• Source of Haitian cholera outbreak identified

    Employing technology that reads the entire DNA code, researchers have pinpointed the source of a cholera outbreak in Haiti that killed more than 6,000 people and sickened 300,000; the researchers also suggest how to prevent future outbreaks when international aid is rushed to disaster areas

  • How did H1N1 become an pandemic?

    The last century has seen two major pandemics caused by the H1N1 virus — the Spanish Flu in 1918 and 2009’s Swine Flu scare, which had thousands travelling with surgical masks and clamoring for vaccination; scientists, however, did not know what distinguished the Swine Flu from ordinary influenza in pigs or seasonal outbreaks in humans, giving it the power to travel extensively and infect large populations; until now

  • Anthrax exposure prompts FBI investigation

    Government health officials are currently investigating a case of anthrax exposure in Minnesota after tests confirmed that an individual hospitalized there had been infected with the dangerous bacteria; due to the deadly nature of anthrax and its use as a biological weapon, the FBI joined Minnesota health officials in investigating the matter

  • Medical silver bullet: New drug cures most viral infections

    Researchers at MIT’s Lincoln Lab have developed technology that may someday cure the common cold, influenza, and other ailments; the researchers tested their drug against fifteen viruses, and found it was effective against all of them — including rhinoviruses that cause the common cold, H1N1 influenza, a stomach virus, a polio virus, dengue fever, and several other types of hemorrhagic fever

  • A natural food preservative kills food-borne bacteria

    Salmonella and E. coli account for more than half of all food recalls in the United States; salmonella contributes to an estimated 28 percent of more than 3,000 U.S. deaths related to foodborne illness each year; researchers have discovered and received a patent for a naturally occurring lantibiotic — a peptide produced by a harmless bacteria — that could be added to food to kill harmful bacteria like salmonella, E. coli, and listeria

  • Innovative biosensor for rapid virus field tests

    Relying on a novel DNA-based bio-chemo-physical conversion method, a new bio-detection device is able to detect harmful bacteria, such as E. coli, salmonella, and staphylococcus, on site, within thirty minutes; it can be adapted to cover such deadly viruses as SARS, H5N1 flu, and swine flu viruses; it can also be designed to monitor possible biological attack from anthrax, smallpox, cholera, and more

  • Gold nanoparticles help to diagnose flu in minutes

    Arriving at a rapid and accurate diagnosis is critical during flu outbreaks, but until now, physicians and public health officials have had to choose between a highly accurate yet time-consuming test or a rapid but error-prone test; University of Georgia researchers offer a solution

  • Five Joplin survivors die of mysterious fungal infection

    After being hit by a massive tornado that destroyed much of Joplin, Missouri, several residents suffered from a fungal infection that killed five people; following the 22 May twister that ravaged Joplin, many residents suffered from splinters, cuts, and other minor injuries that eventually resulted in a rare fungus infection

  • Research inspires robotics design for medicine, military

    A pathogen that attacks the small intestines of humans and animals is serving as the inspiration for developing robots that can fight disease and aid in military operations; ror 250 years, scientists have tried to understand how the microorganism is able to attach to a multitude of surfaces and swim in harsh environments — enabling it to infect many kinds of species while most parasites have specific hosts

  • Anthrax vaccine program demonstrates 36 month product stability

    Maryland-based PharmAthene has achieved an important program milestone in its recombinant protective antigen (rPA) anthrax vaccine program, and demonstrated thirty-six month stability of its rPA drug product candidate; the data suggest that the rPA product candidate is both highly stable and potent; stability has historically been a stumbling block for other recombinant anthrax vaccine programs

  • New way to attack Salmonella bacteria found

    Nitric oxide is naturally produced in the nose and the gut and other tissues in the body to ward off infection; new research underscores that nitric oxide’s antimicrobial actions are due to its interference with the metabolism, or energy production, of pathogens —p and that these antimicrobial characteristics may be harnessed to inhibit the growth of Salmonella

  • Natural enzyme can defend against terrorists' nerve agents

    Chemicals called organophosphates, found in common household insecticides, can be just as harmful to people as to insects; organophosphates could be released on an industrial scale, through an act of terror or accident, attacking the nervous system by inactivating an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase (AChE); scientists are devising drugs to treat and prevent the toxic effects of organophosphates and related chemicals

  • Satellites could predict next cholera outbreak

    With cholera making an unlikely resurgence, catching countries like Haiti and Pakistan by surprise, public health officials are exploring the potential for new technology to help stem the spread of future outbreaks; each year the disease affects three to five million people and claims more than 100,000 lives; researchers believe that satellite images of oceans could help forecast when a cholera outbreak is likely to strike

  • Nano detector spots deadly anthrax

    The average time of detection of an anthrax attack by current methods — the time required for DNA purification, combined with real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis — is sixty minutes; a new, automatic, and portable detector takes just fifteen minutes to analyze a sample suspected of contamination with anthrax

  • New technology makes textiles permanently germ-free

    University of Georgia scientist develops a new technology that makes textiles permanently germ-free, targeting healthcare-associated infections; the new material effectively kills a wide spectrum of bacteria, yeasts, and molds that can cause disease, break down fabrics, create stains, and produce odors