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Keyword: microbiology

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  • Multi-drug resistant staph in 1 of 4 supermarket meat samples

    04/19/2011 11:05:04 AM PDT · by neverdem · 21 replies
    Ars Technica | April 17, 2011 | Maryn McKenna
    Ars Technica is from Condé Nast, so it can't be posted. Go to the link.
  • Mighty micelles that make themselves

    04/07/2011 7:32:39 AM PDT · by neverdem · 3 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 04 April 2011 | Carol Stanier
    Scientists in the US and Singapore have made self assembling micelles of cationic polymers that kill bacteria but are biodegradable - raising further hope of a nanotechnology solution to the problem of antibiotic resistance.Conventional antibiotics typically kill by penetrating the cell wall and disrupting vital cellular processes inside. But bacterial resistance to such antibiotics is growing because bacteria that survive treatment go on to proliferate, thereby spreading their genetic advantage.Some cationic peptides can kill bacteria by disrupting the cell wall of the bacteria instead, and resistance in this case is less likely to arise. But these peptides are often toxic to the host and...
  • The spread of superbugs - What can be done about the rising risk of antibiotic resistance?

    04/05/2011 11:05:59 AM PDT · by neverdem · 45 replies
    The Economist ^ | Mar 31st 2011 | Masthead Editorial
    ON DECEMBER 11th 1945, at the end of his Nobel lecture, Alexander Fleming sounded a warning. Fleming’s chance observation of the antibiotic effects of a mould called Penicillium on one of his bacterial cultures had inspired his co-laureates, Howard Florey and Ernst Chain, two researchers based in Oxford, to extract the mould’s active principal and turn it into the miracle cure now known as penicillin. But Fleming could already see the future of antibiotic misuse. “There is the danger”, he said, “that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and by exposing his microbes to non-lethal quantities of the drug...
  • 'Virus-eater' discovered in Antarctic lake

    03/29/2011 3:23:02 PM PDT · by neverdem · 52 replies · 1+ views
    Nature News ^ | 28 March 2011 | Virginia Gewin
    First of the parasitic parasites to be discovered in a natural environment points to hidden diversity. A genomic survey of the microbial life in an Antarctic lake has revealed a new virophage — a virus that attacks viruses. The discovery suggests that these life forms are more common, and have a larger role in the environment, than was once thought. An Australian research team found the virophage while surveying the extremely salty Organic Lake in eastern Antarctica. While sequencing the collective genome of microbes living in the surface waters, they discovered the virus, which they dubbed the Organic Lake Virophage...
  • Drug-resistant bacterium hits Southland healthcare facilities

    03/25/2011 7:15:29 PM PDT · by neverdem · 8 replies
    LA Times ^ | March 25, 2011 | Molly Hennessy-Fiske
    Researchers find 356 cases of carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae, mostly among elderly. It's a relative of E. coli, resistant to most antibiotics except colistin, a drug so powerful it can cause kidney damage. Studies in the U.S. and Israel have shown about 40% of infected patients die. A dangerous drug-resistant bacterium has reached Southern California healthcare facilities, according to a study released Thursday by Los Angeles County public health officials. Researchers found 356 cases of carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae, or CRKP, at healthcare facilities in Los Angeles County, mostly among elderly patients, said author Dr. Dawn Terashita, a medical epidemiologist with the...
  • New Blood Analysis Chip Could Lead to Disease Diagnosis in Minutes

    03/24/2011 10:35:57 PM PDT · by neverdem · 6 replies
    ScienceDaily ^ | Mar. 18, 2011 | NA
    enlarge Photograph of the stand alone 1x2 inch SIMBAS chip simultaneously processing five separate whole-blood samples by separating the plasma from the blood cells and detecting the presence of biotin, or vitamin B7. (Credit: Ivan Dimov) — A major milestone in microfluidics could soon lead to stand-alone, self-powered chips that can diagnose diseases within minutes. The device, developed by an international team of researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, Dublin City University in Ireland and Universidad de Valparaíso Chile, is able to process whole blood samples without the use of external tubing and extra components. The researchers have...
  • Cambodia's deadly virus: 85% mortality rate

    03/15/2011 11:05:20 AM PDT · by neverdem · 41 replies
    Pravda.Ru ^ | 27.02.2011 | Konstantin Karpov
    Ladies and Gentlemen, the next Black Death, a global pandemic of catastrophic proportions, has reared its ugly head in the Far East, home to many pandemic viruses. This time it is not a 30 per cent death rate, it is an 85 per cent death rate. It is called the Cambodian Avian Flu virus. Avian Flu has been around for centuries. So have other pandemics. But an 85 per cent mortality rate? Let us not invent, let us use the World Health Organization's communications: Avian influenza - situation in Cambodia 9 February 2011 - The Ministry of Health of Cambodia...
  • University of Maryland School of Medicine publishes scientific paper on 2001 anthrax attacks

