Posts

October 29, 2014

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5:10 PM | This Month in Blastocystis Research (OCT 2014) - Trick or Treat Edition
Over the past 30 days I've hardly had any time to focus on Blastocystis. I've been busy preparing for and attending UEGWeek 2014, preparing abstracts for next year's ECCMID conference in Copenhagen, and I've also put a lot of effort into preparing proposals for this round of grant calls from the Danish Council for Independent Research.  Among other things, we are applying for money to develop DNA-probe based diagnostics, including a unique software, for use in the clinical microbiology lab […]

Fletcher S, Caprarelli G, Merif J, Andresen D, Hal SV, Stark D & Ellis J (2014). Epidemiology and geographical distribution of enteric protozoan infections in sydney, australia., Journal of public health research, 3 (2) 298. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25343139

Nagel R, Bielefeldt-Ohmann H & Traub R (2014). Clinical pilot study: efficacy of triple antibiotic therapy in Blastocystis positive irritable bowel syndrome patients., Gut pathogens, 6 34. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25349629

Nowack EC & Melkonian M (2010). Endosymbiotic associations within protists., Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 365 (1541) 699-712. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20124339

Prodeus TV, Zelia OP, Khlebnikova TA & Pikul' DA (2014). [Extraenteric infection caused by Blastocystis spp. in a female patient with liver abscess]., Meditsinskaia parazitologiia i parazitarnye bolezni, (2) 6-9. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25296418

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3:36 PM | Despite Ebola Concern, Global Infection Outbreaks Have Been Declining For Decades
Ebola is causing a lot of concern, a few instances in the United States were enough to lead to calls to overthrow the FDA vaccine approval process and the White House declared that the United States Department of Health and Human Services was unqualified to manage a handful of cases in America so they put a lawyer in charge as an Ebola czar. The National Institutes of Health said they could not fix the problem with the $330 billion they have gotten since 2001 but they are just exploiting […]

October 28, 2014

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10:31 PM | People Without Symptoms Aren't Going To Give You Ebola - Here Is Why
Flying by ShutterstockBy Stephen Goldstein, University of Pennsylvania read more
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2:00 PM | Salk’s swansong: renaissance of the injected polio vaccine
Picture a lab scientist. White coat, pensive expression, microscope in hand. Glasses, perhaps. The person you have in mind (providing you are willing to humour a stereotype or two) may have a striking resemblance to Jonas Salk, the archetypal laboratory researcher, born in New York City on Wednesday 28th October 1914 — one hundred years […]

October 27, 2014

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6:31 PM | Will The Ebola Epidemic Ever End?
Not everyone who contracts the Ebola virus dies, the survival rate is actually around 30%, which means some kind of immunity to the disease is possible. Experimental treatments and vaccines against Ebola exist but there was little interest from governments in streamlining the bureaucracy before the recent outbreak, so they have not undergone phase 2 trials - the U.S. Congress did add $90 million to the $29 billion budget of the National Institutes of Health after Director Francis Collins said […]
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1:41 AM | How To Build A Powerful Antibiotic
Antibiotics are a part of nature, as is antibiotic resistance. A study on how a powerful antibiotic agent gets made in nature solved a decades-old mystery and opens up new avenues of research into thousands of similar molecules. The team focused on a class of compounds that includes dozens with antibiotic properties. The most famous of these is nisin, a natural product in milk that can be synthesized in the lab and is added to foods as a preservative. Nisin has been used to combat food-borne […]

October 23, 2014

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11:30 AM | How Gut Bacteria Ensure A Healthy Brain – and Could Play A Role In Treating Depression
Your second brain? Credit: hey__paul, CC BYBy Clio Korn, University of Oxford read more

