Posts

September 02, 2014

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1:02 PM | Mutating Ebola Viruses Not As Scary As Evolving Ones
Scanning electron micrograph of Ebola virus budding from the surface of a Vero cell (African green monkey kidney epithelial cell line. Credit:NIAIDBy Rob BrooksMy social media accounts today are cluttered with stories about “mutating” Ebola viruses. The usually excellent ScienceAlert, for example, rather breathlessly informs us “The Ebola virus is mutating faster in humans than in animal hosts.” read more

August 30, 2014

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4:30 PM | MERS Has Low Transmissibility But It's Still Dangerous
The MERS coronavirus has caused disease outbreaks across the Arabian Peninsula and spread to Europe several times, claiming the lives of several hundred people since its discovery in 2012. How easily the pathogen spreads from human to human has remained a mystery but recent work shows human transmission is low. Still, a third of infected persons with symptoms die. read more
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9:30 AM | New Antibody Shows Promise Against Sudan Strain Of Ebola
Researchers have developed a potential antibody therapy for Sudan ebolavirus (SUDV), one of the two most lethal strains of Ebola.  Sudan ebolavirus was first identified in 1976 and has caused numerous Ebola outbreaks (most recently in 2012) that have killed more than 400 people in total.   A different strain, the Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV), is now devastating West Africa. read more

August 27, 2014

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5:46 PM | Key to universal flu vaccine: embrace the unfamiliar
Vaccination against H5N1 induced antibodies against the stem region of the viral hemagglutinin protein The post Key to universal flu vaccine: embrace the unfamiliar appeared first on Lab Land.

August 26, 2014

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10:17 PM | Ionic Liquids: Busting Through Biofilm Shatters Defenses Of Serious Skin Infections
Biofilms are the first line of defense for harmful bacteria and make the treatment of skin infections especially difficult because microorganisms protected in a biofilm have antibiotic resistance and recalcitrance to treatment. Biofilm-protected bacteria account for some 80 percent of total bacterial infections in humans and are 50 to 1,000 times more resistant to antibiotics than simpler bacterial infections.  Biofilms often persist in the periphery of an actual wound, beneath an […]
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8:38 PM | Resilience Management: What The Bubonic Plague Can Teach Us About Ebola
In the 14th century, Venice was in many ways still a world power in its own right. The days when it could topple kingdoms using commerce were behind it, but it was still an important trade destination. In that period, trade meant ports and ports meant the Bubonic Plague in 1347. When it hit, some tried prayer, some tried hunting vampires, but then officials quickly began to utilize what we would now call resilience management: rather than trying to target a poorly understood […]
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1:24 AM | Top Secret Ebola serums, how do they work?
One wonderful thing that has come two US citizens being infected Ebola (and successfully treated for the disease) is *education* the general public is getting about this, frankly, ‘scary’ virus. Im not talking about the bizarre nonsense/missed opportunity posted by Sanjay Gupta and his ‘producer’ Danielle Dellorto. Of course science bloggers have capitalized on this opportunity to educate people (its…

August 24, 2014

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1:31 PM | This Month in Blastocystis Research (AUG 2014)
Some August highlights in Blastocystis research:1) The PRE-IOPCA Molecular Parasitology Workshop took place from the 7-10 August at CINVESTAV, Mexico City. Top-motivated students from some 10-15 countries worked hard from 7 am to 7 pm in dry+wet lab sessions, and we all had a really great time, thanks to both participants and fantastic organisers. There was a 4 h session on Blastocystis molecular epidemiology, and I was pleased to learn that some of the participants currently work with (or plan […]

Fayer R, Elsasser T, Gould R, Solano G, Urban J Jr & Santin M (2014). Blastocystis tropism in the pig intestine., Parasitology research, 113 (4) 1465-72. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24535732

Klimeš V, Gentekaki E, Roger AJ & Eliáš M (2014). A large number of nuclear genes in the human parasite blastocystis require mRNA polyadenylation to create functional termination codons., Genome biology and evolution, 6 (8) 1956-61. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25015079

Hanage, W. (2014). Microbiology: Microbiome science needs a healthy dose of scepticism, Nature, 512 (7514) 247-248. DOI: 10.1038/512247a

Scanlan PD, Stensvold CR, Rajilić-Stojanović M, Heilig HG, De Vos WM, O'Toole PW & Cotter PD (2014). The microbial eukaryote Blastocystis is a prevalent and diverse member of the healthy human gut microbiota., FEMS microbiology ecology, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25077936

Venton, D. (2014). Highlight: Not Like a Textbook--Nuclear Genes in Blastocystis Use mRNA Polyadenylation for Stop Codons, Genome Biology and Evolution, 6 (8) 1962-1963. DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evu167

