• Japan to start developing swine flu vaccine

    CDC sends Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases a sample of the new type of flu strain, and NIID will begin to work on a modified swine flu virus, then distribute the virus to four Japanese vaccine makers and institutions

  • PrimerDesign to develop DNA tests for Mexican strain of swine flu

    U.K. company races against the clock to produce the world’s first DNA test for the Mexican strain of swine flu

  • New biosensor for most serious form of Listeria food poisoning bacteria

    Biolermakers researchers develop a biosensor using so-called heat shock proteins — which the body produces in response to stress — instead of the antibodies used in other tests

  • Taliban renews opposition to polio vaccination

    Taliban in Pakistan’s northwest territories and Afghanistan renew their campaign against vaccination of children against polio; clerics describe vaccination as “Western plot”; Taliban fighters have attacked vaccination teams in Pakistan’s Swat valley; Islamic clerics in northern Nigeria have embarked on similar campaign

  • E. coli vaccine developed

    A Michigan State University researcher has developed a working vaccine for a strain of E. coli that kills 2 million to 3 million children each year in the developing world

  • Hundreds of patients in Illinois exposed to TB

    A medical residents on hospital rotations unknowingly exposes hundreds of patients to TB; o far, no one has tested positive for the disease

  • Smart bandage tells doctors about state of wound healing

    Dutch researchers develop a smart bandage which updates doctors about the wound healing process; bandage made of printed electronic sensors; the researchers’ next goal: add an antenna to transmit information about the patient’s health remotely to the attending physician

  • Ebola lab accident tests experimental vaccine

    A lab scientist in Germany accidentally pricked her finger with a needle carrying Ebola virus; there are no approved vaccines for Ebola, and Ebola accidents have killed lab technicians before; the German technician was given an experimental vaccine, and so far developed no symptoms

  • Predicting population of disease-carrying mosquitoes

    Researchers at University of Adelaide in Australia create a model predicting population peaks of disease-carrying mosquitoes; model will help in developing cost-effective mosquito control policies

  • Human vaccine against bird flu a reality with new discovery

    Aussie researchers added a compound, known to increase immunity, to the flu vaccine in an animal model; the addition of this compound promoted significant generation of potent killer T cell immunity and provided protection from infection

  • Innovative pandemic flu vaccine effective against H5N1 in mice

    The current method of growing seasonal influenza vaccines in chicken eggs is slow and inefficient; Emory University scientists have developed an alternative: virus-like particles, empty shells that look like viruses but do not replicate

  • Houseplant pest offers clues to potential new anthrax treatment

    A humble bacterium with a long name — Pectobacterium chrysanthemi (Dickya dadantii) — attacks, and often kills, the popular African violet, which is found in many urban and suburban back yards; it does so by competing with its host — the violet — for iron; Warwick University researchers find that the bacteria’s chemical pathway could be blocked or inhibited to prevent the bacterium from harvesting iron, essentially starving it; this work has major implications for the treatment of several virulent and even deadly mammalian infections including Anthrax

  • Woman dies of bird flu in Vietnam

    The World Health Organization reports that H5N1 has killed 254 people across the world since 2003; the latest victim is a Vietnamese woman, bringing the death toll from avian flu in Vietnam to 53 since the end of 2003 — the highest in the world

  • Monoclonal antibodies effective against bird flu, seasonal flu

    Worldwide, more than 250,000 deaths from seasonal influenza occur annually; if a breakout of avian flu occurs, the number of deaths is incalculable; scientists identify human monoclonal antibodies effective against bird and seasonal flu viruses

  • China reports bird flu cases in which humans are infected, but not birds

    China’s Ministry of Health said it was puzzled by eight human cases of bird flu in January which appeared independent of any known case in birds; five Chinese died from H5N1 in January in far-flung regions without any reported presence of the virus in birds on the mainland