October 22, 2014

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10:31 PM | How Lymph Nodes Expand During Disease
A new paper finds that the same specialized immune cells that patrol the body and spot infections also trigger the expansion of the immune organs known as lymph nodes. The immune system defends the body from infections but can also spot and destroy cancer cells and lymph nodes are at the heart of this response, but it was unclear how they expand during disease.  Researchers  at Cancer Research UK's London Research Institute found that when a type of immune cell known as dendritic […]
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4:22 PM | Why is Ebola so scary?
Unless you've been living under a reasonably sizable rock for the last few months, it can't have escaped your attention that the world has yet another terror to throw on the mountain of things we should be scared of: Ebola. The ongoing situation in Africa is the largest Ebola outbreak in history and has seen the disease spread beyond Africa for the first time. At the time of writing this, nearly 10,000 people have become infected, almost half of whom have died. This number is […]
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5:05 AM | No, Drinking Your Own Urine Will Not Cure Ebola (Or Anything Else)
Fear does strange things to people. The fear du jour currently permeating the US is, of course, the Ebola virus disease. Despite the august efforts to reassure and educate from CDC and the WHO, there has spread a modicum of panic (often with tragic results); we have seen Ebola response become a political issue, and as pointed out recently by that redoubtable scienceblogger, Orac, a ghastly profusion of conspiracy theories and quackery has crawled out of nooks and crannies, feeding... Read more
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5:05 AM | No, Drinking Your Own Urine Will Not Cure Ebola (Or Anything Else)
Fear does strange things to people. The fear du jour currently permeating the US is, of course, the Ebola virus disease. Despite the august efforts to reassure and educate from CDC and the WHO, there has spread a modicum of panic (often with tragic results); we have seen Ebola response become a political issue, and as pointed out recently by that redoubtable scienceblogger, Orac, a ghastly profusion of conspiracy theories and quackery has crawled out of nooks and crannies, feeding... Read more
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5:05 AM | No, Drinking Your Own Urine Will Not Cure Ebola (Or Anything Else)
Fear does strange things to people. The fear du jour currently permeating the US is, of course, the Ebola virus disease. Despite the august efforts to reassure and educate from CDC and the WHO, there has spread a modicum of panic (often with tragic results); we have seen Ebola response become a political issue, and as pointed out recently by that redoubtable scienceblogger, Orac, a ghastly profusion of conspiracy theories and quackery has crawled out of nooks and crannies, feeding... Read more

October 21, 2014

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2:54 PM | Viral Mutation: Why You May Be More Susceptible To Last Year's Flu
Why were so many middle-aged adults hit especially hard by the H1N1 influenza virus during the 2013-2014 influenza season?  Vaccines work by stimulating the immune system to produce antibody proteins against particles (called antigens) from an infectious agent, such as bacteria or a virus. The immune system saves the cells that produce effective antibodies, which then provide immunity against future attacks by the same or similar infectious agents. Seasonal influenza typically kills 36,000 […]
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3:00 AM | Seven Modern Plagues: and How We Are Causing Them
By Mark Jerome Walters Synopsis: Epidemiologists are braced for the big one: the strain of flu that rivals the pandemic of 1918-1919, which killed at least 20 million people worldwide. In recent years, we have experienced […]

October 20, 2014

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9:00 PM | Superspreaders: How Disease Propagates In Infected Animals - And Antibiotics Help
Some people infected with pathogens spread their germs to others while remaining symptom-free - a new study may answer why. When researchers in a new study gave oral antibiotics to mice infected with Salmonella typhimurium, a bacterial cause of food poisoning, a small minority — so called "superspreaders" that had been shedding high numbers of salmonella in their feces for weeks — remained healthy; they were unaffected by either the disease or the antibiotic. The rest of the mice […]
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6:30 PM | The Croup: Winning The War Against Human Parainfluenza Virus
Human parainfluenza virus (hPIV) is highly infectious and the leading cause of upper and lower respiratory tract disease in young children, including Croup, which is responsible for thousands of hospitalizations in the developed world, and hundreds of thousands of deaths each year in developing countries. Griffith University's Institute for Glycomics Director Professor Mark von Itzstein said his Group's research findings published in Nature Communications today provide a new direction towards […]

