• Research on enhanced transmissibility in H5N1 influenza: the debate continues

    How can scientists safely conduct avian flu research if the results could potentially threaten, as well as save, millions of lives? Enhancing and analyzing the transmissibility of the H5N1 virus could, on the one hand, provide insights that could help prevent or treat a future outbreak of H5N1, or, on the other hand, it may provide a roadmap for a bad actor deliberately to bring about an influenza pandemic or lead to an inadvertent release of a virus with enhanced transmissibility

  • Non-lethal cures: new antibiotic cures disease by disarming pathogens, not killing them

    A new type of antibiotic can effectively treat an antibiotic-resistant infection by disarming instead of killing the bacteria that cause it; this is good news, since new drugs are badly needed for treating infections with the bacterium Acinetobacter baumannii, a pathogen that most often strikes hospital patients and immune- compromised individuals through open wounds, breathing tubes, or catheters

  • Entomologists discover new species of malaria-transmitting mosquito

    Malaria is the leading cause of death in Kenya, where twenty-five million people out of its population of thirty-four million are at risk; researchers have recently discovered a potentially dangerous new malaria-transmitting mosquito; the as-yet-unnamed, and previously unreported, mosquito breeds in the western areas of Kenya and has an unknown DNA match to any of the existing malaria-transmitting species

  • Near-instantaneous DNA analysis

    Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is an indispensible technique allowing researchers and clinicians to produce millions of copies from a single piece of DNA or RNA for use in genome sequencing, gene analysis, inheritable disease diagnosis, paternity testing, forensic identification, and the detection of infectious diseases; PCR for point-of-care, emergency-response, or widespread monitoring applications needs to be very fast — on the order of a few minutes; this has now been achieved

  • Sustainability of infectious disease surveillance

    Just as the globalization of trade and travel is rapidly evolving, so is the globalization of infectious diseases and the need for cooperative approaches to detect, prevent, and control them

  • Researchers create mosquitoes incapable of transmitting malaria

    More than 40 percent of the world’s population lives in areas where there is a risk of contracting malaria; 300 million to 500 million cases of malaria occur each year, and nearly one million people die of the disease annually — largely infants, young children, and pregnant women, most of them in Africa; scientists breed mosquitoes to be unable to infect people with the malaria parasite, providing genetic options for controlling spread of deadly disease

  • view counter
  • Improving malaria control and vaccine development

    Each year more than 250 million people worldwide contract malaria, and up to one million people die; malaria is particularly dangerous for children under five and pregnant women; Plasmodium falciparum is the most lethal of the four Plasmodium species, and is responsible for most clinical disease

  • A 50-year cholera mystery solved

    For fifty years scientists have been unsure how the bacteria that gives humans cholera manages to resist one of our basic innate immune responses; that mystery has now been solved

  • Scientists show why swine flu virus develops drug resistance

    H1N1-2009 is a new, highly adaptive virus derived from different gene segments of swine, avian, and human influenza; within a few months of its appearance in early 2009, the H1N1-2009 strain caused the first flu pandemic of the twenty-first century

  • Expanding the reach of an innovative virus-tracking software

    SUPRAMAP is a Web-based application which synthesizes large, diverse datasets so that researchers can better understand the spread of infectious diseases across hosts and geography; researchers have restructured this innovative tracking software to promote even wider use of the program around the world

  • Bacteria's strength in numbers challenged

    Scientists have opened the way for more accurate research into new ways to fight dangerous bacterial infections by proving a long-held theory about how bacteria communicate with each other

  • Advanced genetic screening to speed vaccine development

    Infectious diseases, both old and new, continue to exact a devastating toll, causing some thirteen million fatalities per year around the world; vaccines remain the best line of defense against deadly pathogens and now researchers are using clever functional screening methods to attempt to speed new vaccines into production that are both safer and more potent

  • Bacteria discovery could lead to antibiotics alternatives

    Researchers say findings of new research could lead to the development of new anti-infective drugs as alternatives to antibiotics whose overuse has led to resistance

  • Early detection of malaria saves lives

    The timely diagnosis of malaria maximizes the likelihood of successful, life-saving treatment; it also minimizes the chances that inappropriate therapy will be given, which would help combat the growing problem of drug resistant malaria

  • Rapid, low-cost, point-of-care flu detection demonstrated

    The novel H1N1 flu pandemic in 2009 underscored weaknesses in methods widely used to diagnose the flu, from frequent false negatives to long wait times for results; scientists demonstrate a prototype rapid, low-cost, accurate, point-of-care device that promises a better standard of care