Wang W, Bielefeldt-Ohmann H, Traub RJ, Cuttell L & Owen H (2014). Location and pathogenic potential of blastocystis in the porcine intestine., PloS one, 9 (8) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25093578

Citation
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1:31 PM | This Month in Blastocystis Research (AUG 2014)
Some August highlights in Blastocystis research:1) The PRE-IOPCA Molecular Parasitology Workshop took place from the 7-10 August at CINVESTAV, Mexico City. Top-motivated students from some 10-15 countries worked hard from 7 am to 7 pm in dry+wet lab sessions, and we all had a really great time, thanks to both participants and fantastic organisers. There was a 4 h session on Blastocystis molecular epidemiology, and I was pleased to learn that some of the participants currently work with (or plan […]

Fayer R, Elsasser T, Gould R, Solano G, Urban J Jr & Santin M (2014). Blastocystis tropism in the pig intestine., Parasitology research, 113 (4) 1465-72. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24535732

Klimeš V, Gentekaki E, Roger AJ & Eliáš M (2014). A large number of nuclear genes in the human parasite blastocystis require mRNA polyadenylation to create functional termination codons., Genome biology and evolution, 6 (8) 1956-61. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25015079

Hanage, W. (2014). Microbiology: Microbiome science needs a healthy dose of scepticism, Nature, 512 (7514) 247-248. DOI: 10.1038/512247a

Scanlan PD, Stensvold CR, Rajilić-Stojanović M, Heilig HG, De Vos WM, O'Toole PW & Cotter PD (2014). The microbial eukaryote Blastocystis is a prevalent and diverse member of the healthy human gut microbiota., FEMS microbiology ecology, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25077936

Venton, D. (2014). Highlight: Not Like a Textbook--Nuclear Genes in Blastocystis Use mRNA Polyadenylation for Stop Codons, Genome Biology and Evolution, 6 (8) 1962-1963. DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evu167

Wang W, Bielefeldt-Ohmann H, Traub RJ, Cuttell L & Owen H (2014). Location and pathogenic potential of blastocystis in the porcine intestine., PloS one, 9 (8) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25093578

Citation

August 23, 2014

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7:00 PM | Monkey Model For Severe MERS-CoV Disease May Lead To New Treatment
Researchers at the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases scientists have found that Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in marmosets closely mimics the severe pneumonia experienced by people infected with MERS-CoV, giving researchers the best animal model yet for testing potential treatments.  They used marmosets after predicting in computer models that the animals could be infected with MERS-CoV based on the binding properties of the […]

August 22, 2014

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10:23 PM | Mutated Polio Virus Breaches Vaccine Protection
Thanks to effective vaccination, polio is nearly eradicated and only a few hundred people are stricken worldwide each year. But researchers in PNAS have reported alarming findings: a mutated virus was able to resist the vaccine protection to a considerable extent in the Congo in 2010. The pathogen could also potentially have infected many people in Germany. read more
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5:59 PM | Catching up on Emory transplant advances
Fecal microbiota transplant in organ transplant recipients, without infectious complications + taking off the training wheels with belatacept The post Catching up on Emory transplant advances appeared first on Lab Land.
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4:44 PM | Allergic To Milk Or Lactose Intolerant? Here's Why
People allergic to milk often assume they have lactose intolerance, but they are actually different mechanisms that occur in different parts of the body.  People with lactose intolerance do not digest lactose properly because they lack an enzyme known as lactase - and that results in digestive discomfort.  A cow milk allergy is much more dangerous because the body's immune system attacks milk proteins with its own IgE antibodies. read more
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12:30 AM | Treatment Against Lethal Marburg Virus Developed
Tekmira Pharmaceuticals and collaborators at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, have protected nonhuman primates against Marburg virus, also known as Angola hemorrhagic fever. There are currently no vaccines or drugs approved for human use and no post-exposure treatment that has completely protected nonhuman primates against MARV-Angola, the most deadly Marburg viral strain, with a mortality rate of up to 90 percent. This virus, which is in the same family as Ebola, has a […]

August 20, 2014

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5:40 PM | If Seals Hadn't Introduced Tuberculosis To The New World, Europeans Would Have
Among the popular mythologies built up around native American cultures is that they had no disease before Europeans arrived full of pathogens. It's a common narrative in anthropology, it just was never science. A new study documents that again, finding isolated Mycobacterium pinnipedii from skeletons found in Peru which are at least 1000 years old. The pathogen is a relative of the TB bacterium that affects seals, so it likely that seals carried the pathogens from Africa to the Peruvian […]