    03/07/2011 6:11:45 PM PST · by decimon · 2 replies · 1+ views
    University of Maryland Medical Center ^ | March 7, 2011 | Unknown
    Institute for Genome Sciences led pioneering investigation in new field of microbial forensicsResearchers at the Institute for Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and collaborators at the FBI, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and Northern Arizona University have published the first scientific paper based on their investigation into the anthrax attacks of 2001. The case was groundbreaking in its use of genomics and microbiology in a criminal investigation. More than 20 people contracted anthrax from Bacillus anthracis spores mailed through the U.S. Postal Service in 2001, and five people died as a...
  • Bacteria's Viral DNA Offers a Sneak Peek into Primitive Immune Systems

    12/31/2010 9:47:25 AM PST · by decimon · 11 replies
    Daily Tech ^ | December 31, 2010 | Tiffany Kaiser
    Viral DNA trapped in a bacteria cell's chromosome for millions of years has shown how bacteria becomes resistant to antibioticsA Texas A&M University researcher has discovered how nature's most primitive immune systems worked by studying bacteria's methods of resisting antibiotics over millions of years. Thomas Wood, study leader and professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University, along with a team of researchers, have researched bacteria's method of using DNA from invading viruses to build a resistance to antibiotics, which revealed the secrets behind how nature's earliest immune systems worked and how it affects humans...
  • Disaster doctors may be using the wrong drugs

    12/26/2010 12:01:32 PM PST · by neverdem · 14 replies · 5+ views
    Nature News ^ | 22 December 2010 | Daniel Cressey
    Study of Haiti earthquake victims shows most wounds infected with Gram-negative, not Gram-positive, bacteria. Guidelines for medical teams responding to catastrophes such as the Haiti earthquake may be causing doctors to miss a crucial set of deadly bacteria. According to an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) rapid-response team, a large proportion of the wounds treated at their field hospital in Haiti were infected with Gram-negative pathogens. These bacteria are largely ignored in current recommendations on drug treatment for disaster victims. Staining with the dye crystal violet is widely used to differentiate bacteria into two types — Gram-positive and Gram-negative — in...
  • New Antibiotics, Stat! - The drug makers are in a bind — and public health is in danger.

    12/21/2010 10:46:30 AM PST · by neverdem · 40 replies · 1+ views
    NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE ^ | December 21, 2010 | Josh Bloom & Gilbert Ross
    New Antibiotics, Stat!The drug makers are in a bind — and public health is in danger. The development of new antibiotics has slowed to a trickle, just when we need them most. As drug-resistant bacteria are on the rampage worldwide, we find ourselves in a most precarious situation — one not unlike the pre-antibiotic era, before penicillin, when staphylococcal and pneumococcal infections were the dominant pathogens. Now MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) kills more people than AIDS every year, and various multiple-drug-resistant organisms have appeared, leaving doctors with few therapeutic weapons for treating a number of prevalent infections. How did this...
  • Biohydrogen produced in air

    12/18/2010 9:33:26 AM PST · by neverdem · 19 replies
    Chemistry World ^ | 15 December 2010 | James Urquhart
    A strain of nitrogen-fixing ocean microbe has been found to be the most efficient hydrogen-producing microbe to date, boosting the prospect of one day using hydrogen as an environmentally friendly fuel. The US team behind the discovery says the naturally occurring cyanobacteria Cyanothece 51142 turns solar energy into hydrogen under aerobic conditions at rates several times higher than any other known photosynthetic microbe.Normally, microbes that produce hydrogen do so under anaerobic conditions. This is because the enzymes they use for hydrogen production, namely nitrogenase and/or hydrogenase, are inhibited by oxygen. By understanding the way Cyanothece  51142 grows and fixes nitrogen, the team learned that...
  • Are We Ready For A Biological Attack?

    12/03/2010 8:40:07 PM PST · by neverdem · 15 replies
    Human Events ^ | 12/02/2010 | James A. Joyce
    There has been much discussion by national security experts inside and outside of government as to how Congress and the President should ensure that the United States is safe from a terrorist attack.  But there has been relatively little discussion in comparison as to how we would respond if an attack did occur.  Are we ready for a biological attack on our military or citizenry?  Has the federal government planned for a medical response to an attack?  Are we spending money on the right therapies or vaccines?  Do we even know how to respond to a widespread biological or chemical...
  • Microbiology: The new germ theory

    11/24/2010 9:21:17 PM PST · by neverdem · 23 replies · 3+ views
    Nature News ^ | 24 November 2010 | Lizzie Buchen
    What can microbiologists who study human bowels learn from those who study the bowels of Earth? Jillian Banfield trades in hell holes. In September, she could be found wading through the dark, hot, sulphurous innards of Richmond Mine at Iron Mountain, California, where blue stalactites ooze the most acidic water ever discovered, with a pH of −3.6. A year before that, she was pumping up a toxic soup of uranium, arsenic, molybdenum and other metals from underneath a decommissioned nuclear-processing site in Rifle, Colorado. From both sites she took samples back to her lab at the University of California, Berkeley,...
  • Cause of the big plague epidemic of Middle Ages identified

