• Natural killer cells help human body fight off infections

    Researchers have discovered a new type of cell which boosts the human body’s ability to fight off infections and life-threatening diseases; the researchers found a type of cell which recognizes lipid antigens, or foreign molecules, which sit on infectious bacteria which invade the body

  • "Left-handed iron corkscrews" a new weapon against superbugs

    Scientists have taken inspiration from corkscrew structures found in nature to develop a new weapon in the fight against infections like E-coli and MRSA; researchers have created a new synthetic class of helix-shaped molecules which could be a key tool in the worldwide battle against antibiotic resistance

  • New compound breaks down HIV's outer envelope

    One of the reasons HIV is so difficult to treat is that it continually evolves the proteins on its membrane to increase its resistance to immune systems; researchers at Texas A&M University and the Scripps Research Institute have now discovered a compound which breaks down the outer envelope of HIV

  • CDC concludes NBA outbreak investigation

    A recently concluded investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that norovirus was the cause of an outbreak that sidelined more than twenty-four NBA players and staff members from thirteen teams in 2010

  • "Vampire" bacteria may serve as living antibiotic

    A vampire-like bacteria that leeches onto specific other bacteria — including certain human pathogens — has the potential to serve as a living antibiotic for a range of infectious diseases, a new study indicates

  • Source of St. Louis E.coli outbreak still uncertain

    Public health officials in Missouri are scrambling to locate the source of an E.coli outbreak that has infected twenty-six people in one week; health authorities believe that Schnucks, a chain of salad bars, may be the culprit, but so far tests for the bacteria have all come back negative

  • New testing capabilities for bioterror threats

    Research presented at the 13th Medical Biodefense Conference in Munich says that Abbott’s PLEX-ID system provides reliable and rapid results for key microbial biothreat agents and should be considered as a first line analytical tool for biodefense, biosecurity, and microbial forensics programs

  • Natural killer cells may be the best defense against anthrax

    One of the things that makes inhalational anthrax so difficult for biodefense experts to deal with is the speed with which a relatively small number of inhaled anthrax spores can turn into a lethal infection; by the time an anthrax victim realizes he or she has something worse than the flu, it is often too late

  • New virus could be the first filovirus to cause disease in bats

    A team of international researchers has discovered a new Ebola-like virus — Lloviu virus — in bats from northern Spain; filoviruses, which include well-known viruses like Ebola and Marburg, are among the deadliest pathogens in humans and non-human primates, and are generally found in East Africa and the Philippines

  • DHS funds Ricin detection

    Positive ID announces the company’s immunodetection assay for the identification of Ricin toxin to meet DHS specifications; Ricin, a chemical warfare agent, is derived from the seeds of the castor oil plant Ricinus communis and has become a tool of terrorist groups across the world due to its easy production and high toxicity

  • Google Earth typhoid maps traces disease outbreaks

    Recent advances in DNA sequencing have allowed scientists accurately to track the spread of some diseases by measuring mutations in the pathogen’s DNA when the DNA replicates; tracing the spread of typhoid, however, has proved challenging because these mutations are small in number and not detectable by most techniques in use

  • Argonne software help decode German E. coli strain

    In the early days of annotating genomes in the mid-1990s, it took four or five scientists more than a year to analyze just one genome; now, with the help of Rapid Annotation using Subsystems Technology (RAST), which was developed by Argonne scientists, researchers needed only eight hours to sequence the genome of the rogue E. coli strain which struck Europe this summer; the next-generation RAST will cut this time to just fifteen minutes

  • Former colleagues: accused anthrax killer could not have done it

    Two former colleagues of Bruce Ivins, a scientist who worked at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease (USAMRIID) in Frederick, Maryland, and who was accused by the FBI of being behind the 2001 anthrax attacks in the United States, said he could not have done it (Ivins committed suicide in July 2008)

  • Virus movement in Wisconsin groundwater

    Drinking water taken from a deep aquifer protected by a semi-permeable layer of rock should be safe because the water is protected from many contaminants, including viruses — but is it safe? University of Wisconsin scientists find virus particles in many deep Madison, Wisconsin water wells, raising questions about how viruses, which should not survive more than two years underground, reached so deep and survive for so long

  • Listeria outbreak grows worse, 18 dead and 100 sick

    The nation’s deadliest food-borne outbreak in a decade continues to grow worse with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting a total of eighteen deaths from listeria-infected cantaloupe