August 17, 2014

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3:26 PM | A mosaic vaccine that could potentially protect from different ebola strains
Disclaimer: The mosaic vaccine paper discussed in this article is from my own group and overlaps with some of the research I do. I'm sure you've been following the latest news about the Ebola virus outbreak in Africa."The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the world's deadliest to date and the World Health Organization has declared an international health emergency as more than 1,000 people have died of the virus in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria this year." [Source: BBC News]The […]

Friedrich BM, Trefry JC, Biggins JE, Hensley LE, Honko AN, Smith DR & Olinger GG (2012). Potential vaccines and post-exposure treatments for filovirus infections., Viruses, 4 (9) 1619-50. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23170176

Fischer W, Perkins S, Theiler J, Bhattacharya T, Yusim K, Funkhouser R, Kuiken C, Haynes B, Letvin NL, Walker BD & Hahn BH (2007). Polyvalent vaccines for optimal coverage of potential T-cell epitopes in global HIV-1 variants., Nature medicine, 13 (1) 100-6. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17187074

Fenimore PW, Muhammad MA, Fischer WM, Foley BT, Bakken RR, Thurmond JR, Yusim K, Yoon H, Parker M, Hart MK & Dye JM (2012). Designing and testing broadly-protective filoviral vaccines optimized for cytotoxic T-lymphocyte epitope coverage., PloS one, 7 (10) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23056184

Citation
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3:26 PM | A mosaic vaccine that could potentially protect from different ebola strains
Disclaimer: The mosaic vaccine paper discussed in this article is from my own group and overlaps with some of the research I do. I'm sure you've been following the latest news about the Ebola virus outbreak in Africa."The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the world's deadliest to date and the World Health Organization has declared an international health emergency as more than 1,000 people have died of the virus in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria this year." [Source: BBC News]The […]

Friedrich BM, Trefry JC, Biggins JE, Hensley LE, Honko AN, Smith DR & Olinger GG (2012). Potential vaccines and post-exposure treatments for filovirus infections., Viruses, 4 (9) 1619-50. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23170176

Fischer W, Perkins S, Theiler J, Bhattacharya T, Yusim K, Funkhouser R, Kuiken C, Haynes B, Letvin NL, Walker BD & Hahn BH (2007). Polyvalent vaccines for optimal coverage of potential T-cell epitopes in global HIV-1 variants., Nature medicine, 13 (1) 100-6. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17187074

Fenimore PW, Muhammad MA, Fischer WM, Foley BT, Bakken RR, Thurmond JR, Yusim K, Yoon H, Parker M, Hart MK & Dye JM (2012). Designing and testing broadly-protective filoviral vaccines optimized for cytotoxic T-lymphocyte epitope coverage., PloS one, 7 (10) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23056184

Citation
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3:26 PM | A mosaic vaccine that could potentially protect from different ebola strains
Disclaimer: The mosaic vaccine paper discussed in this article is from my own group and overlaps with some of the research I do. I'm sure you've been following the latest news about the Ebola virus outbreak in Africa."The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the world's deadliest to date and the World Health Organization has declared an international health emergency as more than 1,000 people have died of the virus in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria this year." [Source: BBC News]The […]

Friedrich BM, Trefry JC, Biggins JE, Hensley LE, Honko AN, Smith DR & Olinger GG (2012). Potential vaccines and post-exposure treatments for filovirus infections., Viruses, 4 (9) 1619-50. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23170176

Fischer W, Perkins S, Theiler J, Bhattacharya T, Yusim K, Funkhouser R, Kuiken C, Haynes B, Letvin NL, Walker BD & Hahn BH (2007). Polyvalent vaccines for optimal coverage of potential T-cell epitopes in global HIV-1 variants., Nature medicine, 13 (1) 100-6. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17187074

Fenimore PW, Muhammad MA, Fischer WM, Foley BT, Bakken RR, Thurmond JR, Yusim K, Yoon H, Parker M, Hart MK & Dye JM (2012). Designing and testing broadly-protective filoviral vaccines optimized for cytotoxic T-lymphocyte epitope coverage., PloS one, 7 (10) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23056184

Citation
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2:02 PM | Is Eradicating Polio Realistic?
In a world that is constantly changing, are attempts to eradicate disease realistic?Over 40 years ago, researchers were happy to have a War on Cancer. President Richard Nixon made it a national priority and it came with a lot of funding, so no one corrected what became an obvious point decades and billions of dollars later; you can't cure cancer.Efforts at eradicating diseases may be doomed because of a mismatch between the ways humans structure the world and the ways pathogens move through the […]

