The CDC has just published "Preparing for the Flu: A Communication Toolkit for Child Care and Early Childhood Programs." A .pdf document that provides information and communication resources to help center-based and home-based child care programs, Head Start programs, and other early childhood p... Read More
The findings by the NIH and FDA that XMRV is associated with chronic fatigue syndrome has been accepted for publication by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Release of the article has been blocked by PNAS due to work carried out by the US Centers for Disease Control and... Read More
One of two papers on avian influenza H5N1 virus that caused such a furor in the past six months was published today in the journal Nature. I have read it, and I can assure you that the results do not enable the construction of a deadly biological weapon. Instead, they illuminate important requir... Read More
Does the same concern that you discussed with suppressed immunity after a transplant apply to folks who undergo chemotherapy for cancer? (re strongyloides)
Hi V... Read More
A second virophage has been identified. The name does not signify a virus that infects another virus – it means virus eater.
Science writer Carl Zimmer writes a masterful blog piece tracing the history of the study of ecosystems, from lakes to the human microbiome. Just one interesting fact: In their lifetimes, individual humans will produce about five elephants worth of microbes. Read More
The Judges' Choice for The Scientist magazine's 2011 Labby Multimedia Awards is this cute video on how microbes are essential for snow formation.
Rich Condit found an article highly critical of the original Wakefield study (claiming a link between MMR vaccine and autism) which was published in the same issue of Lancet. He asked the publisher, Elsevier, to open up the article to non-subscribers so he could recommend it as a pick of the wee... Read More
El podcast del Microbio Nº217 describes the symbiosis between the squid Euprymna scolopes and the bacteria Vibrio fischeri.... Read More
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
An article by Alan Derman, Project Scientist in Joe Pogliano’s lab at the University of California at San Diego, published on the Small Things Considered blog presents a point-by-point analysis of a paper "Quantitative genome-scale analysis of protein localization in an asymmetric bacterium" pub... Read More
A listener pick - since I know you all really enjoy the visualization of science!
When infection with hepatitis C virus goes from acute to chronic, severe liver disease may occur which requires organ transplantation. Nearly 200 million people are chronically infected with HCV, necessitating approaches to preventing and treating infections. No HCV vaccine is available, and cur... Read More
Yesterday the Chicago Tribune published my reaction to the four papers on the retrovirus XMRV published this week in the journal Retrovirology. I was quoted as saying ”These four papers are probably the beginning of the end of XMRV and CFS”. I wish to retract this statement and explain my reason... Read More
A dairy cow in California is the fourth known American case of mad cow disease, which is caused by prions, infectious agents composed only of protein (the story hit the press the day after my lecture on this type of illness). Unlike viruses, prions have no nucleic acid and no protective coat. Bu... Read More
A salt-loving (halophilic) bacterium which can grow in medium containing arsenic instead of phosphorus has been selected from the microbial community of Mono Lake in California. Arsenic (As) is a chemical analog of phosphorus and is usually toxic because it can enter metabolic pathways in the pl... Read More
A type of human encephalitis – an infection of the brain – has been known to affect the indigenous people living in the Sakha Republic of Russia since the mid-1800s. The available clinical and epidemiological evidence suggests that the disease is caused by a pathogen, but proving this has been d... Read More