October 17, 2014

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9:11 PM | Panic Over Ebola Echoes 19th Century Fear Of Cholera
Fears of cholera coming shared a lot in common with fear of Ebola. Graetz 1883 © Historical Society of PennsylvaniaBy Sally Sheard, University of LiverpoolOn October 19 an inspector sent north from London to Sunderland reported a long-awaited arrival: the first British case of cholera. It was 1831 and as part of a second pandemic cholera had again progressed from its Bengal heartland through Europe, before reaching the Baltic ports. It was only a matter of time. read more
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12:00 PM | Ebola: Bats Get A Bad Rap When It Comes To Spreading Diseases
Credit: Diana Ranslam, CC BY-NCBy Alexandra Kamins, Colorado Hospital Association; Marcus Rowcliffe, Zoological Society of London, and Olivier Restif, University of Cambridge read more
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5:30 AM | Conventional Medical Centers May Be Unable Stop Ebola
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October 16, 2014

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12:01 AM | How Are Nurses Becoming Infected With Ebola?
Lab scientists working with Ebola use respirators, while surgical masks are deemed adequate for nurses at the front line. Credit: EPA/Anne-Marie Sanderson/DOH By C Raina MacIntyre read more

October 15, 2014

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12:00 PM | Frankenstein Meets Genetic Modification
Biology concepts – Frankenstein, asystole, ethics, genetically modified organisms, genetically modified foods, synthetic biology, decomposers, electroconvulsive therapyMary Shelly was wedded to Lord Byron, one of the great poets of the early 19th century. But she was fair writer on her own. Note the bolts on the monster’s neck. These were added by make-up artist Jack P. Pierce. He said they were electrodes, not bolts, even though Mary Shelly never actually wrote that the good doctor […]

Goldstein, D. (2014). Tempest in a Tea Pot: How did the Public Conversation on Genetically Modified Crops Drift so far from the Facts?, Journal of Medical Toxicology, 10 (2) 194-201. DOI: 10.1007/s13181-014-0402-7

Tufarelli V & Laudadio V (2013). Genetically Modified Feeds in Poultry Diet: Safety, Performance and Product Quality., Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24915369

Van Eenennaam AL & Young AE (2014). Prevalence and impacts of genetically engineered feedstuffs on livestock populations., Journal of animal science, 92 (10) 4255-78. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25184846

Snell C, Bernheim A, Bergé JB, Kuntz M, Pascal G, Paris A & Ricroch AE (2012). Assessment of the health impact of GM plant diets in long-term and multigenerational animal feeding trials: a literature review., Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association, 50 (3-4) 1134-48. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22155268

McCall WV, Andrade C & Sienaert P (2014). Searching for the mechanism(s) of ECT's therapeutic effect., The journal of ECT, 30 (2) 87-9. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24755719

Citation
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12:00 PM | Frankenstein Meets Genetic Modification
Biology concepts – Frankenstein, asystole, ethics, genetically modified organisms, genetically modified foods, synthetic biology, decomposers, electroconvulsive therapyMary Shelly was wedded to Lord Byron, one of the great poets of the early 19th century. But she was fair writer on her own. Note the bolts on the monster’s neck. These were added by make-up artist Jack P. Pierce. He said they were electrodes, not bolts, even though Mary Shelly never actually wrote that the good doctor […]

Goldstein, D. (2014). Tempest in a Tea Pot: How did the Public Conversation on Genetically Modified Crops Drift so far from the Facts?, Journal of Medical Toxicology, 10 (2) 194-201. DOI: 10.1007/s13181-014-0402-7

Tufarelli V & Laudadio V (2013). Genetically Modified Feeds in Poultry Diet: Safety, Performance and Product Quality., Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24915369

Van Eenennaam AL & Young AE (2014). Prevalence and impacts of genetically engineered feedstuffs on livestock populations., Journal of animal science, 92 (10) 4255-78. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25184846