August 15, 2014

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4:00 AM | Why Aren’t We Dead Yet?: The Survivor’s Guide to the Immune System
By Idan Ben-Barak Synopsis: Disease — specifically infectious disease — is what eventually kills the overwhelming majority of us. In fact, it’s amazing that it doesn’t get us sooner: we fight off millions of disease-causing germs […]

August 14, 2014

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6:00 PM | Altered Events: Forcing Chromosomes Into Loops May Switch Off Sickle Cell Disease
Scientists have altered key biological events in red blood cells, causing the cells to produce a form of hemoglobin normally absent after the newborn period. Because this hemoglobin is not affected by the inherited gene mutation that causes sickle cell disease, the cell culture findings may give rise to a new therapy for the debilitating blood disorder. Their approach uses protein-engineering techniques to force chromatin fiber, the substance of chromosomes, into looped structures that contact […]
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2:47 PM | Ebola Outbreak Shows Global Disparities In Health Care
The latest outbreak of Ebola virus disease that has claimed more than 1,000 lives in West Africa and poses a serious, ongoing threat to that region: the spread to capital cities and Nigeria —Africa's most populous nation — presents challenges for health care professionals.  The situation has garnered significant attention and fear around the world, but proven public health measures and sharpened clinical vigilance will contain the epidemic and thwart a global spread, according […]

August 13, 2014

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9:30 PM | Injected C. Noyvi-NT Bacteria Shrink Tumors In Rats, Dogs - And Humans
A modified version of the Clostridium novyi (C. noyvi-NT) bacterium can produce a strong and precisely targeted anti-tumor response in rats, dogs and now humans, according to a new report from Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers. In its natural form, C. novyi is found in the soil and, in certain cases, can cause tissue-damaging infection in cattle, sheep and humans. The microbe thrives only in oxygen-poor environments, which makes it a targeted means of destroying oxygen-starved […]

August 11, 2014

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9:00 AM | The Leaning edge: strange meat allergy
Despite decades of extensive study at the molecular level, many fundamental issues remain unexplained about the adaptive immune system.  We have two types of immunity, adaptive immunity whose genetic basis originated in jawed fish 500 million years ago, and is now shared by all jawed vertebrates. This system uses scrambled coding sections that generate randomly configured proteins to produce an open-ended repertoire of antibody and related molecules that quickly 'learns' to recognize and […]

August 09, 2014

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8:30 PM | FAK! Master Regulator Of Toxin Production In Staph Infections Discovered
Researchers have discovered an enzyme that regulates production of the toxins that contribute to potentially life-threatening Staphylococcus aureus infections.  The enzym is fatty acid kinase (FAK) and FAK is formed by the proteins FakA and FakB1 or FakB2. The new study demonstrated how FakA and FakB work together to replace fatty acids in the bacterial membrane with fatty acids from the person infected. read more
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12:36 PM | Autoimmune diseases - the friendly fire of our immune system
Autoimmune diseases affect millions of people, and have become an important focus of scientific research in the past decade due to their apparent increase in prevalence worldwide[1][2] - and yet little is known about their cause. Our body’s immune system is a pathogen-fighting machine, finely adapted to seek and destroy any foreign invaders which might cause damage within our bodies. To do this, it needs to be able to work out what is dangerous foreign material and what isn't, and […]

August 08, 2014

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10:31 PM | Muslim Clerics Increase Uptake Of Polio Vaccination In Nigeria
Muslim clerics get a bad rap in an interconnected world. It was once possible to be anti-women, anti-medicine and anti-science without much notice - just control the media - but today that is a difficult task. In some parts of the world, imams, Islamic school teachers and traditional rulers are making a positive difference and pushing back the vestiges of conspiracy theories about medicine. In defiance of past teaching, they are working with doctors, journalists and polio survivors to turn […]
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9:02 AM | Typhoid: Engage Cloaking Mechanism
Why do some strains of Salmonella gauss gastoenteritis while closely-related organisms cause thyphoid? Continue reading →

August 07, 2014

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8:31 AM | Parasites FTW: Galápagos Hawks Hand Down Lice Like Family Heirlooms
Parasite is colloquially a bad word but about half of all known species are parasites and biologists have long hypothesized that the strategy of leeching off other organisms is a major driver of biodiversity.  Perhaps being called a parasite is a negative but in the evolution of life on Earth, being one is a winner. Studying populations of Galápagos hawks (Buteo galapagoensis) and feather lice that live in their plumage (Degeeriella regalis), a group led by University of […]

August 06, 2014

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8:40 PM | Contraception and HIV risk
High quality information on a contentious public health issue The post Contraception and HIV risk appeared first on Lab Land.
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