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Small pharmacies are more likely to dispense antibiotics without a medical prescription than large pharmacies in Catalonia, Spain

The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between pharmacy size and the likelihood of obtaining antibiotics without medical prescription at a pharmacy. In 2008 in Catalonia, two actors presented three different cases in a randomised sample of pharmacies and asked pharmacists for an a... Read More

The end of the pandemic – what will be the pattern of influenza in the 2010-11 European winter and beyond?

A recent editorial at www.eurosurveillance.org by A. Nicol and M. Sprenger considers the possible pattern for influenza in Europe this winter and beyond.

"On 10 August 2010 Margaret Chan, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), announced that the world has moved into the ... Read More

Biofilms Over Troubled Waters

Mark O. Martin, ASM member, associate blogger for Small Things Considered, and Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, has authored a new post on the Small Things Considered blog that explores what might be happening to the "vanishing" oil slicks in... Read More

Viral bioinformatics: Dotplot

Dotplots are an extremely useful way of visualizing comparisons of small and large DNA sequences (as well as protein sequences), providing insight into the degree of similarity, deletions, insertions and direct and indirect repeats. In a dotplot, each nucleotide, or small window of nucleotides, ... Read More

TWiP 14 Letters

Sarah writes:

To my favourite scientists,


I am a high school student from Serbia and microbiology is my passion; I plan on going to university and studying it. I wanted to tell you both how much I enjoy the TWIP podcast! I especially enjoyed the one about tapeworms.... Read More

TWiP 14: Leishmania

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Vincent and Dickson consider the life cycle and pathogenesis of the protozoan parasite Leishmania.


Download  Read More

When the End Is the Story - Human Herpesvirus six (HHV-6)

Sometimes, discovery in biology is about discerning rules and sometimes it is about pursuing exceptions. In this spirit, Human Herpesvirus six (HHV-6), the etiologic agent of the common childhood illness roseola infantum, is shaping up to be an intriguing exception.

A recent post on Small Thi... Read More

Viral translocation through intestinal permeability

Intestinal permeability and the translocation of bacteria, viruses and antigens through the mucosal epithelium seems to play a role in many illnesses from celiac disease over diabetes to HIV and immune activation. Do we take into account that intestinal permeability could play a very important r... Read More

TWiV 94 Letters

Kate writes:

Is it possible that disease stage makes a difference in detection of XMRV and have any XMRV studies tested patients for the virus at several different points over a period of time?


Cort writes:


How different or similar are your m... Read More

TWiV 94: XMRV with Dr. Ila Singh

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On episode #94 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Alan, and Rich speak with Ila Singh about the new human retrovirus XMRV, and how her laboratory is studying its association with prostat... Read More

Environmental Risk factor database: Bugs and Genes II: Alzheimer's , Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, Bipolar disoder and Schizophrenia.

This is a database of environmental risk factors, often viruses, bacteria and parasites, that have been implicated in Alzheimer's disease, Bipolar disorder, Multiple sclerosis, Schizophrenia, and Parkinson's disease , all accessible from the home page. In general the degree of risk conferred by... Read More

A compact microscope invented at Rice University is proving its potential to impact global health

A compact, inexpensive microscope operated by a battery is able to diagnose signs of tuberculosis on par with devices that retail for as much as $40,000.

The 2.5 pound microscope was developed by Rice University alumnus Andrew Miller, as his senior design project last year.

The goal was to... Read More

The impact of the pandemic influenza A(H1N1) 2009 virus on seasonal influenza A viruses in the southern hemisphere

Data collected over winter 2009 by five World Health Organisation National Influenza Centres in the southern hemisphere were used to examine the circulation of pandemic and seasonal influenza A strains during the first pandemic wave in the southern hemisphere. There is compelling evidence that t... Read More

PolygenicBlog: Bugs and genes

This is a blog that tries to address the relationships between genes and environmental risk factors , particularly viruses, bacteria and parasites, in some common diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Bipolar disorder, multiple sclerosis, Schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease and also provide... Read More

Herpes simplex: Host Viral interactions database

This is a database of Herpes simplex (HSV-1) host/viral interactions hosted at WikiGenes. It provides a global snapshot of what the virus does in different compartments at all stages of the viral life-cycle from entry to exit. The database is interactive, and any researcher can edit the page or ... Read More

XMRV, Chronic Fatigue and prostate cancer

The XMRV retrovirus has been implicated in chronic fatigue syndrome and prostate cancer. A homology search comparing retroviral with human proteins revealed short contiguous amino acid strings (typically 5-8 aa) matching human proteins whose dysfunction might be expected to cause fatigue, includ... Read More

NASA Research Announcement Issued (includes Microbiology topics)

A National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Research Announcement (NRA), entitled, "Research and Technology Development to Support Crew Health and Performance in Space Exploration Missions" (NRA NNJ10ZSA003N), has been released and is available through the NASA Research Opportunities ... Read More

An Inactive Mine Provides Active Opportunities

Elio Schaechter of Small Things Considered describes the work by members of Jill Banfield’s lab at Berkeley on a unique set of mine-dwelling microorganisms dubbed ARMAN (for Archaeal Richmond Mine Acidophilic Nanoorganisms). These microbes illustrate many surprising characteristics such as "thei... Read More

Robert M. Chanock, MD, 1924-2010

Chanock received his MD in 1947 from the University of Chicago, and after clinical training in pediatrics (note the bowtie), joined Albert Sabin at the University of Cincinnati where he studied arthropod-borne viruses. After a stint in the US Army, he rejoined Sabin’s laboratory in 1954 as an in... Read More

Important Considerations for a Career in Biotech

When I was in graduate school, it seemed that almost no one aspired to work in industry or be part of a company. But times are changing. Now, when I go to conferences and talk to scientists in training, I am asked, ”how do I get a job in a company?” and “How did you get your job?”

This is not... Read More
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