viruses all have one thing in common, said Roland Wolk... Read More

Help Spread the Flu (and learn about viruses at the same time)

The Welcome Trust has funded an interactive Flash game that can be played on the web that teaches young people how the flu is spread. You start off as a flu virus and the goal is to infect others. Along the way, you get educational information about viruses. Here are some of the instructions: Y... Read More

Bonnie Bassler on the secret, social lives of bacteria

This recent talk at TED by Bonnie Bassler on bacterial communication (aka quorum sensing) was a viral hit among the science geeks on Twitter. It is a very educational and well thought out presentation that is great for personal viewing or showing in the classroom. It's a must watch! Read More

Common Sense Advice for People Concerned About H1N1 (Swine Flu)

The New York Times has published a nice FAQ ,if you will, about H1N1 and what the general public should keep in mind in terms of worry, protection and symptoms. The article also talks about what public health response is feasible and should be expected. Read More

CDC Audio/MP3 Public Service Announcements for H1N1 (Swine Flu)

The CDC has provided and updated MP3s of three H1N1/swine flu-related PSAs for broadcasters, radio stations or the public to use. The latest versions now use the name Influenza A/H1N1 as opposed to swine flu. Hopefully this won't confuse people. Read More

Touch Surfaces and how microbes spread

With the advent of the rapid spread of H1N1 it is often a challenge to explain the need to be vigilant about hand hygiene. CNN's Randi Kaye reporting on Anderson Cooper 360 reports on how germs from one sneeze can spread to hundreds, maybe thousands. The video has a great animation and illustr... Read More

Medical University of South Carolina Swine Flu Resources

MUSC has put together a nice page of Swine Flu related resources and FAQs. Read More

Dr. Michael Schmidt from MUSC on Swine Flu

MUSC clinicians and researchers are actively monitoring the swine flu epidemic, linking their efforts to others at a state and national level. While concerned, we are prepared to respond to cases arising in the local area.

{mp3remote}http://medicaluniversc.http.internapcdn.net/medicalunivers... Read More

CDC Swine Flu Site

The CDC's all in one Swine Flu website with resources, updates, guidelines and data. Read More

The New Scientist's Swine Flu Resources Page

The New Scientist has put together a nice collection of articles and information about the swine flu on it's site. Read More

The Ghost Map - Author Steven Johnson on the 1854 Cholera Outbreak in London

Author Steven Johnson discusses The Ghost Map, his book about a cholera outbreak in 1854 London and the impact it had on science, cities and modern society. Read More
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