Snell C, Bernheim A, Bergé JB, Kuntz M, Pascal G, Paris A & Ricroch AE (2012). Assessment of the health impact of GM plant diets in long-term and multigenerational animal feeding trials: a literature review., Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association, 50 (3-4) 1134-48. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22155268

McCall WV, Andrade C & Sienaert P (2014). Searching for the mechanism(s) of ECT's therapeutic effect., The journal of ECT, 30 (2) 87-9. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24755719

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October 09, 2014

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1:00 PM | Are Ebola Drug Researchers Developing ‘Death Drugs’ That Could Wipe Out Humanity?
Credit: Institute of Responsible TechnologyBy Jon Entine, Genetic Literacy Project It’s perplexing that strident anti-GMO critics who regularly harp on the “danger” of harvesting a “foreign” gene from one species and inserting into another to improve crop performance or nutrition are mostly silent when the exact same process is used to engineer new drugs. The Ebola crisis and the desperate search for viable treatments highlights that […]
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1:00 PM | Herpesvirus, Not Zoos, Implicated In Baby Elephant Deaths
Elephants are among the most intelligent non-humans, arguably on par with chimpanzees, and both African and Asian elephants are endangered.  In 1995, 16-month old Kumari, the first Asian elephant born at the National Zoo in Washington, DC, died of a mysterious illness. In 1999, Gary Hayward of Johns Hopkins University and collaborators published their results identifying a novel herpesvirus, EEHV1 as the cause of Kumari's sudden death. They now show that severe cases like this one are […]

October 08, 2014

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1:00 PM | Universal Screening For Superbugs Too Costly
Though numerous experts and policy makers have called for hospitals to screen patients for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections and isolate anyone testing positive to prevent the spread "Superbugs" in healthcare settings, it's too economically burdensome. Several states have enacted laws requiring patients be screened for MRSA upon admission but  two new abstracts, scheduled for presentation on Friday at IDWeek, the annual scientific meeting for infectious […]

October 07, 2014

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10:01 PM | Peptide Mimic: A Universal Ebola Drug Target
Researchers have created a molecule known as a peptide mimic that displays a functionally critical region of the virus that is universally conserved in all known species of Ebola. This new tool can be used as a drug target in the discovery of anti-Ebola agents that are effective against all known strains and likely future strains.  Ebola is a lethal virus that causes severe hemorrhagic fever with a 50 percent to 90 percent mortality rate. There are five known species of the virus. […]
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7:00 AM | Why Does This Immunologist Reject Vaccinations?
Vaccination is arguably medicine’s greatest success. It has eradicated smallpox and has saved millions from death and suffering from a growing list of preventable diseases. It’s surprising that it has so many critics. Most of them are either not educated in medical science (like Jenny McCarthy) or are educated but prefer to reject science in […]

October 06, 2014

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6:45 PM | Bits from HIV + Aging conference
Missed diagnoses and medical journeys The post Bits from HIV + Aging conference appeared first on Lab Land.

October 05, 2014

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2:08 PM | Cell Conversion And How DNA 'Bias' May Keep Some Diseases In Circulation
It's an early lesson in genetics: we get half our DNA from Mom, half from Dad. But that straightforward explanation does not account for a process that sometimes occurs when cells divide. Called gene conversion, the copy of a gene from Mom can replace the one from Dad, or vice versa, making the two copies identical. In a new study, researchers investigated this process in the context of the evolution of human populations. They found that a bias toward certain types of DNA sequences during […]

October 03, 2014

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12:30 PM | Blackflies Implicated In Nodding Syndrome
Though it has been researched for decades, the cause of nodding syndrome, a disabling disease affecting African children, is unknown. A new report suggests that blackflies infected with the parasite Onchocerca volvulus may be capable of passing on a secondary pathogen responsible for the spread of the disease. Concentrated in South Sudan, Northern Uganda, and Tanzania, nodding syndrome is a debilitating and deadly disease that affects young children between the ages of 5 and 15. […]
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