    10/20/2010 12:55:40 AM PDT · by neverdem · 50 replies ^ | October 11, 2010 | NA
    Geographical position of the five archaeological sites investigated. Green dots indicate the sites. Also indicated are two likely independent infection routes (black and red dotted arrows) for the spread of the Black Death (1347-1353) after Benedictow. ©: PLoS Pathogens The 'Black Death' was caused by at least two previously unknown types of Yersinia pestis bacteria. The latest tests conducted by anthropologists at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) have proven that the bacteria Yersinia pestis was indeed the causative agent behind the "Black Death" that raged across Europe in the Middle Ages. The cause of the epidemic has always remained...
  • Disfiguring tropical disease surges in Afghanistan

    10/15/2010 2:01:07 PM PDT · by ilovesarah2012 · 10 replies
    Yahoo News ^ | October 15, 2010 | Robert Kennedy
    KABUL, Afghanistan – An outbreak of a tropical disease caused by sand fly bites that leaves disfiguring skin sores has hit Afghanistan, with tens of thousands of people infected, health officials said Friday. Cutaneous leishmanisis is a parasitic disease transmitted by the female phlebotomine sand fly — an insect only 2-3 millimeters long that requires the blood of humans or animals so its eggs can develop. Treatable with medication and not life-threatening, cutaneous leishmanisis can leave severe scars on the bodies of victims. The disease threatens 13 million people in Afghanistan, the World Health Organization said, and many impoverished Afghan...
  • Mr. Bio-Defense - William C. Patrick, III: a tribute

    10/14/2010 2:56:01 PM PDT · by neverdem · 2 replies
    City Journal ^ | 5 October 2010 | Judith Miller
    William C. Patrick, III loved his life in the shadows. Though his name and face were not well known, even to many in national security circles, Bill Patrick was for over 50 years the government’s “go-to guy” on biological weapons. When Federal Bureau of Investigation agents needed help proving in the mid-1980s that followers of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh had poisoned over 750 people in Oregon by sprinkling salmonella in salad bars and coffee creamers in restaurants along the interstate highway—the first large-scale use of germs by terrorists on American soil—they called Bill Patrick. In 1990, as the United States...
  • Ancient Virus Found Hiding Out in Finch Genome

    10/02/2010 11:21:25 AM PDT · by neverdem · 26 replies · 1+ views
    ScienceNOW ^ | 28 September 2010 | Cassandra Willyard
    Enlarge Image Buried gem. Researchers have uncovered "fossil virus" inside the zebra finch genome. Credit: Peripitus/Wikimedia The hepatitis B virus and its ilk have been around for a long, long time. A newly uncovered "viral fossil" buried deep in the genome of the zebra finch indicates that the hepatitis B family of viruses—known as hepadnaviruses—originated at least 19 million years ago. Together with recent findings on other viruses, the work suggests that all viruses may be much older than thought. No one knows exactly where or when viruses originated. They don't leave fossils, so scientists have begun scouring the...
  • Study: Doctors overprescribe antibiotics for respiratory infections

    09/22/2010 5:26:39 PM PDT · by decimon · 81 replies
    University of Chicago Press Journals ^ | September 22, 2010 | Unknown
    Doctors frequently misuse antibiotics when treating patients hospitalized with respiratory tract infections (RTIs), according to a study to be published in the November issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. The study, which tracked patients in two Pennsylvania hospitals, found that doctors often use antibiotics to treat patients whose infections are known to be caused by viruses. The findings are alarming because antibiotics are not effective against viruses, and antibiotic overuse has been linked to the development of resistant bacterial strains. "[T]hese data demonstrate at least one area where antibiotics are commonly used in hospitalized patients without clear reason," write...
  • Town's Disease Is Traced to a Surprising Culprit (Legionnaire's Disease)

    09/15/2010 6:18:15 PM PDT · by decimon · 8 replies
    Live Science ^ | September 15, 2010 | Wynne Parry
    After five years of lying low, Legionnaire's disease - a potentially fatal lung infection - returned to the small city of Alcoi, Spain, on July 21, 2009. > This microbe lives in fresh water nearly everywhere, and it becomes a problem only when inhaled as a fine spray or aerosol. (Legionella is harmless if you drink it.) Outbreaks are usually traced back to man-made supplies of warm water, such as water cooling systems, fountains, hot tubs, even showers. > Investigations into Legionella outbreaks are difficult, according to Dr. Lauri Hicks, a medical epidemiologist in the respiratory-diseases branch of the Centers...